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Finally it was over. After the last cop pulled away from the beautiful, California home, Rose was finally able to sigh in relief. After weeks and weeks of battling with Katie, she could finally sleep at night, and not worry about the dreaded psycho that almost took over her life. Maybe she would sit in a hot bubble bath, or take a nap in her California King bed, whatever it was; she couldn’t help but smile at the thought that she was finally safe.
A nap it was, as Rose took out her long ponytail and shook out her auburn, chestnut, luscious locks, she caught her reflection in the mirror and was appalled by what last week’s stress brought upon her body. Her usual beautiful baby blue crystal eyes were glazed over, her manicured nails were chipped and bitten off, and life was just miserable. As she stretched out her long thin body she picked up her phone and read the last text Nick sent her, “I would never let anything happen to you Rose.” Again a sense of reassurance that she hadn’t felt in weeks washed over her body. She could finally sleep.
Before long the nightmare started, the one she had almost every night, the day it all started. It began the same every time. She was hosting Pom-Poms tryouts; she was the captain of the team, a job she took very seriously, when a cute blonde girl, that would soon destroy her life, walked in. Her dancing was beautiful, and yet reminded Rose so much of herself. She didn’t know anyone who could execute a triple turn like her.
“Hi, I’m Katie, I’m here for tryouts.”
“Okay. When the music starts, do the first two eight counts that I taught you from
yesterday’s tryouts. Don’t forget to smile.” Rose said icily, trying not to let the maliciousness in her voice be heard. Bom bom bia, bom bom bia, ba. As the beats of Rhianna’s new hit “Disturbia” filled the gym, Rose almost had to pick her jaw up off the ground. Before she knew it, Katie was done and staring nervously at Rose.
“Well….” said Katie, breathing hard from the intense routine.
“That was, that was gnarly! I haven’t seen someone dance like that since, well, since I made up the routine!”
“Really?” asked Katie, unsure if Rose was being sarcastic.
“Yeah, definitely, where did you learn to dance that like? And why weren’t you in here freshman year?”
“Well, I just moved here from…..Alaska” Katie explained slowly deliberately saying the last word.
“Alaska, wow! Well you definitely made the team. We start in a couple months, we’ll be sure to keep you posted!”
Katie turned around, trying hard not to let the wickedness in her smile spread as she strode out of the gym, realizing she was now one step closer to Rose. This was all too easy. Rose couldn’t help but question why Katie looked so familiar: was it an old family friend? No, she moved from Alaska. But the face, Rose was suddenly having a bad case of déjÃ vu, that didn’t seem to go away.
Over the next few weeks, Rose forgot about Katie. She was busy filling out college applications, UCLA or Santa Barbra, the apps seemed endless. Her boyfriend, Nick, surprised her with a weekend at his condo in Cabo, for their 2 year anniversary. Things were perfect, just like they always were. It didn’t start until about a month after Rose’s first confrontation with Katie that things started getting suspicious.
Rose noticed Katie was adapting well; she was friends with the popular crowd, and was “making her rounds” with the guys. She had a kegger almost every weekend, and although it was the sickest house to party at, people were starting to wonder, who this girl is?
As Rose continued in her bubbled life, she started noticing Katie more and more. It began with the simple things. Her once short blonde bob was gradually turning into darker shades of brown. She oddly had extensions put in, claiming it was for a model shoot she did the week before, when everyone around here knows Rose is the only brunette model in Rolling Hills, California. Her once brown eyes were strangely turning into shades of blue, and her hippy style clothes were being replaced with Burberry and Marc Jacobs, the designers that Rose worshiped. It seemed that although these changes were minor, Rose was the only one who realized Katie was becoming a different person, a person much too like herself.
Over the next few weeks, the situation only got stranger. It seemed like every time Rose turned a corner, Katie was there. These “coincidental” run-ins were imprinted in Rose’s head, especially the time she was home by her self and had an unexpected visitor. Rose was at home catching up on the recent “Gossip Girl” episodes when her doorbell rang. It was already11:20 p.m. and her parents weren’t due in until 2 a.m. Maybe it was Nick stopping by after lacrosse practice. They did get in a fight today, and it was probably him coming to apologize. It was amazing how she still got the butterfly feeling whenever she thought of Nick. However, the butterflies instantly vanished when she opened the door and saw the “new” Katie standing there holding takeout.
“Hi, Rose. I know this is so random but I was in the neighborhood and knew your parents were going to be out late tonight, and Nick was caught up with lacrosse practice so I got you some takeout. I hope you don’t mind. I brought sushi pork and fried rice, your favorite!”
Before Rose could sputter a word, Katie turned around on the tip toes of her new Dolce and Gabbana heels, the ones Rose has been eyeing since they came out, and pranced out of sight. Rose was so baffled by all this; questions were racing through her head. How did she know where I live and what Nick and my parents were doing? My favorite Chinese order?
And that wasn’t even the start of it! Every time she’d go in to get her weekly manicure and pedicure, sure enough Katie was there. She played it off like it was a constant coincidence, but for some reason Rose could not shake this. She mentioned it to Nick a few times, but you know boys. He would constantly remind her that Katie was new and was just tying to fit in. Sometimes even making Rose feel guilty for having any suspicion for Katie. And Rose’s parents were flying in and out of her life so fast; she never had enough time to talk about it with them.
Every day instead of Rose waking up refreshed and happy like she normally did, Katie was constantly the first thing she thought of. Where would she see her today? What else physically about her would be different? It was like everything she thought about revolved around Katie She couldn’t help but wonder why Katie was doing this. She would have to get some answers whether her family believed her or not.
