Chapter 6.47


God, I’d made a huge disaster out of things. Typical, right? Without thinking, I just allowed my feelings to get ahead of my brain. Of course Dr. Day wouldn’t want to start a relationship with Reed. Whatever happened to my plan on getting him a GIRL-friend? And now, he was definitely NOT happy with his life like this and I was sooooo not going to break the curse. How stupid could I be?

After Dr. Day left, I heard a knock on my door. It was Reed.

“I really don’t want to do this now, Reed. Maybe in the morning?”

Jostling the bed, he said, “Liam…for what it’s worth, I understand. Coming to terms with your sexuality is one of the hardest things to do. I know it was for me. But I just want to say I won’t pressure you. Take all the time you need to decide.”

God, he was so nice. And that only made me feel three inches tall. It was like a bandaid that I didn’t want to take off but I had to. Rip it off and get it over with before I did anymore damage. “Yeah…about that…um…I’m not who you think I am, Reed, so…I can tell you now. I’m not gay, and I shouldn’t have led you on like that.”

“Sweetheart…I know what I saw tonight…and if you lie to yourself any longer it’ll only confuse you more. Can you honestly say that if we weren’t interrupted tonight that you wouldn’t have slept with me?”

Eek! A loaded question! How was I going to get out of this one? I REALLY liked Reed, but he wouldn’t want me in my original body. And that had to be my standard. Unless Dr. Day and I give up hope on getting back. I answered, “I mean…yeah…it probably would have happened, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. I have an obligation…”

He sat next to me and sighed. “I get it. An obligation to your girlfriend. I’ve been dumped for worse reasons.”

“I’m really sorry, Reed. I had a great time tonight but…the timing isn’t right. Not now.”

He jumped to his feet and padded to the door, saying, “Okay, Liam, I can wait. I believe you’ll come around when the timing IS right. I know what I felt tonight. You just need to come to terms with it yourself.”

I groaned inwardly as I heard him quietly walk out and close the door.

Flinging myself on the bed, I shook my head. “Why did everything have to be so messed up?”


The following morning I was determined to do as much research as I could to redeem myself to Dr. Day. That note about Ginny was nagging at me, telling me not to give up hope on finding a clue. I went to the university and checked out as many books on Sulani mermaid lore as I could. Surely it would show me something.

One story struck a chord. In it, a mermaid lured a man to the water. From there, she kissed him, turning him into a mermaid. What if that note was true? What if the reason Ginny disappeared was because a mermaid, the mermaid she’d seen when she was a child, actually found her again and turned her into one!

But then if that happened, what could I do about it? She was lost forever.

As I was musing over this stuff, Dr. Monteira’s hushed voice startled me. “Hello, Charlie. Find any good information in that book?”

It was so weird hearing my name, it almost freaked me out. “I wish. Nothing but endless dead ends.” I slapped the book closed.

Moving toward the bookshelves, Dr. Montiera stopped me and said, “Why don’t we talk over coffee downstairs? I have something I want to discuss with you.”

When we arrived at the university coffee shop, I got a double chocolatte mocha (nothing like having the metabolism of a rabbit to enable you to guzzle extremely high calorie drinks!) Then I slid into my seat. Not gonna lie, I was kinda freaking out on the inside just being this close to Todd AKA Professor McHOTTIE sitting right next to me. Yeah, okay, I’d just gone from one hottie to the next but it had been kind of easy in Dr. D’s body. Seriously, the guy was like a dude magnet. But note to self–this guy knew I was a gal! WOOT!

Todd took a sip from his drink then said, “I wanted to run something by you first before I asked Liam. In my earlier research, I’d discovered a shaman who lives in Sulani. I believe he might dabble in cases like yours.”

“Well, heck yeah, doc, you don’t have to ask twice. Let’s go to Sulani! I’ve got nothing else to do.”

He pulled out his phone and scrolled through until he found a website about strange phenomena, voodoo, etc. “Well, you see it’s not that easy. He purportedly lives at the top of an active volcano.”

“Hey, what’s a little hot seat when we’re in the hot seat, am I right?” I asked, giggling at my joke.

He shook his head. “Yes, but he doesn’t like visitors so the trip might be all for naught.

“We’d have to somehow convince him to help us. Make it worth while for him, maybe.”

“Like give him a bunch of money? You know…Dr. D is loaded. I’m sure I can vouch for him to pay up. He HATES being in my body.”

“No…nothing like that. It seems the shaman has a bit of a…um…foot fetish.”

“A foot what?”

Suddenly, my phone buzzed. It was Dr. D! “Speak of the devil. Did you know we were just talking about you? Your best bud here has some good…”

“Shut up, Charlene, for once and listen to me!” he yelled. “Get over here at your apartment right now! And don’t bring anyone. Understand?”

“Omg, Dr. Day. Yeah…what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“Just get here!”

He clicked off before I could ask him anything else.

Todd arched an eyebrow. “Something wrong?”

My heart sped up as my mind raced to all kinds of awful things that might have happened to my body. “Yeah. Dr. D’s in trouble. I’ve got to go.”

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Chapter 6.46


Okay so I was totally blown away by Reed’s delicious smile and very hot style. He was like the flame to my gasoline. So why didn’t MORE warning bells go off in my head?

All I cared about was the giddy feelings pinging inside me. Like I hadn’t gone on a REAL date since my first year in college.

Simder hooks ups were about all I had time for and honestly, Froggy McToadster who “said” he was my last boyfriend only used me because I had the highest grade in our Cultural Studies class.

Reed swept my hand in his and cooed, “My, Liam, you do look beautiful tonight. Did you do something to your hair?”

Gah! He noticed! I got a cut and blow out at an exclusive salon. A girl’s gotta take care of herself when she’s got the money. (And honey, Dr. Day was sooooo up on his bank account. Too bad he’d put me on a strict budget. I kinda splurged all my funds for the week.) “You like it?” I asked, shyly. Omg, this guy was making my heart do flip flops!

Ushering me inside the door, he said in a silky voice, “Do I like it? It’s going to be all I can do not to take you home and skip right to dessert.”

I found myself constantly checking him out during dinner. Like pinch me now, was I in the most delectable fantasy date or what?

“There are so many vegan dishes here, dear, so don’t worry. Your palate is safe,” Reed assured me.

I laughed. “I’m soooo over veganism, Reed, but thanks for thinking about that.”

Then I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Meat is my favorite now.” OMG! Could I get any cringier?

He laughed along with me and said, “I like the sound of that.”

Feeling a little awkward, I decided to change the subject. “So…like you’re from Sulani. Tell me about growing up there.”

He told me how his father owned a shipping company and decided to branch out into different ports. One of them in Brindleton Bay. “That’s where you grew up, am I right, dear?”

