Pirouette
be fine. Clean them daily, give the studs a twist every now and then, and wear nothing but gold for at least two months.”
    â€œYes, Mum,” said Hannah.
    The two girls giggled at the word “Mum,” then gazed into each other’s eyes.
    â€œI wonder what she was like,” said Hannah after a while.
    â€œShe was probably a cross between you and me. I wish I’d known her. And our dad.”
    â€œMe too,” said Hannah, “but at least we’re getting to know each other.”
    â€œYeah, which reminds me, you’d better tell me more about your friends at Carmel College. And all your teachers … ”
    â€œRight,” said Hannah. “And you’ll need to know who everyone is at Armadale Dance.”
    â€œSo I’ll still be doing dance classes?” Simone asked.
    â€œI think you’d better. My parents would get really suspicious if you suddenly wanted to give up dancing. But it’ll only be three times a week—it won’t be like dancing at the VSD.”

nineteen
    The last day of Candance had arrived, and though classes weren’t normally held on a Sunday, today was an exception, since the concert was scheduled for two o’clock. Morning class and rehearsal were over, and the dancers had been sent to their rooms to rest. Hannah, too excited to do anything as mundane as lie in bed, had not stopped talking.
    Now she was preparing for the performance. She slid a final hairpin into her bun and slipped a hairnet on top. Then she grabbed a bottle of hair spray, closed her eyes, and pressed the trigger. “Wish me luck,” she said to Simone.
    â€œYou don’t need it. You’ll be brilliant.” Simone tossed her the pointe shoes. “Hey, don’t forget these.”
    â€œYour lucky pointe shoes,” Hannah said.
    â€œ Our lucky pointe shoes,” Simone corrected. “I wish I could come and watch you dancing.”
    â€œSo do I.” Hannah blew Simone a kiss and shut the door.
    When the sound of her footsteps had receded, it seemed to Simone that all the courage she’d gained from her spirited twin had departed with her. Alone in the room, she thought about the plans they’d made. In just a few hours she’d be on her way to Melbourne, and to Hannah’s life, and the truth was she had no idea just what that life was really like.
    Swapping lives with Hannah might be a good idea in theory, but with the reality imminent, it seemed like a drastic solution to their problems. The fact was, she would be living in a house full of strangers, and Hannah wouldn’t be there to shore her up when the going got tough and make her laugh when she slipped up.
    Simone wondered how she’d ever let Hannah talk her into it.

    She was still brooding two hours later when Hannah came bouncing into the room, her face flushed with happiness.
    â€œHow did it go?”
    â€œIt was fabulous, Sim. God, I love performing. I can’t wait to start dancing at the VSD.”
    â€œAren’t you even a tiny bit worried you might miss your old life?”
    â€œWorried? No.”
    â€œYou’re really sure you want to do this?”
    â€œOf course,” said Hannah. “Why, aren’t you?”
    Simone didn’t answer at first. She opened her mouth, then closed it again, her lips twisting as she tried to formulate her thoughts. “Not as sure as you,” she said at last.
    â€œJust remember our pact,” said Hannah firmly. “As soon as one of us wants to swap back, the other agrees. No arguments. No discussion.”
    â€œRight,” said Simone. “And we’ll ring each other.”
    â€œAbsolutely. Every night when we’re in bed.”
    Simone nodded. “Okay then. Come on, we’d better pack.”
She opened the wardrobe and pulled out her dull, mustard-colored suitcase.
    â€œYou’ve got a vomit-colored suitcase,” Hannah said.
    Simone laughed. “My mum

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