Chapter 13:

An "Aunt Rose" Ruse

The Love Triangle Between Me, The Class President, & The Spirit Possessing Me

“Clark! Wake up!” No matter how Sophie shouts and raves in her head, Clark doesn’t stir. “Clark, this wasn’t the deal! Don’t make me sit through this torture!”

What class is this, anyway? Hopefully not mathematics. Sophie looks down at the notes Clark was writing before he nodded off and sees a dismaying jumble of numbers and letters, along with written explanations of each jumble. The textbook perched at the corner of the desk is titled “Essential Physics, 5th Edition.” There’s nothing essential about physics, in Sophie’s opinion. Not that she’d made it that far in her own classes before she’d shuffled off the mortal coil. One of the perks of dying.

Still, it wouldn’t do to leave Clark in the lurch. He’d looked so miserable last night, trying to catch up on his studies. What a serious fellow. Well, it’s one of his charm points.

She’s only supposed to control Clark’s body in the most dire of emergencies (per the rules she’d been given to study, and roundly ignored), but Sophie supposes this counts.

There’s no helping it, so Sophie takes up Clark’s pencil and starts copying down what’s written on the blackboard. She doesn’t understand in the slightest what she’s writing, but trusts that Clark can make sense of all this gobbledygook later on. He’s very clever.

Eventually, the bell rings to signal the start of study hall. With nothing to study, Sophie has a mind to take Clark’s body for a walk through the school courtyard, but that rude girl from yesterday comes up to Clark’s desk before Sophie can stand.

“Hi, Clark. The day’s going by fast, isn’t it?”

“Oh, hi,” Sophie stammers, trying and failing to remember the rude girl’s name. Susan? Sally? Better to say nothing than guess wrong.

“I noticed you had a little start earlier, are you okay?” Gosh, but the rude girl has piercing eyes. Like a hawk watching a mouse.

Sophie grins. “Just nodded off for a moment, that’s all. You know how boring physics is.”

The rude girl tips her head to one side. “I find physics really interesting, actually.” She would, wouldn’t she... “I was curious, is there a reason you switched to writing with your left hand after you woke up?”

Drat! Who notices something like that! This nosy girl, apparently. Inwardly, Sophie curses her sinister hand, feeling a cold sweat break out on Clark’s brow.

“I’m…” Sophie racks her brain for an explanation. “I’m practicing at being ambidextrous.” There. Perfect.

The rude girl peers down at Clark’s notes, a keen glint in her eye. “Your handwriting with your left hand is pretty good, then. It looks so much different, though. You can even do cursive with your left hand?”

Double drat! Sophie slams Clark’s hands against the desk. “I… have to go to the restroom!” With that, she stands and hurries out the door. A brilliant escape!

Ducking into the nearest restroom, Sophie immediately barricades herself in one of the stalls. Now she simply has to wait it out until the rude girl loses interest or Clark wakes up and takes over.

A few seconds later, Sophie hears the bathroom door swing open and shut.

“Clark?” The rude girl’s voice echoes off the tiles. “I saw you come in here. You’re in the girl’s room, if you didn’t know.”

Oh, horsefeathers! That’s right, Clark’s a boy! … Not that Sophie had forgotten that fact, exactly, but she wasn’t in the habit of popping into boys’ restrooms! What to do? Sophie can’t bear the thought of lingering in the other restroom. How inappropriate! And it’s probably smelly and filthy, too.

The rude girl (Stephanie? Samantha?) knocks on the stall door, filling Sophie with a nameless dread. “Clark, I’m not trying to embarass you, but as class president I have to look out for everyone. You have to leave or you’ll make the girls uncomfortable. I don’t want to involve the teacher, but if I have to...”

How heartless! For all this girl knows, Clark is horribly sick. He’s not the kind of man to do anything ungentlemanly, either!

Sophie will just have to put her off the scent. She opens her mouth to say something, but remembers that she’d be speaking with Clark’s voice and catches herself. What a day!

