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When the Sun Sets (part 4)
I go back to the bathroom to fix up this new body of mine. I take a shower. It was greatly needed. My body feels less sore than from when I woke up. It must have been Rochelle’s vigorous dancing last night. I dry myself, lather on her Vanilla Honey Lotion and blow-dry my hair.
I walk out of the bathroom, in my towel, to Rochelle’s closet in her room. I open up the double doors exposing the enormous amount of clothing inside. I am horrified. There is nothing that isn’t girly or frilly in here.
“Rochelle!” I call out to my room right next to this one. She comes over to her room, her in a towel too.
“What?” She says.
“What the heck am I supposed to wear to school? I am NOT wearing anything from this closet.” I state.
“Oh, come on. This stuff is cute!” She scans her closet. “Wear this!” she holds out a red flirty ruffle mesh skirt.
“Rochelle, no. I don’t want anyone to see my scar.” That is why I always, always wear jeans.
“Oh, right. I forgot. Sorry.” I noticed that we don’t seem to know a lot about each other anymore.
“S’okay.” I say. Rochelle takes her time looking for something a little less girly and something that shows a little less skin but something that Rochelle would wear.
“Here, Michelle. Put this on.” She smiles and leaves the room.
I smile at the outfit in approval and put it on. Rochelle picked a white strapless dress with pink, yellow and orange floral prints, underneath was an orange tank. She paired it with some bracelets and earrings. Even though it was pretty girly, it looked good. Well, of course it looked good. I was in Rochelle’s body.
The smile on my face fades when I see what she would have me wear as shoes. On the floor, at the foot of the bed are pink pumps with a buckle that wraps around the ankle. No way was I going to wear high heels, especially not to school.
But I reminded myself, I’m not the one wearing high heels to school, Rochelle is. And, for now, I would have to be Rochelle. And isn’t this what I wanted? To be like Rochelle? And here’s my chance. I guess if I was going to, I’d have to have the full experience. Against my will, I put on the pumps and walked into my room. Rochelle was picking out what to wear too. I had her wear my black half-sleeved Henley, jean shorts and my Converse. She put it on without a fuss.
We headed downstairs for breakfast. I heard a car honking outside.
“That’s Marco!” Rochelle runs for the door to wave at him like she does everyday. Then she stops. “Wait, I’m not me. Michelle, you are. Go outside and Marco will take you both to school.”
Now here’s where I begin to panic. How does Rochelle act around Marco? Does she kiss him hello? I haven’t been in a relationship since Ethan so I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be with a boy. I walk outside and climb into the front seat of Marco’s red Mini Cooper. His dark brown hair is glimmering in the sunlight; his green eyes scanning my perfectly dressed body.
“Whoa, you look great, Rochelle.” He breathes.
“Um, thanks.” I laugh nervously.
He leans in for a kiss. My palms begin to get clammy. I turned my head away from him. Marco looks confused.
“I, um, just had bacon and eggs for breakfast.” I fib. “Bad breath. You do not wanna get a whiff of that.” I say, fanning my hand in front of my mouth.
Kissing my sister’s boyfriend feels wrong, even if I am in her body.
“Oh…okay.” Marco put the car in reverse and pulled out of our driveway.
Marco and I park in the back of Wilhelmina High’s parking lot. The radio’s clock reads 7:40 a.m. We have twenty more minutes before we’d have to be in the building. What do Rochelle and Marco do during this time?
Marco takes my face in his hands and kisses me fiercely on the lips. That stunned me. It’s uncomfortable. Maybe because I wasn’t kissing back, so I did. After about… I don’t know how long, we separate. That kiss was amazing. I feel the guilt getting to me now. The clock reads 7:52.
“Let’s go inside.” Marco smiles.
I wonder how Rochelle is doing in my body.
I see that, once Marco and I enter the building, ‘Michelle’ is leaning against a wall, covered in small cuts and pointy leaves. I run over to her as quickly as I can in these restricting, spiky death traps we call high heels.
“Rochelle!” I shout. “I mean… Michelle!” I try to cover up my mistake. “What happened to you? Are you okay?”
“Rochelle, calm down. I think I’ll be okay. I just was riding on your skateboard and--” she confessed.
