It did change. I wasn't ignored at first, but over time, I became shyer, I learnt more about people like Glint, even my friendly bond with Susi shrivelled up and broke into two people again as she got absorbed in the MirrorVerse, eyes for it only, as I had eyes only for my problems. I started illegally wearing my Jewellie locket more, I started drifting off in class, not into sleep, but into flashbacks and into thought. I was conscious of the endless time I spent by the window, I picked up a sheet of Shine's music and learnt it inside-out. It wasn't her death that had swallowed me into this world, but knowing it would happen to me, there was no escape. Time ticked on slower than I thought it ever could. People started getting sucked into the mirrors, every day there was an angry protest, every day Larisa and Kayla were missing from the dorm I share with them, every day my class scores dropped lower, as I sank with them into depression, yet oblivious to the world around me. My head was cluttered with memories I couldn't be able to sort out. One night I crept onto the roof to clear my mind, and had a sudden vision. There was a girl next to me, who I couldn't identify. I passed through a world of blue and lilac, and appeared near a river. I could see Rubi Jewellie setting a boat sail, with a baby in it. Through the river the little boat tore, banging on rocks and rapids, yet remaining intact. There was a little cottage further downstream, with a couple sitting outside. As they saw the raft flowing past, they picked it up, and murmured something I couldn't hear.
The girl grew up in fast forward, into a nice-looking girl with twinkling blue eyes and golden hair. She smiled, all the time. There was a picture of her at a desk, holding a little pocket mirror, a looking glass, in one hand.
She was talking to the readhead at the other end, though I couldn't hear the words. She seemed to repeat them, over and over and over, until I realised what they were. Shimmer Jewellie. Shine. Lana. The Stellie. This fast forwarded further, teachers dashed past the board, scribbling, scribbling, shouting, yet the girl did the same. Then, she disappeared, and the mirror clattered on the desk, I saw a picture of some white towers, a castle coming out of the ocean. The image faded, and another replaced it. The blonde girl and the tall readhead she had been talking to were in a room in the middle of the ocean. In the background I could see that castle. The ocean was filled with sharks. Only now could I hear their words.
"This is the end."
"For you. I will live on."
"Just one last question- are you real? Just this time?"
"No. There's no way out of here, so there's no point coming. But I can tell you I'm controlling this illusion."
"Oh, thank you!" The blonde girl sighed and hugged the other one before saying,
"I DO hope we'll meet again, at another time, in another place." before diving into the waters.
"We will." muttered the tall girl. "I feel it." And the image of her faded and a huge wave splashed up, covering my vision. Then, something popped up in front of my eyes for a second, like a firework. I couldn't see properly, but I could hear someone calling,
"Shimmer. . . Shimmer. . ."
I woke up with a start. I was lying on the wet roof, it was raining, it appeared to be night time, and Susi was on top of me like an over-enthusiastic dog, calling my name as if worried.
Why would she be worried, I thought.
"Shimmer, what just happened? Your eyes were doing something weird. They were shimmering, and reflecting the weirdest things I've ever seen in my life and you were muttering something about how the Queenless were plotting and they were teaming with the vampires, their numbers are growing, and they have two Jewellie children on their side! You also said something about how 'Opal' was getting stronger, and that the 'murderer' is coming. You said all this in the strangest accent, I don't know what just happened!" She gabbled. I wanted to say everything, all that just happened, but as I sat up I got a ringing headache, and all I could say was,
"My head. . ." Susi half-dragged me into her home on the roof, and dumped me on her bed. It was so soft, so warm, so pleasant. . . so I almost went to sleep there and then.
"I do worry about you, Shimmer." Said Susi. "But I'm not sure if you could say the same about me."
"You're right. . ." I yawned, sleepily. "I'm too busy worrying about myself." I yawned again.
And then I told her everything. It was 11:30pm on the 5th February when I was 11 years old. Time ticked on, and I grew from a shy 11 year old to an invisible 12 year old.
"Welcome to Looking Glass Academy" the words from two years before still rang in my head as if they were being said right then.
Now I'm looking back at this, it all feels weird, alien, made up, other-worldly. Now I am older, I don't remember much of my past. But I do remember being a 12-year-old. I remember that.