All the kids around curiously look at me. I don’t like this attention, can we just go?
‘Dad’ comes back with some other adult following him. The adult is an old man with glasses, his hair totally white.
“Honey, this is the headmaster. Can you introduce yourself?” ‘Dad’ asks me, but nope, not gonna happen.
This building is quite big, I can see five big rooms full of chairs and tables around. All the rooms lead to this room, a big open space with more tables and chairs. There’s also bookshelves around, with stickers on every shelf. The language here is different, so I don’t know what the stickers say.
It was hard to learn the language without talking, but luckily my ‘parents’ kept trying even if I said nothing.
‘Dad’ has this smile that says sorry. Whatever works for him, I’m not gonna apologize.
“Sorry for that, she hasn’t said anything to us either.” ‘Dad’ explains.
“Haha, kids, huh? We’ll get her out of her shell here, don’t worry.” The old man says. As if, don’t even bother.
“Well then, have fun, honey.” ‘Dad’ waves and walks off, taking ‘mom’ with him.
A hand pushes my back, into the direction of one of the rooms. I can walk myself, but of course they don’t care about that. Every touch, it just feels disgusting and reminds me of moustache man.
You can do this, ignore the hand. It’s all fine, it’s over soon.
This old man, he’s still pushing me even though we’re already in the room. What else do you want? I step forward to get rid of his hand.
There’s like twenty or thirty kids sitting in front of me. That’s more kids than I’ve ever seen in my life.
“Class!” A woman with long blonde hair claps her hands. “Attention please!” She looks around to see if everyone looks at her. With a shake of her head she continues. “You too, Kevin…”
It takes a while for everyone to sit still and pay attention to the woman. When it’s finally quiet the woman sighs. “Alright, class, we have a new kid joining us today! What do we do when we have new kids?” She says with a smile, I don’t think it’s a real smile.
One kid enthusiastically raises her hand. “Me! Me! I know the answer!”
“Yes, Christina?” The woman nods.
“The name circle!” Christina proudly announces.
The woman claps. “That’s it! Everyone, come sit in a circle!”
All the children grab their chairs and put them in a circle, fighting about who can sit next to someone.
I spot a hand coming towards me and I side step it. Guess who’s the pro dodger now? The woman looks at me with a tilted head. “You can grab a chair from over there.” Well thanks for the info but no.
What else can I do but stand there. Awkward, will minutes just pass with me standing here?
A boy stands up, grabbing a chair and putting it next to his chair. “Here, you can sit next to me!” Did he think I didn’t know where to sit? I guess he tried. The boy, instead of sitting down again, heads towards me. Why? I don’t know.
He grabs my hand and pulls me towards the chair. I thought I would be disgusted by him pulling my hand, but surprisingly it does me nothing.
“How kind of you, Evan.” The woman says with a smile. I guess he prevented me awkwardly standing around for hours. With that I sit down, sitting is so much better than standing anyway.
“Well then, let’s go clockwise, all of you do know what clockwise is, right?” The woman says overly happy and fake.
“That means I start!” A kid to the left of the teacher says.
“Indeed! Go ahead!” The woman smiles.
“I’m Brian!” Brian has short black hair with a lot of curls. I can see a sparkle in his brown eyes, does he like new people? Or does he like the attention?
“I’m Stacy.” The next kid says. Stacy has long blonde hair in a braid. Her amber eyes look bored.
And that’s all that I got attention for. All the kids look almost the same anyway, brown eyes with brown hair seems to be really common here.
I know they all do this for me, but I’m not gonna call them by their name anyway. I’m not gonna call them at all.
So this room, the tables seem to be in groups of four. Since everyone is sitting here there’s no chairs at the tables. There’s a little container in the middle of every table group, it has some weird sticks in them.
There’s a doll house in one of the corners, with all kinds of dolls that don’t seem to fit. Another bigger house is made in the wall, a ladder reaching into it.
Now that I think about it, this whole place seems to be filled with toys. Nothing else.
