The Comedic Life of Jonathan Buxley

Book Two: No, I'm Not Jonathan Buxley Any Longer

“Hello?” Jonathan said as he opened the office door.
The man behind the desk stood, he was wearing white pants with a blue and white shirt- anywhere on earth this could be called a fashion ‘no-no,’ but here, in heaven, what the saint’s wear is considered the height of fashion.
“Hi, Mr. Buxley,” the man said, putting out his hand, Jonathan took it, “I’m Saint Peter; it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Yeah- uh- God said that you’d have a new life for me?” he asked, confused.
“Yes, yes! Have a seat,” Jonathan sat, “here’s the paperwork, there’s no need to read it, all you have to do is sign here,” Jonathan signed, “here,” he signed again, “and here,” he signed a third time. He wasn’t worried about reading the contract- who was going to con him in heaven?
“So, where’s this new body of mine?”
“Here,” Saint Peter said, motioning towards a television behind him.
On the screen Jonathan could see a woman and a man sitting on the beach having a sun-downer. He was tall, dark-haired and muscular- a true specimen of man.
“Looks good, Peter, good job,” Jonathan commented.
“I’m not in charge of making them- you need to thank God for that,” he replied, laughing.
“So when do I get the body?”
“In about 5 minutes,” Saint Peter said, “in the meantime, you can make your way to the docking bay; Jessica, my secretary, will show you where to go.”
“Thanks,” Jonathan stood and shook Saint Peter’s hand.
“Any time, Mr. Buxley, have a safe trip and a nice life! God bless!”
Jonathan shook his head and left the office.
Jessica was standing right outside the door.
“This way please, Mr. Buxley,” she said pointing to his right. They walked.

Upon arrival at the docking bay, Jonathan was put in a large white-leather club chair. He was briefed on the safety rules and what to do if he was placed in the wrong body. He was given a brand new HTC mobile and was told that God was on speed dial (“Number 7,” Jessica said) if he needed anything. 3 minutes later there was a flash of white and he found himself lying on the beach watching the sunset.
“This is the life,” he murmured, the voice coming from his mouth unfamiliar.
“Yeah honey,” a husky voice from next to him said, “this is a perfect place to spend our honeymoon.”
Jonathan turned his head to the right, expecting to see the gorgeous woman from the television screen, but what he saw almost made him soil himself. He, Jonathan Buxley, award-winning writer, had been reincarnated as a beautiful, toned, 27 year-old woman.
He (or in fact, she) jumped up and felt the sensation of two heavy objects bouncing on his chest- he looked down and into the cleavage of a pair of D’s- his pair of D’s! His head started spinning, he couldn’t feel the ground- not, at least, until it fell under him. Then, everything went a shade of dark.

He woke up, an hour or so later, on a bed in what he could only guess was a honeymoon suite; the handsome man lying asleep next to him. He considered his options; he could run very far away and start a new life as a stripper, or he could learn about the woman whose body he was in, and try to live her life to the best of his ability. He decided that the latter would serve as the best choice at the moment, ‘If I ever need to run away,’ he thought, ‘I can always do that later.’
He got off the bed and picked up a purse which was lying on the cabinet next to the telly. He looked for a driver’s license and found one.
‘Name: Samantha Carlisle, Birth date: 23rd of August, 1986, Nationality: American’ he read. He put the license back into his purse and sat back on the bed, sighing deeply.
‘So this is what the world looks like through the eyes of a woman,’ Jonathan thought, looking around, ‘Everything’s so… pretty…’
The birds outside were chirping happily, the sky seemed an unnatural shade of blue; he could not contain his happiness- it was overwhelming.
He got off of the bed, threw on what he thought Samantha Carlisle would wear and wrote a note for his husband, whose name he still did not know.
‘Darling,’ he wrote, ‘I am feeling much better and have gone for a walk, don’t fret my love, I will be back in time for us to have a lovely brunch on the terrace.’
He re-read the note twice, crumpled it up and wrote a new note.
‘Hey babe, I just went out for a bit so don’t freak- ‘k? I’ll see ya later! Lovvies!’
He smiled- perhaps he could pull this off. All he had to do was A: be a bit more womanly, B: be a lot less British and C: be married- no problem at all!
He left the note on the bedside table next to where his husband was asleep and left the room quietly.

