I’m standing in the entrance of some sort of boarding school/orphanage. I have made my decision, and am excited to take Sami with me to talk to the head of the institute to talk about adoption.  He is so sweet with his round face and curly black hair, and he has such a sweet and honest disposition. I know that I am supposed to take him home with me. I want to catch him on his way to lunch, to ask him if he would like to come and live with me. I am scanning the faces of the children, and am about to approach a teacher to ask where he might be.

In a state of panic, he runs up to me and says that the building is going to explode into fire and we have to save everyone. Before I can catch him, he runs off saying that he is going to help get everyone. The teachers and I are frantically trying to get all the kids rounded up in the cafeteria, the safest spot in the building. Someone activated the fire alarm. The children are streaming out of classroom doors of dark green and long, white corridors and being funneled into the cafeteria. Everyone is frantic.

I am still looking for Sami, calling out for him. “Where is he?! Where is Sami?! Sami!!” I’m beside myself with anxiety and fear and can feel my heart through my chest and blouse. The long, main corridor is finally clear of students, just another couple of teachers scrambling about, and from the far end of the hall I see Sami hauling ass from around the corner where the stairs are. Right behind him is the explosive fire billowing and raging, washing against the walls and ceilings and crashing back into itself as it is forced through the space. I don’t think he’s going to make it. I know if he can just get to me in the cafeteria, I can save him. He speeds into the cafeteria and I grab him and pull him close, take a few more steps in and crouch to the floor, protecting him with my body, covering his feet with my skirts. I cover as much of him as I can and as I close my eyes, I know he’ll be okay, and I’m not even thinking about myself at this point. I’m vaguely aware of my own safety, if I should survive or not, but I know that I will be saving the boy who should have been my son.

The fire pours through the cafeteria doors. There are screams as everyone ducks behind tables. I feel the fire engulf us.

Wake up.


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