"He's gone. Jimmy's gone."
"Oh, stop moping, will you." Jan was on the brink of pulling her hair out. "How can she just not care? It's downright criminal!"
"Don't you get it? Mrs. Banks' behind whatever's going on inside the Secret Room, and now she's got him."
"But then why doesn't she come after us?"
"I don't know! Maybe not yet."
Jan shook her head in despair. "This is just going nowhere."
Will pursed his lips, breathing in hard. "I'm going to stay up every night till I get a chance to enter. Jan, do you want to come along?"
"Ahem," Someone cleared his or her throat behind them, making the two jump. They turned around, rather unsure what to expect.
It was Phyllis.
"I happened to hear both of you talking about the Secret Room."
"Well," Jan answered before Will could. "It was nothing, really. Some of our friends were just going on about breaking in or something. Totally crazy ideas, we'll surely go tell them off."
"Jan, it's okay," A wry smile lined her face. "There's no need to lie to me, I'm not going to tell Mrs. Banks or anything. It's just that..."
She looked up at them both as if about to cry. "How can I make this clear to you: the Secret Room is truly somewhere you don't want to go. I-I-"
"You've...been there before?"
Phyllis looked down. "Please don't ask. All Mrs. Banks wants to do is make sure you guys don't get hurt. Just like me."
Will had to bite his tongue to stop himself from saying, "Yeah, right.".
"There's nothing I can say which will kill off your curiousity, other than telling you straight what's inside, which I can't. I know exactly how you feel, I've been in your shoes."
The two exchanged glances, not sure whether to take her word or dismiss her for some babbling lunatic. Here she was, first day on the job and she was talking about the Secret Room like she opened its doors every morning?
"This is not my first time in the orphanage, in case you're wondering. I've been here many, many times before."
Now that was really hard to believe. Will had been here for ten years, and he'd never once seen or heard about her.
"Oh, Phyllis, there you are," Mrs. Banks reappeared, giving Will his customary heart-race.
"Come with me, I have some more places to show you." She left with Phyllis, not even once sparing them a glance.
"Why, that was weird, wasn't it?" Jan broke the lingering silence. "How did she even know my name?"
"Yeah...how can she have been to the orphanage many times before, yet none of us have seen her before this? I just don't get it."
"But Will," Jan lowered her voice to a whisper. "She's not the first person to warn us off the Secret Room."
"Stella warned us like that as well, and now she's gone. Not to mention Jimmy. Something's really terribly wrong here. And all of them went missing in the night."
"So you mean..."
"You do whatever you like, Will, I'll help you in any way I can. But there's no way I'm staying up with you at night. It's just too dangerous."