Ack! I knew nothing about Dr. D’s “before college life” except for the fact that he’d met Ginny in high school. But heck, I’d go along with whatever Reed said. “Um…sure, right…good old Brindleton Bay. Eheheh…”

I got him off the subject of me…er…Dr. D and flipped it onto him. He was an amazing person. He’d taken a gap year to see the world and now he’s a photography student, hoping to eventually sell pictures to magazines.

Grasping my hand, he said, “I’d love to go on a dig with you sometime, Liam. Archaeology intrigues me. I want to break into National Simographic one day. I think we’d make a great team.”

Sipping my wine, all I could do was nod and not worry about what would happen if Dr. D found out I was promising the world to this hot guy in his body.

As soon as we got home, it was like magnets pulled us together. We couldn’t get enough.

And before I knew it, our shirts were off and our pants were about to go too.

“Oh, God, Liam,” he moaned. “I’ve always dreamed about this.”

Reed then started kissing my firm pecs, my washboard abs (well, Dr. D’s washboard abs) and OMG!!!! I soooo wanted what was going to happen next!

Suddenly as if out of a horror film, I heard a loud voice shriek, “What the FUCK?”

And “Oh my GOD! Poor Charlie!”

I was totally busted.


The past week had been a turning point between me and Charlene. I’d even go as far as to say we’d become friends.

Tonight I decided to scroll through some awful movies for our next Crapfest Theater–something Charlene came up with. She told me to pick the five worst rom coms of the last decade. Then she’d decide which one we’d see.

I smiled thinking about how much fun we’d had the other night.

I actually hadn’t laughed that hard in literal years.

I was really looking forward to it.

Then I heard a knock on my door. It was late so I wondered who it could be.

When I answered it, Myla’s worried face hit me. “I hate to break this news to you, sweetie, but… Liam is cheating on you with Zack’s best friend. We both walked in on them. I’m so sorry.”

It took me a moment to realize what she was saying and then it knocked me over. “He did WHAT?”


Wasting no time, I bolted over to my house to find an embarrassed Charlene (half dressed) looking guilty as hell next to a shirtless Reed with Zack glaring at both of them. I pointed to my bedroom. “Get in there. Now. We have to talk!”

Reed glared. “Don’t do it, Liam. She can’t boss you around.”

“Oh, G-God,” Charlene sputtered. “I’m so sorry, Reed. But…I gotta go.”

Once we were safely behind my door, I rounded on her. “How dare you use my body without any consideration to my feelings let alone his! Do you realize he’s had a crush on me for YEARS? How could you do such a thing?”

“I…um…I’m really sorry, Dr. Day. I just thought…well, I mean…”

“I’m telling you this, I want that body back. Understand? It’s not yours to do with whatever the hell you want.”

“Yeah…God…I know…I screwed up. I mean…it just feels like we’re stuck. You know? And I…I was weak and Reed’s so…charming! I do want to go back to my body. I’m sorry.”

Pulling back, the reality of our situation hit me. I hadn’t been dealing straight with her either. Todd said the curse wasn’t broken with that other couple so…there could be a chance we’ll never get back. And then what?

“Look…I’m sorry I just lost it there. Just…give me six months, okay? If we can’t figure out a way to break the curse then I’ll relinquish claim on my body. And…you’ll be free…to do whatever you want. I won’t stand in your way.”

“Dr. Day…what if we really can’t break the curse? What will happen to us?”

I looked straight at her, pinning her eyes with mine. “We WILL break this curse, Charlene. I promise.”

“But…it seems so hopeless…”

She stopped and tears rolled down her face.

“Listen, Dr. Todd Montiera, my best friend and a hell of a great researcher, knows about us. He’s going to help. With all of us working together, I can almost guarantee it. We’ll figure this out, Charlene. You just can’t give up hope.”

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Chapter 6.45


After hearing my name from Todd, he stood up and faced me. There was no more hiding from him and to be honest, I was relieved somewhat. “H-How could you know?”

He explained, “I wasn’t sure, not really, until you punched me. Sorry about that but I was testing my theory with trying to kiss you and it worked. I did my masters thesis on unexplained archaeological mysteries. The curse you’re under was in some of my research.”

My heart sped up. “So is there a way to break it?”

He sighed and said, “I’m not sure.

“There was only one couple who were interviewed in a report I read. They’d lost their jobs because people thought they were crazy. And Liam, the curse was never broken for them.”

This news punched me in the gut. “So am I doomed to be in Charlie’s body forever?” Now more than ever I was determined to get back to the genie somehow and make him remove this curse.

We both walked in silence down toward the lab room.

Then Todd said, “You know, there’s just not enough evidence out there that this situation is permanent. I wouldn’t give up. That was just one couple’s experience.”

“So you call them a couple. Are they together like married or something?”

“No…but they were a man and woman pair like you and Charlie. They actually moved to different parts of the country. They couldn’t bear to see their original bodies anymore and got on with their lives.”

Todd stopped in front of the Llama Sun God and sighed.

“Why’d you do it, Liam? The Archway of Spiritual Transformation is filled with all kinds of curses. You’re lucky you got out of there alive.”

I shrugged. “It was purely an accident. Charlie ran into it and I was worried for her safety. Honestly, I’d never heard of the archway until Charlie told me about it. I’d never studied it in college.”

Pursing his lips, Todd said, “I’ll do some more digging for you to see if there’s a way out, but in the meantime, I need your expertise. There’s a ton of work piling up and just gotta say, I’m glad I found the real you. Charlie wasn’t helpful.”

When we got to the lab room, Todd showed me a new artifact we just got in.

“I was hoping you could identify this. It’s from Selvadorada, but its markings are new.”

I scratched my chin. This was rare and worth a lot of money as the Selvadoradan people used jade sometimes in their work. “It’s an arballos. The ancients would often use this for ceremonial oils.”

Doing work kept my mind off of what Todd had revealed. I decided not to tell Charlie we might be doomed to inhabit each other’s bodies forever. I refused to accept the fact the curse lasts forever. Somehow, I was going to figure out how to break it.


I had such a good time with Dr. D, I couldn’t believe it. He was actually thawing out which surprised the heck out of me. Add that to coming home to Mr. McDreamy and I was going to write this day down in my diary as SPECIAL (if I had a diary–note to self: buy a diary ASAP).

“Welcome home, Liam. Did I ever tell you that I really like your new look? That hat is especially sexy.”

“Thanks, Reed. It’s the same kind as Simdiana Sones used. Kinda makes me feel the part of an archaeologist, you know?”

Reed smiled. “According to Zack, you’re one of the best in the field. You should explore in my homeland with me this summer. You’d love it.”

