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When the Sun Sets (part 3)
The day left as quickly as it came. I run down the main stairs to my locker where I found Tucker and the guys.
“Hey, Tuck.” I clap him on the back.
“Hey, Mitchie. We’re heading over to the park. Grab your board and let’s go!” he says.
“Naw, guys. Come over to my house and we’ll skate on the half pipe.” And that we did.
Rochelle doesn’t come home until 8:00 p.m.
I’m already in my pajamas, watching TV in the family room until I hear the front door open. Rochelle stumbles inside with her dance bag, water bottle and ballet shoes in her hands.
“Hey, did you come back from an airport? What’s with all the baggage?” I go to the front door to help her carry her stuff upstairs.
“Oh my god, Michelle. I have all of this stuff because Madame Alisa made us clean out our lockers.” Madame Alisa is Rochelle’s dance instructor. “She wants us to make room for our costumes for tomorrow’s performance.”
“Oh, yeah. Cinderella’s tomorrow, huh?” I totally forgot.
“Did you forget again?” She asked, climbing up the stairs, me behind her.
“Me? Forget? Well, yes.” I admitted.
Rochelle and I laugh as we enter her room. I set her dance bag down next to her bed, pink with flowery pillows and an overhead canopy. I sit at the foot of her bed.
“So…Are you nervous?” I’m curious.
“Well, we’ve been practicing forever and I’ve been working really hard. But, I think of it as just rehearsal with 400 more people watching.” Rochelle jokes.
“Wow, really? Four hundred?”
“Yeah, Madame Alisa is having us perform in the auditorium of our building.” I haven’t been to one of Rochelle’s ballet recitals since I was, maybe, ten years old. I forgot how big the building was. I got so into my skating.
“Oh, okay. I guess I’ll let you take a shower and get ready for bed.” I get up and walk out of the door.
“Michelle?” Rochelle calls out to me. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, Ro. Don’t worry about me. You’ve got a big day ahead of you tomorrow. Get some rest.” I say. She smiles.
I go to my room and shut the door behind me. I turn off the lights, climb into bed and stare at the ceiling.
Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to live Rochelle’s life. To have everything be perfect. She has great, girly looks. She has a hot boyfriend who loves her back. She is well-liked by about everyone at school. And, she can dance which is one thing I am definitely challenged at.
I push these thoughts out of my head, knowing that I couldn’t ever be Rochelle. I turn towards my window where I have a direct view of the horizon. That is where the sun sets. I close my eyes, drifting, dreaming…
Ow…Oww! Oh my god. My legs hurt like crap.
I push back the heavy comforter to see that my legs look just fine. I guess I just slept on them. Whoa, when did I change my bed sheets from orange to pink? My eyes probably just haven’t adjusted to the sun’s light shining through the windows, coloring the room. I rub them, scraping the eye crust out. I stretch.
Oww! Man, every part of me hurts. A nice, hot shower will alleviate my pain. My eyes, drooping out of weariness, begin to close. No worries, I know my way from my room to the bathroom.
I open the door and drag myself to the bathroom. I take a look at myself in the mirror. Hey, I don’t wear bras and lacy, cheeky underwear to bed! I don’t remember my boobs being this big. I’m a cup size smaller than this. Oh my god, they’re real too! I can feel it! My hair, it’s long. I don’t think 4 inches of hair can grow overnight. At least my face looks the same. My scar, it’s not there. I run my hands up and down this unfamiliar, yet somewhat familiar body I’m in.
I run straight out of the bathroom to tell Rochelle something is happening. I open her bedroom door. She’s not there. The comforter isn’t made; it looks like I was just in it. The clock in her room says 6:45 a.m. I open my bedroom door to see a body in my bed. It’s mine! It has my hair, the San Francisco 49ers t-shirt I put on before bed last night, and sticking out from under the covers is a leg with a 5 inch long scar on the thigh.
Oh my god, that is my body! But how can that be? Am I looking at my dead body? Am I dead? The body starts to move. I hear it yawning, groaning.
“Mmm… Good morning to me.” It said. It opens its eyes and looks straight at me. “Good morning, Michelle. You’re up early.” Oh, my god. Rochelle is in my body.
“Um, good morning yourself.” I say.
Rochelle in my body takes a look around.
“Whoa, when did I come to your bed? Why am I in your room?” her voice begins to sound panicky. “Michelle, what’s going on?”
“Well, I think, um…” I don’t know how to break it to Rochelle gently.
“Oh my god, what are you wearing?” she points to the lavender colored bra on my body. I felt self-conscious and cover myself with my arms. She looked at herself—err, the body she was in.
“Oh my god, what am I wearing?” she looks down to see an oversized t-shirt swallowing her thin body.
“Michelle, what’s going on?” she asks again.
“Okay, um-” I begin.
“Oh my god! My hair! It’s gone!” she interrupted, touching my head’s shorter amount of hair.
“Okay, Rochelle?” I ask to make sure I’m speaking to the person I think I’m talking to.
“Yeah?” she says. Okay, good. It’s Rochelle.
“I think we kind of, um…”
“Michelle! Just tell me!”
“I think…I think we’ve switched bodies.” I say. Rochelle in my body froze.
“WHAT?!” Rochelle yells and gets up from the bed. “What are we going to do? We still have to go to school in an hour, you’re skating with Tucker later, and I have my ballet performance at 7:30 p.m. sharp…” Her eyes grew big. “Oh my god, I have my ballet performance at 7:30 p.m. sharp!”
“Okay, okay, okay.” I say, trying to think of a plan to get through the day. We start pacing around the room, thinking.
A light goes off in my head. “Okay, Ro, I’ve got it.” She looks at me. “I think we should just be each other for the whole day.”
“But, Michelle, I already am you.” She pointed at the body she is in.
“No, I mean, be each other. I’ll go through the day as you, and you’ll go through the day as me. We’re gonna have to seriously commit to this. We have to act like nothing has changed.” And to think I came up with this in less than ten minutes. It was brilliant.
“Michelle, that’s crazy.”
“Like I don’t know that? What do you suggest we do about it? Huh? We. Are. Trapped.” I spelled it out for her.
“But I’ve got to be Cinderella in about 13 hours! How are you supposed to dance that? You can’t even do an Arabesque!” Rochelle let out a sigh.
“Ro, can’t even spell Arabesque. But we’ll figure out a way to fix this. I promise.”
Mom always said, “Don’t make a promise you won’t be able to keep.” This is where I fail to listen to her once again.