Crowded

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Chapter Four

There's a loud bang bang on my door. I jumped at the sound.

"Mr. Greyfield, if you're ready, I'll walk you down to the meeting!" a woman with a high-pitched voice exclaimed

I groaned. I was just getting to the good part in the book I was reading. I make good note of where I was, placed it on the bed, and stood to get the door. When I open it, I see a short women beaming at me with a little too much enthusiasm. She looks about twenty-something and has short curly locks of hair, far too much make-up on her face. She has a colorful outfit on, a pink and purple blouse on with a floral skirt and pink flats.

She looked like she was dressed for Halloween.

"You ready?" she asks.

I look at her for a moment. I swear I feel like I've been taken to a mental institution. Therapy when I was nine was enough.

"Um, yeah. Sure"

"Follow me then, Mr. Greyfield."

I put my gray combat boots back on and head out the door, following the woman. We walk down the long corridor for a while until we pan left, down the stairs, and into the main lobby. We passed the front door and turned into a long hallway. The hallway had polished hardwood floors and old photos and paintings hung up on the walls. It reminded me of an old plantation house I've seen in movies.

It was awkwardly silent and the only sound was the thud of my combat boots on the hardwood floor with each step.

"The gathering is in the library," she said suddenly. "It's one of the few rooms Dr. Maxwell altered when he started up this building for you guys in the area. It's quite beautiful. You like reading?"

"Yeah, sure. depends on the book, though." I said, a little distracted by the photos and paintings. They are so beautiful and exquisite. I never really was into art but when it came up I was always interested. I would wonder how the painters got their inspiration to paint such things and why. The woman stops suddenly, next to a large door.

"Here it is, Mr Greyfield," she says, smiles, and walks away.

I open the large doors, which are quite heavy. The room was very large and there were bookshelves all over that almost touched the ceiling. It reminded my of those ladders with wheels that were in the Harry Potter films. Now that I think of it, this whole place reminds me of Harry Potter.

Dr. Maxwell called out to me, pulling me from my reverie. "Ah, Mr. Greenfield! So glad you made it!"

I turn my attention to him as he strides over to me.

"Did you have a little time to rest?"

"Please, call me Sam. and yeah. I read a little," I say.

"Ah, I love a youngster who reads. God knows we need more of it." Youngster?

"I've never liked reading. More into movies." a voice said.

I spun around to see who had said that and was immediately floored. I saw a girl, around my age, leaning up against a bookshelf with her arms crossed. She was pretty. By her clothes she seemed like she was the edgy type.

"Jennifer, I didn't see you there," Dr. Maxwell said, also taken aback by her sudden outburst. The color had gone out of his face. "I thought you wouldn't be coming."

"Well, I didn't want to miss the new kid we're welcoming," she says in a mischievous tone. "I was expected more of an asylum type kid.

"Miss Parker, I assure you that's not what we're looking for." Dr. Maxwell snaps, though it's not very convincing and he seems intimidated by her.

Jennifer Parker. Where have I heard that name before? I look her up and down. She's wearing her short, curly, blonde hair down, slightly, past her shoulders with a little packed in the back. She's wearing a Nirvana t-shirt with a dark blue jean jacket on top, a belt with shiny silver studs across it, black jean shorts and fishnet panty hose with black combat boots. She has some make-up on but not much and she has very faint dimples and green eyes. I stare at her face for a bit, very intensely. I'm pretty sure I look like some type of predator examining it's meal.

But then it hits me. Jennifer Parker! The mystery girl from middle school! Jennifer was the girl that was with Jonah in middle school. The two love birds.

That was before she disappeared. One day she and Jonah were whispering and laughing to each other, the next she was gone. Everyone thought she moved, got tired of the city. Tired of Minneapolis. It broke Jonah's heart. His first girlfriend had just left him so who could blame him. Some said that she was taken to a mental hospital and child protective services took her from her parents. Anyway, she never showed up again. And I'm guessing this is where she ended up and I have yet to know what this place is.

"What are you staring at?" she snaps at me after a couple seconds.

I quickly look away, shaking my head. "Nothing." She obviously doesn't recognize me.

"Weirdo," she says, under her breath. "Anyway I'm gonna go get a snack. When does the get-together start again? 8:30?"

"Uh, 8:15," Dr. Maxwell says but Jennifer is already out the door. I glance at Dr. Maxwell who seems flustered. But so am I.

"Why am I here? And where am I?" I ask, agitated.

Dr. Maxwell sighs. "I was thinking that you would ask that," he says. Who wouldn't? "But I'd rather discuss it later; with a larger group."

