Thalia, along with many others, drowsily awoke.
“Tasmin?” She yawned. “What’s going on? Is it Natalie?”
“No,” Tasmin replied, smiling. “Natalie’s fine. I just went to see her.”
“They let you in?”
“No, no - I saw her from outside the door. Her family was in there,” Tasmin said. “But that’s not what’s important.”
“Tasmin, what are you talking about?”
“I - I need to get back home,” Tasmin said, with a reassuring smile. “Only for a bit, though.”
“No, Taz, you can’t!” Thalia protested. “We need you here - I need you here. You can’t just leave!”
“I think I can fix this,” Tasmin gripped her friend’s shoulders. “I think I can put things right.”
“The only way you can put things right, Tasmin, is by staying by Natalie’s side. Staying by my side.” Thalia said.
“You don’t understand, Thalia,”
“You’re right,” she answered. “I don’t understand how you have the nerve to just leave in the middle of something like this. There is nothing you can do that will help Nat except by supporting her through this.”
“There is something I can do,” Tasmin said, “There is something I can do that will fix all of this. I can do this. Please, Thalia. Please believe in me.”
Tasmin let go of Thalia and ran away, down the hall.
“Hey Taz - it’s me, Dad. Just letting you know that I can’t come to the hospital tonight. I’m so sorry. Tori had to go see her family on the other side of the city late at night, so I had to come straight home so someone could be here with Michael. He and I will be coming to the hospital first thing in the morning, don’t you worry. We’ll see you there.”
So he was here in the house.
Tasmin pressed the answer button and put the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” She said.
“Tasmin? Is that you?” It was Thalia.
“Yes, it’s me. Look, Thalia, I’m sorry, but I’m going to hang up.”
“Don’t you dare, Tasmin!”
“I’m sorry. I have to do this.”
“Whatever you’re doing - please, just tell me what you’re doing.”
“I can’t do that.”
“I just can’t. And I’m sorry.” Tasmin hung up.