by Lori J
Chapter 25, Titled Celem. The planet that Laresn has come from and is now making known.
Two weeks later Jadeen received a call from Betsy letting her know that she needed to come to talk to Laresn. She wanted to come later that same day. They set a time and Jadeen told Laresn about the call after breakfast was over. She told Laresn she would come and fix her hair for her. Laresn had learned to do different things to fix it, but she loved having Jadeen do something with it. Her hair had grown out and now was shiny and long. She thought back to her days on Celem, the way the other girls had laughed at her, and the haircuts she had given herself. They would be so jealous of her hair now. She thought of Marie in the first home she had been in here. She had been so afraid when Marie reached out and touched her hair. But she was over that now, thank goodness.
When Betsy came she told Jadeen, “I’ve brought Victor’s school packet, but don’t have one for Laresn yet. Let’s go to your study for a minute before we call Laresn.”
“Okay,” Jadeen said and led her to the study.
Betsy got a file out of her bag, opened it, and laid it out on Jadeen’s desk. “Did you read Laresn’s registration papers?”
“I looked them over and saw she had not spelled Salem correctly or added the state or her last name. You know she made an odd statement when I told her she forgot to put her last name down.”
“What was that?” Betsy asked.
“Her exact words were, 'I have only one name' which just seemed so odd."
“When she was at the home before this, we couldn’t understand her language, so we didn't have a last name to put down on the papers we filled out on her either. Let’s call her in here and talk about this,” Betsy told her.
After Jadeen brought Laresn to her study, they sat down side by side. Betsy looked Laresn in the eye and asked her, “Laresn, where did you go to school before now?”
Laresn looked over at Jadeen as if she didn’t know what to say.
“What was the name of the school?” Jadeen asked.
"It was Celem Training School," Laresn finally mumbled.
"What's that? I can barely hear you."
Laresn repeated it a little louder.
“I’ve never heard of that school,” Betsy states. “Where is that? I'm sure it’s not in our system. All of our schools are supposed to be in our database.”
“It’s not here. It’s a long way from here,” Laresn said.
“So how far from here. What country is it in?”
“It’s in Celem. I was taking classes there in the training school. I didn’t know what they were training me for. We wouldn’t know until we finished this next year.”
“Ok, so where is Celem? What country?”
“It’s on a different planet.”
“Laresn, I don’t have time for any tom-foolery. We need to get you registered for school. Do you have an address or a phone number that I could use to get your records?”
“I’m so sorry, Ms. Betsy, but there’s no way to get in touch with them. You will have to make a new record for me. Can you do that?”
“Just tell me what country you’re from. You’re not really from Salem, Massachusetts. I did find that out.”
“Okay, I will tell you about where I came from. It’s a small planet between Earth and Mars. There’s a shield around it that hides it from detection. That’s why it’s never been discovered. Our first general discovered it a long time ago. We were not taught about other worlds or even our own. I found some hidden books and learned about our planet and also the planets around us. I learned that there was life on earth. I hated my life on Celem and one day I took off for earth in one of our school airships. I saw mountains, water, and trees when I came down on earth. I landed among a lot of trees, crashing to the ground. We just got out of the ship before it caught fire. We walked until dark and happened to find a building. That’s where we slept. The next day a man found us and took us in. I was at that house until I came here.”
“That is some story, Laresn. There’s no way though we can believe it. So why are you making that up?”
“It’s true,” Laresn assured them. "It really is."
“Is there any way you can prove this? Do you have anything from your country?”
“No, everything burned after I came down.
“Who came with you?”
“No one. I came alone.” Oh no, Laresn thought. I can’t tell them about Zook, my imaginary friend. I’ve got to be more careful.
“But you talked about we walked, we slept, a man found us.”
“Oh yes, that’s right, but I just meant me.”
Laresn saw Betsy glance at Jadeen. She knew they didn’t believe her, but there wasn’t anything else she could tell them.
“So there’s nothing else that you can add?” Betsy asked her.
“Oh wait a minute. I just thought of something I can show you.”
“I’ll go get it,” she was saying as she ran to her room. She dug to the bottom of one of her drawers and came up with the clothes she was wearing when she came.
“I’m glad I thought of these,” she told Zook.
“What’s going on?” Zook asked.
“I told them we came from Celem. But they don’t believe me. They wanted some proof. I just happened to think of my old clothes.”
“That’s a good idea,” Zook told her. “Did you tell them about me?”
“Zook, they don’t even believe my Celem story. “I’m not telling them about you. You need to just stay here in my room.”