I wake the next morning with a splitting headache and the sense that something is very, very wrong. Immediately I suspect that damned pink sangria. That damned sangria in that gorgeous, perfect Williams Sonoma five-quart sangria dispenser from the popular “I’m Better Than You” collection. I shouldn’t have had any, but I had to know whose was better. And then I had to double-check my results.

And yep, after Linus ate so many brownies he had to throw up in the Port-O-Johnny and Bridget cried from little-brother embarrassment and I packed up all the leftovers like cantaloupe—no one even likes cantaloupe—and threw away all the artisanal pickles, not a drop of my famous red sangria was left in the entire park, while three solid inches of raspberry mush remained of Celeste’s recipe. And yes, technically that means I won the potluck.

But I’ll be honest right now. I do not feel like a winner. I feel like something that died over the winter and was found by a stray cat, carried into this bedroom that I swear I have never seen before in my life, and deposited on this bizarrely comfortable bed, where it has been chewed on idly ever since. And in that case, the best thing to do is to let myself go back to sleep, or back to being a rotting corpse, whichever the case may be.


My head is pounding when I get up the next morning. My head is pounding, and my husband is snoring. That’s weird. He rarely snores. But then, he did show up to the potluck late last night after I, slightly drunk, SOS’d him around nine. He was quickly surrounded by three miserable children in sugar comas who had no hope of making it home without a ride, even if I somehow carried all three on my swaying body the mile home.

And he and I did fight after we put the kids to bed—fought over the stupid moms Hugh was convinced I was overreacting to, about whether I should have spent $120 on team donations made in spite, and about whether we should have ever moved here for his job when we could have stayed up north in our one-bathroom Queen Anne with the bats living in the roof. Even if the secondary schools were closing from low enrollment and furlough was a very real possibility. Even if five people in one bathroom was indeed a bit much.

And—I remember now—I did blame him for my loneliness and, somehow, for my overconsumption of pink sangria (with vodka). I told him that I missed talking to him for more than three minutes a day, that he seemed more focused on the kids than he did on me, that I worried I bored him just as much as I seemed to bore everyone else in this village. And he retorted that if I didn’t see how much he cared about me when all he wanted in the whole world was for our family to be happy, maybe I was the one with the problem.

So yeah, with a night like that, I suppose it stands to reason he should be snoring a little. Because he’s right, of course. He shows me how he cares in a thousand little ways. The problem is, I can never seem to believe he really means it. And he probably went to sleep mad, probably tossed and turned worrying about me, and probably will wake up feeling crappy, all because I couldn’t manage a skirmish over a potluck dinner. It makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is that he should somehow now be . . . smaller?


When I wake up again—I don’t know how much later—I am still, to my shock, feeling a bit drunk. Seth is still sleeping; of course he is. My eyes are bleary to the point of near blindness—nothing in the bedroom looks quite right. I need to get my contacts in. I think I cried last night on the walk home, which is humiliating enough, but it would be worse if Celeste saw me and thought I was crying over sangria. I am a confident, intelligent woman. I wasn’t crying over a mixed drink. I was crying over a million little stresses of my life. And also over a mixed drink.

Oh no, did Bridge see me crying? I need to know she didn’t. She can’t be thinking I’m crying all the time if I’m supposed to be inspiring her as a successful working mother so that someday she can be a successful-er working mother. Linus probably wouldn’t notice a few sniffles, but Bridge is a sharp kid and empathetic.

Should I go try to wake her up early so she and I can talk about this? Or wait—it’s Sunday. Sunday is the one day each week when Seth is supposed to get up with the kids, except it’s the first Sunday, which means he had gallery night on Friday and the bachelor thing with his art buddies last night, which means . . . I lean very, very close to his sleeping body to smell him. If he came home sideways on good bourbon, I’ll be able to tell by my nose.

I smell nothing alcoholic whatsoever, except some kind of acidic citrus flavor on my own breath. To my surprise, my husband smells . . . kind of good, actually?