Even though I knew I wouldn’t be Dr. Day by the summer, I was curious. “I’d love to. Where are you from, Reed?”

“Sulani. It is a tropical paradise that I know you’ll enjoy. With me as your guide, how could you go wrong?” He winked. “And we’re well known for our mermaids, if you believe in that kind of thing.”

My stomach fluttered as we chatted. I couldn’t help but be attracted to this beautiful man.

It was like saying no to eating a luscious chocolate cream pie. It wasn’t good for me, would make me gain a ton of weight, but…like, I gotta have me some of that!

I offered, “Why don’t we go on winter break? I’ve got time off then.” Heck, what was I saying? Dr. D was going to kill me if I went off on a fling with Reed. But I just couldn’t help myself!

“Are you serious, Liam? I would love to go with you.” His eyes made my knees quiver and something else happened that honestly felt totally hot but would be embarrassing if Reed saw.

“Then it’s a date.” OMG! What was I doing?

“Winter break is a few weeks away, Liam. Would you like to go to dinner with me tomorrow night? I’d like to get to know you better.”

My heart beat a mile a minute as I felt all kinds of guilty pleasures at making this date with Reed. I hadn’t had a date in like two years and the last guy I went out with was a serious frog. Soooo not attractive. I could never get someone as beautiful as Reed to even glance my way. Yeah, sure he was gay, but since this curse wasn’t forever, why not have a little fun? What harm would it do?

I heard myself answer, “Okay…just name the time and the place.”

Chapter 6.44


Dr. D texted, saying he had a surprise for me. When I arrived at an apartment complex that was gated with high metal bars, a friendly security guard, and a fountain that looked like it belonged at the Bellagio, I knew I wasn’t going to like what he was about to tell me. I’m like, really? When I got my body back, I wouldn’t be able to make rent. And then what? I’d be kicked to the streets with nothing. I did have a great deal, living at the Hacienda. Sure there may have been working girls hanging out there from time to time, but seriously, Ms. Fantasia was a really nice land lady. If I didn’t have rent right on time, she’d just pat my hand and tell me to get it to her when I could.

But before I went all kicking and screaming toddler on him, I decided to hear him out.

He waved his arms and said proudly, “Well, what do you think? I know it’s kind of small but you really don’t need much, and at your income, I believe you’ll be able to swing it once we’re back to normal.”

I shook my head. The stone walls alone looked like they belonged to a bazillionare. And it had floor to ceiling windows with a view. The cockroaches at my normal digs had better views than I ever did. “I don’t know, Dr. Day…I mean, you do realize I’m a poor girl. Growing up, I’d been tossed around in foster care until I was 18. I’ve never had money. There’s no way I’ll be able to afford this.”

“It’s okay, Charlene. I’ve realized this and I’ve got a great plan. I’ll float you the expense until next year when I can take you on as a TA. You wouldn’t make a lot but I’m willing to pay the difference of what you can afford. It’s worth it to get you out of that slum.”

“I don’t want your money, Dr. Day. Seriously. And YOUR TA? Are you kidding? You hate me. I wouldn’t last a week let alone the three years until I graduate.”

But he wouldn’t listen to me. He just pulled me into the bedroom and said, “Look, if you think the genie wants us to improve each others lives, think of this as part of the solution. It’s a gift. A blessing from the genie.”

“I don’t know…” I gaped at all the stuff. Scads of expensive clothes and the shoes! I was going to have a heart attack just looking at it all.

My own dressing table!

And when I saw the bedroom, how he put together my stuff with the colors and all my favorite things, I couldn’t help it.

The water works started in my eyes.

“Why are you crying, Charlene? You really don’t like it that much?”

I tried to hold it in because I didn’t want to do this in front of him. Not cold, Dr. Day. I’d built a wall around myself and never let even my friends in on my wounds.

Dropping to the floor, I covered my face.

He sat next to me. “What’s the matter? I’ll redo it if it’s that bad. Really. I don’t mind.”

Sniffing, I said, “It’s not that…

“I’ve just been alone almost my whole life. No one has ever really cared for me like this before. And I know you’re doing it because you have to but…I don’t know…it feels overwhelming. I’m not used to it.” That was as far as I’d go. I couldn’t tell him why I was in foster care. Why I had to scrape my way out of the trash heap. Scholarships were the only thing that kept me sane. I wasn’t about to allow my sperm and egg donor define me. Hell, I never really knew anything about them other than “Mom” was an addict and I was living like a feral child when I was found.

“Wow…I…um…didn’t know. I’m sorry.”


Hearing about Charlene’s hard life blew me away. I felt like shit for a lot of the things I’d thought about her. I truly surmised by the way she acted, she’d been coddled and spoiled all her life. But a person who had nothing and who had gone through foster care to come out of that with a full ride to The Archaeological University master’s program? She was a phenom in my eyes.

I needed to change the atmosphere, though. Pulling her to her feet, I said, “Have you ever watched College Cram?”

“Oh God, you’re kidding me, right? Isn’t that like a bunch of dirty lame jokes and awful acting?”

“I’ve heard it’s funny. Let’s watch it.”

Actually, the ratings were horrible, but I figured it would lighten this mood. I hated seeing Charlene so upset. I couldn’t imagine the life she’s led. I, at least, had my parents, for the most part. Both of them loved me even though they had their own lives after Brandy died. My suffering was nothing next to being shuffled around as a kid. Unloved.


After the movie was over, I said, “That wasn’t so bad was it?”

“If you like hormone-induced mascots running around woohooing in each other’s locker rooms. Okay. Yeah.”

“Oh, come on…I saw you laugh through the whole thing! That streaking scene alone. Come on!”

“Okay, I’ll have to admit, seeing Ham Tolland’s ass was a plus.”

“And what about when they duct taped that naked guy to the laundry cart? You can’t say that wasn’t epic.”

She snorted. “Oh my God that was so BAD!”

I laughed along with her. It was the worst show I’d ever seen.

“And…hee hee…the spit wars…” I added through laughs. “It was…so…STUPID!”

“GOD! Will you stop? I’m about to pee my pants right now.”

“You owe me one for making me watch that crap,” she said when she got back from the bathroom.

“Okay. You get to torture me with a horrible movie of your choice next time.”


The following morning, I arrived at the university at 6 am. I hoped I could get there before anyone else. I needed to get caught up on some work and that couldn’t happen with the staff watching.

But I was surprised by Todd’s voice. “You’re here awfully early, Charlie. Can I help you with something?”

For some reason, seeing Todd made my heart climb into my throat. “Um…just going to the library, Dr. Monteira.”

