This choice: Tell Caleb about this 'side' · Go Back
“Son of a goddamn greased asshole!” you curse incoherently, as the dice stops to show a face of six dots: just the exact number you didn’t need. Now you’ve landed on the most expensive space in the game, fully decked out in all its upgrades, and have to pay up. Inconveniently, it just so happens that the amount you have to pay for landing on Boardwalk is exactly the amount you have. “This game’s bullshit!”
“All I’m hearing is sour grapes, Sienna,” you reply in a sing-song voice, slowly reaching over to take the last of her money for yourself. Her only response is to snarl at you and flip you the bird before stomping out of the room.
“She always was a sore loser,” Andrea notes, sighing, before turning to you. “In any case, congrats, Yell. You win this week’s game of Monopoly.” You only offer a knowing smile, thumbing through the billfolds as you count your winnings. A cool two grand is now yours keep for the indefinite future. You’ll only spend a part of it, of course; while Andrea’s mother makes very good money from her waitress job and frugal tendencies,
“A pleasure doing business with you folks,” you give your other selves a mischievous look as you pocket the cash.
“Hey, now that we’re all settled in,” you have Fatima cut in, looking furtively between Andrea and Jelena, “shouldn’t we talk about our next move? Like what we’re going to do now?”
“We all need to be here for that, don’t we?” Jelena asked with a quirked eyebrow.
“Let’s leave her alone for a bit,” Andrea responds, shooting a look to the room your other host stomped off into. “I think she needs a couple minutes to cool off, isn’t that right, Sienna?” she raises her voice to ask the question, only to be met by a string of colorful language in response.
“Fair enough, we’ll talk without her. So, what’s our next move?”
“Tell Caleb about… us?” Fatima suggests. “I mean, last time we talked it was just me. Shouldn’t we give him an update?”
“How do you think we would phrase it? ‘Hey, so turns out not only did I possess Fatima, I can also possess a bunch of other people and used it to take over some of her hot friends and also her parents’?” As Fatima you pout petulantly, trying not to be offended by the edge of sarcasm in Jelena’s voice even though you put it there.
“Well when you put it like that, it sounds kind of bad.”
“Oh don’t be like that. You know we love you. Especially now.”
“Mmm. We’re all a big, happy family. But that doesn’t change that we can’t predict how Caleb might react.”
“Bullshit!” Sienna retorts as she storms back in, finally cooled down. “He hasn’t gotten laid in his entire fucking life and suddenly his best friend has access to pussy, how do you think he’s gonna react?”
“Or he might just stare,” you point out with a wry smile. Andrea is acutely aware of the effect she has on the boys of Westside, and through her lens you regard your memories of Caleb with a detached perspective. He’s not among the most attractive students in school, but he’s not necessarily ugly. He’s simply unkempt, and needs someone to tell him make himself look better. But women like your host bodies may as well be on an entirely different plane of existence for the amount he interacts with them.
“Sienna might even scare him away,” Jelena chuckles. “You do tend to have that effect on people.”
“Oh, well excuuuuuuse me for being ‘aggressive’. Not my fault he’s a little bitch.”
“He’s our best friend!”
“Who wants to fuck us!”
“We don’t know that yet!”
“Yes we do because I’d fuck us!”
“Would you, now? Aren't you straight?”
“I don’t mean ME, ‘Dre. I mean… David.”
You hadn’t meant it, but the mention of your real name sobers you, and a silence falls over your hosts. Even Andrea has a pensive look to her that seems wildly out of place. Caleb’s the only one who knows about your... condition, and while you’re never truly alone you do feel a pang of loneliness. The play-acting and trading double entendre between yourselves is enjoyable, yes, but there’s times where you’d just like to be yourself with someone that isn’t also you.
Besides, Caleb’s your best friend. He knows about Fatima, so why shouldn't he know about the rest of you? He deserves to, at least.
You flip out Fatima's phone and type out a message to an unregistered number you know belongs to him.
Hey Caleb, it's Fatima! R u free?