The sun shone brightly down on Jonathan/Samantha’s golden hair. He was walking on the beach contemplating his new life when the HTC given to him by Saint Peter’s assistant Jessica started ringing; he pulled it out of his shorts-pocket and looked at the screen.
‘Incoming Call- God’
He grunted, not wanting to talk to God at this particular moment, he figured it would be rude to reject the call (also, he was almost certain God would know) so he pressed the green button and put the phone to his ear.
“Hello,” he mumbled.
“Hi, Jonathan!” God’s over-excited voice came loudly from the phone.
“You sound happy,” he grumbled.
“I am! And you should be too! I gave you life- why the mumbling and grumbling?”
“You made me a woman and that’s-”
God laughed, “No no no! Good old Pete made you a woman- wry sense of humor on that one…”
“No kidding! And, like, the worst bit is, I’m like, AMERICAN NOW! I can’t believe you’d, like, do that to me!” Jonathan/Samantha started crying.
“Are you crying, Jono?” God asked with an obvious tone of surprise in her voice.
“Yeah! And I, like, don’t know why! The last time I cried was when my goldfish Gunner died when I was 5!”
“Well, you’re a woman now, so you’re more in touch with your emotions- crying’s going to happen a lot! As for the American thing- I can’t help you.”
“But you’re God, for God’s sake!”
“HEY! Don’t use my name in vain- especially when you’re on the phone with me, that’s just rude,” God said, indignant.
“Like, whatever, so who do I call?”
“How in heaven’s name am I supposed to know?! I just supervise! Does Saint Nicholas know about each and every little elf in his factory? I think not!”
Jonathan gave a wail.
“I can tell that you can’t help me, so, like, whatever, I’m just gonna go now.”
“Ah, Jonathan, you really need to use this as a learning experience, maybe you’ll be a better man one day.”
“Will I, like, EVER get the chance to be a guy again?”
“Perhaps,” God mumbled, “we’ll see how you treat this body first, shall we?”
Jonathan sniffed.
“Mmkay, thanks God, I’ll chat to you later.”
“Goodbye Jonathan, have a nice life.”

Jonathan giggled in a surprisingly high-pitched voice. Just as he put his cell phone in his shorts pocket, it started ringing again. He pulled it out of his too-tight shorts.
‘Incoming call- Kathy’
‘Who the hell’s this?’ he pondered, ‘what on earth’m I on about? Of course I’m not gonna know bloody Samantha Carlisle’s friends!’
He pressed the green button.
“SAM!!! How are you love?” a surprisingly familiar voice flooded his feminine ears.
“Katy? Holy crap! It’s you!”
“Uh, well, yes of course it’s me you silly goose! You did you think it’d be?”
“I dunno, someone else- someone I don’t know.”
“Now Sam, who would call you if they didn’t know you?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s true…”
Katy started laughing, “Are you hung-over or just tired?”
“Uh… I’m not too sure…”
“I’ll take that as hung-over. How’s Mitch?”
“Your husband! My Lord, what is going on with you today?”
“Oh! I just thought… Never mind. He’s fine I guess, he’s asleep though.”
“Right, well, I just wanted to check in with you. I’ll see you when you get back then!”
“’Bye Katy,” Jonathan sighed.
“Cheers Sam!”
Jonathan returned the phone to his pocket, sat down on a beach lounger and looked out at the sparkling ocean.
“Ola señora,” a husky foreign voice came from behind him.
“Uh… Ola?” Jonathan replied.
“I ghope you ghad a comfortable rest,” the Spaniard said, “I noticed that the señor ghad to carry ju back to the ghotel suite- are ju feeling better?”
“Yeah, I mean, si, I am, thank you for asking uh…”
“Sergio, señora, Sergio. Do not tell me ju ghave already forgotten my name!”
Jonathan gaped as Sergio sat down beside him.
“No! Sergio I haven’t, it’s just that…”
“Is it the señor? Ju can tell me, señora, do not be afraid.”
“No, Mitch is fine, it’s me. I’m just not feeling myself.”
“Do ju not remember me señora?”
“I’m sorry, Sergio, I don’t remember anything that happened before last night.”
“What about yesterday morning?” Sergio asked, eyes glinting.
“No-o… Not really…”
“Well then, all me to remind ju-” he leaned in and placed a passionate kiss on Jonathan’s full, rosy lips.
“What the bloody hell is going on?!” Jonathan thought as he sat there being kissed by the handsome waiter.
“What the hell’re you doing?!” he then yelled, pushing Sergio away, “I’m a married man- er, I mean- woman!”
“But, señora,” he whispered, “yesterday morning was gheaven, why-?”
“Yesterday morning? I’m sorry Sergio, but I would never cheat on my husband. Please, don’t speak to me ever again.”
“Si, señora. Buenos Dias,” he mumbled, his handsome head hanging.

