“I can’t believe I’m dropping my baby off at college” Dan Steiner said trying to hold back the tears as he carried yet another heavy tote into his daughter’s dorm room.
“You’re the one acting like a baby” his wife Sharon told him. “Was that the last one?”
“Yeah it was” Dan replied.
“I can’t believe I’m actually here!” Victoria Steiner said looking around.
It was move in day at Miller College and the hallway outside the room was buzzing with activity. Victoria was wearing her yellow Rams shirt for her school as she and her Mom unpacked and got her set up.
Sheets were on the bed and towels and clothes in her closet as they put up a few pictures and personal items to remind her of home.
“We sure are going to miss you” Sharon told her daughter which brought tears to all of their eyes “And you need to come out and visit us on weekends…if you’re not too busy”
“I will” Victoria assured them.
“I wonder when your roommate is going to move in?” Dan said.
“Oh I’m sure she’ll be here soon” Tori replied.
“Have you met her yet?” Sharon asked.
“No, just some text messages is all so far; her name is Laila Williams” Tori told them.
“I just hope you two become friends is all” Sharon said.
After a few more minutes, they all walked back out and Tori saw her Mom and Dad off. She watched them pull away and wiped more tears from her eyes as they went.
Tori turned on the heels of her well-worn brown cowboy boots to go back inside when a car pulled up into the spot that was now open in front of her.
A tall and thin African American woman stepped out of the car with a wide smile on her face “Excuse me?” she asked Tori. “Is this Simmons Hall?”
“Yes it is…are you moving in today?”
“I am” she replied. “We’ve been driving around trying to find a parking spot and I was afraid we’d gotten turned around” She leaned into the car “We’re here…shut off the car!” she told them.
“Finally” Tori heard one of them reply.
“Would you happen to also know if room 302 is close to the elevator?”
“302?!” Tori replied excitedly “That’s my room! Are you Laila?”
“Tori?” Laila replied smiling even wider.
Victoria nodded and bounced up and down “That’s me! It’s so good to meet you in person finally!”
Laila came over and hugged Tori “I am so glad to put a face to the name and texts” she said.
“Let me help you carry your stuff upstairs” Tori offered.
“I brought my two brothers with me for the heavy lifting, but I’ll tell you what; you can help me unpack and decorate” Laila said.
“Deal” Tori said.
“This is John and this is Curtis” Laila said introducing her brothers as they began to unload the backseat and trunk of the car.
“Nice to meet you both” Tori said as she shook their hands.
“I hope the air conditioning is on” Laila said “I’m sweating already” she added as she wiped at her brow.
“It is” Tori assured her. Tori looked at her new roommate and thought “She is gorgeous” Laila’s brown skin had a reddish-orange undertone to it and her natural medium length curly hair was coiled into tight ringlets. She was tall and thin with long legs and a natural poise that relayed confidence.
“Those boots are cool…do you wear them everywhere?” Laila asked Tori about the cowboy boots on her feet.
Tori clicked them together “No” she replied “But I do consider them a good luck charm so that’s why I wore them today”
“I was going to say it looks hot; you’ve got that All-American cheerleader look going for you mixed with farm girl” Laila told her after assessing the blonde haired blue eyed girl in jeans and boots before her.
Victoria blushed hard “I was a cheerleader in high school” she told her as she flipped her long blonde hair back off her shoulders.
“So was I” Laila confided in her.
“Oh that’s awesome!” Tori replied.
“I’m not cheering here though, are you?”
“No, those days are over for me” Tori replied as they walked through the lobby. “I’m planning on studying nursing, how about you?”
“The same…must be why they put us together as roomies” Laila replied.
“I’m almost afraid to admit that I did grow up on a farm too” Tori said. “Not a real farm but we have chickens and two goats”
“That’s crazy; where are you from?” Laila asked.
“Springfield Township…about 45 minutes south of here”
Laila smiled again “Well I’m from 45 minutes north of here” she replied indicating the city.
