Was it a dream?

My name is Lauren, I`m 17 years old and an orphan.
And I`m stuck in a world behind a white room.

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2. The Room

The Room

 

“Time to escape

The clutches of a name

No this is not a game

It's just a new beginning”

30 seconds to Mars

 

At the time I went home from school I knew sth. was wrong. But what? I couldnˋt think of sth. because I already live alone... Had somebody broken into my flat? Or has I received an important letter? Sometimes I know that something special or important is going to happen. But this time it was different.

When I came home everything seems to be just like I left it. but on the other hand completely different. But what? It was like there is sth. right infront of you but you canˋt see it. So I called Trixi to come over. she came and I asked her if she think sth. is wrong. But she said that it all looked like always. She left one hour later because she wanted to see her boyfriend. After that I cooked dinner and watched a little bit TV because my favorite show was on that day.

After that I went to bed. I was tired because I had a long school day. Thank god it was already Thursday.

As soon as I lied down I felt asleep.

Or not?

What is happening?

 

I am in an empty white room. But where does the light come from? There is no window or  lamp...

It feels like I am here for years. But what happened in those years? I donˋt remember how I got here.

 

If I am really here for a long time it is the first time somebody came. It is a strange feeling to see somebody walking through the wall of the room of what you think it was a prison. The young man that came in was dressed completely in black. Black jeans, black shirt and even black hair. But his eyes. I have never seen somebody with such eyes. They have the colour of leaves on apple trees in the morning, a dark and intensive green.

I was shocked to see somebody in this room after all this time. "Come!", that's the only thing he says. I stand up and make some steps. How long did I sat on that ground?

"Who are you and why should I follow you?"

"Just do it!"

I am afraid. Who is that guy and how should we come out of this room? Well, the second question was answered exactly at that point. Just walk through the wall.... It really takes a lot of trust to ran against a wall just because the one in front of you does the same.

When we came out of that room we stood in a hall. For me it looked like one of these old churches or cathedrals I saw on my trip to England last year.

I look around. Honestly I expected a military station or an institute for who knows what. But no. We are alone. Alone in this strange atmosphere. He began to walk straight to the door on one side of the hall. I follow him because I have no idea what else to do.

The room we enter is small. And we are still alone.

"What do you want from me?"

"I just saved your life, kid!" is his answer. He was angry.

"Well, thank you. But from what?" I was shocked, again. Why did anybody wants to hurt me, or worse. I am just a 17 year old girl with one friend who donˋt have time for me... "I have actually no idea. But everybody who is in that room never comes back. I could have died trying to save your live.", is his answer. That doesnˋt really help to make me feel better. But he isnˋt lying. Sth. I really appreciate. I just stand there watching him walking around in circles. After a while he stares at me. first I was confused, but then I remembered. I am wearing just a shirt and my sleeping pants. Oh no... Why does that always happen to me and why did I completely forgot about it? Then he locks away and began to search sth. He came back to me with black jeans, of course for boys, and a grey shirt, also way too big. "Sorry, I donˋt have something else for you."   "Thank you. I think I will survive that."  He smiles.

 

After I changed my clothes he continued walking in circles.

"What are we waiting for?"

No answer.

"Ok, fine. Than tell me who you are and why you saved me. I don't even know your name!"

"I am just somebody trying to help, nothing more... Oh, and my name is Jack." is his answer.

 

There is a clock in the room. It's 1pm. That means I must have been in that room for a whole night. Or days?

"How long was I in there?"

"I think just one night but the time in that room is different. it goes faster than outside. That means one night is around two days. You're lucky that I was fast enough." I must look like a dumb kid knowing nothing. But if it really were two days why am I not hungry or anything. "What day is it?"

"It`s Friday. Why are you asking?"

"That means I was just one night in there."

"You're really lucky. The last one I got out there was there for a few days. He was barely alive..."

"It seems like it`s one of the few moments I have luck but it must be a situation like this! Why always me?" I begin to cry. I can't even do sth. about it. The tears are just streaming down my face and I can`t stop.

Jack seems like he don't know what to do. So he just stands there wanting to figure out what to do. After a few minutes I stand there shaking, but not crying. "What about eating sth.? You look like you could break down every second." He grab my hand and I follow him out of the room into the hall and out of the building. I was actually right. It is a church.