Jonathan sat on the terrace of his hotel room, breakfast plates on the small wrought iron table in from of him, his husband, Mitch, had left for the gym after having a short brunch with Sam. The maid, Maria, had come to clean the suite and requested that Jonathan leave or sit out on the terrace. He had chosen the latter for fear of running into Sergio.
“Señora?” Maria’s voice came from the closed terrace doors.
“Si, Maria?” Jonathan replied, not really taking note of what was happening.
“Señora seems tense,” Maria seemed concerned, “perhaps señora should get a massage?”
Jonathan sighed, “Maria, I’d love to, but I’m not feeling very well so I don’t think I should leave the suite.”
“Señora should know that our masseuses will come to señora, on request.”
“Si,” Maria smiled, “should I summon our best masseuse, señora?”
“Please do that, Maria, and pay for it with the money on my side table. Oh, and take a little something for yourself as well.”
Maria’s smile broadened, “Gracias, señora, I shall put a call in. Señora should probably get ready for when the masseuse comes.”
“I will do that, Maria, thank you.”
Jonathan got up and made his way to the bathroom to get ready for when the masseuse comes.

‘Wow, this guy’s taking ages,’ Jonathan thought as he lay face down on the bed in only a towel. The whole ‘stripping-and-putting-on-a-towel’-thing had taken him a while to achieve, only because he wasn’t used to looking in a mirror and seeing a perfectly toned naked woman.
‘Saint Peter, you sick dog,’ he had thought as he admired God’s handiwork in the mirror. Now all he could think about was how good the masseuse had better be- or else. He heard the door open, ‘Finally!’ he thought. He felt warm hands on his legs.
“Mmm…” he groaned.
The foreign hands moved slowly, carefully, along his legs, hitting all the right spots.
‘This lady is amazing!’ he thought.
The hands went higher; at his lower thighs now. Squeezing and kneading- a heaven Jonathan had never before experienced.
“Whoa!” Jonathan shrieked as he jumped up; the hands had moved a little too high up his legs.
“What’re you-?”
Jonathan didn’t manage to finish his sentence because a suddenly familiar pair of hands cupped his face and kissed him.
“Ssrrggmm…” he growled against the Spaniard’s lips; and indeed, it was. Sergio. The handsome, Spanish, hotel masseuse-slash-waiter, whose hands (and lips) were the cause of Jonathan’s current miseries.
He tried to push Sergio away, and found that, by the time he had successfully the man off of him, he had used both of his hands; one of which was being used to hold his towel in place.
‘Not again!’ Jonathan thought as he looked down at the towel on the floor.
This was a mistake on his part. As he looked down, Sergio re-launched himself onto the beautiful, now naked, Samantha Carlisle.
Jonathan was attempting to release himself from the strong, well built pair of arms which entrapped him, when he heard the door open.
“What the-?”
He had not heard that voice many times, but it was familiar enough for him to almost soil himself.
Sergio also heard the voice, and immediately he let go of Sam.
“Mitch!” Jonathan gasped, “It’s not what you think!”
“It’s not? So you’re not naked and making out with a waiter?”
“No! He’s a masseuse…” Jonathan mumbled.
Mitch turned to his bedside table, opened it and fumbled for a few seconds. When he turned back to face Jonathan and Sergio, both of them stood with their mouths hanging open.
“Señor…” Sergio whispered, “What are ju going to do?”
“What the hell does it look like you moron?! I’m gonna shoot your bloody brains out!”
“Mitch, you seriously do not wanna do that,” Jonathan tried.
“Listen you,” Mitch spat, “I didn’t wanna marry some stupid, stuck up, American tart, but my dad said it’s a good idea so I did it. I’ll be bloody happy to see you die!”
“Oh shirts on a pig, I really didn’t mean for this to happen.”
“Whatever,” Mitch turned to Sergio, “Buenos Dias, Sergio.”
The gun was surprisingly soft, Jonathan had never actually heard a gunshot up close, but he imagined it slightly louder.
‘Damn you Hollywood sound-effects editors,’ he thought.
“So, Sam, I guess I’ll see you in hell.”
He heard the shot and felt a sting in his head.
Then, everything went a shade of dark. Again.

