I've started reading the paragraph on the notebook Mr. Kenan gave me.
"So apparently, this is what happens when you manage to get past that door. It seems like we have appeared in a reality where everything is normal, but since we have been here for a very short time, I didn't have enough opportunities to observe and explore the surroundings. Although the situation is less alarming for now, be on your guard; it might simply be some sort of 'collective imagination' we are all having at the same time.
I don't know whether other victims of the curse are aware of the situation or they are simply 'placeholders' in this universe. This means it is not safe to share your information about the curse with anyone. Just stay together and keep out of danger until we meet again in a better place."
Idil have also read the text.
"Turns out, it isn't over yet." I said.
"I think this is the last resort of 'the community' to keep us in. Come on, we can still get out of the main exit. There is literally nothing in our way, and it is not even locked." she replied.
I was tempted by this thought, and there was nothing in sight that could stop us from simply walking out of this more familiar version of the building.
We walked towards the main exit. Just when I opened the door to step out of the building, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"It looks like we will have to make our little talk a bit sooner than expected."
It was Mr. Kenan talking.
"Let us out! We have helped each other to get out of the building for so long, why are you stopping us now?" Idil said.
"Unfortunately, more lives are being threatened." Mr. Kenan said. "Don't let the familiar and nice looks of the building deceive you. It is not over yet."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"And just so you know, I am not alive." he continued, ignoring my question.
"What? How? Then, what is going on here?" Idil asked.
"Since 'the community' didn't want you to leave the building, you seem to have passed through some sort of phase-shifting process as you walked through the steel door; directly back inside the building in the 3D world."
"I don't get what you are saying. You are using a lot of weird terms." I said.
"Anyway, that's not the important part. I've learned a lot of stuff while you were not here, including the time and date. Today is the day you decided to stay in the school building to help your friends for the ceremony." he said. "Today is the day I failed to protect you and it all started. Yes, my friends, we went back in time. This shouldn't confuse you a lot since you are now equipped to believe in, and deal with the magical stuff happening around here. We have to stay here and ensure the safety of your friends, and I need your help. This is why you are not leaving yet."
If that was true, it was like the universe gave us a second chance for our efforts against the curse.
"Since you are not alive and the building was damaged... Is this a fake reality?" I asked.
"Sort of. Not really. It's complicated." said Mr. Kenan. "It is hard to know what is real and what is not. For example, I don't know how I'm back inside my identical body, even though it is fake. I won't complain, though. And that's the mindset you need; be a little pragmatist from now on. You don't need to understand everything, because I don't understand everything either. Just stay out of danger and keep it together. The community is still here."
"In that case..." I said. "How do we know that our friends here are real and they are not simply 'placeholders' as you mentioned in the notebook?"
"I don't know." Mr. Kenan said. "I can't know for sure. But in case they are real, I can't let them have the same cruel fate once more. I wouldn't be able to handle such guilt."
"It wasn't your guilt the first time, you could never know." I said.
"It is not that easy..." Mr. Kenan said. "So please promise me, no one is going to stay in the building after the final lesson."
We had a new task... We had escaped the hands of 'the community' for now, but our friends were heading right back into it. And if 'the community' had succeeded, it would be a bloodbath the next morning. We couldn't let that happen.
"Got it." Idil said.
"This time, maybe we can defeat 'the community' before the fight even begins." Mr. Kenan said. "But it is about time for the next lesson. Just act cool near other people. Meet me here later." he said.
"Later." I said, and Mr. Kenan walked away. I slowly got away from the main exit door of the building.
We walked back to the classroom. The next lesson was maths. We went to our desks as the teacher entered the classroom.
- - -
In the class, I was constantly spacing out as I was thinking about what to do to prevent being victims of the curse this time. We had to eliminate the risk of getting trapped in the building and hurting people. After the final lesson, we would have a pretty short time window before the building would lock itself down. We had to get everyone out in that time window, so I had to prepare for the moment as well as possible.
Just then, my eyes were stuck on something. Ata was sitting a few desks in front of me, and I could see his schoolbag. He had brought a scissors today, obviously for the ceremony preparations. I was a little uneasy, as I had witnessed that exact scissors used as a melee weapon before... Of course he had no way to know about this; but I couldn't let a potential weapon to stay with him after the end of final lesson, when there are only a few people in the building and the community possesses a lot of power over the physical world. It could cause a lot of damage.
After the end of the lesson, I walked up to Ata's desk.
"Hey!" I said.
"Oh, hey!" he replied. "Want to go outside? I have something I want to show you."
"Not now, I was actually about to ask you to borrow your scissors." I said.
"Ah, that... No problem, just bring it back without sticking it into some weird thing like you did last time." he said.
What was he talking about? I must've really pissed him off the last time I borrowed his scissors. But of course I had no memory of that.
I got the scissors, but I wasn't planning to give it back any time soon. I got outside the classroom and went into the restroom. I was planning to hide it somewhere around there.
I looked around for a while, and I was about to put it somewhere near the corner of the wall when I heard someone on my back.
"Give that to me."
I was pulled back and thrown towards a wall.
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