Before I could sidestep him, he pushed me to the wall. What the hell? Did he always jump on women students when no one was around? I would have pushed him away but remembered how much Charlene wanted a date.

Leaning in, he said in a sweet voice, “I’ve noticed how much you’ve changed, Charlie. New hair. New clothes. I must say…I like what I see.”

Searching for a way out, I battled with myself. Did the genie really want me to fulfill every wish Charlene made? Todd was way out of line. But maybe I could salvage it a little. “H-How about we could go for coffee after class today, professor. I-If you wish.”

“How about YOU come with me to the lab room and we can identify…stuff.”

Okay. That crossed a line.

Pushing him away, I punched him with all I had (which wasn’t much). Thankfully, I’d gained a little muscle from recent workouts.

Best friend or not, I was going to report his ass to the dean asap.

When I stormed off, I heard him say, “Pretty good punch there…Liam.”

The sound of my name stopped me cold.

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Chapter 6.43


I hated everything about Charlene’s apartment. The colors. The old smell. The chipped paint.

It was so broken down, cracked, and probably moldy.

An obvious health hazard.

But she kept it the best she could with fake flowers and a few decorations.

The worst part was her trash heap of a room. She was an absolute slob! I mean, how could people live like this?

I’d left it alone for long enough. I thought we’d be back to our own bodies by now. But it seemed the genie was still playing his sadistic game.

After tidying up, I still wasn’t satisfied. If I was going to make the best of things, I wasn’t living another minute in this dump.

There was only one thing left for me to do.

Myla’s mother was a real estate broker. It was time I changed addresses.

“Thank you for meeting with me, Mrs. Owens,” I said as I walked up to Myla’s mother. She’d helped me and Zack try to find a home before Dad offered to buy the house of my dreams. And since Myla was Charlene’s best friend, it wasn’t too weird for me to ask for help.

“Are you sure you can afford this address, Charlie?” Myla asked. “Places around here go for $2000 a month or more.”

“I certainly could find a cheaper apartment for you that would be much nicer than what you’re already in,” Mrs.Owens added.

I laughed nervously, trying to think up a good lie on how my income went from 0 to plenty in a matter of a week. “Well…uh…Dr. Day said he’d take me on as a TA next year, so with that and a windfall from a…um…r-rich uncle…you know…this will be fine.”

“Oooooo…” Mala sang. “You and Dr. Day! Zack told me about you two. You took me up on my advice! You’ve GOT to tell me all the details, girl, when you get a chance! You’ve been holding out!”

“Heh…you’ve got it all wrong, Myla. Dr. Day and I are platonic. Honest!”

“Are you ready to see the apartment then?” Myla’s mom interrupted.

I wanted to thank her for the diversion. Thanks to my brother’s wild imagination, everyone thought I was dating Charlene.


The apartment was more than I’d expected for something so small and relatively cheap. If Charlene and I came though this experience without killing each other, I did want to make her a TA next year. She needed the extra income and I could use the help with my research.

Myla assisted me with using some of Charlene’s things in decorating. Once we were finished, I knew Charlene would approve.

And the view out of the bedroom window was amazing. It reminded me of the time I saw the view of Oasis Springs for the first time with Ginny.

I hadn’t even thought about Ginny since I’d experienced this curse. The familar pang wrung through me but all it did was make me numb.

Turning toward Myla, I said, “Hey, thanks for the help. Couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Anytime, bff. And I hope to God you show a certain professor this room. It has a romantic ambiance he’s sure to love. I know Zack’s a romantic. I bet his brother is, too!”

My face warmed. I couldn’t imagine even being with Charlene as ourselves let alone…Why did everyone have a one track mind about us? I guessed I couldn’t blame them. We were inexplicably attached because of this weird situation. To try to keep them off the scent was exhausting. I just smiled. No use in trying to explain why we were always together.


When I met Charlene at the gym the next day, she squealed and covered her face. “What the HELL did you do to my hair?”

My stomach lurched. I thought she’d at least like it a little bit. I knew I shouldn’t have gone along with that hair dresser in coloring it. But maybe she hated the length.

“I…uh…asked the hair dresser to do a current style. But if it’s the length you’re worried about, I can assure you it’ll grow out. Are you that mad about it?”

Her face beamed. “Hell no, Dr. Day! It’s so pretty! I just didn’t ever have the funds to color my hair or go to a fancy salon. Omg! I’m so happy I could kiss you!”

I shot her a look. “Please don’t. I couldn’t take my face anywhere near yours.”

She snorted. “You’re so hilarious when you’re mad, Dr. D. Hey, listen, I don’t mean to change the subject but I’ve found something totally amazing! The genie showed me that note someone sent you about Ginny!”

My eyes narrowed. “What note?” Then I remembered. A student, Yarita Wiles, who had stalked me a few years ago, sent me the worst piece of trash about Ginny.

I got her to confess that she’d made the whole thing up and she apologized, saying she just wanted me to not be depressed and to move on.

All it did was make me miss Ginny more. After that, I had a strict policy of not getting close with my students.

I shook my head and practically spat, “One of my crazy students sent me that, Charlene. It’s a load of garbage.”

Disappointment colored her features. “Oh. I see.”

But then she waved her arms emphatically. “Explain this though, Dr. Day. It felt like the genie practically SHOWED me where the note was. Do you think that even though the girl made it up that somehow she was right? I mean…how can you explain that I knew something was in your drawer?”

I rolled my eyes. “Honestly, Charlene, that’s just a coincidence. I thought I’d thrown that stupid thing out a long time ago. But seriously listen to yourself. You expect me to believe that Ginny is living in Sulani with her mermaid husband and children? That’s insane.”

She cocked her head. “Yeah…it is kind of a stretch but…I don’t know…the feeling I got was so real. Like the genie put it in my mind that I was about to stumble on the key to us breaking the curse. But I guess you’re right. Just forget I said anything.”

I grabbed one of the arm machines, throwing all my frustrations out in training.

The weights clanked as we both did our sets. After a while, Charlene said, “Dr. D, I really think you need to start dating. Yarita was kind of right. You’ve got to move on. It’s the only way you’re going to be happy and us break the curse.” Charlene effortlessly pushed the weights up with my muscles.

God, I’d give anything for my body to be mine again. I groaned, “I’m…not…dating…while in this…


Next we ran a few miles on the treadmill. Although weights had been a problem, I was getting used to running. And as I plodded along, I thought about what Charlene had said. Maybe she was right. Maybe we both needed to start dating. I could always start with Zane…he wasn’t so bad for her. And if that made her happy, it would get me back soon and I could get on with my life.

“Charlene, what if I had you go out with Zane. He asked me out the other day. Would you like that?”