Jonathan sat on the end of the bed, looking at the bodies on the floor. He felt sorry for them, really he did, but when it came down to it, it wasn’t really his fault. Samantha Carlisle started the wretched affair with handsome Sergio. Mitch married her, even though he didn’t really want to. Sergio would not listen to Jonathan’s voice of reason. Hadn’t Jonathan told Sergio to stop talking to him? Hadn’t he made the effort to be a good wife to Mitch? Hadn’t he tried to look after Sam’s body?
Mitch’s body was next to Sam’s. After getting shot, Jonathan’s soul got up off the floor and saw Mitch had died too. It was sad, but Jonathan was less than sympathetic towards the man who shot him. The self same white light that he saw at the end of his passage just the day before was shining brightly from the bathroom.
“Go into the bloody light, Jono!” God had been saying for the past 5 or so minutes.
“No, I’d prefer to wander the earth as a spirit,” he replied.
“Fine, this is your ultimatum, you walk into the light or I tell Lucifer that he can have you, no questions asked.”
“So, I have to choose heaven or hell?”
“That’s the basic idea. What’s your decision?”
Jonathan sighed deeply, got up and walked towards the light.

“Jono!” God shrieked as she bounced towards him and embraced him.
“Hello, God,” Jonathan mumbled, looking down.
God smiled, “Don’t look so down, there’re some people I’d like you to meet.”
He allowed himself to be lead into God’s office.
“Now,” God said, “Jonathan, I’d like to formally introduce you to Sergio Valdes and Mitchell Carlisle, boys this is Jonathan Buxley.”
The two men stood and shook Jonathan’s hand.
“Hey, I know who you are,” Mitch said, smiling, “you’re that author, my wife used to read your books.”
“Is that so? How ironic,” Jonathan looked at God, she smiled.
“I told you, Jono, Pete’s got a wicked sense of humour!”
“Sorry to interrupt Ju, Dios,” Sergio whispered, “but what are we doing here?”
“AHA! The million dollar question! I thought I’d let you two know exactly who Samantha Carlisle was yesterday, and, I suppose, where.”
At that moment, there was a flash of red, and before the three men’s eyes stood a very large man in a brand new black Armani suit.
“Jono, Mitch, Serg; allow me to introduce you to Lucifer.”
The Devil smiled a strangely perfect smile for Satan.
“Hows yous doin’?”

