I said nothing as I clenched my jaw and walked slowly back into the last place I wanted to be. I walked back to the chair and sat down the detective following suit in the seat across from me. Before he could ask any more questions, I quickly said, “Logan pulled me out of the fire. Only me and then he said we had to go. I was hysterical and he wasn’t making any sense, but I followed him anyways. We were headed to the woods when-”
“Which woods are you referring to?”
“The ones behind Edison Elementary,” I continued trying to get through this as fast as I could, “He was running and I was trying to keep up, but there had been so much smoke it was hard. Then I fell. I must have passed out because the next thing I know I’m at the hospital and Logan is gone.”
“Yet you are convinced something has happened to him?”
“He wouldn’t have disappeared like that,” I told him earnestly. I wasn’t going to let anyone doubt the fact that he was in trouble. “Logan wouldn’t have left me.”
“Hmm….” He said writing faster in his notepad, “Now is there any reason Logan would be upset with your parents or your sister? Any grudge he might have against them?”
I sat there in stunned silence for a moment. “What are you accusing him of?” I demanded. I knew I had to keep control or they would really drug me this time, but I wanted to ring this man’s neck.
“I’m just trying to look at all the possibilities here,” he told me calmly. “The fire was ruled to be an accident so we may not even have reason to accuse anyone of anything.”
I breathed in and out slowly nodding my head. The fire had been an accident. Accident didn’t seem like an appropriate word to describe what happened.
“Do you have any other family?”
My stomach tightened at the question. I shook my head no at his question.
“You are over the age of eighteen so you are your own person, but it is clear you have no place to live as of the moment,” the detective began explaining taking out a file from his untouched briefcase, “There are however a few options for you.”
When I didn’t ask what they were, he continued now looking through some papers he took out of the file, “You can be admitted as a patient here at Hillman’s Institution or-”
“Institution?” I asked alarmed. “I’m not insane!”
“You’re an easy suicide risk,” he said without even looking up at me. That explained why I was being questioned here rather than at the police station. I wanted to object his presumptions, completely offended. This bastard didn’t even know me and he was just assuming I was about to off myself the second I left the building, but he continued. “The other option is Camp Hayes.”
“Camp Hayes?” I exclaimed even more bewildered by this option than the first one. “Are you talking about the old compound in the woods? Hasn’t that been shut down for years?”
“No,” he said eyes still glued to the paper, “They just keep their facility private…at least in your circles.”
“Excuse me? My parents make enough money to support my sister and I, and I have been perfectl-”
Cutting me off again, “The amount of debt under their belt says otherwise and from what we can see you have no money of your own, so that leaves the two options of Hayes or Hillman.”
“Wouldn’t I have to pay for Hayes?”
“Costs are covered for special cases,” he answered quickly starting to circle things on his papers. I tried to make out some of the writing, but I was still too flustered to focus on words.
“What would I be doing at Hayes exactly?”
“It is a training facility where they teach discipline and engage in fighting, weaponry, and physical fitness. There are dormitories you would be living in while training and you would also be enlisted in several classes,” he explained thoroughly when I realized he was reading off a paper in front of him.
“Is this like an alternative, military school or something?” I asked worried that I would be screamed at by lieutenants or, even worse, get beaten up by other students.
“Not exactly,” he said finally looking up at me. Before I could even process my options, he demanded, “Which one is it going to be?”
I looked around the room frantically feeling trapped. I didn’t want to go to either of these foreign places. I would be all alone, I thought. Still searching for an answer, my eyes met my own reflection on the two-way mirror. This entire time I had managed to avoid seeing myself, but when I did it was hard to breathe. My hair was stringy and matted in all the wrong places, while the bags under my eyes were now dark and prominent.
“Alright then,” he stated closing his file with a bang, “Serena Anderson, welcome to Camp Hayes.”