“Whoa… You rode my skateboard?” I was astonished. Ro can’t skate! At least not that I’ve seen.
“I attempted to. I managed to get myself on and start down the sidewalk of our house. Then I gained speed and lost control of it, and I crashed into a holly bush. I didn’t even cross a single street! It hurt too much to walk all the way here that I didn’t bother to fix myself before I arrived.” She says. I pick the prickly leaves out of her hair.
“Don’t worry, you look great.” Well, good enough to pass as me. I see a red stain on her left arm. “Whoa, are you bleeding?”
“Oh,” she laughs. “That’s just a stain from one of the holly berries.”
“Oh, okay. So why’d you take my board? You could have asked Mom to drive you here.” I say.
“Well, you said we’re going to have to be each other and I’m willing to commit to that one hundred percent.”
I smile. At that moment I felt that we were really beginning to bond again. I ask her if she will be able to manage through the day and she assures me she will be fine. Marco walks over to me and ‘Michelle’ and takes me to my locker. He opens my locker for me. He must do this for Rochelle everyday since he knew the combination of this lock. I take out all of the books in there so I won’t have to come back, searching for the wrong binder. I say bye to Marco and enter my first class of the day, French.
Mademoiselle Shannelle teaches this class. As I enter, Rochelle’s best friends, Caroline and Jacqueline wave, motioning for me to sit next to them. Caroline is a perky, little, blonde girl, head captain of our school’s cheerleaders. Jacqueline, also on the cheerleading squad, has black hair and almond-shaped eyes.
“Hey, Rochelle.” They greet me.
“Hola, senoritas.” I say, smiling. They look at each other as if I don’t know what I’m saying. They smile and turn around to face the teacher.
“Bonjour, class!” Mademoiselle Shannelle announces.
Huh, maybe I don’t know what I’m saying.
Mademoiselle had the class, for thirty minutes, get into groups and practice our vocabulary words, common French phrases, for the following quiz. Oh, crap.
Caroline and Jacqueline immediately turn to me when Mademoiselle says the word, “groups.”
“Bon appétit!” Jacqueline says with a perfect French accent. “Good appetite.” She gives the definition.
“Je m'appelle Caroline.” Caroline says, also with an authentic French accent. “My name is Caroline.”
I look at the vocabulary sheet Mademoiselle passed out to us. It was all gibberish to me. I try to recite the first phrase on the paper. “Tout de suite.”
“Uh, tawt-dee-sweetie?” I am so confused.
Jacqueline and Caroline look at each other again. This time, I really don’t know what I was saying.
“It’s Tout de suite.” Caroline says, helping me.
Another twenty five minutes of practicing, and Mademoiselle passes out the quizzes.
I am having such a hard time even reading this quiz! Oh, crap. I start to chew the eraser on my #2 pencil. I got through the first five out of twenty-five questions and the bell rings. I let out a sigh of relief. I grab all of my stuff and force it into my gold metallic tote bag.
‘Michelle’ is waiting outside for me.
“Hey,” I say. “How’re you feeling?”
“I’m fine. How was un cours de français?” she says. I look at her, confused. “How was French class?” she clarified.
“Oh my god, it was difficult! I didn’t have any clue what anybody was saying!” I threw my hands up in frustration.
“It’ll be okay.” ‘Michelle’ said to me.
“Hey, Mtichie-man!” Tucker slaps her on the back. ‘Michelle’ cringes at the sting of Tucker’s always tough but friendly gesture.
“Hey, Tuck!” ‘Michelle’ and I both say. I realize that I’m not me. Rochelle doesn’t really talk to Tucker much.
“Oh, uh, hey Rochelle. How’s it goin’?” He says to me to be polite.
I laugh in embarrassment.
“So, yeah, Mitch. You wanna get together after school? I can show you this new trick I nailed if you’re up for it.”
“Yeah, man. Are Jayden, Owen and Gavin coming?”
“Well,” he looks down and lets out a nervous laugh. “I was thinking it could be just you and me…”
“Oh.” ‘Michelle’ says. “Yeah, cool, man. I’ll catch ya later.”
Tucker smiles and leaves, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Oh my god!” ‘Michelle’ yells in her girlish squeal. I didn’t know my voice could manage that. “He is totally into you! You should go out with him!”