“But we’re both here now” Tori said.
“That we are” Laila replied as they reached their room. “Good, I was hoping to have a window with a view”
“Yeah we can see a good strip of the campus from here” Victoria told her.
Laila started directing her brothers around as she and Tori opened boxes and totes and got her unpacked.
There was plenty of room in the closets for both of their clothes and they had both brought their own tablets and headphones to cut down on any arguments over noise and TV, music or movie choices.
After Laila was unpacked, they decided to walk around and explore and get something to eat.
There was a Chipotle across the street where they stopped and splurged “There will be plenty of time to use our cafeteria passes” Laila said to Tori’s agreement.
The two found they had a lot in common but yet a lot of differences too. They looked forward to the year and starting college with each other even if they would probably never line up on music choices.
“So you’re heading home for the weekend huh” Laila asked as she saw Tori packing up a small duffel bag.
“Yeah…my Mom and Dad have been asking when I was going to come home for a night so since I don’t have any big assignments due on Monday or Tuesday, I thought this would be the time. There’s also a baby shower for a cousin of mine on Saturday, so…why not” Tori responded. “At least I know I’ll get all my favorite meals made for me and it has been six weeks already”
“That’s a nice way to look at it” Laila responded.
“So you get the room all to yourself, any big plans”
“None at all; I’ve got a paper due on Monday for History since 1945. I have to read this book on the 50’s and write out 5 pages” she said waving a paperback around.
“Bummer” Tori replied.
Laila sighed and nodded as she added in a smile “If Philip makes me go to the game; can I borrow your big heavy hoodie?”
“Of course” Tori responded “Anything in there is fair game, you know that”
“I know; I just heard it was going to be cold and I want to put on as many layers as I can” Laila said.
“So…Philip is still in the picture” Tori said coyly.
Laila smiled and blushed “Shut up; you know we’re just friends!”
“Uh-huh” Tori nodded “Friends”
“Have a good time down on the farm” Laila said.
“I should make you come along; to see you try to pet a goat…” she laughed.
“Oh no…I didn’t even like going to the petting zoo when I was a kid” Laila said waving her off “You go and bring me back some leftovers though”
“Will do; have fun while I’m away” Tori said as she walked out the door.
Victoria got into her old beat up car and began her journey south. In a few minutes she was out of the heavy traffic of the city and into the more quiet suburbs. A few minutes after that, the road opened up into rolling fields of corn and soy.
“This was my entire life for 18 years” she thought to herself as she drove on. “Occasional trips into the city were big deals…exotic even” she shook her head “I don’t know if I can ever come back and live in a small town like this. I’m so glad I’m getting exposed to so many different things now”
She saw flashing lights ahead of her so she slowed down; a car had been pulled over by the county Sherriff and as she drove past, she saw that the driver was black.
For the first time in her life, she realized that things that had come up in her talks with Laila really did happen. “Driving while Black…” she thought “What if I looked like Laila? How would I get treated back here? How would my high school friends treat me?” she thought back to how people had casually talked around town and school: How she herself had talked at one point now made her sick.
“I wish I could really understand how it feels to be Laila; to experience the world how she sees it and it sees her” Tori said out loud to herself in her car as she saw the sign for her town coming up.
She stopped at the one traffic light in town and sighed. She put her hand out and spread her fingers out concentrating and imagining that they were Laila’s hand and fingers.
She glanced at her partial reflection in the rear view mirror and where she saw what she always did; her blonde hair, blue eyes and small nose reflected back. But when she imagined seeing dark brown almond shaped eyes, black hair in tight curls and a broader nose all with dark brown skin, she thought “What kind of looks would I be getting right now?”
She drove on until she got to her parents’ house.
Her Mom and Dad both rushed out to greet her and after hugs and tears, she went in to a huge home cooked meal. They talked and talked about college life on one hand and small town gossip on the other.
