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“Ace, do you realize the amount of effort it takes to go from semi-slutty girl to conservative Christian?!” I wiped a sweaty palm against my dress and started rifling through my closet with the hand that wasn’t holding the phone. “How could you screw this up?”
In the email he’d sent earlier it clearly stated that I was to disgust and appall college boy’s conservative parents, not impress them. Those were two very different outfits.
“Calm down, Carson,” Ace said, not nearly as panicked as he deserved to be. “Pick a new outfit… long skirt… maybe a sweater up to your neck.”
I produced a string of swear words under my breath and yanked a long pink skirt off the hanger. He actually thinks this is funny. “You’re losing your commission on this one, buddy.”
“Fair enough,” he said. “Start changing and I’ll help with the role… you ready?”
“Yeah, on with it.” I unzipped my very tight dress and let it fall to the floor.
“Okay… you’re a student at UCLA. But your parents are alumni of Los Angeles Bible College and they met in their senior year in the dating parlor.”
I twisted my loose brown curls up into a bun, but not too tight. Don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard. “What the fuck is a dating parlor?”
Ace laughed his stupid snorty geek laugh. “Supervised dating for those who are too afraid they’ll let God down if they get a little alone time.”
“Oh God,” I groaned. “This should be completely miserable.”
“Its five grand, Carson. Who gives a shit if it’s miserable.”
I zipped up the back of my skirt, buttoned the top button of my sweater and slipped on a pair of brown sandals—like Jesus wore. “Alright, I’m changing my attitude. Keep talking while I drive.”
I grabbed my purse and keys and raced down the stairs and out to the parking lot of my almost LA apartment. Only about an hour away from the city.
“I’m texting you some scriptures, but I wouldn’t go over-board with that shit. It stinks of phony. Some topics to jump to…secular music and books… why are they still putting banned books in libraries? You should totally say how you adore Ellen Degenerous but wish she’d realize her gayness is actually the devil trapped in her libido storage place.”
I laughed so hard I nearly dropped the phone. “Okay, this might be easier than I thought.”
“You’re a master, trust me,” Ace said.
“What’s his girlfriend’s name? Please tell me it’s at least a little bit biblical sounding.”
“Sarah Ericson,” Ace said after a long pause. “And your date’s name is Jonathon Penbrook.”
Sarah…very biblical indeed.
By the time I hung up with Ace, my partner in crime, and jumped on the highway I was already feeling that rush of excitement a new job always brought. Who is Sarah Ericson? What are her goals in life… what did she see in a guy like Jonathon Penbrook?
There was nothing like slipping into the head of someone else, diving in and submerging yourself so completely, the real world has to take a back seat for a while. Honestly, I don’t think I ever would have survived the past four years without this gift of mine… that’s what my dad had always called it, anyway. A gift. But my favorite part wasn’t being Sarah Ericson, it was creating her, shaping her life, her flaws, the tiny pieces of humanity that make her unique and special. Sure, Ace did a lot of research and gave me guidelines or requests from the customer, but bringing Sarah to life was my job.