“I promised you,” she said to the mirror. “I promised and now I’m doing it. I...I’m actually doing it.”
She was more frightened that she had been the first time, and the second and the third put altogether. Her hands shook as she picked up the book.
“Here goes,” she silently hoped that it wouldn’t work. That her brain wouldn’t remember how to do it. Or something like that.
“Yes,” she said in a whisper, still shocked, and then louder. “Yes - I’m in here.”
The door opened, and a woman with short, blonde hair stood in the doorway.
“Hi,” Tasmin said, looking at her.
“Um - hi,” the woman said awkwardly. “Er - do you want something to eat? Your father won’t be home until dinner time, by the way, so I came home...to...look after you...or something...”
“Thanks, Tori - but I am totally fine here by myself. In my house...if you know what I mean...” Tasmin shrugged.
“Oh. Yeah, I know. I just had nothing to do, that’s all. I, um, thought we could spend some...quality time together, maybe. Just to become comfortable. With each other.” Tori said.
Tasmin looked at her. Tori was her dad’s girlfriend. She had moved in with them only a couple of weeks ago, and as she had said: they weren’t very comfortable with each other. They just didn’t know each other very well. When Tasmin’s mother had died, her Dad went overseas to “take some time off, that’s all.” He had sent Tasmin over to stay with Thalia’s family in the meantime. In America, he had met Tori. They had kept in touch, and met up on the occasion. Tasmin didn’t know about Tori. It just seemed too soon after what had happened with her Mum.
“Yeah, okay. Fine. You can...come in. If you want.” Tasmin shrugged again.
Tori sat cross-legged next to her on the floor. She smiled, and looked at the book that was next to her.
“_The Fallen Star,_“ she said, reading the cover. “Is this good?”
“Dunno,” Tasmin said. “I haven’t really read it.”
“Hmm...” Tori opened the book and looked at the first page. “Is it yours?”
“No. I just found it,” Tasmin frowned. Why was Tori so interested in the book? “Why?”
“I’m just curious,” she said._“‘Before the world was smart, people didn’t know what those things that shone in the sky -‘“_ she stopped suddenly and closed the book. She gasped.
“What?” Tasmin asked, worried. “What’s wrong?”
Tori looked at her. She smiled awkwardly. “Nothing, hon. Everything’s fine. Sorry. I just - I’m fine.”
“Okay,” Tasmin said. She took the book from Tori and put it on a shelf beside her bed.
“So how’s school?” Tori asked, desperate to change the subject.
“It’s fine. I hang out with the same friends every year. None of my teachers are axe-murderers. Everything’s cool.” Tasmin said.
“Always a good sign when your teachers aren’t axe-murderers.” Tori laughed. “Well, I’d better be going. See you later, hon.”
Tori closed the door behind her as she left. Tasmin sighed with relief. Phew. That was over.
But why did Tori gasp when she read it? Maybe she was remembering reading it somewhere else.
She still couldn’t get over the fact that she could still do it! It was terrifying and amazing. She hadn’t done it in a whole year, and yet it still worked. Maybe she was going crazy. Maybe she was just imagining going inside a book. But it had seemed so real.
Once again, she looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t know why she did this. Maybe because her reflection was the only person she had the courage to tell anything to.
“I did it. Just as I had promised you. I did it, and I’ll do it again. I’ll keep doing it until I find out what it is.”