Tori was exhausted though and fell quickly asleep in her old bed, surrounded by her old things.
The next day at the baby shower, Victoria couldn’t shake her thoughts of what it would be like to be a minority in a town like hers. Her Aunt Patsy made several racial jokes that made Tori very upset “What a hypocrite!” she thought. “If Laila were sitting in this seat, she would smile and be oh so polite but since everybody here is white…Argh!”
She bounced her foot up and down very quickly as her legs were crossed and she was wearing a long skirt and sandals. With each aggressive bounce, Tori saw not her own petite foot, but Laila’s foot instead.
She bit her tongue and smiled and was polite but inside she was seething. After a long day that should have been a joyous reunion, Tori was upset and tired.
Another home cooked meal helped only marginally before she headed up to bed.
Behind closed doors, she began to cry tears of anger “I wish I was Laila!” she told herself. “If only so she could be me. If I looked like her, I would show these hypocrites just how bad they act”
Laila was on page 4 of her report and making progress when her phone went off “Hey Phil” she answered.
“Hey, I was hoping you hadn’t had dinner yet and we could meet up or something” Philip said on the other end.
“Hmmm…let me tell you what: I am almost finished with this paper and I don’t want to break my momentum. I’ll text you when I’m done if that’s okay with you” Laila replied.
“Okay…I really want to see you tonight” he told her.
Laila smiled on her end and blushed “Is that it huh?” she laughed “I thought you’d want me to go to the game”
“Nah…I know you’re not much of a fan anyway” he responded.
“Well, let me finish this and I’ll let you know” Laila said. “Bye”
Laila stretched her back and shoulders out and it ended up as a full body stretch. She spun around in her chair away from her desk and pointed her toes and flexed every muscle in her legs while letting out a long exhausted sigh.
“I’m so tired!” she said to herself. She got up and walked around the room flexing her neck and trying to wake herself up.
She stopped at the closet and looked in “What should I wear later?” she thought as she looked around. Currently, Laila had on a pair of yellow cotton shorts and a green shirt; perfect for writing a paper but not perfect to see Phil.
“I wonder if Tori would mind if I wore her black top?” she thought remembering her roommate telling her that she could borrow anything she liked. “Put that with some tight jeans and my black boots”
She dug through their shoe pile and came up with Tori’s well-worn brown cowboy boots “Oh this is a trip…what if I wore these”
Laila giggled and slipped her right foot into the boot; it was tight, a size too small for her but just the sight of having them on was comical to her.
She worked her left foot in and posed for the mirror “Uh-huh…cowboy here I come” she laughed.
Laila took her feet out and looked out the window thinking “I hope she’s having a good time visiting home; no way you’d ever catch me down there”
She sat on the bed and caught sight of one of Tori’s plaid shirts in the closet “Now if I looked like Tori…maybe” she laughed again. She shuddered, suddenly cold.
Tori sat down on the corner of her bed, head held in her hands. She looked out her bedroom window and gazed at the stars in the night sky “I wish I was Laila and she was me…just so we could actually see how different this world is for the other”
As the words came out of her mouth, she shuddered, a sudden chill running over her body. “Ooo” she let out as she ran her hands up and down her arms.
She couldn’t see it, but at the roots and tips of her hair, a change had started. Her long blonde hair was turning darker, much darker and becoming thicker and coarser as well. The bottom of her hair began to rise up, travelling up her back and eventually rising off her shoulders as the two ends met in the middle. As her hair turned entirely black, those hairs began to coil up tightly and turn into ringlets, popping out, corkscrewing up into hair that anyone would recognize as natural on a black woman, but not a white one.
As her hair changed position and texture and color, Tori was oblivious, still staring out her window. She shook her head and felt her crown of hair move differently; it felt springy and tight as opposed to her usual long and flowing. She put her hands up to her ears and felt her hair tickle the backs of her hands.
