The first thing I did that morning was calmly let out a blood-curdling scream. At the sound of it, Peter was soon at my door again, knocking loudly.
"Sara! Sara! What's wrong?" he demanded, his voice shaky, but still oh-so-beautiful. My glance darted towards the door, and I was thankful to see that there was a lock on the door.
"Just, um, curling my hair!" I said, then realizing that my hair was already so curly that if it curled anymore it would roll up into itself. Apparently that seemed to sate him, however, as he mutely replied, "Don't scare me like that, Sara. You need to be more careful." I muttered a response to him, and looked once again in the mirror. Who was this Amazonian that stared me right back in the face? I felt dumbed. Was this why Peter had always been so absent? He was taking care of his little sister? My second concern then cropped up, more belated than it should have been. Where was Peter's sister? Was she in my body? Did she just disappear? All questions I saved to myself to ask later. Now was the time to keep appearances. I had read body-switching novels before, their first mistake was letting the situation get the better of them. I wouldn't let that happen! I was Sara Karanin! Wait, now I was Sara Tersky. My heart was overcome with joy yet my mind defeated by this. I had, in part, accomplished what I had always wanted.
"Sara!" Peter yelled again, just as I was getting lost in my fancies. "If you don't come out in ten seconds then I'll have to break your door down and get you out. Are you listening?" As ashamed as I was to be rebuked, it was very exhilarating to be gotten angry at by Peter Tersky. As if I was his property, to be shamed and used. I pushed those thoughts aside. I cannot distract myself from keeping appearances, I told myself.
"I'm just getting dressed, bro." I replied, in a carefree manner. With this much natural beauty, I doubted I would need to do much. So many good genes in one small family. I slipped on my blouse, my tie, my skirt, and cardigan, and slipped on my shoes with the greatest haste. I unlocked the door and stepped out into Tersky's home.The house was light and airy, and ridiculously empty. While his sister's room had been filled to the brim with toys and miscellany begging to be lost in itself, the living room that her room lead out into was devoid of anything but a settee, an old television, and a small table lamp plugged in next to the wall, sitting on a white carpet floor. It was if I entered an entirely different world. I looked back and forth between my room, and they definitely both existed in front of my eyes. Peter peered around the corner where I could only assume the kitchen was. The look on his face was both impatience and relief.
"Sara, quickly, come eat. I've invited your friends in since you took so long." he stated. It was not a request, but it was still spoken kindly. I obeyed without thinking, and something inside me felt shame for making him have to go through more trouble on my behalf. The kitchen was attached to the living room, the only barrier between the two being the wall that hid the kitchen from my view before. It was then I noticed that I had seen the entire house. The door was on the opposite side of the kitchen, and a blanket and pillow were stuffed messily into a corner. Peter himself was dressed disheveledly, his own uniform untucked and his hair unkempt. Around the table sat Sara Tersky's friends. Almost immediately my gaze fell upon one of them. She bore a striking resemblance to Karoline, with a sharp nose, dark, long, chestnut brown hair and striking green eyes. While Karoline's appearance reminded me of a drab shrew, her young counterpart recalled me the image of a playful kitten, her eyes darting all around, and her unable to sit still. The other two I was unable to draw such a comparison, but one was very tired looking, her eyes bagged and her face otherwise plain, mar a pair of beauty spots that followed the outward line of her left brow; the other was just as energetic as Karoline's counterpart was, but it was a more nervous type of energy, her fingers twiddling and twitching as she sat, squirming. She was by no means pretty, but she had that queer squareness that prodded amiability in some folks. There was one empty seat that neither Peter nor I occupied, but from Peter's gaze, I could tell it was intended for me. I sat down, inwardly a bit glum for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that I was sharing Peter's table with other females. Nevertheless, I reserved myself and attended my attention to the others at the table.
"Sara you'll never guess what Krissy came across this morning!" The young Karoline grabbed my wrist to tell me this, looking equal parts excited and full of mischief, evident from her wide-eyed smirk. The nervous one, who must have been Krissy, looked as us on the mention of her name, but was quiet.
"What what?" I prodded her on, as I would imagine a younger girl might do.
"She found a token of the dark lord!" Young Karoline exclaimed, waving her hands in a feigned horror. I was a bit lost for words there, but managed to utter out: "A token?"
Young Karoline looked incredulous. "I thought you would've felt it in your life-line. It surely means dark days are ahead for all of us! We may be facing the end as we know it! Don't tell me the dark one has gotten a hold of you as well!" She made a grand gesture, pretending to faint backwards. Peter placed down a breakfast in front of each of us. A plate of dark rye bread, a number of eggs and plump sausages adorned the plate. Young Karoline immediately broke her play and dug into the food as if she hadn't eaten a meal in days, while the tired one prodded it. I was in the process of trying to digest what Young Karoline was even talking about, when Krissy pulled at the sleeve of my blouse.
"Did you really not feel the disturbance in your life-line?" she asked quietly, her eyes wide and pleading. I swallowed, unsure of what to say. Was this girl about to cry if I admitted I had no idea what her friends and her were talking about? Better to leave sleeping dogs lie, I told myself. I searched my mind for some malarkey to feed her.
"My life-line was...clouded this morning. But I feel your pain within my...life-line now. My power level is rising again." I said awkwardly. I saw Krissy process this in her mind, and I held my breath, hoping I had not betrayed myself already. Thankfully, a look of satisfaction came over her face, and a small smile threatened to peer out from her lips. Poor thing, I thought, living in a fantasy. Peter cleared his voice at me, nodding pointedly at my breakfast. I started to eat it, to not give him the impression that I would make a disobedient wife...or sister. Krissy also ate, as quietly as she spoke. Almost as soon as we finished, Peter snatched up our plates, and ushered us out the door. I felt guilty that he would be late because of us, but also concerned since I would be unable to see him now. I wondered what type of school Sara Tersky went to. As the door closed behind us, I turned my attention to the tired girl who hadn't spoken.
"Man, my brother can be so uptight sometimes," I joked, praying to God that I didn't mean it and that Peter is perfect.
"Maybe if you weren't so loose he wouldn't care," she said dryly, with what I hoped was a playful sneer. Before I had the chance to form a comeback, Little Karoline grabbed my wrist and pulled me into her conversation.
"Sara, Sara! I need to talk to you about something very important." She came close to my ear and whispered, loud enough so that everyone could still hear, "The back of your shirt is undone." I reached back and felt. I had only zipped the shirt half of the way, and it clumped under my cardigan awkwardly.
"Ah shit," I swore under my breath. "Help me fix it."
"One second, I need to revel in the image of an embarrassed Sara Tersky," said the tired one snarkily. Krissy was the one who ended up fixing it for me. She slid off my sweater with ease, and then zipped up the back of my shirt. Before she could put back on my sweater, Little Karoline stopped her and pointed to my chest. "What's that?" I looked to where she was pointing. I had seen it in the mirror, and it had been around my neck when I woke up. From my neck hung a necklace that put me in the mind of a medallion, and it was detailed with many small letters. Here, in the sun, it glowed with an effervescent air...