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When the Sun Sets (part 5)
“Well, you know, Ro, I’d definitely go for it,” I say. “But you’re in my body!” I whisper loudly.
“Oh, right.” She realized. “Well, I have to go, I have gym next. Meet me in front of the school when the day’s over. We’re going to try to figure out what to do about the Cinderella situation. I’ll text you.”
I agree to that and the bell for second period rings. I take out Rochelle’s schedule out of my tote and under second period, it says Finite Math. I walk to room 107 downstairs.
The 2:30 p.m. bell rings for the school day to end. I go to my locker to drop off all of these heavy books. Marco is there, waiting for me, with my locker already open.
“Um, hi.” I say. It’s still weird going out with my sister’s boyfriend, him not knowing I’m in her body.
“Hey, beautiful.” Marco kisses me lightly on the cheek. “Do you need a ride home?”
“That’s okay. I have to meet up with Michelle.” I say, putting the books and binders into the locker.
“Oh, um, okay then.” He sounds suspicious.
“What’s going on?”
“Ro, I could ask you the same question.”
“I’m not following…”
“Well,” Marco starts, taking my hands in his. “You seem different.”
“How so?” I utter, uneasily.
“You don’t kiss me good morning like everyday. You’re having a hard time in French class; I got a text from Caroline saying so. You don’t wait up and walk to classes with me. And suddenly, you’re always with your sister.”
I am silent.
“Not that I’m not glad to see you spending time with your sister, I was starting to think you needed to. It’s just…”
“Marco, I didn’t forget about you. It’s just there’s a lot on my mind, that’s all.” I never thought Marco to be clingy.
“Sorry if I’m being clingy. I’m not trying to be. You’re just acting really, really different and I’m worried about you.”
I did what I thought a girlfriend would do at a time like this; I smoothed Marco’s soft brown hair and hug him around his neck. He holds me by the waist. I get a text from Rochelle asking where I am.
“I’ll see you later, Marco.” I let go, shutting the door of my locker.
“Yeah, at your performance. I’ll be there.” He walks out of this hall, out of sight.
Oh, crap! The ballet! I almost forgot! I run over to the front of the school to find ‘Michelle’. We walk back home together, thinking about this debacle we are in.
We reach the house, open the door and say hi to mom, quickly. Hazel is here too, having coffee with Mom. Rochelle and I run upstairs to her room. The clock says 3:18 p.m. I unbuckle the straps of my heels and take them off.
“Oh, that feels great. These darn things gave me red marks!” I point to my feet.
“Well, they’re off. Okay, Michelle, focus. You’re going to have to learn a whole ballet in less than five hours!” Rochelle says to me. We both sit on her bed for a full twenty minutes, contemplating.
“I’ve got it!” Rochelle shouts. I look at her. “I’ll just switch with places with you!”
“I think we’re too different for anyone to be fooled. We have different hair, there’s a huge scar running down my leg, and we just act too different!” I protested.
“What do you suggest we do about it? Huh? We. Are. Trapped.” She quotes me from earlier this morning.
“Touché.” I say. That was the only phrase I actually remembered from French class. “Okay, fine.”
I hear the doorbell ring. Tucker. Tucker is here. It totally slipped my mind that ‘Michelle’ and he were supposed to skate today. Rochelle realizes this too. I run down the stairs and to the door.
“Tucker,” I open the door a crack.
“Hey, Rochelle. Is Mitchie here? We’re gonna skate.” he asks.
“Um, yeah.” ‘Michelle’ is at the foot of the steps. “Go ahead. Just have her back before five. She has to help me get ready for tonight.”
“I’ll be sure to do that.” Tucker smiled.
Rochelle grabbed my skateboard and helmet and went out the door with Tucker.