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Randomlifer – Chapter 11 – by lostandwhatever

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Continued from Chapter 10.

We walked through the apartment door just after sunset, all of us feeling a bit worn out from a day in the sun. We deposited still damp bathing suits and towels in the bathtub. Mom and Dad headed for the kitchen to figure out dinner. My sisters and I headed for our bedroom to plot our scheme. Morgan owed me, after all. She may have many faults, but she was as good as her word.

“Here’s what we’re doing,” Morgan said as she sat on her loft bed above us. Casey was reclining half-asleep on her own bed as I sat on mine, listening intently. “Alex, you need to ask Mom if you can use the computer. Make up some excuse.”

“Okay,” I said. “But, the whole point is I need to be online without Mom or Dad watching what I’m doing.”

Morgan smiled. “That’s where me and Casey come in,” she said. “Once you’re online, we’ll start the distraction, and Mom will have to deal with us. While she’s away, you can do what you want. You should have about 10 minutes.”

I was a bit concerned. “What ‘distraction’ do you have in mind?” I asked.

Morgan hopped down and stood next to me. “It’s better if you don’t know,” she said. “You need to seem surprised.”

“What about Dad?” I asked.

“He’s going to get pizza.”

“How do you know?”

“I’ll tell him to get pizza, and he will.”

“Right,” I said. I didn’t doubt she could pull that off.

“Wait here,” Morgan said and left the room to get rid of Dad.

I looked over at Casey. Her eyes were closed. “Hey, Casey,” I called.

Her eyes fluttered open. “What?” she muttered.

“Are you ready for the plan?”

“Yeah,” she said while stifling a yawn. “Morgan whispered it to me on the way home. I don’t like it, but I guess I owe you both for messing up before.”

I was really curious now what Morgan had in mind, but I decided to just let her run the show on this. When it came to plotting and scheming, she was the prodigy. I would stay in the dark.

Morgan returned a moment later. “Right,” she said. “They just ordered. You should try to get online as soon as Dad leaves. Have you thought of your excuse yet?”

“Oh,” I said. “Not yet.”

“Hurry up,” Morgan said. “I can’t think of everything.”

“Right,” I said. I considered saying that I had a school project to research, but that wouldn’t work since Morgan and Casey would have the same project as well if that were true. I decided that I needed to think of something simple and innocent. A perfect idea came to me then. “I got it,” I said. Morgan nodded in response. It was time to go.

I headed for the living room and took a look at the computer. It was right there, my salvation. I just needed to follow Morgan’s plan.

“Later, girls,” Dad said as he headed for the door. “Get ready for pizza,” he added and shut the door behind him. The clock was ticking now. I had to be done before he got back.

“Mom,” I said. “I need to use the computer, but it’s a secret.”

Mom studied me curiously. She guessed that something was up. Thankfully, that was part of my plan. “Why?” she asked.

I waved her closer to me and whispered in her ear, “I want to look for presents for Morgan and Casey for our birthday. I want it to be a surprise.”

She looked at me with a heartwarming smile. “Of course you can,” she said. “I’ll help you.” I felt a bit bad as we walked to the computer. I had made her proud just then, all the while Morgan was preparing some catastrophe for her just down the hall. But, what could I do? I had to get on the computer, and this was the only option I had left.

Mom logged on to the computer and opened a browser. Then, I sat on the computer chair, and started browsing for gifts.

Right on cue, we heard shouting coming from our bedroom. “Oh, you little monster! I can’t believe you!” one of my sisters shouted. It was impossible to tell which. “You’re the monster!” said the other one. I looked up at Mom, she was listening to the argument, preparing to intervene. Then, there was the sound of something heavy falling on the floor, followed by shattered glass and shrieking.

“What in the world?” Mom said as she stood up to investigate. “Wait here,” she told me as she left to check on my sisters. I waited for her to be out of sight, and immediately opened the Randomlifer website. Ten minutes, I thought. After the site loaded, I read the words again, “Do you wish your life would really change?”

“No” I replied. “Absolutely not.”

I logged in to my account as I heard more shouting and arguing coming from down the hall. Morgan was causing an impressive distraction. Even I was curious what was going on, but I stayed focused on my task. I needed to cancel my plan. I opened up the “My Account” page and there it was, the button I was looking for. “Cancel My Order,” it read. I was just about to click on it, but then I hesitated. A thought, a question, had come back into my mind. Mom had said it yesterday, and my worries about it had not fully left me since.

What if you can’t turn back?

I realized that I had no idea what would happen after I cancelled my order. I considered the possibilities. If everything went how I wanted it to go, then cancelling would mean that this life would stop now and I would I wake up tomorrow back in my old life. That would be a best case scenario, but I had to consider the worst case scenario as well. If I cancelled, I might just be trapped in this life from now on. I might just wake up tomorrow and everyday after that just like I am now. If that happened, I would forever be a Morgan triplet, having to grow up like this, as a girl, as a Morgan clone. I considered that possibility. How soon would I lose myself again? It barely took half a day for me to start forgetting my old life. Even if I tried my hardest to hold on to the Alex I used to be, that old me would fade eventually. Anyway, there would be no point in holding on to the old me if there was no chance of going back. It would be better just to get used to things as they are now. Still, I could just picture the torture I would experience growing up again, having to live as a girl, being stuck as Morgan’s little sister, her mirror image, until I was old enough to move away.

