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I awaken to the sound of an alarm. I contemplate whether I need to go to school today and remember I have a test in seventh period that I was not about to make up. I roll over to shut off the alarm and check my phone when I realized something. I quickly sat up and observed the room I was in. “This… isn’t my bedroom. Where am I?” I thought to myself. I got out of the bed and walked out of the room.
As I wandered through the house, I heard the shower being turned on in the bathroom. I make my way over to the door and knock. “Come on in, darling!”. It was a woman’s voice, one I’ve never heard before. I open the door to the steam-filled room and step in front of the mirror. As I wipe the condensation from the glass, I see a face I don’t recognize. It was a man. About late 40s, relatively slim, but not too lean or toned, with grey hair and pepper stubble.
“What!?” I whisper to myself, to refrain from alarming the woman behind the curtains. I pinch myself to assure I’m not dreaming. Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up and I panic. My heart began to beat a million miles per hour, and I felt as if I was being suffocated. I ran out of the bathroom and shut the door behind me. I escape into the street and quickly glance around. Everything is unfamiliar. A elderly man passes by and without hesitation I grab his sleeve. “Please! Can you tell me where I am?” I desperately ask. He answered with concern “I’m sorry, can I help you? This is San Francisco, California. Are you okay?”. “California…. How did I end up here?” I thought to myself as he man continues attempting to help me. I thank him and make my way back inside.
A woman greets me at the door, “Oh my goodness, are you alright dear? What happened?” I assume it was the same woman who was in the shower before. She looks about half my age. What’s she doing calling a man twice her age, “Dear”. I don’t know what kind of relationship this is, but I guess I don’t have time to be worrying about that right now. “Oh, yes everything’s fine” I assure her. “I just realized I dropped my keys on the doorstep last night.” She sighs in relief, “You really scared me for a moment you know. Breakfast should be ready soon, I went ahead and asked the maid to begin preparing it for you”. “Maid?” I wonder. I knew this was a big house, but this guy must really have money. “Thank you… Sweetheart” I say with uncertainty. “I’ll be in my room, see you at breakfast” I excuse myself and make my way back to where I woke up this morning. “This guy has to have a wallet” I think to myself as I begin to search the room. There it was, laying on his desk along with his keys and anything else you’d see in an office. I open it up and check the ID.
“Mark Raines…” how generic. He sounds like a suburban dad. Suddenly, I hear a voice coming from another room “Mr. Raines, your breakfast is ready!”. I make my way into the kitchen and see a nice breakfast laid out along with my supposed lover sitting at the end of the table. I sit down at the other end and begin eating. “I’ll go prepare your work clothes, sir” said the maid as she left the room. “Darling, could I borrow your card for the day?” asked the woman across from me. “What for?” I asked. “I already went through the money you gave me last week, and I need a new Gucci bag.” she replied. Now I’m really starting to question this relationship. This seems to be the norm so I guess it’s okay to give it to her. “Yes, of course, sweetheart. I’ll give it to you after we are done here.” I said, trying to go along with all of this. We finish eating, and I head back to my room. There was a suit laid out on the bed. “I guess this is to be expected from how this guy lives.” I put it on, grab my wallet, and phone, and head out. I hand the woman my card and leave the building.
There was a car with a strange man standing outside of it, holding the backseat door open. “Mr. Raines, are you ready to head to work?” he asked. “Yes, thank you.” I reply as I get into the car. He gets in the front seat and we drive off. We pull up to a large building and the man opens the door to let me out of the car. As I get out, two men in security guard uniforms lead me inside. They take me all the way up to the top floor and lead me into an office. I sit down at the desk and they leave the room to stand guard at the door. Suddenly, the phone rings “Mr. Raines, you have a voicemail.” says the lady on the other end. I’m assuming she’s my secretary. “Thank you.” I reply and hang up the phone. I press the button to listen to the voicemails, and a deep intimidating voice starts speaking. “Hello, Mr. Raines. We have carried out the orders you gave us yesterday. Mr. Smalls could not repay his debts. He has been exterminated.” The voicemail ended and I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Who.. Who am I?! What kind of business is this? I need to find a way out of this.
I have to find myself. I call the secretary and ask her to book a plane to Flint, Michigan. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to find my old body. The rest of the day was overwhelming. I found out this guy is a loan shark. Some things that I heard today will haunt me for a while. Taking advantage of desperate people… Whoever this guy is, he’s disgusting.
I leave for the day and we went through the same process as this morning. My secretary managed to book the flight tonight. The man drove me to the airport, and I got on my respective plane. It was a pretty short plane ride, it definitely could’ve been worse. I got off the plane and hailed a taxi. He drove me to a hotel, and I booked a room. I then hailed another taxi to bring me to my home. I walked up the front steps and knocked on the door. A teenage girl answered the door. It was me, staring me right in the face. If I’m controlling this guy, who's controlling my old body? The old me turned around and yelled “Mom! There’s a strange man at the door!”. As my mother walked out of the kitchen into the living room, she seemed to be in a state of complete shock.
“Mark… What are you doing here?” she asked. I didn’t know what to say, there’s no way she would believe what’s happening. Plus, I don’t even know what my mom’s relationship with this guy is. “Mom, what’s going on? Who is this guy?” my old self asked. She thinks she’s confused. Wait till she finds out what’s really going on, if she ever does that is. “This is your father, Mark. He left before you were born, so you’ve never met” my mom replied. What? I’m in my father’s body? I’m related to him? I guess that would explain why we have the same last name. How am I going to get myself out of this? If he left before I was born, who knows how many siblings I have. I’m stuck in the body of a crummy dad who kills people who can’t repay their debt and has a creepy relationship with a woman half my age. Talk about daddy issues.
“I’m drunk!” it was the only excuse I could come up with to get myself out of here. Obviously my plan didn’t work. I have no idea how to get out of this body, but being here might just make things worse for everyone. “Sorry, I should go home and sleep this was all a mistake, bye Karen!” I rushed out of there and called an Uber to bring me to the hotel. When I got there, I immediately went to my room and threw myself onto the bed. I’m exhausted, I never thought I could experience so much stress in one day. Before I knew it I was asleep.
I woke up on a saturday morning, expecting to be in the hotel. To my surprise, I was back in my bedroom. Was it all just a crazy dream? I immediately got up and asked my mom what happened last night. I told her I was too tired to remember, so she didn’t question it. Believe it or not, it wasn’t a dream. The whole thing was real. Where ever that guy is right now, I hope he stays far away from me. I’ve had enough daddy daughter time to last the rest of my life. Unfortunately I can’t tell anyone about the whole thing, they would call me crazy or dismiss it as some weird dream. One thing’s for sure, this will make a great book someday.