 

The surrounding looks like every other town. Houses with small gardens and people walking around. A dog is barking and a car drives by. In the background you can see some tall buildings. Maybe hotels or offices. The church is standing at the end of the town on an empty field. Next to some other fields with corn. Nothing special. Just like every other small town. When everything looks so alike to my town, why does it feel so strange? Or is it just because I woke up in that room?

"That way." I follow him down the street to a café. We eat and go back to the church.

Now people are there. Some completely in black clothes, just like Jack, and others dressed as usual.

"Is the colour of your cloths important? It seems like just a few of you wear black... Does black have a special meaning or something.?"

He looks at me a little bit confused. "Yeah, black means that we are against whatever they are doing in those white rooms. We try to help people who got in there. There are some people that aren't on our side which means we need to be careful when we are outside. Most of the people have no own thought about that. We try to get them on our side, but most of the time it don't work. They stay in their neutral way of living. Those are the people we get out of there most of the time and the ones you see here. But you seem to be not from here. Where are you from?"

"I'm from Hamburg. And where are we here?"

"I never heard of that town... This town is called Fainres."

"I have never heard of this town either."

 

It was a short worship. Way shorter than I am used to so I was, because of the familiar atmosphere, still praying when all the others went. It helped me to calm down. After I was done Jack and I are the only ones left in the church. "I didn't thought you're religious." I didn't even noticed that everybody left. Jack must have watched me.

"I was raised in an religious children's home. I'm just used to it and it helps me to think clearer and calm down a little bit. I am still completely confused." I sit here on a bench in a completely strange world and I was praying. When did I really prayed the last time? It must have been years.

 

After a few moments he says “I still don't know your name.”

Did I really forgot to introduce myself? “Lauren. And I don't know anything about you… except that you save people from that room.”

His answer comes hard and without any emotion. “That's not important. You can trust me. That`s all you need to know.”

He seems angry and leaves me. What is so wrong to ask him to tell me sth about him? I told him where I am from and how I grew up… Why can't he tell me anything?

I hear someone scream outside. Was that Jack?

 

It turns out that Jack lives in that small room on the side of the church. He isn't a religious man so why does he live here?

"Why do you live in this church and not in a apartment?" I actually don't think he is going to answ...

"I told you that I can get into this room to get people out. Well, there are more like me and we all have one place where it works the best. And for me it is this church. God knows why."

He leaves me his bed and sleeps on the couch. I told him that I can sleep on the couch but he insisted on it.

 

By the time I woke up Jack has already made breakfast. Fresh rolls and some jam. Actually better than the one I make myself in the morning. I'm always too lazy.

But he wasn't there. He left a note:

 

Sorry to leave you alone but

someone I know died trying to

save somebody…

I come and get you later

Jack

Oh no…

So he was right when he told me he could have died, and I haven't believed him.

 

It was nearly midday when he came back. Even tho I knew he already had a bad day he came in slightly smiling. “You're alright?”  “Yeah, and thanks for the breakfast.”

“No problem.”

I didn't dare to ask how he feels and he seems to appreciate it.

 

The funeral took place the following morning. Only the preacher said a few words:

 

    “She was a hero.

    There are only a few who take the risk and we should appreciate them.

 

She was too young to die.

As most of them.

Let's hope that god gives her a special place in heaven.

 

Thanks for coming.”

 

The only thing left from her was the tombstone. It's quite sad that the stone is the only thing that's left from our lives. And what about the rest? All we've done?

At some point it's all going to be forgotten.

So what's the point in living?

 

I didn't even realised that I was, again, the last one.   


 

I'm now a week in this strange world. And i still don't know how I came here or how I am supposed to get back home.

Jack was still with me. Even though he don't like me. Well, I think so. He doesn't talk much.

 

And I still ask a lot of questions.

“Do the people who work in those offices also live here? Because I haven't seen someone in a suit or something.”

“I actually never thought about it. But you're right. It`s hard to get there though. They have security borders everywhere and without special ID cards you don't even get near those buildings.”

“Strange…”

 

The next day I went for a walk. Near the Supermarket is a small park. Like, very small. But nice.