“Ew…no, Dr. D. Zane is soooo not me. He’s a total slob and lazy and like, all over the place.”

I raised my eyebrows. “You don’t like that?” They sounded like the perfect match!

“No, of course not. Now if you wanna set me up, how about your friend, Todd? He’s like crazy freaking hot.”

I stopped in my tracks. “Todd Monteira? No.”

“But why not?” she whined. “He’s a friend of yours and a scientist. I think we’d get along great.”

Todd Monteira was my best friend, but he was also a player. I wouldn’t trust him. But I didn’t want to tell Charlene that. “Dr. Monteira is on staff. And so he’s out of your reach.” This conversation was going nowhere.

More and more I felt like both of us were just grasping at unattainable straws.

What if I was doomed to be cursed with this body forever?

Chapter 6.42


Whew! I was finally HOME! Well…finally at Dr. Day’s house. And I wasn’t stepping one of his big shoes back at school for the rest of the week. God, I hoped I was right about the genie wanting us to make the other’s life happy. Unfortunately with my huge blunder with Dr. Monteira, I knew I was stinking it up.

But I wasn’t going to think about that. From now on, call me Extra Careful. It was time to make nice healthy fish tacos for supper. Something Dr. Day would be proud of. Like I NEVER ate fish. Couldn’t afford it, mostly. And yeah, sure, fish wasn’t exactly vegan but it was close. Right? As close as I was ever going to get.

To be honest, I kinda liked being Dr. Day. I mean, I felt super guilty that I got to live in this extra gorgeous house, buying whatever the heck I pleased at the store, and getting respect at the university by someone like Todd Monteira.

And seriously, I kinda sorta didn’t want to go back to my own life. Like yeah it sucked being a guy sometimes.

Peeing standing up was straight up WEIRD.

I about DIED when I had to handle Dr. Day’s package. Like yeah…totally didn’t think I’d ever see THAT!

But after a few days, I got used to it. And I could get used to driving in his brand new Jeep Gladiator, too. Who wanted to go back to my beater? Not me.

“Liam…is that…tuna I smell?” Zack’s voice surprised me and I jumped.

Wow. Didn’t think Zack was a vegan, too. “Like yeah…um…decided I was going overboard with the whole vegan thing. Didn’t think fish would be a problem.”

He arched an eyebrow. “But you gave me a whole sermon about how the world is overfishing and you wouldn’t be a part of the depletion of an ecosystem.”

I chuckled, “Yeah…you know…sometimes I overthink things.”

“Mmmm…I like this new you, Liam,” Zack’s friend, Reed said. I’d gotten to know him a little yesterday. He was really cute and very gay and I got the idea he had the hots for Dr. Day.

Which now that I thought about it, made things SUPER convenient for me, too. I winked at him. “So glad you approve.”

Zack’s eyes grew two sizes as I served our meal. Uh oh…maybe I should dial down my personality. Wouldn’t want Zack calling 911 to get me committed or anything.

“I didn’t know you were such a gourmet chef, Liam,” Reed added.

But damn this was fun. I couldn’t help myself but flirt back. “You’ll find I’m full of surprises.”

“I can’t wait for you to unveil them all to me, dear,” Reed said with a sultry look. “May I have a taste?”


Ever since Liam came back from the jungles, he hadn’t acted like himself. I could only attribute the change to his new relationship with Charlie. He was so relaxed. Happy even. I felt badly for busting his balls about changing his stance on veganism. He’d talked me into the lifestyle, so it was a bit upsetting he’d throw all his morals out the window for a woman. But if it’d made him happy, I’d support him in whatever way I could. He had been so broken that I thought I’d never see his old spirit and love of life again.

I enjoyed how he was clowning with Reed, too–giving it back to him like I did. Something the old Liam would never do.

“You’ll find Liam is a brilliant chef, Reed, although I’ve never tasted his meat dishes.”

He took a crunchy bite. “Mmm…the smoky flavor mixed with the slaw slides over my tongue in the most titillating way, Liam. I’m getting goosebumps.”

I laughed. “God, Reed. Why does everything you say have to be X rated?”

“It’s a slam dunk then!” Liam said, sitting down next to Reed. Whoa. That was a first. Usually, Liam would say a few niceties then slide out, giving us some excuse about grading tests or doing research.

“Oh that was yummy,” Reed said, practically cooing at my brother. “What’s for dessert? If you don’t have anything, I’ve got a few ideas.”

My brother winked and said, smoothly, “I bet you do, big boy. Maybe I’ll have you whip something up for me sometime.”

“By all means, sweetheart, just say the word. And I might have a bit of whip cream to add to the dish.”

I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. My brother was totally flirting with Reed–my best friend who honestly made Liam uncomfortable with all of his romantic teasing. It was like Liam was a different person now. It confused the hell out of me, but maybe this was my brother’s new normal. Why did it send up red warning flags to my inner peace? Like my brother was on the verge of a mental meltdown?


Omg, that Reed was a HOT TAMALE! We had so much fun flirting back and forth. All harmless. Not gonna lie, it satisfied a whole boatload of fujoshi fantasies I’d had back when I was in high school. But now, real life and my situation hit me like an ancestral totem pole. Dr. Day deserved better than me having fun in his body. I owed it to him to make his life better. But how?

Dr. Day had it all. Heck, I wanted to be him. But I knew he wasn’t happy. What he needed was a beautiful woman who could help bring sunshine and rainbows to his heart.

Someone like Ginny.

I wondered if there were any old emails or love notes or something that Ginny had left that would clue me in on the type of girls Dr. Day liked. I could ask him myself but I knew he’d tell me to go jump in that archway and never come back. No…I had to figure it out myself.

I’d no sooner clicked on his inbox when I heard a knock. “Come in,” I said.

It was Zack, staring at me like I was some specimen in a petri dish. “Liam, could we talk?”

“Sure, bro, what’s on your mind?”

“I just wanted to say that I really like the changes I see in you. Ever since our sister’s death, then Ginny’s disappearance, you haven’t been the same. And honestly, I wasn’t thrilled about Charlie, but if you’re happy, I want to tell you I one hundred percent am in your corner. Just tell me if you’re feeling badly about anything. Got it? I’m here for you.”

That shocked me. His sister had died, too? I remember seeing her cute face in an old photograph he’d had in his office. Wow. No wonder he never smiled. He never told me about her. But then why would he? I was just some dumb crazy student in his class that he didn’t like to teach anyway.

And awww…Zack was such a great brother! Of course, I knew that. He was an awesome boyfriend to Myla. So, I tried to sound as much like Dr. Day as possible to reassure him his big bro wasn’t going bonkers. “Thank you for that, Zack. It means a lot. But just for the record, I am not seeing Charlene. We are friends only.”

