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C’mon, Maddy, it’s just a building! The voice in my head whispered nervously. The walls are as white as my grandmother’s makeup, and a single wooden bar runs along each side. I shivered. Tiny flowers dance above the bar mockingly, I nearly ran into an older lady dressed in all blue plastic looking clothes. I swallowed my scream. She looked mildly concerned for a moment before rushing off again. I picked up my pace. Aside from the scary white hallway with fluorescent lights creating the same monsters I was sure my closet held, the building was a place of healing. Or perhaps a place to hold in contamination.

I shook my head, and force myself to keep my eyes forward. C’mon now, Maddy, just a building. Even though this place held more people than I could count, it felt abandoned. I could practically see white faced ghosts lumbering through the place. I ignored the sudden chill, I kept my pace strong. Straight ahead there was a waiting room with a few couches and some comfy chairs. My pace quickened. Suddenly, this hallway was closing me in, and I needed out. I ran into the spacious alcove and willed myself to calm down.

Windows surrounded me, and although they were made of glass, I felt as if I were hovering above the busy city below. A plump lady with short brown hair and a flowered tunic trotted into the small space.

“Oh, goodness dear, you look pale! What do you need?” She approached me, and I couldn’t help leaning back. My bangs fell haphazardly into my eyes.

“I… I’m just…” I clamped down on the inside of my cheek to stop the oncoming tears. “I think I’ve lost my parents.”

“Are they in a room?” The woman asked, her face shining with a fake smile to hide her own worry. This somehow amused me, and for a moment, the threat of tears vanished.

“Of course not! My grandma is around here…” The tears came again, and I bit my tongue. “I was just in the car, and they went inside. It took them too long. I came to see…”

“Oh no! Dear, don’t cry! What’s your grandparent, and parents’ names?” The caretaker woman listened to my attempted talking through tears before leading me down the same hallway I had come. Somehow, with an adult with me, everything seemed fine. The scary white hall glowed a faint yellow and the flowers which rimmed the chestnut bar with beauty gave the hall a nice touch. I quieted myself and the tears ended. All would be fine.



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