It has a small lake and some benches standing in the middle of the grass areas. It even has a small playground for the kids. And maybe two ways to walk through it. One around it and one right through the middle. At the moment I'm the only one here.

If it turns out that I need to stay longer, or forever, I need to get a job. I can´t live the whole time with Jack. Maybe there is a bookshop here or they need someone at the Supermarket…

But that can wait for now.

Now I just want to sit here and do nothing. It´s so nice to be away from all the stress and noise from my hometown for a while. Even when I was forced to.

A few moments later Jack joined me sitting on that bench. I hadn't heard him coming so I jumped. “Sorry.”

“It`s okay. I just didn't heard you coming.”

About half an hour later we heard the school bell rang. So that building over there is a school. Maybe I could even finish school here...

He seemed to have followed where I looked because he said “Do you miss your home and friends?”

“Yeah, a bit. But I didn't really have friends so…”

“Strange.”

Is he trying to confuse me on purpose? “What?”

“I don't get why you don't have friends. I mean you are a nice person.”

I stare at him for a moment. Did he just said he likes me? “Uhm, thanks.” I blush and look away.

“I still need to apologize.”

He is trying to confuse me. “For what?”

“The first day you asked me to tell something about myself. My answer was quite rude. Well, the problem is that I have no clue. I must be around 19 or 20 years old and got out of that room by myself. That's what Thomas and the others think. I have absolutely no memory about my past, but that's no reason to stare at me like that.”

I seemed to have stared at him a bit too long. “Sorry.” And I blush again and look away.

“But could you tell me something more about you?”

I see no reason why not. “Well, my parents died in a car crash and I was send to a children's home. Nobody seemed to want me because nobody ever took me with them. So I was still there at the beginning of this year. But I finally got away by proving to be able to live on my own. So I have my own little flat now. It`s part of the organisation my childrens home was part of so officially I'm still in there... Did the last bit made sense?”

“Uhm, probably…” We laugh.

“So you hadn`t had the best childhood?”, is his next question.

“Depends on how you see it. Yes, I didn't had parents but I never knew how it is with parents. But it wasn't bad. I always had someone to talk to, something to eat and people who made sure I was alright and I think that's the most important thing for children.”

“I wish I knew how I grew up.” He lost the smile that was on his face just a few seconds ago. “But I guess that's not going to happen.” He stands up and leaves. I run after him. Once we have a proper conversation we come to a bad headline. And of course that's happening to me… “Hey, wait! I didn't ment to...”

“No, it`s alright. Sorry.”

 

Only ten minutes later we are back at the church. A man is pacing up and down. He has brown hair with traces of grey. His face is screwed up with anger. As we walk in he looks up. “She can't stay.” I stop dead. “What? Why?”

Jack reacts at ones “And where are you planning to send her? You can't just send her to live on the street. And she has a name.”

“Haven't you seen the cars in front of the church? They want her!”

I stare at him, “But why?”

He looks at me for a short second with an expression like I'm filth, “You're not from here.” I still don't get it. Jack seems angry. “You can't just give her to some people. What if they are the ones controlling the white rooms?” He's shouting now. “They arent.”

“How are you so sure, hm?” Now the other man is shouting too, “I am sure. They came here before, they are alright.”

“They where here before? And you just give them what they want?”

“Sometimes you have no choice.”

Jack stares at him for a few seconds. Then he grab my hand and turn around to run. But we don't make it far. At the doors some men were waiting. They separated us and put me in one of the cars. The last thing I here before I pass out is Jack shouting my name...

 

 

I was at the supermarket when I got the call. Somebody is in the room. Again.

Oh no, was my first thought. Not again. So I left everything where I had it and ran.

I hate going inside that room. It`s completely white. Not even one colour.

I just hope I am fast enough. I wouldn`t be the first time I need to get a dead person out of there.

It`s a strange feeling going into that room. It feels like you walk through water. And there are just a few of us who can go through this barriere. Every one of us has his own place where it works the best. For me it is this small church. Why a church?

I mean, I don't believe in god or anything.

 

I enter the room and there is a young girl. Brown hair, just shoulder long and with a strange eye colour.

"Come!" She stands up and walks a few steps.

"Who are you and why should I follow you?"