I needed to know what would happen if I cancelled. If it meant going back to normal, then I would do it without hesitation. If it meant staying like I was now, then I would have to think about it. I would really have to think about it. Unfortunately, I was running out of time.

I checked for an FAQ or a help page, but the Randomlifer site was poorly designed and contained little information about exactly how their business operated. There was a number for a customer support line on the “Contact Us” page, but I had no phone I could use at the moment, not unless I wanted to go hunting for Mom’s phone. That would take too long, I decided. I spotted an online help option on the same page. It my last hope. I clicked on it. A window popped up with the text, “Please check back later for help. Customer support is only available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

“Damn it!” I said. I looked at the clock. Ten minutes had already passed, and I couldn’t hear Morgan and Casey shouting anymore. Time was almost up. I went back to the “My Account” page and hovered the cursor over the cancel button again.

I had to make a choice: cancel and risk being stuck like this or wait until tomorrow and face whatever that might be like. Again, I resisted saying, “How could it get any worse?” After how things had gone today, I knew for sure it could always get worse.

I closed my eyes and pictured my old life. I saw my old reflection looking back at me, the goofy teenaged guy I had been. Then, I pictured myself back in high school in the cafeteria. I saw the girl I had a crush on gazing into my eyes and smiling. She was in her bathing suit. She was so beautiful. I reached for her hand, and she vanished like smoke. The world went dark. Then, I saw Morgans all around me, multiplied a hundred times over in a funhouse mirror maze. The real morgan stood in the middle, surrounded by her reflections, and I was one of them.

I heard a key slide into the lock of the door, and my eyes opened. Dad was home. Time was up. Now or never.

My sweaty hand gripped the mouse. I hesitated a moment as the fate of my whole life was just a click away.

The lock turned.

“But, Mom!” I heard Morgan scream from down the hall, her shrill voice echoing through the whole apartment. I knew it was her and not Casey. It was definitely her. “This is so unfair!” she whined.

What a little monster, I thought, and immediately I remembered my reflection again, her face staring back at me.

“No,” I said. “I am not her.”

The front door opened. I clicked the browser closed and sat there staring at the desktop as Dad walked in.

“Pizza time!” he declared.

Nobody replied.

***

As I lay down to bed later, I worried about what waited for me when I woke up the next day. Who will I be? I thought. What will I be?

“You didn’t have to hit me so hard,” Casey said. I had seen her bruised eye at dinner.

“You didn’t have to break the mirror,” Morgan replied. She had been sweeping that up when I went with Dad to see what had happened to them.

Morgan had staged a spectacular fight between her and Casey. Unfortunately, it had gotten a bit out of hand. Now, they were both grounded, but I didn’t care. I wouldn’t be around for that. This life was about to end. It was then that I realized how free I was all of a sudden. I could do or say just about anything. There would be no consequences for it tomorrow, after all.

“Morgan,” I said.

“What?” She replied, still sounding a bit testy from getting in trouble.

“Thank you for helping me earlier. You are a horrible person, but you kept your word. Try to be less of a bitch in the future.”

“What did you just call me?”

“Oh, and Casey,” I said.

“Hey!” Morgan said, but I ignored her.

“Casey,” I repeated.

“Yes?” Casey said.

“Feel free to kick Morgan’s ass anytime she deserves it. You owe her for that black eye. Don’t take any shit from her from now on.”

“What the-” Morgan said. “Who do you think…?”

“I am your sister,” I answered her before she could finish. “And, so is Casey. We’re each just as strong as you, and we could totally fuck you up if we ever decided to fight you together. Never forget that.”

Morgan was silent.

Good, I thought. That shut her up. “What do you think of that, Casey?” I said.

Casey was quiet for a moment. Then, she said, “I think that sounds right to me.”

Morgan didn’t say a word for the rest of the night, neither did Casey. I just lay in bed and thought about parallel realities as I drifted off to sleep. I wondered if this reality might continue on without me on its own. Who knows? Maybe the Alex and Casey of this reality might find Morgan a bit easier to deal with from now on. That would be nice, but it was no longer my concern. I was out.

***

Day 3

I woke up, and a new life started again.

To be continued?

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Comments

6 Comments

  1. lostandwhatever

    And that is pretty much all I wrote of this story so far. I did a little work on day 3, but it’s not ready for publication. I don’t plan on adding more anytime soon. Still, if enough people want to see this story continued, then I can keep it going. For now, I’ll just call this the end.

  2. I’m really looking forward seeing what will happen next.

    • lostandwhatever

      I think this one is going to remain unfinished for now. Maybe when I’m done with some of my commissions and Mary, then I will consider working on it again.

      • Aww, why so? Too much work at once, or lack of ideas/ motivation?

        • lostandwhatever

          A lot of my ideas are focused on commissions for now. For example, some ideas that might have been in the next “Randomlifer” will be in a later “Touching a Fantasy.” Also, I only have a limited amount of time and energy for writing. Commissions come first. That’s only fair to the customers.


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