Someone taps my shoulder, I’ll ignore them. So on the opposite side of the entrance there’s big windows. They reach the outside and have this little space to sit in. I guess you could sit there and look at the clouds or something.
There’s also a door leading out, to a field or something. From what I can see it’s fenced off.
I hear someone calling out to me, but that’s not my problem. Ignoring might be hard when they try to catch your attention, but I got four years of experience on this. Those ‘parents’ kept trying to make me talk or laugh, they looked like idiots.
While I’m ‘saying’ all of this and acting like I don’t care, it’s embarrassing and awkward. I know everyone is looking at me and waiting. I feel terrible, can I cry? Or maybe they can skip this part and let me leave in peace.
No, don’t cry. Think about cute things, like Vince jumping around.
Or Julie whenever she teases someone, with April trying to tease her back.
Natasha in when she was in the cave, standing there in the light.
And Ray seriously explaining all kinds of details.
Eve secretly caring by using her knowledge.
Kate when she tried following a book on how to be a doctor.
Or that moment after I revived April, she looked so cute with her hand in front of her mouth and a blush. But I made her scared, and now I feel awful again. That look full of fear, I don’t want to scare her. I don’t want to scare anyone.
What if I run away, would they stop me? Not that I can get far, I can’t do a lot without talking.
How am I supposed to spend my days here? That’s also a valid question. Just staring maybe.
Okay that didn’t work. I could go to my soul space, but I don’t know how that looks for outsiders. What if I wake up in a hospital because they thought I died?
Something pulls my hand, I look up and see Evan pulling me to a table. I guess at least it gave me a way out.
I’m absolutely not interested at what happened and what will happen, can this day just fast forward?
Evan hands me a paper, who knows why. I stare at the paper, I’m not gonna take it. He sure tries though, what does he want from me? After a while of me not taking the paper he puts it on the table.
“This is my favourite hobby! Here, have a pencil!” He picks up a stick from the small container and again tries to give it to me.
I, of course, don’t accept. He gives up and lays down the pencil near me. “Go ahead, draw something!” Evan says. I don’t need your permission to do anything, and I’m not gonna listen to you.
He leaves to grab another paper, this time for himself. So he just wanted to draw all along? Then just do it and leave me alone.
This place is boring. I want to go, but where? Since I have nothing to do, I might as well try drawing. Evan is using the weird stick he called a pencil. It seems way easier than the quill my old place used to have.
I pick up the pencil and try to make a line on the paper. It’s really easy to use, like really easy. I’ll make a flower out of that line, and then add a sun. Maybe a flower field?
Ah, my paper is full. I glance around and find the spot where Evan had taken a paper from before. It’s just a single trip to grab a paper and head back, don’t make a big deal out of it. I clench my fists and stand up.
And I quickly and quietly pick up some paper, so that I can go on for a while. Alright back to the table.
I arrive at my table and see that Evan took my drawings. Oh well, I don’t need it anyway. Let’s draw a bird now, and a bunny.
“You like drawing too?” Evan shows me a big smile. Not my problem buddy, let me work on my own things.
I could draw the church, and my old house. Maybe the bread seller from Nicolas. Or the Little Market. There’s so much I can draw, but not enough time and paper.
“You can add colour to it, with these pencils! Look, this one is yellow, like the sun.” Evan jumps in to start a conversation again.
I take a look at the pencils he’s talking about and see all kinds of bright colours. Do you use them like this pencil? How did they even get it in the colours? Ink is black right? It’s magic. I pick up a random pencil and see if it actually makes a coloured line or not.
It does, wow. It’s just as easy as the other pencil, how did they even make this? This place feels so magical with the impossible high buildings and the sticks that doesn’t need ink to be used.
I spent the rest of the day trying to draw things. At least it keeps me busy.
‘Mom’ and ‘dad’ came to pick me up after so that’s happy news. Finally out of this place.
We use the same weird thing as on the way here, I quickly hop in and tie myself so that no one else has to do it.
I hope I won’t ever need to go there again. It’s awful.