startles at the rotund, middle-aged woman who suddenly appears next to her in
the lobby. Glancing briefly at her wrist, Charlotte says her thanks as she
pushes the call button for the elevator.
I’ve noticed that you’re new to the building. We live on the same floor and I
saw you moving in last week,” says the lady. “Sometimes I even see you leaving
for work in the mornings. You always look so put together.”
As the elevator pings open, Charlotte notices that the lady has a slight limp.
you mind my asking where you work?”
holds back a loud sigh as she punches the button for the thirteenth floor. “An
that sounds so glamorous.” Gesturing at her leg, the lady adds, “Unfortunately,
I’m on disability, so I don’t get out much. “
to hear that.” As soon as the doors open, Charlotte exits the elevator at motor
speed. “Well, it was nice talking to you; I guess I’ll see you –“
the lady is still at her side with her hand on Charlotte’s forearm. “That
really is a nice bracelet. Do you mind if I try it on?” Before Charlotte can
fully protest, the bracelet is off her wrist and onto the lady’s.
moments tick by before Charlotte says, “Well, I’ve got to get going, so – “
Of course!” says the lady. “It’s a Friday night and you’re so young and
beautiful so you probably have some fun plans tonight.” She gestures to the
bracelet. “Thank you so much. It was nice to finally meet you.” The lady
retreats down the hall as Charlotte looks down at her bare wrist, sighs, and
heads to her own apartment.
wakes up the next morning with her bed feeling smaller than usual. As she sits
up, rubbing her eyes, she can feel the weight of her bracelet on her arm. “What
the…” With a glance at her wrist, the bracelet is there, all right, but the
chubby arm it adorns most certainly isn’t hers. “But I thought…”
fully alert, a quick scan of her surroundings tells Charlotte that she isn’t in
her own apartment. As she vaults out of bed and heads towards the full-length
mirror across the room, the limp limiting her gait tells her exactly what she