For the next half hour they sat in stunned silence, watching the CCTV footage from Lucifer’s office. It was very disturbing. They tracked Sam’s doings and were not too happy about what they saw. When the video was done, Mitch turned to God.
“But, why is she in hell and we’re up here?”
“Well, she’s a sinner, and we all need to repay our debts before we can enter the gates of paradise.”
“Si, Dios, but why are we not repaying hour debts?”
“See, you’s a pretty smart guy,” Lucifer said, gesticulating vigorously as he spoke.
Jonathan couldn’t help but laugh.
“What’s so funny? You finding somethin’ amusin’? Huh?”
“I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe that the Devil is a Mafioso!”
“Who better to lead the damned than him though?” God said, smiling.
“What the hell’s going on here?”
“Language Mr Carlisle! Please!”
“Sorry, God, but I don’t understand. You and Lucifer seem to be on good terms and me and Sergio are in heaven when we should be repaying our debts. I’m very confused.”
“The thing about it is,” started Lucifer, “you’s twos were on my list of people to get on my team, but God over here showed me dis tape, play the tape God.”
They all turned to the screen once again, this time; a familiar scene was playing out.
Mitch stood pointing a gun at Sam and Sergio, he was saying something, then Sam spoke, then Mitch spoke again, then the gunshot, then Sergio fell to the ground.
“See? Did you see that?” God asked, almost jumping out of her seat.
“What? I got shot by the señor? That’s all I saw,” Sergio stated.
“No, no. look closer.” God played the tape again, this time She zoomed in on Sergio’s mouth. He was mumbling something under his breath.
“Do you see now?”
“What were you saying, Serg?” Jonathan asked.
“I said gwhat my mother told me to say gwhen I came to face death, I said; Santa Maria save me from the clutches of Satan and lead me into the garden of paradise.”
God wiped a tear from her eye.
“See, that’s why you’re here and not with me,” Lucifer said frowning, “You Spanish peoples’re all so religious, the only ones I get down there are soccer referees.”
Jonathan laughed, “Really? How ridiculous! You only get refs? I’m sure you all have a ball! Do they give you cards on your birthday?”
“Cheese and rice, Jonathan,” God scolded, “this is no laughing matter.”
“Ok, so Serg prayed before he died, but what about me?” Mitch asked looking around.
“You, my dear friend, are in a bit of a predicament.”
“How so?”
“You weren’t meant to die, you see, it was purely accidental.”
God motioned for them to turn to the screen again. This time they saw Sam and Sergio’s lifeless bodies on the floor, Mitch threw the gun onto the floor beside them, took a step forward, tripped and hit his head on a chair at such an angle that he broke his neck. He toppled over and fell next to Sam’s body.
“So? I killed Sam and Sergio, shouldn’t I be with Sam in hell?”
“That’s what I said!” Lucifer exploded, “this guy’s pretty smart, you sure he can’t hang out with me and the boys?”
God laughed.
“Sorry, Luce, but it’s not his time. You know the rules as well as I do.”
God snapped her fingers, and from her bookshelf came a thick dusty book. It fell onto the table with a thunk.
“These are the Chronicles of Life and Death,” God began.
Mitch laughed, “What? You mean like the Good Charlotte CD?”
“They stole it from us,” God replied, “but I don’t like to hold a grudge. All forgiving, remember?” the three men nodded, “anyway, it says right here that ‘anyone who dies when it isn’t their designated time, will be given a second chance at life.’”
Sergio’s mouth hung open.
“Ju mean gwe ghave a designated time to die?” He asked.
“Well, of course! I suppose none of you have looked into other religions?” the three men shook their heads, “always important to read, I say, ah well. So, in Islam, they say that you will know 40 days before you die, that you will die. The only thing is, is that you can’t tell anyone, you can only drop hints. So, you know when your designated time is.”
“I didn’t know I gwould be dying today,” Sergio said.
“Is yous a Muslim?” Lucifer asked.
Sergio shook his head, “I am a Catholic.”
“So why d’you thinks the same rules apply?” Lucifer spat, “If yous was a Muslim, yous would’a known. If yous don’t believe summin’, it don’t apply to yous.”
“Well put, Luce,” God said, patting him on the back, “but that’s not the point and I’m not really in the mood to debate about religion, when you hear it all day every day you sort of run out of interesting topics.”
Jonathan gaped. ‘Is this seriously God?’ he wondered.
“The point is,” God continued, “it wasn’t your time, Mitchell, so you’ll be given another life.”
Mitch smiled, Lucifer scowled.
“But, gwhat about Señor Booksley?” Sergio asked.
“Actually, it’s Buxley,” Jonathan chimed.
“Jono was in a similar predicament as Mitch is in,” God said.
“Yes, he died the day before yesterday, his soul was inhabiting Samantha’s body, so, technically, Mitch, you killed Jonathan, and you Sergio, kissed Jonathan.”
Sergio spat on the floor and wiped his tongue with the back of his hand. Mitch turned to Jonathan and apologised profusely.
“So, what happens now?” he asked God.
“Same as before,” she replied, pulling the teleporter out of her dress-front, “don’t forget to give it back to Pete,” she opened her desk drawer and took out a phone, “Mitch, if you ever need to talk, I’m on speed dial 7,” she turned to Sergio, “just outside this door, Serg, paradise awaits you.”
Sergio stood, said his goodbyes and entered heaven.
Jonathan was about to press the button, as he had done the day before, when Lucifer grabbed his shoulder.
“Listen, you mooks,” he said menacingly, “just cause God’s giving yous twos a second chance, don’t mean yous is guaranteed a place in heaven. So if yous sin again without repenting, I’ll be seeing yous twos in the fire pits. Kapeesh?”
Jonathan looked at Mitch, who was sweating bullets; he gulped and whispered, “Kapeesh.”

When they walked into Saint Peter’s office, he started laughing.
“Jonathan Buxley!” he boomed, “My favourite client, how’re you getting on lad? Not too well, I suppose, seeing as you’re back!”
“Saint,” Jonathan said, nodding, “this is Mitchell Carlisle; he’s going to need a body as well.”
“Yes, yes! I know exactly who you are! Well, Mr Carlisle, here’s the contract, and if you’ll be so kind as to look at the screen behind me, this is the body you’ll be given.”
Jonathan looked at the screen and saw a handsome man standing on London Bridge eating a hotdog. ‘Lucky guy,’ he thought, ‘that’s quite a good body to have.’
“Tell me about this guy,” Mitch said, and Saint Peter said that he was a doctor, married with one child, earning a heck of a living, a house in the best part of London and a holiday cottage in Nice.
‘Bloody lucky guy!’ Jonathan thought.
Saint Peter turned to him, motioned towards the screen and said that he would be living inside the body of an Australian cricketer, this did not make Jonathan very happy.
“An Aussie?! Are you serious?!” he exploded, “you do realise that I’m BRITISH?!”
Saint Peter then explained that he would be living in Cape Town, South Africa, and not Australia. He would be playing for a professional team called the Nashua Cape Cobras. He wouldn’t even have to pretend to like Australia! Jonathan considered this and, fancying his chances as a professional cricketer, he agreed.
The papers were signed, again, the teleporter was returned, again, and the secretary was summoned, again.
For the second time in his death, Jonathan Buxley would no longer be Jonathan Buxley.