Siri and Kian live in different worlds, but have always shared each other's lives. When Siri's asleep, she lives in his world where nobody can see her, and when Kian's asleep, he lives in her world and - you guessed it - nobody can see him. They each get on with their lives like that until the worlds start to become confused, and they are forced to work out a bizzarre mystery; which world is real?
I have an imaginary friend. I suppose it's a bad thing, considering I'm fifteen years old. My parents used to tell me I'd grow out of it, but I never did - I told them I had though, so they wouldn't think I was crazy and send me off to some psychiatrist.
We're the same age so it's just as embarrassing for him; as he says, I'm his imaginary friend too, but only when I'm asleep. It's like we take it in turns. During the day, he follows me around, and nobody can see him but me. At night, I fall asleep and, as my parents told me, I "dream" that I'm his imaginary friend, in a world where only he can see me.
Whether it's a dream or not, it's always happened, so I'm used to it. What I'm not used to, though, is what happened over the past few weeks, though now it feels like months. The first slightly unusual thing happened when I was awake, and at school.
Kian was as bored as he always is when he's in what we've come to call my world. I should introduce him properly, but he wouldn't thank me for it; his name is Naik. In his world, everyone has "backwards names". When we realised this years ago, we both started calling ourselves by our first names, so it stuck. I'm Siri, and haven't been anything else for years. We're also almost opposites of each other, which makes it a lot more difficult to share two lives with him.
Anyway, Kian was beginning to moan about how boring my lessons were and how easy they were, and how stupid my class was, when something thankfully made him shut up. I was thankful back then, anyway, for whatever it was that made him suddenly look up. He frowned, then looked at me.
"Have you ever seen that person before?" He pointed at a boy at the front of the class. He was skinny and slightly pale, with light blonde hair that looked like his mum had tried to comb it for him or something. He seemed timid, which wasn't too surprising considering it was his first day at the school.
I shook my head slightly, quickly looking away from him. I hate talking to him in public. But I could sense him glaring at me like he always does when I ignore him. He's good at it, too, which irritates me even more. He has the kind of glare that can't be ignored, with his serious, deep green eyes.
"Siri. I'm being serious here, there's a kid over there who I swear doesn't... belong here..."
Irritated, searched my bag for some paper, and scrawled on a note as discreetly as I could.
It's a new student, what do you mean he doesn't belong here?
Kian read the note, then looked at the new kid again, as if to double check.
"He looks like... not even that, he sort of has the aura of... someone from my world."
I turned the note over and wrote on the back.
Don't be stupid.
He scowled at me and continued to sulk the whole lesson. I tried to forget about it, shrugging it off as Kian messing around because he was bored. That's the trouble with him; even when he's joking, he seems deadly serious. I've got to hand it to him, he's a brilliant actor. But it's irritating. I can't tell when he's acting and when he isn't. So I spent the whole time thinking, and occasionally looking up at the new boy. I remembered that he had been introduced as being called Oliver. That wasn't a backwards name. And he didn't look anything like Kian, whose scruffy, dark hair and vaguely arrogant, constantly bored attitude contrasted so much with that pale, delicate-looking little kid.
Still, Kian was right. And it's not often that I admit it. But there was definitely something about that new boy that felt like Kian's world.
I knew something was going on, but it wasn't until the next day that I began to find out.