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Katie woke up to a weird beeping sound. She groaned and turned over, looking curiously at the electric alarm clock she had never seen before. She reached for the flashlight on the small table, but instead, she felt only her light switch. She squinted painfully as bright light flooded from her ceiling.
“Since when does that light work?” She mumbled, and then sat up straight. Her room! She looked around shocked at the bright, happy colors surrounding her. The blood stains on her wall were covered up with bright pink paint. Zebra curtains hung over sparklingly clean windows where there was usually a blanket hung to keep out the dingy light. Bottles of nail polish were strewn about, a radio with a purple iPod sat on her desk. Everything about this room was that of a typical teenage girl. Everything about this room was opposite of Katie’s.
About to jump out of bed, she quickly checked her wrist, expecting to see a fresh scab. She put her other hand to her mouth to cover her gasp. There were no scars, no scabs. All evidence of her desperation had just vanished.
“What is-Oh my gosh!” In the middle of her wondering, she’d noticed her hair, long, straight and blonde. Like it used to be before she chopped it off and dyed it black after her mom left. She fought back the urge to smile at having her lovely hair once again. What was going on?
She got out of her flower-pattern blankets and went to her closet, noticing her outfit; frog PJ shorts and a tank top. She opened the doors, for the first time in years they didn’t make that awful creaking sound. She gasped. It was filled with the name-brand, cutsie clothes she used to wear, not the black jeans, combat boots, and vintage stuff she wore now. She opened her door, the smell of breakfast cooking down the hall filled her nose.
“Katie, what are you doing?” She snapped around, it couldn’t be!
“Amy?” She asked in disbelief. Staring in shock at the twelve year old coming out of the bathroom, not dead, not hung in a closet, perfectly alive.
“Yeah, Amy.” She said looking at Katie funny. “I’ve been here the past twelve years, you should probably remember me.”
“No, but you haven’t! You-“ Katie paused, overwhelmed.
“You’re funny.” Amy chuckled. “Anyway, don’t forget mom’s taking us to school today because dad had to go to work early.”
“Mom!” Katie couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t be true! But then a voice called from the kitchen, one Katie had longed to hear for years.
“Katie, Amy! Hurry up and get ready, your eggs are going to get cold!” Katie sprinted to the kitchen, leaving Amy behind her to simply shake her head and mutter, ‘Teenagers.’
“Whoa! Easy, dear.” Her mom smiled from her place by the stove. “It won’t get cold that fast. Why aren’t you dressed?”
Katie just stood, still smiling. Taking in the sight of her beautiful mother, who was smiling back, unsure what Katie was doing.
“Mom.” She said simply, hugging her tight and reveling in the feel of her mother’s arms wrapping around her.
“Well, good morning to you too, dear.”
“She’s been like that all morning, Mom.” Said Amy, coming into the kitchen. “I thought she was kidding, but apparently not.”
“I’m just happy!” Katie grinned, letting go of her mom and scooping Amy into a big hug.
“Easy, woman. You’re screwing up my hair.” Amy pulled back. “Go get dressed, dummy.”
“Just a sec.” Katie quickly opened the fridge; Normal food, no liquor, no beer. If her mom hadn’t left, her dad hadn’t started drinking. She smiled again and ran up to her room. She threw on some clothes, and ran her fingers through her silky hair. For the first time in years she decided to throw some mascara on. This was all so crazy, and impossible, but she wasn’t about to waste however much time she had with a normal family.
They ate breakfast, talking and laughing like they used to, then made their way to school. Katie was a little nervous, would this miraculous translation have happened at school too? Her mom stopped at the high school first.
“Bye, Mom and Amy.” She called as she got out the door. They answered with goodbyes, but she hesitated before she closed the door. What if she came back home and they were gone again?
“Oh, No mom. Bye.” She shut the door and walked up to the huge brick building. The stoners and emos by the door she usually hung out with hardly glanced her way.
“Katie!” Her old best friend, Jenna, was walking towards her in the hallway, smiling. “Oh my gosh, you will not believe this. Come on!” As they walked toward whatever drama was going on today, Katie was grinning.
The day passed with joy. Katie was now the favorite student of the teachers who had hated her the past three years. After school her mom and Amy picked her up, and they went home where her dad was waiting. He smiled as they entered the kitchen and put down their bags. As he hugged her mom and Amy, Katie realized she was scared. She knew something was different today, but she didn’t quite trust her dad.He opened his arms to her and she flinched; usually when he made a move towards her it was to hit.
“Katie, are you alright?” He asked, concern coming over his face.
“Uh, yeah.” She said and let him hug her, almost shaking. He looked down at her, confused, but she looked away. Amy broke the silence.
“She’s been weird all day. I’m hungry.” So the night went on as every night in Katie’s life should have if her mom hadn’t left and her dad wasn’t a drunk. They ate dinner and had conversation like a normal family.
After saying goodnight and taking a last look at her happy family, Katie went to her room. As she got in bed, turned off the light and laid down, she pinched herself, just in case.
“Katie!” Her dad yelled loudly.
“Yes?” She answered, looking up from bed, it was too dark to see anything in her room, but she had’t felt a change. Maybe all the bad years had just been a dream! She ached to remember.
“Get up, you lazy bratt!” Her dad screamed this time. Katie’s heart began to pound and she reached frantically for the light switch, willing it to work. She flicked it up, hoping and praying, but the room remained in darkness.