Chapter 2

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People started to disperse, as if they were completely unfazed by what had just occurred. I could feel them milling around me, but I remained where I was, my hands over my mouth. My eyes were watering and remained fixed to where the boy and girl had been not moments before. My mind whirled, replaying the scene over and over in my head, trying to make sense out of something that was totally foreign to what I had previously known to be normal. I felt a hand on my shoulder, jerking me out of the hurricane of images and sounds fighting for attention in my head. I shrieked, jumping what felt like twenty feet in the air and smacking the hand away from me. I looked up to see the face of the owner, relieved when I saw it was Shia.

"Ow... Do you know how hard you hit?" He rubbed his hand, which was now turning a light shade of red.

"Do you not care about whatever just happened to those poor kids?! They disappeared to only God knows where!" My voice rose in relation to my panic.

"Hey, hey." His voice turned soothing, trying to smooth my already frayed nerves. He squatted so he was eye-level with me, as if he was trying to calm down a crying kindergartener. He took hold of my chin between his thumb and index finger, raising my face to meet his emerald eyes. "I told you that I'd explain everything to you, didn't I?" I nodded. "'Kay. Come on; let's give you the grand tour." He let go of my chin and stood up, walking to end of the row, where he waited for me expectantly.

I slowly rose. I took a few deep breathes, squared my shoulders, and picked my head up. When I reached his side, he put his hand to the small of my back and led me away from the stage. I was still scared out of my wits, despite my somewhat confident facade. I eyed the large wooden double doors he was leading me towards warily.

He pushed the large door, swinging it outward. The room before us was bright with natural light.

Windows! I ran over to one, leaning against the floor-to-ceiling pane. I spread my arms wide and put my face to the glass, the warmth seeping into me. My eyes drifted shut, my mind going to a safe place where I was just lying in my backyard on the grass, doing nothing. I sighed happily. But nothing lasts forever. His soft voice snapped me out of my imaginings.

"It's amazing what you take for granted, huh?"

I reluctantly backed away from the warm, wide window. The sun's rays were already rapidly disappearing from my veins. "Yeah, it's so cold in the theatre."

"Well, luckily for you, that's not the only area you're allowed in. Turn around." His hands gripped my shoulders gently, turning me around.

What was revealed could accurately be described as a large modern-looking living room. It was white-walled, with red angular couches that were strategically placed around a dark circular coffee table. There was a large flat-screen television mounted on the wall, flashing scenes from an indistinguishable movie. On the wall opposite the TV, there was another, smaller flat-screen. This one only showed a light blue screen with white lettering showing the time, date and the weather. There was a short wall across the room from me, ending about half the length of the area. The other half was open, showing a gym complete with treadmills and free weights. All of this having teenage boys scattered over and on the furniture.

He gestured toward the gym and led me through it, his hand once again on my back. "The gym, as you can tell." There was a corridor with doors on either side branching off from the gym. "We also get to have an indoor basketball court and a full library."

My spirits skyrocketed at the thought of being trapped in a library. "Really? There's a full library? Show me! Show me! Show me!" I jumped up and down like an excited terrier.

He raised an eyebrow, making it disappear under his shaggy hair. "Lemme guess, you like books." I nodded excitedly. "Sorry to let you down, but there's nothing good in there. It's all just educational junk."

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