"Just do it!" is my short answer.

A few moments later we stand in the church. She looks a bit afraid.

I go to a room on at the side of the hall.

She asks "What do you want from me?"

"I just saved your life, kid!"

I am angry about the fact that they still hadn't stopped kidnaping people.

"Well, thank you. But from what?" I looked at her. She`s around 17 or 18 years old. What do they want from her? "I have actually no idea. But everybody who is in that room never comes back. I could have died trying to save your live." She`s afraid. I hope I wasn't too loud...

After a while walking in circles I looked at her again and sth. that I didn't recognized till now was so obvious. She's in her sleeping clothes. I walk across the room to get her some clothes. The only things I can find are a pair of black jeans and a grey shirt.  "Sorry, I donˋt have sth. else for you."   "Thank you. I think I will survive that."  I smile.

 

I turned my back so she can change. After she was done I continued walking around…

“What are we waiting for?”

I don`t answer.

“Ok, fine. Then tell me who you are and why you saved me. I don't even know your name!”

“I am just trying to help, nothing more… Oh, and my name is Jack.” is my short answer. At the moment she don't need to know me better…



 

“How long was I in there?”

“I think just one night. But the time in that room is different, it goes faster than outside. That means one night is around two days. You're lucky that I was fast enough.”

She`s thin. I hope she wasn't in there too long.

“What day is it?” is her next question.

“It's Friday. Why are you asking?”

“That means I was just one night in there.”

Good… “You're lucky! The last one I got out there was there for a few days. He was barely alive…”

“It seems like it`s one of the few moments I have luck but it must be a situation like this! Why always me?” She starts to cry.

Oh no… What do I do? Think idiot!

A few moments later she stopped crying. But she was still shaking. Finally I have an idea.

“What about eating sth.? You look like you could break down every second.” I grab her hand and leave the church with her.

 

“That way.” She follows me down the street to my favorite café. We eat something and go back to the church.

It`s time for a prayer so the church is full of people.

“Is the colour of your cloths important? It seems like just a few of you wear black… Does black have a special meaning or something?”

She doesn`t know??  “Yeah, black means we are against whatever they are doing in those white rooms. We try to help people who got in there. There are some people that aren't on our side which means we need to be careful when we are outside. Most of the people have no own thought about that. We try to get them on our side, but most of the time it don`t work. They stay in their neutral way of living. Those are the people we get out of there most of the time and the ones you see here. But you don't seem to be from here. Where are you from?”

“I`m from Hamburg. And where are we here?”

“I never heard of that town… This town is called Fainres.”

“I have never heard of that one either.”

 

After the worship she was still praying. I looked around but everybody already left…

I keep watching her. She still looks so shocked because of what happened.

“I didn't thought you're religious.”

“I was raised in an religious children's home. I'm just used to it and it helps me to think clearer and calm down a little bit. I am still completely confused.”

I understand her. When I discovered that I can go into this room and leave when I want I was confused as hell. That was the moment when I decided to help people who can't do the same. But when this church get destroyed it's going to be hard to get there. I gonna need a lot more power than now…But I still don't know why it`s a church.

 

“I still don't know your name.” I don't know what else to say, but it is true. She didn't told me.

“Lauren.", she has a beautiful name, "And I don't know anything about you… except that you save people from that room.”

“That's not important. You can trust me. That`s all you need to know.”

I leave her alone to get rid of my anger. As soon as I am outside I start to scream. It's unfair to get to know new people but you don't know who you are...

 

When we go back to the room at the side of the church she looks surprised.

"Why do you live in this church and not in a apartment?"

I need a moment to understand her question. "I told you that I can get into this room to get people out. Well, there are more like me and we all have one place where it works the best. And for me it is this church. God knows why."

I sleep on the couch and she gets my bed, even though she started an argument because of that.

 

My ringing phone woke me up. “What?” “Sahra died.” It`s the preacher.

I`m awake at once. “What? When and how?”

“Last night. She was about to get someone out of the room. Both died. Thomas found her this morning.”

“I`m coming.”

 

Wait. Lauren. I can't just leave her here.

I got something to eat for her and put it on the table and left a note:

 

Sorry to leave you alone but

someone I know died trying to

save somebody…

I come and get you later

Jack

I hope she understands it.

