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You’re flipping through the channels on TV one Saturday. On the coffee table sits an open can of soda. You don’t remember getting the soda, but you live alone and haven’t had anyone over recently, so it must be yours. You take a sip as the doorbell rings...Chapter 1: Aaron?
You’re flipping through the channels on TV one Saturday, waiting for your pizza to be delivered. On the coffee table sits an open can of soda. You don’t remember getting the soda, but you live alone and haven’t had anyone over recently, so it must be yours. You take a sip as the doorbell rings. Your pizza. You raise yourself out of the creaky leather chair, leaving the soda on the coffee table.
You grab your wallet on the table by the door before you open it, fishing out a twenty dollar bill. The pizza delivery man smiles, holding the steaming cardboard box.
“Aaron?” He asks. You stare blankly back. This is definitely your pizza, but you are not Aaron. You tell the man that’s not your name.
“You sure, mate? You called us directly and said your name was Aaron. 9736 Sycamore Avenue?” Again, wrong. That’s not where you live. You live at 67A West Elm Street. You tell him that.
“Well, I’m at 9736 Sycamore, and you’re Aaron, and here’s your pizza. Nineteen seventy-five, please.”
You hand him the money. You assure yourself that he’s just pulling your leg, that it’s just a silly joke. Or maybe he’s stupid. He sure gave off that ‘I need help tying my shoes in the morning’ vibe. You make your way back to the couch.
As you sit, the phone rings. A rattling, ringing sound. You pick up the phone.
“Mr. Finicker?” The voice inquires. You tell him he has the wrong number. He quickly apologizes and hangs up. Moments later, the phone rings again.
“Mr. Finicker?” It’s the same man. You assure him that he has the wrong number. He seems unsure.
“I’m holding the phonebook right in my hand, sir. It says you’re Aaron Finicker.” Your temper start to rise. You tell him one last time that he has the wrong number and to not call again, and hang up the phone.
You finally sit down on the couch again, popping open the pizza. It’s covered in mushrooms, peppers, sausage. You wrinkle your nose and throw the lid back down on the box. The idiotic pizza man got your order wrong as well. You check the receipt stapled to the box. Sure enough, it’s made out to Aaron Finicker at 9736 Sycamore Avenue.
You’ve lost your appetite. You make your way upstairs, not paying attention to the framed photos on the walls of people you don’t recognise. You take a left at the top of the stairs. You pass a bathroom, with a shower filled with shampoo you never use. Pass a library with books you’ve never read. You walk into the third room on the right.
The woman in the bed smiles at you. She draped in silky white pajamas, her blonde ringlets falling around her tanned skin.
“About time you came up, Aaron.” She cooed. You shake your head. How did she get in your room?
“Aaron?” That’s not your name, you tell her. She laughs. You don’t.
“Why, of course that’s your name, love. Now, stop being silly and come back to bed.” You ask who she is.
“Impatient, that’s who I am,” she jokes. “Come back to bed.” That’s not your bed, you tell her. You’re not Aaron.
“This is getting ridiculous, Aaron.” You’re not Aaron.
“Yes you are!” She’s sitting up now, a frown tainting her unfamiliar face. You turn and walk out the door, and she gets up to follow you.
“Aaron, what’s going on with you?” You’re not Aaron, you tell her more forcefully. You don’t know her, you don’t know live here. You don’t like mushrooms on your pizza or late night television. You make your way down the stairs, and she follows you.
“Aaron, you’re scaring me. Is everything alright?” No, nothing is alright. You must’ve gotten drunk, really drunk, and stumbled into the wrong house. She must be a psycho who doesn’t recognise her own husband. This Aaron guy is probably standing outside right now with a shotgun, wondering who’s in his house, who’s talking to his wife, eating his pizza.
You touch the doorknob, glancing at the wallet. You reach inside, searching for some kind of identification. Aaron’s driver’s license. Only it’s not Aaron’s face. It’s your face. It’s your disheveled face next to Aaron’s name and address. This doesn’t feel right to you. Nothing feels right.
“Aaron,” the woman speaks again, softly. “It’s late, come back to bed.” She touches your arm softly and leads you up the stairs, up Aaron’s stairs, to Aaron’s bed. You’re lying next to Aaron’s wife, on Aaron’s bed sheets. You close your eyes, Aaron’s eyes, and fall asleep.