Fatima. David. Remember?
Oh. Right. Um I guess I'm free?
Cool, I'll see you in a bit.
Ive got something to show you.
I'll be over at your place in a couple of minutes.
You're actually already on your way to his house in Fatima's car; simultaneously, you're driving your other three bodies in a separate car in the opposite direction.
"Hi!" you smile brightly when Mrs. Ryerson opens the door. There's a spark of familiarity in her eyes as she takes you in; it's only been a few days since you last spoke to her. "Is Caleb in? We have a project we really need to work on for school." She looks at you wearily, but not unkindly, and calls for her son. He arrives moments later, and you're relieved to see he's looking better than when you saw him last -guess knowing you're alive in some form has helped him sleep.
"Ready to go?" He nods, cluelessly, then follows you to your car.
"So what's up?"
"I learned something new about myself after I left your house," you explain.
"Yeah?" He looks at you expectantly. You only shoot him an impish smile which draws a blush from his cheeks; Fatima's cute, and it's like being locked in a room with her has suddenly made him realize it.
"I'll tell you when we get there," you tease. Then you turn up the radio and let the sound of pop music fill the silence until you arrive at the Zahedi house.
"Now, Caleb," you say, turning to him in your seat, "no matter what happens in there, I need you to stay calm, got it?"
"Just... be cool, alright? Will you be cool?"
"Yeah, alright." You can hear the uncertainty in his voice, however, so you give him a pat on the shoulder.
"Be cool." And with that you hop out of the car.
"As ice," he says, following your lead to the door. You knock on the door, but twist the knob open before there's any acknowledgement.
"Yo, Fatima," you peer up at the two people entering from your glasses, "welcome home. Who's your friend?"
"Hi, Yell. This is Caleb. Caleb, meet Jelena." Caleb stammers out a greeting, and you can see him shift uneasily as you quirk an eyebrow at him. "And this right here is Sienna," you say, pointing to the short girl swaggering out of the kitchen with a beer in her hand. She turns and regards Caleb with distinct apathy. Then she jerks her chin upwards at him.
"S-sup?" She leans against a nearby wall, watching Caleb as she takes a swig of beer. You give him no time to stare back at her, and quickly lead him to the couch where you're also seated.
"And this is Andrea." From inside Andrea you raise her hooded gaze at Caleb, who visibly gulps at the attention. You offer him one of her knowing smiles, and he shifts.
"So, uh... is this some kinda party...?" Caleb asks when he finally finds the nerve to speak up.
"Something like that," Sienna responds, taking another sip of beer. Caleb glances at her, then back to you with a pleading look. You almost feel bad for the guy, he's clearly uncomfortable and has no idea what to do with himself.
"Actually, I invited you here because I wanted to show off my new power," Jelena says. From four pairs of eyes you watch as your best friend's anxious expression turns to one of shock and confusion. You can practically the gears turning in his head as he looks between Fatima and Jelena.
"You see Mr. Ryerson," you begin, walking Mrs. Zahedi from the kitchen, prompting a flinch from Caleb, "the day I came back from your house, I found out not only could I control the part of me outside Fatima, I could also split it into littler worms."
"Turns out if I get the little scamps into other people, I can control them, too," Andrea continues.
"So I took over the people most convenient: her parents, and her closest friends," Fatima finishes with a coy smile. "So not only am I in here..."
"I'm also in here," you say from Andrea.
"And here," from Jelena.
"And here," from Sienna.
"And here," from Mrs. Zahedi. Caleb, for his part, has paled considerably, and looks between your hosts uncomprehendingly.
"I've possessed them, Caleb," Andrea says. "All of them. See? That's me over there waving to you," you point to yourself waving with three hands from three hosts. "Not to mention they've all got a little bit of me inside of them." Simultaneously, you cough worms into five hands and hold them out for Caleb to see.
"What do you think?" you ask from Fatima once you've swallowed your worms again. You bite your lip. "Pretty cool, right?"
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