He smiled at me like he didn’t believe me. Rubbing my shoulder he said, “Okay. I understand. Have a good night, Liam.”

When he left, I got a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was like that genie was trying to send smoke signals to me. What was it?

A crazy knowledge swept through me, telling me to look inside Liam’s dresser.

I didn’t want to snoop. Like what would be in there anyway?

I fought with myself until I couldn’t take it. I had to look. Peering into each drawer, I noticed all of his socks were neatly folded, color coordinated. And his underwear. Nothing different from before. But then I saw a green piece of paper peeking out from his undershirts.

When I looked it over, what I found made my mouth drop.

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Chapter 6.41


After Ancient Metals, I found Charlie at my desk with a satisfied smirk on her face. Well…MY face.

“What’s with you giving my class the whole week off? Do you realize I have a curriculum to complete?”

She waved her hand. “Come on, Dr. Day, I thought you’d compliment me on my quick thinking. Do you REALLY want me to teach your class all week long? You think I wouldn’t mess up something? Seriously, I’m surprised you didn’t come up with this idea for yourself.”

I countered, “But that’s a whole week of assignments and learning they won’t get. You could have at least asked me about it, Charlene. I don’t like you going ahead and making huge decisions like that without checking with me first. This is MY life you’re screwing around with.”

“I know! Don’t you think I didn’t figure that out? Dr. Day, I think I KNOW what the genie wants us to do!”

I arched an eyebrow at that. “Okay. I’m listening.”

“So like my life was in a serious downward spiral. Everything was shitty. I had an awful professor who hated me, no offense, no money, a crappy car that didn’t work half the time, I live in the worst of apartments, and if I don’t make my grades, I was going to lose my scholarship. You, on the other hand, have an awful life, too. You just don’t know it yet. You’re not happy. You lost your girlfriend…no…the love of your life. And you’ve got the worst case of stick up your ass I’ve ever seen! The genie wants us to make each others lives happy. So, that’s what I’m going to do from now on. Help you out, Dr. Day. I’ve already started with your wardrobe. You’re rocking this outfit, if I do say so myself!”

I narrowed my eyes. “I highly doubt that stupid genie cares about making us happy, Charlene, or about my wardrobe. He cursed us. And you giving my class a whole week off only makes me even more stressed out.”

“Okay, fine, Dr. Day, don’t believe me. But I’m still going to try to make your life better whether you like it or not.”

“Charlene, let me make myself perfectly clear–leave MY life alone. Got it? I don’t need your help. But what I am going to do with this time is study about that curse in our library. Hopefully, there will be some texts on it. I suggest you do the same.”

Charlene only laughed at me and leaned back in MY office chair like it was hers. Shaking my head, I stormed out of my office. There was no convincing her. I just had to do the research on my own and figure out what to do to break this terrible curse.

Hours passed as I read book after book about talisman, curses, voodoo, and genies.

But there were no legends about what had happened, nothing about switching souls. We were stuck. My eyes grew heavy as Charlene’s body was wiped out from the morning’s work out. I fell asleep.


After I’d woken up, the more I thought about Charlene’s words, the more what she said made sense. My mind scrolled over what the genie had said. It was up to us if we were going to receive the blessing. If I made Charlene’s life more bearable, maybe that was just the thing to bring us back to our own bodies. It was worth a shot.

So I drove in her awful, smelly, ugly car to the shopping mall. That was one thing I could do for her. Buy her a new one, but first, her clothes were the worst hand me downs I’d ever seen. I hated all of them.

I thought about my father and how he’d dress up as Jenny when I was younger. If only I could ask him where to shop and what a woman would like to wear. Knowing him, he’d go to the fanciest place in town. Surely I could find better clothing for Charlene there.

God, I hated shopping. But I had to get it over with if I was going to break this damned curse.

I found a rack of nice clothes and went straight to work, trying on as many outfits as possible.

A nice salewoman helped me and after a few hours, I had enough new clothes to last weeks.

Next, I walked to a hair salon. Charlene wanted me to straighten her hair every morning, but I didn’t want to take the time. She had so much it was annoying. I missed my short hair, so I asked the hairdresser to give me something kids these days would like. Something stylish. I certainly knew nothing about women’s hairstyles.

The woman seemed to know what she was doing.

When she was done, I was thrilled. Charlene looked great with short hair. It really made her eyes pop. “Can you do my make up, too?” I asked the stylist.

After about an hour and $300 in cosmetics later, I couldn’t believe the transformation. “Take that, genie!”

I bet the curse would be broken in no time.


I thought today was going pretty well. I mean, at least I didn’t have to worry about teaching Dr. Day’s class anymore. And so, if I didn’t have class, I couldn’t mess up anything. I was about to high tail it out of there when Dr. Day’s friend, Dr. Todd Montiera, stopped me before I could leave.

“Hey, Liam, we got a new artifact in, and I really need your help in assessing what it is. Could you meet me downstairs?”

I was about to make an excuse but his light grey eyes shot me right in the heart and I couldn’t help it. I said, “Sure…uh…I’ll be right down.”

“Dr. Winthrop thought you would know since your specialty is Selvadoradan pottery,” Dr. Montiera explained once we got to the lab room.

OMG, could the guy get any dreamier? I wanted to slip my hands through those luscious locks of his. Long hair was soooo sexy on a guy. But EEK! I had no clue what he wanted me to say, so I just did what I always did, I made something up. “Well, obviously it’s from the Coo-coo-ca-kaka period, dating to before the time of the Llama.”

His face was hard to read. Omg…I think I over did it.

“Coo-coo-ca-kaka? I’ve never heard of that period.”

“Um…like, yeah, i-it’s…um…not very well known. That’s why Dr. Winthrop had a hard time identifying it in the first place, right?”

His eyes narrowed. “Riiiight.”

“Eheheheh…” I half giggled, worried that the guy was onto me as a total fake.

“Liam, are you okay? Did…you hit your head when you were in the jungle?”

Oh, God! He WAS onto me!

I panicked and went on with my story. Making my voice all dorky and serious like Dr. Day’s, I said, “I’m just FINE, Todd, old boy old pal. What could possibly be wrong with me? Never felt better in my life. I’m still that stick in the mud, serious guy you’ve always known. Nothing has changed about me. Nope.”

“Really? Because Zack told me you haven’t been yourself since you came back from Selvadorada. He’s a little worried about you. Maybe you need some time off. You’ve obviously been working too hard.”

Oh God! I was screwing everything up. “Oh no…NO…I’m all good. You got nothing to worry about, dude! I just, you know, have been hanging with the students so maybe they’ve rubbed off on me a little bit. That’s all. No need to worry yourself and tell, like, my boss or anything. But hey, you know, I’ve got like this thing I have to go to so if you don’t mind, I’ll be running along. Good talking with you, though.”