“What the…?” she mumbled confused at what she was feeling. She put her hands into her hair and felt them sink in.
Now thoroughly confused, she stood up and shaking her head just to feel the movement, she walked to the mirror.
“What the FUCK!” she said to her reflection. Her eyes fixated on her hair; her medium length, tightly coiled black hair “My Hair! I’ve got…my hair looks like…” raced through her mind “Holy Shit: I‘ve got hair exactly like Laila’s!” she said to the mirror.
Her fingers probed again, confirming that it really had changed. It felt, looked and even smelled different. She leaned forward as close to the mirror as possible without touching it as she noticed something else; her scalp looked darker.
She lifted up and pulled the hair at her hairline back; beneath her hair, the skin was getting darker. On her very pale scalp, color was coming in. Just as her jaw dropped, her face began to darken in color too.
Laila shuddered a second time, this time unleashing hair that was beginning to uncoil and turn straight while lightening in color. Individual strands of hair were loosening up and dropping down long and blonde in color.
A few stray strands began to brush her ears on their way down and made her itch. She scratched her ears a bit confused as she felt loose hair on her hands. Laila looked down and noticed a hair on her shirt; it was long and thin and blonde and as she picked it off she muttered “Tori”
Laila held the offending hair between her thumb and forefinger as she got up and headed for the trashcan. She leaned over to drop it in, but as she did, hair cascaded down past her field of vision, dangling all around her and framing her face; blonde hair.
Laila eyes went wide as she jerked back up straight. As she did, she felt her hair flow back and whip around her, something like she had never felt before “Whoa; what the hell” she said to herself as her hands tentatively reached for and touched her hair. “What. The. Actual. Hell.”
Laila’s head shot back and forth; she was shaking it and feeling the thin and loose blonde hair flip and fly around her. “I must be dreaming…” she said with a nervous laugh as she made her way to the mirror mounted on the back of the closet door.
“What the Fuck!” she yelled at the reflection as she grabbed fistfuls of blonde hair attached firmly to her head. She yanked down only causing pain to herself enough to make her crouch and bend down “This is impossible!”
Laila stared at the reflection in the mirror dumbfounded. Her mouth hung open in absolute shock “I think I’m going to pass out” she said in a panting voice. She thought she looked pale, almost as if the color was draining from her face. She blinked twice and shook her head again “Oh my dear Lord” she managed to whisper out. Her fingers pressed into her cheeks until white shone forth “I am pale…and getting even paler…”
The color of Laila’s skin was lightening and changing as she watched. “No…” she said as color drained from her forehead and cheeks. Her light brown lips were turning pink and thinning “I don’t understand, I don’t get it…what’s going on?”
Her sleek almond shaped eyes began to pull up from the sides, getting larger and rounder in shape and in a flash; they turned bright blue.
Laila felt faint; she staggered backwards from the door and the mirror until her legs buckled under her and she collapsed into a heap on the floor. Her face continued to change. Her skin tone continued to lighten turning an orange pink shade across her forehead cheeks and chin. Her cheeks rose up and became rounder as a brighter shade of pink filtered in across them. Her nose shrank inward across the bridge and the end came out to more of a point as opposed to her flatter nose with the end turning slightly upward as well.
Her ears began to burn as those too changed shape, getting longer but were unseen as they were covered by her blonde tresses.
Laila ran her tongue over her teeth as they shifted inside of her mouth, moving in position and getting smaller as they did. Her chin rounded off and her jaw line rose up and pulled back. Her arms shook wildly as she tried to prop herself up. She managed to get high enough up to see her face in the mirror. With a gasp; she recognized the reflection “Tori?!”
Tori stood before her mirror and watched as color filled in on her face. Her pale skin began to darken steadily to a tan, then to tawny beige until finally it turned brown with orange and reddish undertones. “Oh…” she said as her cheeks pulled out longer and sleeker and the corners of her eyes pulled out making them more almond shaped before her bright blue flashed to dark brown.
