Luuk didn't know how long he had been playing his game, but when he finally shut it off and crawled into bed, he reminisced about a time when his sleep schedule was almost normal. This history project in particular was the source of his severely adjusted timetables of late. Now, at close to four in the morning, the young man felt the exhaustion wash over him. He reached for his phone to turn off his alarm for that morning--where was the harm in missing another class?--and noticed a long stream of notifications. Most were emails, pointless documents his university thought it necessary to send him. His bill was available, graduation preparations were underway, the university store was having a sale on bedspreads--but what was this? Luuk noticed a strange email from an unknown sender sitting among his spam. He couldn't remember the last time he had received such an odd email, so he opened it up and prepared to flag it, too, as spam.
The contents didn't make any sense. Luuk sat up in bed, thoroughly confused. Whoever this person was, they knew his name. While not an uncommon name, they had even spelt it right. While that wasn't entirely unusual--how many spam sites had found his name in the past?--the words after that... Once, when you were a child. Luuk remembered none of his childhood, and he had spent the last ten years looking for it. ...something is missing from your life... we should meet... What kind of sick joke? Luuk hoped out of bed and turned on his computer to stare at the same email, as if a wider screen would reveal something hidden between the lines. He read the email a dozen times before turning away and clenching his fists. "Who the hell signs an email with just N?" he blurted, aware that he was talking to himself. "Frank, I swear, if this is one of your pranks, I'll..." He turned back to the email and read it again. Was this what he'd been looking for all along?
Luuk sat down at his desk and clicked the reply button. Even if it was a prank, what did he have to lose? The possibility of knowledge, of finally finding any clue about his childhood was too great. Luuk didn't care what he'd have to do, he didn't even care how much this doubtless spam was charging; he had to take it.
Meet me in front of St. Paul's Thursday at 15:00.Luuk couldn't give his email a second thought before it was being shot through cyberspace. He was too eager, and now that it had been sent, he realized he should not have been so direct. What if this N couldn't meet him so soon? What if he or she was too busy at three in the afternoon? What if St. Paul's, the church only a quick walk from Luuk's suite, was too far away? He shook his head. He hoped this person would respond if the arrangements were not suitable. Besides, Luuk felt safest meeting with this total stranger at a church. If he really was going to get scammed, maybe he could count on the person being religious and not wanting to disgrace their god by scamming in front of a place of worship. Luuk checked the time again. He was going mad. Climbing back into bed, he turned off his alarm and tried to go to sleep.
After a pitiful night's sleep, Luuk woke to the sound of someone down the hall screaming and having way more fun than he was. He checked the time on his phone, groaned, and got up. He could hardly sleep with the thoughts racing through his head. Luuk racked his brain trying to remember anyone he had ever met with a name starting with N, but of all the people he could think of, he didn't think any of them would send a message like this. One of his first foster mothers, some old lady named Nina, was probably dead by now, and even if she weren't she wouldn't touch a computer with a ten-foot pole. Nathan was the name of a mail carrier from when he lived with another set of foster parents, and there was a Nick somewhere in high school... He still had no leads, and exhausted, he readied himself for the day.
It was twelve by the time Luuk finished his breakfast. He was showered and shaved, silently wanting to look presentable on the off chance that this N was someone who would help him. He was ready to wait the three hours in front of St. Paul's, too excited and anxious to do much else, when it finally occurred to him to check his email. A part of him was hoping N couldn't meet with him, but a larger part of him was praying they could. Regardless, he just hoped for some kind of response.