“Ouch!” she said, rubbing her shoulder. She looked around, and gasped.
“I remember this,” she whispered. “It worked!”
She looked around, and sure enough, there was Thalia talking to Ashton on the other side of the corridor.
But was it possible to change what had happened? Was it possible to change her story?
She swung the bag strap over her left shoulder and strode over to Thalia.
“So,” said Ashton, looking at Thalia. “You’ll be there, right?”
“Oh, yeah - um, I’ll...try and make it. You see, I have this thing...” Her voice trailed off.
“That’s okay. But - see you soon...hopefully?” He said. Tasmin smiled. It was like she had travelled back in time.
“Yeah. Sure,” Thalia said.
“She’ll be there,” Tasmin interrupted, nodding at Ashton. “I assure you.”
“Tasmin,” Thalia elbowed her. “This is -“
“Ashton, yeah,” Tasmin said.
“But you said you didn’t know who Ashton was...” Thalia said, looking confused.
“Uh - well, I kind of...realised...after I said that,” Tasmin smiled at Ashton. “I felt really stupid.”
“Ashton, this is Tasmin,” Thalia said.
“You know, you could come around too,” Ashton shrugged. “If you want. I’m having this massive birthday party. It’s gonna be great.”
“Okay, thanks,” Tasmin felt her cheeks get warm. “I’ll see you there. With Thalia.”
“Awesome. Well - see ya,” he said as he ran off.
“Tasmin!” Thalia snapped at her. “Why’d you do that? Now I have to go!”
“Yes, you do,” Tasmin said, looping her arm with Thalia’s, and smiling. “And I’m coming with you.”
“Okay, okay,” Tasmin laughed, as they walked out the doors of the school. “Calm down.”
“Sorry,” Thalia said.
Suddenly, Tasmin saw the back of a familiar head, walking in the opposite direction. She stopped.
“Tasmin?” Thalia asked. “Why’d you stop?”
It was her. She couldn’t believe it. It was her. She was walking. She was okay. She was right there.
“Tasmin!” Thalia yelled. “Where are you going?”
Soon she came to her, took a deep breath, and tapped her on the shoulder.
The girl spun around. Tasmin looked at her dark, streaked hair. Her bronze skin.
“Natalie,” Tasmin choked on her name. “It’s you.”
“Tasmin -“ Natalie began, but was cut off.
Tasmin threw her arms around her friend. She couldn’t help it. She was here. She was fine. Tears started running down her face.
“Tasmin,” Natalie sounded confused. “Are you crying?”
She pulled back from the embrace and looked into Natalie’s eyes.
“I just...I just wanted to say that I’m sorry,” she said, smiling. “For everything. For what I said at lunch - for being a terrible friend in general, actually.”
Natalie laughed, and hugged Tasmin.
“And you’re crying because...”
“I don’t want to lose you, Natalie,” Tasmin said. “I can’t lose a friend like you. You’re too special.”
“Tasmin!” Thalia had caught up to them. “You’re crazy! You’re acting like you haven’t been able to see Natalie for years.”
“It has sure felt like that,” Tasmin whispered under her breath.
“Yeah,” Tasmin smiled.
“That’s great!” Natalie said. “Well, I’ll see you there.”
“Okay - bye!” And she hung up.