“Oh God; it’s…it’s actually; happening…” Tori’s nose broaden across the top and flattened at the tip as her pink lips changed color and pulled up and out, plumping and widening into Laila’s mouth. Her teeth shifted and grew larger as they straightened and whitened. Her chin came down into more of a point and her jaw dropped lower as well.
Even her ears changed shape as they grew smaller and pulled in closer to the sides of her head, fully in view below her bouncy hair.
Victoria ran her fingernails over her sleeker eyebrows amazed at the reflection looking back at her “I’m black!” she said to the mirror “I actually look like Laila!”
She turned around in a quick and tight circle “This is unbelievable; I’m actually going to have her body. My wish is coming true!” Her shoulders began to rise up along with her entire body. Laila was about 4 inches taller than Tori at 5’7” and now Tori was gaining that height in her place. Tori yanked off her top and the contrast in her skin tone was jarring. Her neck and shoulders were darkening but her chest was pale white.
Color began to filter in down her arms and down her torso. She shot a quick glance over her shoulders at her back and saw it too was growing tan. A smile crept across her wider mouth and she shivered, rising up onto her toes.
Tori’s arms were growing longer and trimmer with more coiled muscle in them than before. Her skin continued to darken down to the backs of her hands and up her fingers. Her nails appeared to thicken and widen as her hands turned into Laila’s slightly larger hands. A bright green nail polish appeared on them as well “This is going further than I thought; I even have her polish now.
She flicked her right hand back and forth taking in the contrasting colors of the dark back and the lighter palm.
Tori felt her chest ripple in the first steps of its change. Her stomach pulled in tight and muscled reflecting Laila’s commitment to running and her breasts began to get smaller. She reached up and undid her bra strap and let it fall forward and off of her trim chest.
Her nipples widened and they, along with her areolas, darkened as her breasts went from a 36C to a 34B. Tori’s jaw hung open as the new color of her skin now dominated her upper half.
Laila felt as if the wind had been kicked out of her. Her eyes darted around and she saw the boots she had just tired on as a joke out of the corner of her eye “Did those do this to me?!” she panicked “I didn’t mean it…I’ve worn Tori’s clothes before…that doesn’t mean I turn into her though!”
She slumped back down and sat cross legged on the floor, too weak to stand, her whole body trembling and numb. Her head was hung low and she could see the paleness creeping down over the top of her chest and down her arms.
Laila felt her body shudder and pull inward as it shrank down four inches smaller. Her legs pulled in and up as they got shorter and her shirt rippled out as it slipped around on her shrinking torso. A few additional pounds came onto her shorter frame and her belly popped out softer and rounder taking away from her more fit physique.
Her arms also got softer, especially up top as they shrank and changed shape and color. She played out her hands as they went to what was becoming her new skin tone; shrinking down as her fingers narrowed and got smaller. Her nails thinned and her polish vanished leaving behind opaque nails in their place. “No…this can’t be happening to me…why is this happening…I don’t want to look like Tori; I don’t want to be Tori. I don’t even know…I mean…” she threw her hands up in frustration “…I’m not white!”
Laila’s breasts surged forward under her green shirt, stretching out her bra around her wider and heavier breasts.
Laila managed to struggle to her knees and was balancing when her hips shot out and her ass pulled in. She dropped back and sat back down on her heels; her hands hovering over her new center. Her waist came outward and beneath her shorts she felt a new stirring sensation “Oh No!” she hissed through gritted teeth “Oh God!”
A spasm wracked her body sending shivers up and down her spine and outward to her fingertips and the tips of her toes. Her legs shot out straight and the palms of her hands pressed down hard behind her. She threw her head back and her long hair tickled off her back as her eyes rolled back and her lip quivered.
