As Siri stormed out of the room, I continued to stare straight ahead with my arms crossed. I may have looked calm on the outside, but my mind was racing. Siri had seen in Nerual what I had in Oliver, so it couldn't just be a coincidence. All I had to figure out was how they crossed over, and why... and how Nerual had felt Siri's hand.
Technically, Siri shouldn't exist in my world, and I shouldn't in hers. It was something that I hadn't pondered that much, simply because that's the way things had always been; I would go to her world, and she would come to mine. When I was little, I thought everyone had someone who followed them through their lives. It was only when I got older that I realized how unique it was. But how could Siri have any substance at all to someone other than me, and why wouldn't it have happened sooner?
I decided that I had to try to get answers from this Nerual as soon as possible. She had fully-- and possibly permanently-- crossed over to my world from Siri's, not just as a phantom haunting a single person. If I could do that, I would be able to lead a normal life. No more, "You're too old to have an imaginary friend," or, "You need psychiatric help." I could still be friends with Siri, just not out of necessity.
But how could I convince Nerual to tell me her secrets? In the past, I had manipulated my parents into doing all sorts of things without them even realizing it, but this was different. Nerual didn't have to talk to me at all, let alone tell me how the hell she had crossed into an alternate dimension, or whatever Siri's world was.
Then, it came to me. I was a teenage boy, she was a teenage girl... I could ask her out! I mean, it's not like I actually had a romantic interest in her. Not that she looked half-bad or anything, it's just-- whatever. I could get her to go on a date with me. We'd talk, maybe go on a few more dates, and all the while I'd be building up to the big question: how did you get to this world? If I went about it the right way, she wouldn't even suspect that I knew a thing. It was the perfect plan.
I heard the door open beside me. Siri was leaning against the door frame, arms crossed. I could tell from her face that she had calmed down a bit.
"If you plan to go off on me again, you should warn me now," I said calmly, directing my gaze back to the wall.