Martina is frozen in her tracks as she watches the footage from her online zoom class. Adam had always been a quiet and reserved student, but what she just saw left her feeling sick to her stomach.
In all her years of teaching Martina had never seen anything like this before. She wanted to get up and run for help, but her eyes were too fixated on the footage. She knew she had to do something but was it too late?
For Martina Smith, every morning she woke up at 5:30 am on the dot, full of enthusiasm and passion ready to start her day.
You see, Martina was a high school teacher and she genuinely loved her job. But this devoted teacher had no idea what was coming.
With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing Martina, like all dedicated teachers worldwide, had taken her teaching online. Every day she held four sessions on Zoom with all of her kids who seemed to be enjoying this futuristic way of learning.
But when Martina logged on ready to start another day of learning, she had no idea what she would uncover.
It was the start of another week working from home, and Martina had planned today’s lesson to a tee. Her kids were going to learn about The Tudors followed by some algebra, but Martina was going to make it fun for sure!
She thought it was just going to be an ordinary online school day. She was so wrong.
Martina had been a teacher for five years. And out of the hundreds of kids, she looked after, there was one in particular that she knew she had to keep an eye on.
It was a boy called Adam. He was quiet and reserved, and Martina had a feeling something was going on behind closed doors.
Pre-Covid, Adam was a very quiet and shy student in the class. He didn’t seem to have many friends, and Martina had tried her hardest to get him involved, but he wouldn’t.
Martina was plagued with questions about what had happened to Alex to make him so distant? Well, when Martina found out the truth she was lost for words.
Martina’s Monday morning had started and she opened her laptop ready for a day of online learning.
She logged on and straight away she saw her kid’s cheerful smiles. “Hi, Ms. Smith!” They shouted in excitement. Martina replied back, her heart feeling warm from seeing her kids. But then suddenly, Martina noticed something.
Adam wasn’t online. She called out, asking if he was there but she couldn’t see his face, and she didn’t get a response back. Maybe he would log onto the next session?
The online school day consisted of four sessions, so surely Adam would be there for one? If not, where was he? Martina started to panic but she reassured herself. She had no idea what she would soon find out.
The second session had started and Adam had shown up. “Hi, Adam!” Martina said in a friendly tone. “Hi,” Adam replied, his quiet voice echoing through Martina’s laptop speakers.
He looked at the camera and let out a smile, and Martina could tell something was troubling him. But what happened next left a knot in the pit of Martina’s stomach.
Just as Martina was about to ask if he was ok, Adam suddenly disappeared. His face had vanished and he logged out of the session. Where did he go?
Maybe it was just a bad connection Martina thought. But she was wrong.
The following two sessions Adam never attended. Although she tried her hardest to carry on the lesson for the rest of her kids, questions flooded her mind about Adam.
Where had he gone? What was wrong? She would soon find out the answers to these questions, and they would leave her lost for words.
The online school day had ended and Martina hadn’t seen or heard from Adam. She hoped tomorrow he would attend, but the following day he still never showed.
This was strange. She rang his parents, but they never picked up. Martina knew she had to take matters into her own hands.
Martina decided to review the footage of the online sessions. She watched back the footage of the previous day, scrolling through until she saw Adam appear.
She watched the footage of Adam back, then suddenly, she saw something that left her feeling sick to her stomach.
Martina was frozen in her tracks. It couldn’t be, could it? In all her years of teaching, she had never seen anything like this before.
Was this the reason Adam disappeared? She felt sick to her stomach. She blinked four times, thinking she was seeing things, but she wasn’t. It was right in front of her face.
Feeling panic creep inside her stomach, Martina showed her partner the footage of Adam and what she had just witnessed.
He was just as lost for words as Martina. She had no other choice, she knew she had to go round and see if Adam was ok. But was it too late?
Martina arrived at Adam’s home and made her way to the front door. Her hands were shaking as she pressed the doorbell. After a few minutes, there was no response.
Martina rang the doorbell again and noticed the door was actually open. Why was it open? She was about to push the door forwards when suddenly, the door flung wide open.
It was Adam’s mom. She looked flustered to find Adam’s teacher at her door. “Can I help you,” his mom said. “I’m just here to make sure Adam is ok,” Martina replied. “We saw something strange on our online sessions and we thought we should show you.”
Martina opened her laptop and pressed play on the footage. Adam’s mom stood watching her son in his zoom session, and then she saw something she never expected to see.
You see, the footage showed Adam looking into the laptop, then suddenly something appeared in the background. It was a blob but it kept moving around.
Straight away Martina thought it looked like a ghost, but it couldn’t be could it? She never believed in stuff like that, but something was telling her this not normal.
His mom reassured Martina that everything was ok and Adam disappeared from class because their internet was down. cut. But where was Adam? His mom called him out and Adam appeared. He looked fine, and Martina was relieved to see this. But she still had questions about the blob in the background.
She may never have found out the truth, but at least she knew that Adam was safe and happy.