Rose woke up in a cold sweat; it was only a dream, the same dream she had been having for the last few months. Why was she still having this nightmare? She saw Katie handcuffed and put into the back of the cop car. There was no reason to worry. Rose got up and went to her bathroom. The cold marble felt good under her feet, and she bent down to splash icy water which felt refreshing on her face. Rose blotted off her face and crawled back into bed. Maybe if she tried thinking about spring break, or her upcoming trip to Paris, she would be able to dream about something nice for once. Within seconds Rose appeared to be sleeping soundly, but inside her head was the start of that wicked story once again. It left off with the day everything was supposed to end, including these nightmares. It was a normal Saturday morning. After having an intense poms practice and a nice relaxing dinner and a movie date night with Nick the night before, things were starting to feel back to normal. She wasn’t seeing Katie as much. Katie disappeared for a short time claiming she had to visit friends in Alaska. When Rose’s phone rang with an unfamiliar number, Rose answered.
“Hi, Rose, it’s Katie. I was just wondering since I missed last night’s poms practice if we could maybe get together and you could catch me up, wouldn’t want to be behind!”
“Hi, Katie. Actually, I was planning to go to the mall today, I would, but I’ve kind of been planning this trip for awhile...”
“Katie, are you crying?”
“It’s just I know I’m never going to get the routine right and things didn’t go well in Alaska, and…”
“Alright…I guess I can come over for a little. You live at the new condos in town, right? Okay I’ll be there in thirty.”
As Rose clicked off the phone, a weird feeling crept over her body. She knew Katie pulled some pretty sketchy things, but the poor girl was crying, about a poms dance. Maybe she would give her a chance. Nick’s right; he had been telling her all along that she is just trying to fit in, and that’s why she’s been like this. But still for some reason she just didn’t feel right. Going on that instinct, just in case she called Nick and told him where she would be and left a note on the counter for her mom. Before walking out the door, she caught her reflection in the mirror: she could do this. She looked cute in her new coral Juicy Couture outfit, and couldn’t wait to have a girls day with her mom.
When Rose got to the condos, she walked upstairs and before she could knock, Katie opened the door, almost as if she timing her arrival. She opened her mouth and was about to comment on how weird it was Katie was wearing the exact same outfit she was. Same color, same everything! Katie’s face turned into a sinful smirk, and suddenly she grabbed Rose by her hair. Before Rose could scream for help, Katie slammed the door shut behind her. Inside was a disgusting site. Her whole condo was filled with thousands and thousands of pictures of Rose. Rose at her house, in her room, at school, driving, at Nick’s house; Rose was speechless. Her eyes scanned the room as she took all this in; she realized her house was a shrine of herself. There was not one inch of wall space that was not covered in a picture of Rose. All of the sudden, Rose was snapped out of her trance when Katie pushed her to the floor.
“Isn’t this beautiful? It’s so nice to actually have the real thing in front of me.”
“You SICK GIRL! What the hell is this? What are you doing?”
“Well you see, for some reason I just have this interest in you, I don’t know what it is, but I can’t stop following you.” Katie said coolly, as she combed through Rose’s hair with her fingers.
“You will never get away with this; my parents know I’m here.”
“Oh…you mean that note you left on the counter? They won’t be receiving that. Don’t be mad that the note accidently ended up in the garbage.”
“You are crazy! I should have known. I’ve been right about you this whole time.”
“The quicker you’re gone, the quicker I can start my new life as Rose.” And with that, Rose felt a sharp pain in her arm, and the rest was a blur.
Rose didn’t know how long she was un-conscious or what Katie was planning on doing, because Katie never got to continue her sick plan. As soon as Nick got the voicemail, and hadn’t heard from Rose, the first thing he did was go to Katie’s. He should have listened to her. She told him countless times that something just didn’t feel right about her.
“Damn her!” Nick yelled as he slammed his hand on the steering wheel. Why didn’t he listen? So many thoughts were flying through his head. Would he be there in time? Would she be alive? As Nick peeled into the condo’s parking lot, he barely had the car off before he started running. Running up the stairs 3 at a time, and than pounding on the door that held Rose captive. No answer. BANG BANG BANG! No answer.
“Rose, I’m here, it’s me! Are you okay?”
“SH**!” Katie yelled. How did he know she was here? He was supposed to be at lacrosse. This was not part of the plan. Without losing her cool, she hauled Rose’s limp body into the next room. She was not about to let her soon to be boyfriend ruin this. As Katie walked to the door, she tucked her hair behind her ears, the way Nick liked it.
“Nick, hi…what a surprise. If I would have known you were coming over, I would have…” Before Katie could finish her sentence, Nick blew past her searching frantically for Rose.
“Rose, Rose where are you?”
“NICK! What are you doing barging into my house like this? You have no right to do this.” Katie shouted. As Nick continued searching, he too was appalled by all the pictures. This girl really was a freak. And that’s when he saw her, sprawled out on the floor, un-conscious, his Rose. Nick didn’t hesitate and scooped up Rose in one swift movement. Before Katie could even react, Nick was running full speed out of the condo.
Rose awoke suddenly, and it only took her a second to realize she was having the same dream. This time Rose didn’t even get out of bed, she just laid there. This would take time, she told herself. I will be okay. And with those thoughts, there was a feeling of warmth that wrapped over her. I won this fight. But maybe next time I’ll take the bubble bath.