My life sucks.

Well, it did even before I ended up in this weird predicament, but now it really really—like, phenomenally—sucks.

There's no easy way to say this other than to just put it right out there.

I died.

In an incredibly stupid way, too, from what I can remember.

Everyone always warns you about stress, you know? Don't push yourself too hard, take care of yourself, get some rest when you need it, et cetera. But those people are the ones who have easy lives or just insanely positive outlooks on everything, or are the ones lucky enough not to be stressed out when they give the advice.

Try not being stressed out just a few short hours before the deadline of your graduation project to earn your very first bachelor's degree. All of your paperwork has already been filled out, submitted, approved by the department heads without a doubt and it's smooth sailing—but only in the event that you complete all of your work and earn passing grades before classes officially end. Anything less, and you're shit out of luck; go back to start and try again.

That was my situation during the unfairly early hours of a random, unimportant Thursday morning—Thursday, of all days—just two hours past midnight. The presentation would mean the end of my life if I didn't finish it on time and submit it, along with the grossly long essay that detailed its progress, before my capstone class began, because it consisted of half of the entire grade and there was a zero-tolerance policy for lateness.

Procrastination was probably what killed me, now that I think about it in hindsight.

But, in short, spurred on by the fear of having wasted my entire college career and facing the failure of obtaining a much sought-after diploma—one of my dreams—because scholarships were no longer an option with my track record of credits and I was too dirt-poor to pay for further education out of my own pocket, I made a mistake.

The mistake that cost me my life.

I was rushing around, not paying attention to anything but graduating university, and slipped on the goddamn printouts scattered all across my bedroom floor. Hit my head on the corner of my desk.

Blunt force trauma to the head is a quick way to go.

At least, that's how it had to have happened. My memory's pretty much a blank after the moment I slipped and the only memento I have left from the occurrence is a remarkably tender scalp.

And a second chance at life.

But...considering the circumstances, it's more of a curse than a gift.

I was a grown woman, once—sure, I was immature and bratty and probably never would be a proper, responsible adult, but now I'm a little girl by the name of Rika.

Uchiha Rika.

And Itachi is my younger, distant cousin, by something like a year or two—whatever the technicalities are, it's as good as a death sentence. Like, really, could there ever be a bigger absolute fuck-you from the universe? I wouldn't even get close to old enough to legally drink or do all those fun adult things again.

Somewhere up there, the gods are laughing.

It was hard to come to terms with, at first. But eventually I decided that, if I'm living on borrowed time anyway, I might as well make the best of it and do my damnedest to send the ones responsible for my reincarnation the metaphorical bird, too, everyday, up to the inevitable Fated Day.

Then, if my karma isn't too bad, as soon as I die (for the second time) I'll be reborn into my original world where I belong. Maybe get to see my family again, if I make it before they pass away. Apologize to all of my friends for being such a stressed-out, waspish bitch during finals week. Pet my dogs again and tell them I'm sorry I didn't play fetch with them as much as they wanted.

Until then, I'll live my new life however I want, doing whatever I want, because when death is a certainty—and soon—there's no more time to waste.

Even if it all just sucks, it doesn't mean I don't get to enjoy the ride.

Notes: Here's a preview/prologue of what I'm working on during November for NaNoWriMo 2014. More info will be given when I post the first chapter. Thanks for reading!