Before I can respond, the doors bust open and five individuals, all teenagers(one of which looks like a young adult), walk into library. They all walk over to where Dr. Maxwell and I are standing and take their seats in the chairs, which are all facing one spot, making it a circle. Dr. Maxwell and I take our seats. I sit between a girl who looked nice and a boy looked tough. Interesting.

Dr. Maxwell smiles and greets everyone. He says that we should all introduce ourselves for my sake. I groan and fall back in my seat. Why won't he just tell me?

"I'm Abigail Ryans. I'm from northern Florida, 16 years old and I've been here for 2 years when I first broke out." the girl next to me says. I stare at her confused. Broke out? She has medium brown hair and she wears glasses and has long eyelashes. They continue going around the circle in the opposite direction of me. Which means I'm last.

"I'm Daniel Grey. I'm from upstate New York, 17 and I came here 1 and a half years ago," the boy next to Abigail says. He has long straight, brown hair, the tips touching the bottom of his neck. He wears a dark blue "NYC" sweatshirt with jean shorts and blue converse sneakers.

We continue down the circle with greetings. John Meyers, a 17 year old from Pennsylvania who came here a year ago; Katherine "Kate" Johnson, a 18-years-old from here in Minnesota who came here 3 years ago; and Elliot "Eli" Davidson, a 16-years-old from Washington who came here 2 years ago. It finally gets to me, then Jennifer comes through the library door.

"Jennifer, you missed the meet-and-greet," Dr. Maxwell says.

"Sorry, James. Got lost," she replies, taking her seat. Dang she really pushes this guy around. And he lets her! Dr. Maxwell looks at her like wants to say something but doesn't.

"Ok, well I'm Jenn, 17 going on 18, upstate New York, came 4 years ago. you guys all know that." She glances at me considering I'm the only one who didn't know. Four years ago would mean 7th grade, which is when she left; Me, Sam Greyfield, 16 and three quarters years old, from California.

"Ok, everyone. Down to business. We're here, as we always are, to share why we are here and what is done here. Anyone want to share?...Daniel?"
Daniel turns mostly to me. "We are here because we are special. And by special I mean not so special. We are paranormals. And so are you..."

"Sam." I say.

"...Sam. Most of what we can do is teleportation, telekinesis, and telepathy."

I look at him like he's crazy.

"What?" I asked, very confused.

Dr. Maxwell chimes in. "We have done our research and found out that you are a paranormal, Sam. And that you've broken out. Quite young actually. Younger than anyone else here."

I look around at everyone. What is this place? I can't say I'm entirely befuddled by what they just said because if you think about, I think I am what they say I am. A "paranormal". But I still not understand the situation and what goes on here.

"Do you know the powers you possess, Sam?" Dr. Maxwell asks. I think about it a bit. Should I tell them about it? These people whom I don't know, besides Jenn? I don't know how to react.

"I think so," I say. "I've been able to move things with my mind when I wanted." Dr. Maxwell nods.

"Yes, that usually is the first power that breaks through. Any other experiences?"

I look at everyone in the room. Finally I glance at Jenn, who is glaring at me. For a moment she stays glaring, but then her face turns to shocked and recognition. She suddenly gets up and leaves the room, without another word. Everyone looks at me, searching for a reason for her leaving.

I continue. "Uh...I heard voices before. But I don't know what it was." I pause for a second, not knowing what else to say.

I couldn't take the eyes anymore so I excuse myself. Somehow, after about 15 minutes of walking around, I find my way to my room. I enter the room, shut the door behind me, plop down on my bed, and put head in my hands. This is the craziest day ever. After a while I hear a knock on my door and open it. I'm hoping it's Dr. Maxwell or the other kids trying to welcome. But it's Jenn.

"Why are you here?" she asks, getting straight to the point.

"...Umm, I'd like to ask you the same thing. I haven't seen you in years. Not since you left. Not since you disappeared."

"Yeah, well I've been here the whole time, as you now you know," she half grunts. "Who knew? Who knew we'd be the same, huh? I sure didn't." I stare at her a moment.

"I don't know...Jonah missed you." She looks up at me, because she was looking down before, surprised and shocked. Her eyes look wet, like she's about to cry. She suddenly straightens up.

"Well. Welcome to crazy town." She quickly turns and walks away.

I look down the hallway just as she turns the corner. I shut my door and plop back down into bed. Staring up at the ceiling.

I glanced at the clock. 9:30. I wondered if this is what it would be like. If I would stay here forever. Like Jenn. Just disappear from my world and my family and friends. I wondered if I would end up exactly like Jennifer Parker, the lost girl.


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