My good friend Sam took his sons to a dentist appointment in London. When they got to the address, the building appeared deserted despite being newly decorated. They were buzzed into the building and made their way straight to lifts on the ground floor. The lifts seemed newly installed and were still out of commission, so they had to take the stairs.

No one was on the ground floor, no receptionist or anyone going in or out of the building; it was somewhat eerily quiet. The dentist’s office was on the third floor, and it was effortless for them to climb the stairs. Halfway going up, Sam asked his son to hurry up as he was moving very slowly. Hi, son. He turned around and told his dad he could not go any faster because a girl was also climbing the stairs ahead of him. Sam was puzzled because he did not see a girl, so he quizzed his son about what he was seeing. His son was adamant that a little girl was ahead of him, and he described her in detail and that she was wearing white. Sam rushed to glimpse the girl, but he did not see anything. Just before reaching their intended floor, his son told him the girl had entered one of the apartments. Sam could not make sense of the situation and asked his sons to keep going.

They eventually reached the dentist’s office and were invited to the waiting room. The office looked newly decorated, and most furniture appeared brand new. While the rest of the building appeared deserted, the dentist’s office was bustling with activity; it was business as usual. My brother described the setting as surreal. Eventually, the dentist appeared and ushered them to his office. He started by examining the first of the sons. While doing so, he apologised to Sam for the condition of the building. He explained that recently, a fire devastated most of the floors, and the building underwent major refurbishment and had just been signed off for use again.

“It was on the news. It was a big fire, and it took forever for the fire brigade to put it out. The firemen did an excellent job but sadly could not save a little girl who got separated from her mother.”

Sam sat silently, reflecting on what his son had witnessed earlier. He was startled by the story, and when they returned home, he could hardly wait to share their story with me.

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