But wait. Where did his hair go? Did he shave his head?

What the hell is happening?


Wendy’s husband is in my bed. I press my eyes shut, open them again. And stifle a scream.

Pardon me while I have a heart attack.

Wait. Stay calm, Celeste. There has to be a reasonable explanation for this. Breathe.

This isn’t my bed.

This isn’t my room.

It’s similar. Same size, same general layout. But there’s a hole in the drywall above the TV. Also, there’s a TV.

Where the heck am I?



Very, very quietly, I throw my feet over the side of the bed.

The first thing I notice is that the floor is closer than it used to be. This is a freaking awful hangover. How much sangria did I drink?

And while I’m asking unanswerable questions, why did Seth shave his head?

Why is our bathroom on the wrong side of the room?

Why are my breasts on the wrong side of my navel?

With a start I realize I’m going to be sick. I am going to go to the wrong-side bathroom and barf in the wrong-side toilet—if I can get there in time. I’m not going to make it.

Ok, at least I made it to the toilet.

What a nice toilet it is, I think to myself, drunk as I am. So clean. And what a nice tile floor. Is this floor heated? I’ve never thrown up anywhere so pleasant before. And what a strange thing to think, and how strange that these towels have sea stars embroidered on them, just like the sea stars we picked out of the waves when Bridge was a toddler and Linus was in my arms and we went to Tybee and were all together as a family. How long ago was it, now? Was that the happiest moment of my marriage? Am I delirious? And if I’m delirious, should I tell someone?

No. I should go back to bed and close my eyes tight until the room stops spinning and my brain starts working and I’m back in my own bed.

Yes. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll go back to that other bed and lie down again and assume this is all a weird, confusing dream. Next to the bald, quiet Seth, who, strangest of all, for the first time in his entire life is not snoring. This is an excellent plan. When I wake up, none of this will have happened.


Well, I know where I am. And it’s very, very bad.

I am in Wendy’s bedroom. I know because I am surrounded by Seth’s art and pictures of Bridget and Linus, which I can only just make out, because everything more than ten feet away is very blurry.

I have no idea how I got here, but I know I need to leave immediately.

Heart racing, stomach churning, I stand up and pad as quietly as I possibly can into the big unfinished bathroom with grout that needs resealing, close the door behind me, and contemplate slipping out the window. It is a first-floor bedroom, but at the moment I am so confused and horrified I think I would be willing to chance multiple stories just to get out of here. But I have to pee first, and it’s one of those bathrooms where the toilet faces a bathroom door with a mirror hung on the back, so when I close it and pull down my pants and sit down, I’m staring at the body of Wendy Charles, and it is everything I can do not to scream at the top of my lungs.

No, I tell my brain firmly. Stop being crazy. I am the one on the toilet; I am the one peeing. I feel my pelvic floor doing the work of peeing, I feel the cold seat on the back of my legs, and I hear the tinkle with my ears. But the woman looking back at me in the mirror is Wendy. Wendy Charles. Wendy Charles’s blonde hair with no gray and Wendy Charles’s pointy nose with no humor.

My heart begins to race. I look at Wendy in the mirror, shut my eyes tight, and then open them again. Her mouth opens in horror just like mine. I hold up my hand, and she holds up hers in perfect symmetry. I grab some TP and wipe; Wendy reflects it back. At last, I stand up, undies still around my ankles, and move right up to the mirror, but the image of Wendy moves, too, closer and closer, until I knock my forehead against the mirror and watch Wendy raise her hand to her head in pain. A tiny, stifled gasp of horror escapes my throat, but it’s not my voice.

I look down at my chest. I’m in a thin, hole-filled T-shirt I’ve never seen in my life, so I lift it up and over my head and stare down.

And those are definitely not mine. Those little B-cup handfuls that point upward are not my breasts; they aren’t a tenth of my breasts. They are as neat and tidy as mine are pendulous and unpredictable. Those breasts could only belong to someone as anal as Wendy.