Melissa was waiting for me in the main room, hands clasped in front of her, the sides of her mouth turned up, her eyes alive with emotion. I felt tremendously nervous but one foot still went in front of the other, carrying me fully into the room as though there was no longer any force that could stop me.
“Well,” said Melissa.
“Yes,” I replied. “This is it.” I swallowed. “Are you ready to become someone else?” I paused, finding it hard to get the words out, the intense feelings I had wrapping a constricting grip around my wind pipe. “Are you ready to become me?”
The hesitation she made seemed unnatural but then she said, “Yes. Yes I am.” She smiled. “It’s almost... scary.”
We both giggled but our nerves quickly stifled it.
I went to my handbag and unzipped it; sifted through. “In here’s my money and traveller’s checks; my debit and credit cards.” I lifted a little piece of paper I’d tucked into the wallet. “On here are...” My tongue felt too big for my mouth suddenly but I got a little shiver of delight in my nether regions. “They’re my pin numbers.”
Melissa stared at the scrap of paper.
“With these you have control of – well... I’m giving you control of my money.”
In my crotch the moisture and heat blossomed but in my head I felt a splintering, like the start of a migraine.
“Not all of it of course,” I said. “Not everything. But far more than we’ll need for the months that we’re away. Enough for you to make all the decisions about what we do and where we go.”
Melissa nodded and looked like she might speak, but she said nothing. There was a long moment in which I enjoyed, but questioned, the slow gentle sizzling in my knickers, then she did speak. She said, “Of course I will have control of the money. I’ll be Dahlia. You’ll be Melissa. You’ll work for me. I’d be a bit of an idiot to leave you in control of my money if you’re just my cleaner.”
We stared at one another, the moment full of potency. There was a hint of mirth or even irony around Melissa’s lips but I couldn’t be sure. I started to nod, hesitated, then finished it.
“And this is my bag,” said Melissa, gesturing to her own. It was bulkier than mine and far cheaper looking; rather threadbare. Mine was a Radley handbag. Hers looked like she’d bought it off the market a year or two earlier. “There isn’t a lot of money in there I’m afraid but after we switch fully, you’ll have your wages. That will give you some pin money.”
I considered that; considered the fact that I’d never been without a free flow of money in any part of my life; and shuddered inside, even as my arousal grew.
She handed me the bag. I took it and swapped it for mine, then I slung it on my shoulder. I felt the exchange as another irrevocable step and I realised that this wasn’t going to be a sudden switch as such. It was a drawn out process that had started the minute I began over-eating and increased as we walked into the hair salon. Further pieces had fallen into place with the clothes and glasses and now with the money. The transformation wasn’t about to happen. Not at all. It was already happening and was well on its way toward completion. Any further weight gain or loss on either of our parts would be cosmetic. Right here; right now; we were about to become one another.
Another long empty moment of trepidation and increasing sexual tension.
Then Melissa, with a sense of dramatic occasion, said, “I give you my life. I hand it to you. You can be Melissa Chapman from now on.”
I tried to giggle but the suddenly serious pall on the room trapped it in. I found myself nodding at her. “And I give up being...” A great crackle of tension rose up into my shoulders and came out in the form of a strangled exhalation. “I give up being Dahlia Western. You can try it on for size. I don’t want to be her anymore. I want to be you. I want to be Melissa. I want to work for you.”
“You’ll work for me.”
“You’ll be my employer and I’ll just be...”
A long silence, then Melissa said, “My cleaner.”
We looked long and hard at one another. If real magic had been involved then here the sparkling enchantment would be passing between us. Even without it I felt myself being diminished, almost as though my stature were being reduced. She seemed to stand taller; prouder; as my own posture turned in on itself, my shoulders drooping, my chin lowering.
“I’m Dahlia Western,” she said, her voice strong and full of determination, her eyes shining. “I’m Dahlia Western.”
I nodded, the arousal in my crotch spiking higher and higher as I looked her in the eye and said the words, “And I’m Melissa Chapman.”