what if the words in a book could take you to another place - literally?
Secret
CHAPTER
20
Chapter Twenty ~ Tasmin
“Tasmin, did we have any homework for History due today?” Natalie asked her friend as they walked into the classroom on Monday morning. Their history teacher, Ms Filips, wasn’t there yet, meaning that the whole class was in chaos, buzzing from “Monday Morning Energy.”
“Yes,” Tasmin replied, taking her usual seat on the right-hand side of the room, next to Natalie. “We had that essay, remember?”
“What? What essay?”
Tasmin rolled her eyes.
“The essay we were supposed to write as an introduction to the new topic that we’re starting today,” Tasmin said, showing her the paper she had frantically written that previous night. “You know - the changes that took place from the Ancient World to the Renaissance?”
“Oh,” Natalie said. “Whoops.”
The amount of noise coming out of the class’ mouths dropped down to a minimum as Ms Filips walked into the room. Her stilettos made an awful clicking sound as she waltzed over to her desk.
“Good morning class,” she said, her voice piercing the air like a knife.
The class responded with a swift “good morning Ms Filips” before the room became silent again.
“What?” The woman glared at what seemed to be every member of the class. “Is there a problem with everyone’s legs this morning? Can nobody’s feet support their weight at this current time?”
The class stood up like lightning had struck them.
“I don’t care if your mummies and your daddies are the wealthiest or most important people alive, or if you have enough confidence in yourselves that you think you’re too important to be in this class or at this school, but the harsh reality is that your mummies and daddies, no matter how rich or important they may be, are paying for you to take this class and to attend this school.” The woman leaned forwards, hands on her desk. “Hence, I expect you to pay me with the respect I rightfully deserve. When I walk into this room, you stop talking about whatever you teenagers get up to these days, you stand up and you give me a proper and disciplined greeting! Understood?”
There was a chorus of “yes, Ms Filips”.
“Good. Now, let’s try it again, shall we? Good morning, class.”
“Good morning Ms Filips.”
“Sit down.”
Everyone in ninth grade was terrified of Ms Filips, and the devil herself knew it.
“Tasmin,” Natalie said softly. “You don’t happen to have another copy of that essay, do you?”
Tasmin sighed. Natalie knew that she had another copy, she always did. And Tasmin knew that the punishment Ms Filips would give her friend if she showed her she was empty-handed would be a more worse fate than death. The two friends also knew that Ms Filips never really reads the essays, just makes sure that you have it with you, so it wouldn’t matter if they were identical.
Tasmin slowly handed Natalie the copy.
Oh, the sacrifices she made for that girl.
“So,” Thalia said to the other two girls as they sat under the tree in the lunch courtyard. “There was a new guy in my Tech class.”
“Really,” Tasmin said in bored tone, revealing just how little she actually cared.
Natalie laughed, and playfully shoved Tasmin’s shoulder. “You can’t even pretend to show a little interest, Taz, when it comes to boys.”
“I show interest when I want to!” Tasmin argued. “It’s just that if Thalia is bringing the subject up, then obviously the guy is reasonably good-looking. And if he’s reasonably good-looking, then all the other girls in the grade are going to be all over him. And if all the other girls in the grade are all over him, then do you really think I have a shot?”
“Stop being so hard on yourself, Taz,” Thalia said, patting her friend’s shoulder. “There’s a Prince Charming somewhere out there, waiting for you.”
“Oh shut up,” Tasmin laughed, when really, she was thinking of Ethan, the mysterious guy from the party.
“Anyway,” Natalie said. “Was the guy cute, or not?”
“I mean, everyone’s perspective changes on a range of subjects, and beauty is something that no one can be subjective about, not even in the most bizarre of situations, but from a person’s point of view who as been objective in judging this certain aspect of - ”
“Thalia!”
“Okay, okay - fine!” Thalia rolled her eyes. “In my humble opinion, the guy was drop-dead gorgeous.”
Natalie raised her eyebrows. “Really?”
“Did you catch his name?” Tasmin asked.
“No,” Thalia shook her head. “I think it started with an “A”, or something?”
“Wow,” Tasmin muttered. “Don’t go too far on the details, mate.”
“The teacher didn’t introduce him to the class or anything?” Natalie asked desperately.
“No, but the funny thing was he was having heaps of trouble with his laptop. It was like the kid had never used one before! I kept having to help him, and every time he learnt something new, he’d be like ‘Woah! That’s incredible!’”
“And yet you didn’t even get his name,” Natalie shook her head.
“Shh! Guys, shut up!” Thalia suddenly said.
“What is it?” Tasmin asked, searching in her bag for her phone. She could have sworn she had heard it go off.
“It’s the guy! Oh my God - he’s walking over to us! He’s actually coming over!”
“Woohoo,” Tasmin said sarcastically under her breath, still looking for her phone. “Let’s celebrate. Someone is actually coming to talk to us. Woopee-doo. Yippee. Let’s have a par-tay.”
“Tasmin?” A male voice said.
Tasmin whipped her head up like someone had just told her she’d won the lottery.
Sure enough, standing in front of her, was a boy with sandy-blonde hair, black skinny jeans, the same white converse and black glasses, and a tight, blue shirt that showed off his figure.
“E-Ethan?” Tasmin stood up, almost as quickly as she had when demanded by Ms Filips, resulting in her head hitting a tree branch. “What are you doing here?”
“I - uh - go here now, I guess,” he grinned. “I enrolled over the weekend.”
“Really? Um, that’s great. Yeah!”
“Wait - you guys know each other?” Thalia looked confused.
“Yeah. We...met at Ashton’s party last Friday.” Tasmin felt herself go red. Her heart was beating at such an intense rhythm that she hoped Ethan couldn’t hear it.
“Ooh,” Natalie said, crossing her arms. “So this is your ‘friend,’ Taz.”
“I’m Thalia,” she said. “We were in Tech together this morning? And this is Natalie.”
“Yeah, I remember. You were helping me with all my...difficulties. With the computer.” He laughed, and Tasmin felt herself warm up from the inside. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s no biggie,” Thalia said.
“So...how do you like the school, Ethan?” Tasmin asked.
“It’s really nice, yeah. You see, my family just moved here, from up North.”
“Really? Where exactly up North?”
“Melbourne.”
The three girls looked at each other, a confused expression on their faces.
“That’s - um - that’s South.” Natalie corrected him.
“Oh! Yeah, sorry. Geography isn’t my strong point.” He laughed again. “So - Tasmin - I was wondering...do you want to maybe meet up on the weekend sometime?”
Tasmin’s eyes widened. “Heck yeah! I mean,” she coughed. “Of course. Yeah, sure. That sounds nice.”
“Awesome. Well, I better be off. I’ve got Maths next, and I’ve heard my teacher’s the devil in an old man’s form.”
“All the teachers here are devils, mate.” Natalie said. “But the Maths teachers...” She pretended to shudder.
“I’ll take that information with gratitude,” he said. “Bye, then!”
He waved as he walked off.
Tasmin didn’t realise she was staring until Natalie waved her hand in front of her face.
“Hellloooo,” she said. “An explanation, please?”
“Oh my God,” Tasmin said in reply. “I was just asked out.”

Keep Reading

Chapter 21

Chapter Twenty-One ~ Leylina

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