“Yeah. Good talking with you.”

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Chapter 6.40


“So, you showed,” I said, truly surprised. Charlie always did whatever she wanted despite my reasoning or threats.

Glaring, she said, “Like I had a choice, Dr. Day.”

I crossed my arms. “It’ll be good for you. You might even like it. And what’s with the hair?” My body looked like it’d just tumbled out of bed. “And are you growing a beard? It looks terrible.”

“Your body is mine now. Remember? And I think you look hot like this.”

She added, “But you don’t give a flip about my body. You let my hair get all frizzy. Here. At least put it up and not sweat all over it.” She pulled my hair up into a braid of some sort. I had to admit, it felt much better.

“Okay, no more stalling,” I said. “Time to work.”

After only two minutes on the treadmill, I was sucking wind. My God, she was so out of shape.

“Wow, Dr. Day! This treadmill stuff is so much fun! I’d never believe I’m saying this, but I think I like working out.”

Just then I stumbled, trying not to throw up.

But I wasn’t going to give up. This body just needed a little time to adjust.

After ten minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and hopped off. Wheezing, I breathed out, “Okay, you win. We don’t have to work out in the mornings every day.” My back was aching and I had the worst side stitch.

“Oh no, Dr. Day, you can’t give up now. I totally like this more disciplined regimen. And besides…do you really want me to let YOUR body go if you don’t work out with me?”

I shot her a side glance. “Fine. You drive a hard bargain. How about we meet in the middle? We’ll work out Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Weekends off.”

She agreed. I shook my head. I wasn’t looking forward to work out days. Hopefully, it wouldn’t take me forever to not feel like coughing up a lung whenever I hit the treadmill.

Next, I gave her a few directions on when to arrive and what to say in class. I hoped she listened to me. I couldn’t tell because she was just smiling at me in a goofy way.


When I settled into Charlene’s seat, the class was all here, waiting, but Charlene hadn’t shown up yet.

“Wow,” Susan said. “This is like a first, Charlie. Dr. Day is usually sitting at his desk, scowling at us. I wonder what’s up.”

I shrugged, trying to quell my anger at her tardiness. “Maybe he took a long hot shower. He does have a meticulous schedule.” I laughed a little, hoping nothing bad had happened to Charlene.

“I’d heard Dr. Day was here actually,” Thomas interjected. “Zane saw him coming out of the girl’s bathroom. He was so embarrassed when a girl kicked him out.”

My eyes narrowed. “Please tell me you’re joking.” I should have made Charlene use my PTO until this curse wore off. She was going to make me lose my job or get arrested!

Finally, ten minutes later, Charlene bounced in as if it was a normal thing that’d I’d show up late to a class I was teaching. I was going to have a serious talk with her.

“Hey, guys! Sorry I’m late. I forgot my phone at the gym and yeah, like I couldn’t be without this Power Point that I made for you.

“But then I realized that, like, you don’t want a boring Power Point. I said to myself, ‘Dr. Day, you wonderful, smart, handsome professor you…why don’t you give your students the day off so they can get a head start on that research report about the very exciting jungle expedition.’

“So, I’m making this proclamation–you may have not only this day but the whole week off! And when you get back, I’d love to see a nice shiny report in my inbox by midnight next Monday.”

The whole class erupted in applause.

“Uhhh…Dr. Day?” I yelled. “Can I see you after class?”

Charlene cocked her head. “Oh, I don’t need to see you, Charlie. You have the week off, too.”

“You’re going to see me whether you like it or not,” I said under my breath.

“Oh my God, Charlie. I think I’m in love. He’s like the coolest professor on the planet. I wonder what made him change.”

People were still cheering and Charlene was taking bows, winking and doing all kinds of unprofessional goofy gestures.

She WAS going to get me fired. Geeze. What was I thinking?

As soon as class ended, Charlene bolted, and I couldn’t find her. Unfortunately, Professor Woods caught me down the hall and practically forced me to go to Charlene’s next class. Thankfully, Ancient Metals was my specialty. When no one in the class would answer her questions, I’d go ahead. I really liked Dr. Woods as a colleague. She didn’t deserve the ungrateful students who looked as if they were really bored.

“That is correct, Charlie. You must have been doing a lot of studying.” Placing a hand on her hip she asked, “Now can anyone tell me what is the early period of the Bronze Age?”

I waited for several awkward beats before answering. The girl next to me was so rude, just looking at her phone. I also heard yawning behind me. So, I raised my hand again. “Um…that would be Chalcolithic, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Well done, Charlie. At least someone in here did their homework. Please take the rest of the period to go over your notes, class. We will have a quiz on Wednesday.”

Poor Professor Woods. I’d be really tough if my students treated me like this. I would have given them a pop quiz right then.

“Yo, Charlie. Smooth move there, brown-nosing with the teach,” Zane said.

“Brown-nosing? I did no such thing. Being prepared for class is what we as students are SUPPOSED to be doing. Have you even started on your research paper for Dr. Day’s class?” Zane was by far my laziest student. He barely made the required B to attend the expedition.

“Naw, I haven’t. But hey! Why don’t we go out for coffee and maybe you can give me some tips on how you went about yours. I’m assuming you’ve started. Right?”

Since all this madness happened, I haven’t even talked to Charlene about what she needed to do. We basically missed a whole week out of our lives. Was it fair to force her to write that paper based on results she never viewed? “I…uh…haven’t started on it, actually.”

“Then it’s a date. I’ve got work today, but I’m free tomorrow. We can go to Simbucks, get a coffee, and talk about our results. I know I could sure use the help.”

I bristled. No way should Charlene want to go on this study date with Zane. He was well beneath her in intelligence and in my opinion, not good enough for her overall. She needed someone that would push her, not bring her down. “Sorry, Zane, but I’ll pass. I work better alone.” His face fell at my words. But I didn’t feel sorry for him. He was just trying to use Charlene for her brains. I hoped she appreciated the favor I’d done in thwarting him.

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Chapter 6.39


My brother had been acting so freaking weird lately. The last I saw him, his girlfriend, Charlie, had him straddled over her back as she marched out of here. I didn’t know where they went but the next day, Charlie barged into our house like she owned the place.

“Zack…” she said with Liam cowering behind her. “Um…we’ll be in my…er…Liam’s room for a bit. Please don’t disturb us.”

Okay, so that was the last straw. This female dominatrix stuff was fine for the bedroom but they didn’t need to flaunt it in front of me. My God. What was happening to my brother? He looked like a whipped little boy, cringing at her every move. “Hey, Liam. Could I talk to you for a minute?”

