Tamsin stepped over a pile of boxes to get into her new bedroom. She looked out the window to the backyard below.Trixie, her little black Scottie dog, was running around in circles and sniffing at the ground.Trixie seemed very happy with the move.
Tamsin wasn’t so sure yet.
Part of her was excited. She was going to have a whole new life, and there would be a million things to discover in a new town. But mixed in with the feeling of excitement, there was a part of her that was just plain nervous.
Tamsin always felt shy with people until she got to know them. And when she started at school tomorrow, she wouldn’t know anybody.
Tamsin heard her dad’s footsteps, and then he was at the door.
“What do you think, honey?” he asked.
Tamsin shrugged. “It’s a nice room, Dad,” she said. “But it just doesn’t feel like it’s mine.”
“You have to give it some time, Tam-sin,” he said, tapping a box. “When you’ve unpacked your clothes and toys, it will feel more like home.”
“Yeah right, Dad,” Tamsin laughed. “You’re just trying to get me to do all the work!”
“Now, would I do such a thing?” her dad asked with a wink as he left the room.
Tamsin picked a box from the top of the stack and plopped it down on the carpet. Inside were all the posters and pictures from her old room.
Suddenly, she knew what would make her feel more at home. First, she put up a poster of Hilary Kim above her bed. Taylor Lind went up on the wall beside her.
Tamsin wasn’t sure if these girls were friends in real life, but in her bedroom she liked to pretend that they always stuck together.
Tamsin looked through the box again.
She could hardly believe some of the pictures. There was even a giant-sized teddy bear poster.That would definitely, positively not be getting a space in her new room.
Tamsin had to sort through a lot of pictures that she had outgrown before she found the one she was looking for.
When she found it, she sat on the bed to study it. Her big brother, Julian, had made it for her. Julian had found a picture of Kayla Storm on the Internet, and had inserted a photo of Tamsin. It really looked as though Kayla had her arm around Tamsin, like they were best friends.
It was the coolest picture in the world!
Julian was a real whiz with computers.
Tamsin had begged him for ages to make the picture. She had to promise to clean his room for a month. She even picked up his toenail clippings off the floor. Gross factor? Ten out of ten! But it had been worth it.
Tamsin tried to stick the picture up on the wall. It took a few tries because the poster putty was pretty old.
She stepped back to take a look. It was starting to feel like her bedroom.
“Make sure you hang your uniform up,” Dad called from downstairs. “You don’t want it to be creased for tomorrow.”
Tamsin opened another box and found the uniform on top of her regular clothes.
It would be weird to wear it tomorrow. At her old school, she just wore the school T-shirt with her favorite jeans and sneakers. Sometimes she would even call Karen, her best friend, and they would go to school in matching outfits.
In her new life, though, she was going to be wearing a blue shirt and a knee-length plaid skirt.And all the girls at school would have matching outfits!
Tamsin tried on the uniform and looked in the mirror. It was like a stranger was staring back at her. Just then,Trixie bounded into the room.
“Well,Trix, what do you think?” Tamsin asked.
Trixie made a whimpering sound, and stuck her nose under Tamsin’s bed.Tamsin pulled her out.
“I know, I don’t like it either,” she said. “It’s just not individual! But it’s still me. Don’t worry.At least, I’ll blend in with the other girls at school tomorrow.”
Trixie didn’t seem so sure at first, but soon she was wagging her tail as usual. Tamsin crouched down to pet her. As she got up, her hand ran over a hidden pocket in the skirt.
“Look,Trix, a secret pocket!” she whispered.
Trixie gave a tiny bark, as though she was trying to whisper back in dog language.
“Dinner!” Dad called up the stairs.
Tamsin heard a whooshing sound as Julian slid down the banister, followed by a thud, as he jumped off the end.
Tamsin took off the skirt. Just as she was about to hang it in the closet, the picture of her and Kayla slipped off the wall. She picked it up, folded it, and put it into her secret pocket.
It would be nice to have it with her tomorrow. It would be like a good luck charm.
Excerpted from The Secret Club by Chrissie Perry.
Copyright © 2006 by Chrissie Perry.
Published in September 2007 by Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and
reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in
any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.