Karen, the Student

(Part 13, #Olivia)

I pulled up to the school, and looked out at the field of high schoolers hanging out, tossing footballs, or rushing to class. With this many people, *someone* needed to know who Olivia was. I looked over at the necklace, still on the passenger seat, and wondered if I shouldn’t just give up on the whole thing. Sure, I might never get to be a guy again, but at least I could get away from this strange town.

On the other hand, maybe I’ve been playing this game wrong. I’m not just stuck in a 17 year old girl’s body, I AM a 17 year old girl. Trying to be defensive and sneaky about it hasn’t done me any favors so far. Maybe if I tried playing the part a bit more, I’d have more luck.

“Miss Wheeler?”

I jumped, startled. An older man in a vest looked at me through the car window. Wheeler? What’s that name?

“I’m sorry, sir, you must be mistaken.”

“Uh, Karen Wheeler? Aren’t you Nancy Wheeler’s daughter? I heard from her that you just moved to town. You’re late for class.”

What?? Maybe that spell that witch cast on me made everyone think I really WAS her daughter. Even me, for a time. Even the school is in on it. Weird…

“Uh, sorry, sir, you startled me and I was confused.”

“Where’s your mother?”

“Um…” I remembered the explosion at Bill’s house. She died there. “Sick… sir.”

He nodded. “Alright, no more dilly-dallying. Off to class for you.”

I grabbed the necklace and stuffed it in my purse, then trotted off towards the school. I suddenly became self-aware as multiple boys (and girls) started staring at me. I mean, it’s not like they recognized me. I was the “new girl,” but I needed to somehow make friends and get information on Olivia quickly.

A teacher helped me figure out what classes to go to, and gave me a map on where each class was located. I made my way to my math class, found a seat towards the back, and tried to sink into the wallpaper. It didn’t help.

“Hi…” a voice whispered from my left. “I’m Corey. You must be the new girl.” He was a fairly handsome kid, as far as teenage boys go. I remembered being his age… being interested in flirting with girls in my class… being a guy in general.

But, I had to play along. “Hi! Yes, I’m Karen, nice to meet you.” I smiled the biggest smile I could stand to, and twirled some of my hair. That was what teen girls did, right?

The teacher interrupted our little back room meeting. “We have a new girl in our class today, so everyone please give a warm welcome to Karen Wheeler!”

Everyone in the class that wasn’t already staring at me was now staring at me. I smiled, nervously, and waved. “H-hello…”

After class let out, Corey ran up to me. “Hey, Karen! Since you’re new around here, I was wondering if you wanted someone to show you around the town.” He smiled slyly. He was definitely flirting.

But what do I say? I am new here, and having someone that might be on my side to lead me to Olivia might not be such a bad thing. I also have the necklace to protect me from whatever trouble he might lead me to, supposedly.

“Sure!” I said. I had to follow my leads naturally. I’d given up on fighting it. If he wants to take me out somewhere I might just get closer to poor Olivia.

“Really?! That’s great! I’ll pick you up tonight. Oh… where do you live?”

Whoa. I don’t live anywhere, do I? But… what about the mansion? If I’m supposed to be her daughter, I probably live there. If she’s been taken care of, then I might just have the whole place to myself! I looked quickly inside my purse, and sure enough, the keys were there. What strange happenings.

I told Corey about the mansion. Told him to pick me up at 6. He was ecstatic, and ran off.

The rest of the school day went about as well as you might expect a first day at school. But I felt more confident. I felt like maybe I can navigate this strange life I have at the moment. And, I had a date to get ready for.


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