The first night was the worst, because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I lay in the bed between the scratchy, scratchy sheets wearing the coarse grey pyjamas I’d been given. I couldn’t sleep.
Fortunately, morning came quickly and I was hurried downstairs quickly, into a small room that wasn’t grey, but white. This whole building was devoid of colour, and I realised that most of the books I’d brought were black or grey. I wished I’d brought brighter ones. One of them is red, I thought, and another one is blue. So they’re not all dark. True. I had definitely brought a couple of coloured ones.
The woman told me I had to have a test. I knew that my sister had tests at school but this probably wasn’t the same type.
“Jenny, we want you to sit in the chair over there and identify some pictures for us.” She pointed to a chair. Her voice was slow and patronizing. I’m not backwards and I’m not four! I thought. I am eight years old and perfectly intelligent. I knew I was intelligent because my sister said so, and she was thirteen. Thirteen year olds know everything when you are eight. But I sat in the chair and she showed me some pictures. They were really easy. A dog, a house, an apple.