Michael escorts me to the blinded car and puts a blindfold on me again. I had to leave my phone at home and was not allowed to take my laptop or other communication devices with me either. I should have a landline phone in the shelter with which I can only call in case of an emergency or when I get a call from Michael to see how I'm doing. I had to miss my family and friends for a while, just around the time of Christmas... that's the hardest part for me. But there's no other option. If only I'd never gone on worldchat that day...
After a few hours I hear the car stop and I am asked if I want to get out. The blindfold is taken off and I see that we are standing on a kind of remote industrial terrain. ''Welcome to your new home for the next few weeks. It doesn't look very cozy, but inside it's not that bad,'' Michael guaranteed with a smile. We walked in. The complex had two front doors, first we walked through a normal wooden door and then through an iron door that required a password. When I saw this I was feeling less stressed and started to feel a bit safer.
We walked down a wide hallway and at the end there was an iron door to the living room as well. The living room looks cozy with a comfortable couch, a small bar and some paintings. The kitchen was small, but modern and the bedroom was also cozy. I joked: "I can live here forever". Michael had to grin a bit, but then said seriously: "You have to follow some rules here. First, you can not go outside for your own groceries or anything else. You can only enter the courtyard. The windows and doors stay closed and you don't make contact with friends or family.''
After a few minutes of talking about the rules, a man came in. "Ha, there you will have Dean. This is your personal guard, he will guard the complex by keeping an eye on camera footage in his office next door. "If there is any movement outside, an alarm will go off and he will keep you safe" He spoke. I got up and gave Dean a hand. ''Hey, isn't it Ian? I have been informed by the police and I know what kind of situation you are in, you poor fella. If you need anything or if there is something wrong you can call me on the phone'' he kindly replied. I thanked him and then Michael an Dean left.
The fun soon faded away when I was alone, it was pretty boring. Because of the thick bulletproof windows I couldn't hear much from the outside and soon I was just throwing a ball up against the wall. I thought this wasn't a very useful entertainment either, so I decided to go to bed. Once I was in bed I was in doubt if I would turn off my lights, I'm still a bit anxious because of all the crap that's going on. I agreed with myself that I will leave a night light on and soon I dozed off to sleep. Oh how wonderful those hours of sleep were after a few days of barely sleeping...
A few hours later, I wake up from tapping my window. I throw the blankets off me and try to carefully peek through a narrow opening of my curtains to the outside. 'Hm... I see nothing'.. Suddenly I see Dean walking outside, he shines his flashlight towards my bedroom window after which I am blinded. I get off my bed and walk towards the kitchen to pour a glass of water. Just when I was about to take my first sip I hear some beeps at the front door. I walk to the door and see that it is Dean who walks in.
''Hey Ian, I saw you standing by your window, is everything okay?'' he asked. I answered that I was fine, but that I woke up from a little tap on my window. ''Yeah, the motion sensors went off too, but there was no one there, so don't worry. I know what it's like to be in this situation, I once had to go into hiding myself,'' Dean told me. I looked up questioningly and wanted to know more about his time in hiding. He told me that his family wanted to kill him because he married a woman who was not approved by his parents and that he can finally start his life now that he is 35 years old. "After my own time in such a hiding place, I know I want to help others who are in the same kind of threatening situation, that's my destiny.'' I was very impressed by how passionately Dean talked about his work. "I know you're bored, so I brought you my old gameboy," he said and he gave me the gameboy. ''Wow! So nice of you, thank you Dean'', I said gratefully. Dean gave me a wink and then went back to his office.
I went back to bed but couldn't sleep. Constantly I heard sounds in the kitchen. I wondered if I had gone crazy and tried to focus on other things. The sounds became louder and louder and seemed to be getting closer. Now it appears more like... Footsteps? Is Dean coming to take a look again? I am now sitting upright in my bed and start breathing heavily, something is not right. I look through my window and see that Dean is walking outside...
- Read what happens next in Chapter IV: The encounter -