As we began walking towards the street, Ruba spoke.

"I know I've never been here before," she began, "but this place does remind me a lot of where I live."

"Yeah?" I replied. "How so?"

"Well, just all the tall buildings. I live in a pretty big city in a neighbourhood that's a lot like this."

"Oh, so you live in an apartment?"

"Yep. It's pretty high up. It's got a nice balcony with a good view. It's not perfect, but I love it there."

"Not perfect?" Lucas chimed in. "It sounds perfect to me. I'm still living with my folks; I'd love to live in any apartment."

"Well, it's pretty good," Ruba replied. "But it's a really old building, and things are always falling apart. I've been telling the landlord that my balcony railing is wobbly for months now and he keeps putting off calling in a repairman. He said it wasn't urgent enough. I think he knows I won't move because I like the place and I can't afford anywhere better."

"Still sounds pretty sweet to me," said Lucas. "I can't afford to live anywhere but at my parents' house."

"I see," Ruba replied. "You're unemployed?" Lucas sighed before he replied. "Yep," he answered. "I'm nearly a year out of college and I still can't find a job. My folks are kind of disappointed, but they know I'm trying. My dad's been joking about forcing me out of the house with his hunting rifle if I don't move out soon."

Steffen coughed. "That's kind of harsh, isn't it?" he said with a surprised look. Lucas just laughed it off. "Nah," he said casually. "He's just messin' with me. He doesn't even keep it loaded."

Steffen looked unsure, but didn't say anything else.

"Hey, Ruba, where do you work? Maybe you can put in a good in a good word for me." Lucas said jokingly.

"Nice try, but I work freelance," Ruba replied.

"Really? Damn. Maybe I should try that. I don't want my diploma to go to waste, you know?"

I was about to speak up and ask Lucas what he learned at college, but something distracted me. A piece of paper that looked to be a flyer or something like that was blowing down the street near us. That was when I realised something that I hadn't noticed before.

I couldn't feel the wind.

I couldn't feel any heat or coldness at all either.

"N-no, how can that- not possible," I heard Steffen say. I guess he realised it at the same time I did. "You noticed it too?" I asked him. "Y-yeah," he replied. His face was red and he seemed to be struggling to keep calm.

"Notice what?" Ruba asked.

"We can't feel the wind," I said, still stunned by this revelation.

Lucas froze. We all stopped walking too. Lucas had a look of shock on his face. For the first time since we had all met each other, he looked genuinely concerned. Then he spoke, his voice shaking a little.

"I can't feel any warmth from the sun either. It's like…we're not even a part of this world."

Those words shook me. He was right. It didn't feel like we were actually in this world. We were more like observers, separate from it and unable to interact with it. It was as though we didn't even exist.

I steadied myself. I have to stay calm. We won't get anywhere by panicking. I spoke up, trying to be rational. "Look, freaking out over this is just going to make it worse. Let's just keep moving. I'm sure we'll find a way out of this."

Steffen looked at me. He seemed angry with me. "Stop it," he said, frowning at me. I was confused. "Stop what?" I asked. He moved towards me and stood right in front of me. "Stop with the positivity crap. It's all fake; I can tell." He spoke harshly, as though he was blaming me for what was happening. "You probably think you're so smart, trying to be the rational one. You're just as scared as the rest of us, stop acting like you're not!" He stomped his foot on the ground like a child throwing a tantrum. His reaction shocked me. I tried my best to respond to his accusations.

"Steffen, I'm not faking anything. I just think that we'll have a better chance at getting out of this if we stay calm."

"How am I supposed to stay calm when I'm stuck in a world that I don't even exist in? Do you really think we have a chance at getting out? How could we possibly escape this world?"

As Steffen shouted his face got more and more red. Then I remembered what he told me about his missing medication. I figured that was why he was reacting so strangely to my words. I was going to ask if that was the reason, when Ruba stepped up to him.

"Steffen, please," she said. "You're really overreacting." She reached out and put her hand on his shoulder.

Steffen quickly moved away from her. "Don't touch me!" he yelled angrily. "This- this isn't even real, is it? You're all just messing with me!" He looked at us for a second, his face still bright red and rage still clear in his expression. Then he turned and ran.

"Ott!" Lucas called after him. "Where the hell are you going?" He started to run after Steffen, when Ruba stopped him by grabbing his arm. "What are you doing, we gotta stop him!" Lucas yelled.

"If we chase him, he'll just get even more pissed off!" she snapped back at him.

"We can't just let him go off on his own," I said, trying to stop another fight from breaking out. "He might get lost or hurt." From where we were, I could still see him running towards the street full of shops. Ruba sighed.

"Okay," she said. "We can follow behind him and see where he goes, but we can't get too close to him, alright? He clearly needs some space."

"Right, okay, we'll give him some space, let's just go already," Lucas said impatiently. He started running after Steffen, who was so far down the road I could barely see him anymore.

"Come on!" Lucas yelled. I heard Ruba sigh again as I took off running too, but I soon heard her footsteps following behind me as we tried to catch up to Lucas. I was surprised he could run so fast. I could see up ahead that Steffen had already reached the intersection and was quickly turning left. By the time Lucas made it there, we had almost caught up to him.

As he turned the corner, I heard him shout, "Steffen, get off the street! There's a car coming!"