Clara, as always left her kids in front of the school. The weather was somewhat depressing. It was one of those days where people don’t feel like doing anything. Clara was feeling the same. Her recent divorce has taken a huge toll on her. It’s always difficult to pay the bills. And Clara is especially worried about her future. “Why is this school situated at such a weird place?” thought Clara. She was right. The place was weird. Even with such a huge and sprawling city nearby, this school is located near a huge forest. Something that always concerned the parents but then again, this school was the best not only in the city but also in the state.
Clara was just gaping at the school. Seeing things and remembering her childhood. Not the best childhood but still it was worth living, to say the least! That is when she saw something. She saw a group of adults (probably teachers… thought Clara in her mind) going towards the forest. Their facial expression made Clara quite doubtful. They had a neutral facial expression. Looking at them it was quite obvious that they were trying to suppress their expressions. They went ahead.
Clara had this curious mind. She thought, “Well the weather is so depressing, and looking at these guys I feel I should just take a sneak peek at where they are going and what they are planning to do.” Once things were calm and everything seemed normal, Clara went inside the forest. She was alone. She left her car in the parking space. She was kind of afraid but also she was interested in seeing exactly what is happening. She moved ahead. But deep down there was some kind of fear that was grappling her.
After an hour or two, she reached a weird place. It’s not a tunnel. But it felt like a weird shelter. “Surely made by humans,” she thought as something like this will not form naturally. She went inside that tunnel. That’s when something weird happened. She saw a bunch of people walking right in front of the tunnel. But shockingly, they did not even see the place. It was literally in front of them!
“How could they not see this?” thought Clara. She felt confused. But then suddenly, her eyes started to blur. She started to faint. She was standing at the entrance of that so-called tunnel. She was unconscious. What happened next was not something that Clara knew about. But when she opened her eyes, she was in her car.
She could not remember anything. She again started staring at that forest. She had this deja vu. She knew that she had seen this before. And again, she was shocked to see that school was about to be over. She saw her twin daughters rushing towards her. It felt great to see her kids. But still…she knew something was not right. “I think I’m forgetting something. But really…what could it be?”
Months passed by. Clara was having a very different change in her behavior. She was always angry and would always fight at petty things with her kids. And the thing was that she never even felt guilty about it.
One day, as always she dropped off her kids at the school. She was just waving at her kids and that is when she got a call from someone. It was the principal of the school. She was called to the principal’s office. Clara went there.
She was suddenly able to recognize the faces of all the staff and everyone else. She thought, “I do recognize these faces but I don’t remember where I met them.” The principal said, “Glad to meet you again. Alright now, let’s go. No time to waste!”
Without a lot of questioning, she went with them. The people were sure someone that she recognizes but then again she is not able to recall exactly when she met them. The principal brought them to the tunnel. That is when she suddenly remembered the place. And all the people with her? They are the ones she saw that day. And they are the ones who acted as if the place does not exist!
Clara had a thousand questions. She asked all those questions to the principal. The principal said, “Well Clara. Calm down. The thing is that you are one of the few people who had even the slightest curiosity to visit this place and check what’s happening. People nowadays are so busy that they are no longer curious anymore. To answer your question, well the reason we built this school nearby here is for training. Not the daily boring stuff that is taught in the school. No. But the mental health issues. We treat depressed people here and try to bring them back to happiness and hope.”
Clara says, “That answers the question about why that day those people who were walking down there were kind of depressed. They were coming here for therapy.” The principal also added saying,” And when we saw you, we had to make sure that you don’t call the police. People here…they don’t support this kind of stuff. So we had to make sure that you don’t remember what happened here so that we have a better time to explain all this. It’s a difficult job you know. But it worth it.”
Clara was really happy to hear all this. After some talks, they offered Clara a job there as she was willing to help them. A job that paid Clara much more than what she was making.
Finally, the day came to a close. Clara picked up the kids from the school. And she told the entire story to those kids in a way that they will understand it.
Her daughter said,’Mom! I read so many different stories about people in forests! But this one is so weird!”
To this Clara said,”It’s not weird child. It’s just the reality that some people still refuse to accept. And yes! I’m happy. Cause my life changed for the good after going to the woods!”