Thinking fast, Sophie pops out of Clark’s body to hover in the middle of the stall. “Clark who?” she calls meekly. “Is… there’s not a boy in here, is there?!”

“Oh!” Sophie sees the girl’s shoes shuffle out of view as she takes a surprised step back. “I’m sorry, I thought I saw…”

Still fast asleep and with no one keeping him sat up, Clark slowly tips sideways. Sophie tries in vain to catch him, but he’s too heavy for her ghostly arms. His head clunks heavily against the stall wall. Poor Clark!

“What was that?” The girl steps closer again. “Are you okay?”

“Um… yes, I’m fine!” Sophie calls, temporarily diving back into Clark to sit him upright again. She ducks out again long enough to say. “It’s just… just That Time, if you follow me!” Her voice cracks oddly over the first few words while she’s still partially stuck to Clark’s vocal cords. She returns to Clark before he can tip over again. Hopefully the rude girl takes the hint and leaves.

She doesn’t. “Oh, sorry to hear that! Do you need anything? I always carry extra supplies in my bag. Do you need any medicine?”

… For such a rude girl, that’s a very sweet gesture.

Sophie shakes his head. She has to focus! The enemy is at the gates! Clark’s honor depends on victory! This girl’s wiles might fool him, but Sophie can’t afford to make the same mistake.

She ducks out just far enough to croak out, “No, I just need a new minute here!” Darn, her voice sounds even more muddled that time. Shouldn’t have rushed.

“You don’t sound well,” the rude girl blathers on. “It’s no trouble to get the nurse if-”

Oh, for Pete’s sake! Sophie launches out of Clark. “Look, would you please just go away?! A lady can’t have a scrap of privacy in this place!”

That does the trick at last. “Sorry!” The girl jumps back, her shoes vanishing from sight. “I just thought… Never mind. I apologize. Hope you feel better.”

With that, Sophie listens as her footsteps recede back out into the hall, the restroom door swinging open and shut again after her.

Behind her, Clark’s head gracefully sways over into the stall wall once more with a thud.

Sophie has half a mind to leave him there, after all that fuss. Thankfully, she can see him begin to wake. Just as he’s blinking the sand from his eyes, Sophie hears the door open again.

“I’m so sorry, but as the class president, I can’t just leave a student in distress without doing something to help.”

Clark’s eyes fly wide open, and Sophie, in a blind panic, dives back into him.

I wake up sitting on a toilet in a bathroom with tiles the wrong color. How did I get into a bathroom, and why are the tiles green when they’re supposed to be orange?

Sophie is hovering in front of me, watching something through the gap in the stall door. Did she walk me here? And why? Did I fall asleep? Does she think that gives her permission to take my body for an afternoon walk?

“I’m so sorry,” I hear Sabrina call from the doorway as she walks in. “But as the class president, I can’t just leave a student in distress without doing something to help!”

… Why is Sabrina in the boy’s restroom?!

I don’t get a chance to ask, as Sophie jumps into me and takes over.

“Hey!” I shout at her in my head. “What gives?!”

“Clark, just let me handle this.”

“No! What are we doing here? Why is Sabrina in the guys’ room?”

“Don’t get hysterical!” Sophie tuts at me. “She’s not. We’re in the girls’ room. Calm down.”

What?! “Why am I in the girls’ bathroom?!”

Sabrina stops in front of the stall we’re in. I can see her shoes from under the door. “Here,” she says, one slim hand appearing over the top of the door. “I brought some things from my bag. Please take them?”

She’s holding a small chocolate bar and… a smallish plastic envelope with purple flowers printed all over it. Is that… what I think it is?

“Clark,” Sophie scolds. “Don’t think I can’t feel that racing heart. You settle down and let me take care of this.”

“Why is Sabrina giving me a maxi pad?!” This is a nightmare. Am I even awake?

“She’s not offering it to you! Now, keep quiet and let me do the talking, would you?” With that, Sophie pokes her head out through my face. At least that convinces me I’m awake. No dream feels this awful.