It was possibly the most intense feeling she had ever experienced as she felt moisture flood forward and her clitoris began to vibrate and pulsate. Her thighs slapped together as her knees kept coming together and apart and her toes curled. The dark skin lightened down the front of her shorts and beneath her panties as her body shifted and changed into Tori’s body. Skin slid against skin sending electricity out with each movement “Oh God” she repeated as sweat beaded up on her upper lip and forehead “No!” she moaned trying to hold back.
Victoria bit her plump bottom lip as she wiggled her hips taking off her skirt. It feel off quickly and easily as her hips pulled inward, thinning down and narrowing. Her bare pale legs stood out below her as she stepped out of her pile of clothes. She saw goosebumps break out over them and she put her thumbs under the waistband of her panties. As she pulled on them, her ass began to lift up and round off, growing larger and curvier on her overall trimmer frame. The darker skin tones began to work down over her hips and outer legs.
Tori’s mouth went dry and her knees came together and went weak. She slapped her dark hands down on her pale thighs and gripped tightly as her face showed the strain of transformation. A buzzing sensation took off under the front of her panties and she saw a wet spot begin to form and grow, spreading as spasms worked their way over her body. Her body was changing in the most intimate way into Laila’s body. Her skin darkened and skin shifted as her clitoris hummed into high gear “Oh God” she moaned. A hand slipped under her panties and a finger slipped inside able to feel her muscles contracting around it. A few quick flicks and rubs and a climax erupted in her. A bit of shame came with it but more pleasure than she had ever felt before was the payoff.
“Oh…oh…uh…” she breathily said trying to regain strength in her legs. Sweat had broken out down the middle of her chest and she could see her dark skin glistening in the light.
As her thighs shook and quivered, they trimmed and thinned becoming Laila’s legs. The reddish brown skin continued darkening and soon overtook her knees and lower legs as well. Her calves and knees popped and shifted with muscles pulling up tight.
Only her bare feet remained white but that was now only a matter of time. She lifted her toes in anticipation as the tops of her feet began to tan and deepen in color tone. Her heels popped out and her feet grew a size larger while still becoming narrower at the same time. Her toes lengthened and the same green nail polish appeared on her thicker toe nails as well “Oh…Holy shit” she panted out “I’m Laila”
Laila felt a few tears welling up in her eyes as her body calmed back down from the brink of orgasm. Her muscles relaxed and she was trying to breathe normally even as she watched the color drain from her plumping thighs.
Her thighs grew rounder and fuller and softer as they turned pale like the rest of her. She pointed her toes as she remained seated on the ground watching her claves thicken and her knees pop and change shape.
Her feet widened and shrank down a size as her heels spread and her toes shrank down smaller and shorter. They changed shape and her nail polish vanished from them too as thin and clear nails now resided at the ends of her small feet. Her ankles dropped outward and her feet hit the ground as Laila felt weak and faint again.
Slowly, she eased down flat on her back and stared at the ceiling “This is a bad dream…that’s all it is…if I close my eyes…” her voice was changing even as she spoke to the empty room. Her voice sounded more nasal and was higher in pitch. She shut her eyes tight and held her breath for as long as she could.
“I…” Tori began to say as she examined what her body now looked like “I’m black. I am a black woman” she said as her voice pitched lower and changed into Laila’s voice.
She looked herself up and down in the mirror and by looking down. Her hands roamed around, touching and probing her skin and flesh. She flexed her arms and squeezed her breasts before it hit her “Oh shit! I can’t let my parents see me like this; I’ve got to get out of here!”
She hastily put her clothes back on even though they didn’t fit her really well and packed up. She wrote out a long note saying that her roommate had gotten ill and she needed to go back and check on her; apologizing several times for leaving abruptly but also not wanting to disturb anyone’s sleep.
Another thought hit her as she wrote “What if all of my wish came true? Did this happen to Laila in reverse; because if I look like her now, then she must…?”
She grabbed her phone and started to pull her name up but stopped. Instead she crept quietly downstairs, placed her note on the kitchen table, and headed for her car.