“Who me?” he squeaked.

Charlie whipped a finger up and said, “Look, Zack, whatever you want to say to Liam, you can say in front of me. We’re…c-close now. So, ask away.”

What was this? Some sort of power play? Did Charlie have something on my brother and she was making him do things he didn’t want to? God. It was worse than I thought. But I wasn’t falling for it. Liam was going to have to talk to me about what was going on. Alone.

Jaw clenched, I said, “I want to speak to my brother without you, Charlie. Sorry. Family business.”

“Ha ha…family business. That’s a good one, Zack. What’s wrong? Dad dating another starlet? Mom is coming to visit? Seriously, you can say it to both of us.”

I put my hands on my hips. “Charlie, I don’t want to be rude but I need to speak to my brother by myself. Please.”

Sighing, she turned to Liam and said, “Hey…I’ll just be in the bedroom.” Then she whispered, “You’ll be fine.”

What the hell?

Looking at me with hooded eyes, my brother asked, “D-Did you want something?”

Who was this person? It was like he’d gotten hijacked by a weird cringy demon. “Are you okay? You look terrible. Is there something you want to tell me?”

His face looked so guilty like he was hiding something. “No! Honest! I don’t have anything to say. I just have to talk to Charlie. In my bedroom. A-Alone is all.”

“Liam, for God’s sake, I’m your brother. You can tell me. I know you haven’t gotten any in a while but is it worth it? I mean, come on! She’s totally ruling over you. I thought relationships were supposed to be equal. Dude, you’ve got to show her that you deserve respect.”

He shook his head and said, “No…honest. It’s not like that. Me and Charlie…like we’re not a thing. It’s just…we’re…um…working on a project. I’m…helping her and all. Like yeah, that’s it. Nothing else.”

Since when did he start using “like” all the time? Liam didn’t even talk like that when he was a teenager. “Dude. I know when something’s wrong with you. Spill already.”

“I’m totally and completely okay. Like yeah. Don’t have anything to tell you, so, I’ll be running along. Okay? Bro? Dude?”

Then he scuttled away from me and disappeared into the bedroom. Charlie must have had chains and whips in there. My poor brother. He was nothing but a nervous shell of himself. I hated seeing him like that.

But he was a grown man. If he liked BDSM, what could I do? I just hoped they were careful. That kind of shit could go wrong.


“God, that was so embarrassing. Your brother thinks we’re screwing each other.”

Dr. Day was clacking away on his keyboard. “Let him. He’s too nosy into my love life anyway.”

“But he’ll tell Myla. I don’t want her to think we’re dating. This just sucks.”

Not looking up from his computer, he said, “This is only for a little while. I’m putting together a schedule for you so we don’t have to hang out like this. Then people will settle down. I can’t have anyone thinking we’re dating either. It’s against university policy for professors to date students.”

Bored, I looked around his totally pristine bedroom. It was like nothing would dare be out of place. No dust. No cockroaches. No holes in the walls like my tiny hovel.

Gazing at a picture of Ginny and him, I wondered what their relationship was like. He was such a cold person. Maybe he was different back then though. Ginny was so beautiful. So obviously put together and confident. The complete opposite of me. I bet she could do gymnastics and whip up a gourmet meal at the drop of the hat. I was lucky not to burn my daily ration of ramen noodles.

“How old were you in this picture?” I asked.

“Twenty. Seems like eons ago though.”

“I’m sorry about Ginny. You looked like the perfect couple.”

Focused on what he was doing, Dr. Day didn’t respond to my comment. Probably was too painful for him to talk about. “What are you typing up?” I asked. “It looks like a novel.”

He tapped a button and said, “It’s finished. I’ve texted you all my instructions, including my daily routine.”

My phone buzzed in my pocket. Glancing through the barrage of information and schedule, I blinked. “Oh my God, Dr. Day. Come on. Is that a 5:30 am wake up? What are you, a rooster?”

I shook my head. “I don’t think so. My feet don’t even get up before 8. And this line that says I’m supposed to work out at the gym? That’s not happening either.”

Dr. Day sighed. “Charlene, it’s not a big deal. You’ll get used to it. Just go to bed early. I’ll not have my body turn into a blob of goo because you’re inconvenienced.”

I scrolled through the impossible itinerary. “And how am I supposed to teach your class at 8:30 am when you have me working out, doing yoga, showering, itemizing artifacts, AND grabbing a breakfast smoothie beforehand? This is nuts!”

“You’re not teaching my class, Charlene. Notice I’m going to post the instructions on a power point. All you’ll do is go over what it says. I realize this will be a challenge for you, but I’m sure it’ll only be temporary. Just until we switch back.”

I flung myself on his bed. “Well, at least I get an upgrade in digs. This bed is heavenly.” I snuggled into the luscious pillowy mattress.

I almost giggled thinking about what was waiting for him at my apartment. “Oh and Dr. Day? Feel free to kick my body’s ass in the gym since, like, you’re into that stuff and all. I won’t mind a bit.”

He crossed his arms. “You’re going to join me in the gym at 6 am sharp, if you want to pass my class.”

“What?” I gasped, throwing my legs over the edge of the bed. “That’s blackmail. You know that’s against professor-student policy. I am soooo not an exercise person. Just kill me first.”

“Don’t tempt me,” he spat.


That insane genie knew what he was doing with this curse. Charlene was the exact opposite of me in almost every way. Trying to get her to follow my rigid program I’d set up for myself was going to be impossible. Thankfully, I could hold her grade over her head.

“I’ve set up a weekly allowance for you since you blew through all your money. I don’t understand how you could spend it all. Didn’t the university give you a meal plan and some cash with your full scholarship?”

Charlene knitted her eyebrows. “Yeah…about that…s-sorry, Dr. Day, um…like I didn’t know this was going to happen or I would have saved some of it. But yeah. I didn’t get the meal plan. I opted for cash and bought a beater with the money. I figured I’d get a job, but with studying and all, I just didn’t have the time. But don’t worry. I’ve stockpiled my cupboards. You know, with the five food groups? Mac n Cheese, ramen, donuts, brownies, and popcorn, so you won’t starve.”

I dropped down next to her not believing someone could live like that. “Just to let you know, THAT body is vegan, so you will not be poisoning it with any of THOSE disgusting foods you just mentioned.”

“Ewww…” she groaned. “Seriously? As in you eat a bunch of lawn clippings and pond scum and call it good-for-you? No thank you. I’m a meat and cheese kind of girl, Dr. Day. I’ll throw up if you make me eat some harvested algae or crap like that.”

All at once, it was like a weight pounded inside my head. I wanted to find that genie and beat the shit out of him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen.

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