 

It was already midday when I came back. I smiled at her. “You're alright?”  “Yeah, and thanks for the breakfast.”

“No problem.”

Thank god she didn't ask how I feel.

 

The funeral took place the following morning. Only the preacher said a few words:

 

    “She was a hero.

    There are only a few who take the risk and we should appreciate them.

 

She was too young to die.

As most of them.

Let's hope that god gives her a special place in heaven.

 

Thanks for coming.”

 

Well, he always says the same.

As everybody left, again Lauren was the last one standing in front of her grave.  


 

It's now a week since Lauren turned up here. And it seems like I always forget how to talk when she is around. It`s not a nice feeling...

But she has a lot of questions so I have something to talk about. Her next question is “Do the people who work in those offices also live here? Because I haven't seen someone in a suit or something.”

The offices… “I actually never thought about it. But you're right. It`s hard to get there though. They have security borders everywhere and without special ID cards you don't even get near those buildings.”

“Strange…”

 

The next day she just vanished. Well she can't have vanished from here, is the only comforting thought I have. What if she is again in that room? But then I would have noticed. Or somebody would have. No, wait. There is a note laying on the table:

 

I went for a walk.

 

Okay, good.

 

Finally I find her sitting on a bench in the park. She looks like she is in deep thoughts.

I sit down next to her and she jumped. “Sorry.”, of course that happens to me.

“It`s okay. I just didn't heard you coming.”

About half an hour later we heard the school bell rang.

“Do you miss your home and friends?”

“Yeah, a bit. But I didn't really have friends so…”

She must be lieing “Strange.”

She looks at me with surprise “What?”

“I don't get why you don't have friends. I mean you're a nice person.” Jack no, that`s not a way to tell someone you like them. But she seemed to have understood.

“Uhm, thanks.”

“I still need to apologize.”

Now she looks confused. Did she already forgot? “For what?”

“The first day you asked me to tell something about myself. My answer was quite rude. Well, the problem is that I have no clue. I must be around 19 or 20 years old and got out of that room by myself. That's what Thomas and the others think. I have absolutely no memory about my past, but that's no reason to stare at me like that.” But I smile slightly.

“Sorry.” She looks away.

“But could you tell me something more about you?” I ask.

“Well, my parents died in a car crash and I was send to a children's home. Nobody seemed to want me because nobody ever took me with them. So I was still there at the beginning of this year. But I finally got away by proving to be able to live on my own. So I have my own little flat now. It`s part of the organisation my childrens home was part of so officially I'm still in there... Did the last bit made sense?”

“Uhm, probably…” We laugh. It feels good to laugh properly.

“So you hadn`t had the best childhood?”, is my next question.

“Depends on how you see it. Yes, I didn't had parents but I never knew how it is with parents. But it wasn't bad. I  always had someone to talk to, something to eat and people who made sure I was alright and I think that's the most important thing for children.”

“I wish I knew how I grew up.” I shouldn't have asked her. It only reminds me of memories I didn't have.“But I guess that's not going to happen.” I stands up and leaves. I need to move. She came running after me “Hey, wait! I didn't ment to...”

“No, it`s alright. Sorry.”

 

Only ten minutes later we are back at the church. Collin is pacing up and down. As we walk in he looks up. “She can't stay.” She stops dead. “What? Why?”

I`m angry “And where are you planning to send her? You can't just send her to live on the street. And she has a name.”

“Haven't you seen the cars in front of the church? They want her!”

She stares at him,confused, “But why?”

He looks at her for a short second, “You're not from here.”

Jack seems angry. “You can't just give her to some people. What if they are the ones controlling the white rooms?” I am shouting now. I know I shouldn't “They arent.” How can Collin stay so calm?

“How are you so sure, hm?” Now Collin starts shouting too, “I am sure. They came here before, they are alright.”

“They where here before? And you just give them what they want?”

“Sometimes you have no choice.”

I look with disbelieve at him for a few seconds. I grab Lauren's hand and turn around to run. But we don't make it far. At the doors some men were waiting. They separated us and started to throw punches at me. They managed to force her into a car and drive away as soon as the door was shut.

“LAUREN!”

 

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