Somehow, overnight, my apartment had been transformed. I sat on my new blue satin couch, staring up at my lofted bed. My boring kitchen table had been replaced with an ugly white and blue tiled table built from iron and the uncomfortable wooden chair had changed into a grey bean bag.
I locked the front door since Destiny hadn’t bother to on her way out. Then I spotted her business card on my kitchen counter with a handwritten note:
Great night! I owed you one. Your perfect life begins now. XOXO-Destiny
I turned the card over and over in my hand. How had she done all of this without waking me? Did she drug me? My legs ached, but that probably had nothing to do with the new apartment. Where had my old furniture gone? Did she sell it?
I dialed the number on the card.
“I’m sorry. The number you are trying to reach is no longer available.”
Even though it was Saturday, I looked up the number for Perfect Homes on my phone. The website only had the number for the main line, but I called anyway.
“Hello, Perfect Homes. This is Susan.”
“Hi, could I please speak to Destiny Andrews?”
“I’m sorry, who’s calling?”
“One of her clients, Gwen.”
“And you said you’re calling for a Destiny Andrews?”
“I’m sorry, we don’t have a Destiny here. Did you perhaps mean Diana?”
Did Destiny give me a fake name? “No, I don’t think so. Thank you.”
I grabbed my purse off the table and counted the meager money that was there. Nothing was missing. I checked my sparse jewelry box and then my bank account, but nothing appeared to be stolen. Did she use fake business cards to sleep with women? But why actually transform my place then? And how?
Sinking into my new couch, I was amazed at how comfortable it was. My eyelids drooped. The wires on my old futon used to dig into my back. Maybe I could keep the furniture and moving on. So what if it was possibly stolen? Who cares what happened to the old junk? This was a gift. Or at least that’s what the card had said.
The handle on my front door rattled. Then a key slid into the lock and clicked it open. No one had keys to my apartment except me. I jumped up and grabbed the closest heavy object, a hardback book.
As a tall man stepped into my apartment, I launched the book at him. It fell short. “What the hell are you doing in my apartment?” I demanded.
The man was classically handsome: perfect nose, strong cheekbones, and beautiful green eyes. He held his hands up, stopping just inside the doorway. “Woah! Honey, it’s me. I just went to the grocery store.”
“I think you have the wrong apartment.” I snapped. It felt ridiculous to be having this conversation in my baggy PJ’s while he was dressed in dark jeans and a fancy pea coat. Why was he living in this rundown complex if he clearly had money or at least enough to buy a nice coat and food?
The man smiled, but his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Are you feeling okay? I moved in last week, remember?”
“No, you didn’t. Who are you and where did you get that key? I live in a studio with barely enough room for one person. Why would I want a roommate?”
The man set the grocery bags on the counter and approached me, but I grabbed another book. “Come any closer and I’ll smack you with this.”
He stopped. “Gwen, we’re engaged.”
I swung the book, thunking it against his head. On the second swing, he grabbed my wrist and knocked the book out of my hand. “What’s going on with you? Don’t you remember me?”
I yanked my hand away and backed up against the window. “Don’t come closer!”
“Gwen, please talk to me. What’s the last thing you remember?”
I wanted to climb out the window or call the police, but this guy just looked so concerned and nothing was making sense. “Yesterday was my first company Christmas party. I met Destiny Andrews, an interior designer. She came back to my place, gave me a quote, and spent the night. When I woke up, my apartment was different. It was exactly like she had described. But I don’t know how that’s possible. And I didn’t pay her. I don’t know why she would do all this for free.”
The man’s mouth quivered slightly. “The doctors had said this would probably happen again. You’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Gwen, you met Destiny in 2037. She introduced me to you in 2042. Today is November 13, 2045.”
I laughed. It didn’t make sense. I’d spent almost ten years in the same studio? No. No, that wouldn’t happen. This guy was the crazy one, maybe an actor. Maybe I was on one of those prank shows. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to show this guy the date. November 13, 2045. And the lock screen was a picture of the two of us bundled up together on a ski lift. I scrolled frantically through my pictures and combed over my social media. It was true. Everything that he had said was true. There were pictures of us dating over the last few years, a handful of engagement pictures, and a few with Destiny. As I looked at them, memories tickled the back of my mind. I could remember a scent or a feeling, but nothing more substantial. I looked at the man, my fiance, but his name wouldn’t form. “What’s wrong with me?”
To be continued…
Like part two? Read the final part on December 10th.