Ugh, I can see out through her whole face...

“Um… thank you,” she says, gently. At the same time, she reaches out my hand to take the pad and the chocolate from Sabrina, careful not to touch her fingers. “Sorry I yelled at you.”

“It’s okay,” Sabrina says from the other side of the door. “I can be pushy. I guess I’m still being pushy.”

“I… I think I can handle it from here.” Sophie rustles the wrapper on the pad a bit as if she’s opening it.

So, Sabrina thinks it’s a girl in here. That explains one thing, even if it doesn’t explain anything else.

Note to self, don’t fall asleep in class, or Sophie will cause mayhem.

“Okay,” Sabrina says. “I’ll walk you to the nurse’s office once you’re done so she can give you a dose of Modil.” Her shoes disappear from view, and I hear her move over to stand by the sinks. “There’s no reason to suffer all afternoon, you know?”

“That’s… so sweet of you,” Sophie says. The only reason I can’t hear her teeth grinding is because her teeth aren’t solid. She ducks back into me all the way.

“What now, Sophie? You said you’d handle this!” If I sound strained, it’s because I’m facing down massive public embarrassment in front of a girl I like, or hiding in this bathroom stall for the rest of the day or possibly my life.

“I’m sorry!” Sophie wails in my head. “I didn’t think she’d be so stubborn!”

“Now do you see why I said we have to be careful around Sabrina?” I sigh and fiddle with the toilet paper roll as Sophie gives me control of my body back. “Okay,” I say silently. “Clearly, diplomacy has failed. Let’s think creatively.”

“Sabrina…” Sophie mutters. “Right. Sabrina. S for Sabrina. And Satan.”

“Focus, Sophie! Look,” I say, trying to see through the small gap at the edge of the stall door. “There’s a light switch by the door. If we turn the lights out, will you be able to see well enough to walk me out of here?”

“Of course I can!” Sophie says, popping out of me.

I frantically beckon her back. “Not right away!” I hiss in my head as she returns. “I can’t just barrel out of the girls’ room in front of a bunch of people.”

“Oh. Right.” I can feel Sophie’s chagrin.

“Study hall should be just about over,” I say, glancing down at my watch. “Check outside and see if anyone’s hanging around out there. If not, kill the lights and then come get me out as fast as you can, okay?”


Sophie leaves, and all that’s left for me to do is sit tight and wait.

“Still doing okay in there?” Sabrina calls from over by the sinks. It’s commendable, how concerned she is for her fellow students. I just wish she’d give it a rest now and then, for my sake.

Sophie isn’t here to talk back, so I do my best with a falsetto cough and hope I sound dainty and feminine.

“Yeah, you definitely need to go to the nurse if you’re feeling that sick, you poor thing,” Sabrina says. “You sound horrible. The nurse has a heating pad in her office, too. That always-ah!”

The room goes pitch black. A moment later, Sophie barrels into me and takes the wheel, slamming the stall door open.

“What the-” I hear Sabrina call out in the darkness as we race past her. I can’t see a thing, so hopefully she can’t, either.

After a few seconds of wondering if I’m about to slam into a wall, Sophie navigates us out into the abandoned hallway. I blink in the fluorescent lighting just as the bell rings for passing period, and students pour out of every classroom.

I start walking, and can just make out a very confused Sabrina stumbling out of the dark bathroom as Sophie and I disappear into the crowd.

“We did it!” Sophie whoops in my head.

“Yeah,” I say, palming the chocolate and the pad into my pocket before someone sees and wonders why I’m carrying them. “So, how did I end up in the girls’ bathroom, Sophie? Which rule of ours was that?”

I only feel the barest trace of shame from her. She’s not even sorry, the brat. “Oh, hush! That’s what you get for falling asleep. Besides,” she says, metaphorically curling up at the back of my head for another nap. “You got a candy bar out of it, so be grateful!”