As he stared into his own eyes the next morning, he found the resemblance scary. He did have her eyes, her nose, and her ears; unknowingly, he was touching his face as he examined himself.
“Happy birthday Bryan,” James wished as he walked pass him in the wash room.
“Thanks,” Bryan replied, as he pulled on the navy green, sleeveless sweater, he was forced to wear ever since he was born.
“To think they would at least give us a new sweater on our birthdays,” James said as he pulled his sweater on. “I hate this color,” James added as he re-tied his shoe laces.
Bryan shrugged as he combed his hair and walked back into the dormitory. Passing by the long rows of beds, some of his dorm-mates gave him birthday wishes while others merely patted him on the shoulder.
At the strike of 7, each of them stood in front of their neatly made bed, in their navy green sweaters, over a white plain shirt, with ironed slacks that would reach their perfectly tied shoelaces of their black shoes.
The dormitory door would then burst open as a tall, thin man, walked down the room, inspecting each orphan along the way.
“Very good. Now off to breakfast!” the man shouted. And the boys formed two lines as they marched down to the dining hall to join the rest of the orphans, older and younger, for their tasteless meal.
The orphanage acted more like a military school, with rules and regulations not to be broken. If one ever breaks a rule, one would be sent off to work in a factory, with no pay, till one turns 18 and is legally on one’s own.
“I hate this place,” James muttered as he chomped down the oat-ty meal. And though Bryan agreed, he did not say anything in response as he was more occupied at finding out if his dream was true.
All he could remember were her blue eyes. He could not remember her name, even though he could have sworn he remembers it in his dreams. But his determination led him to walking into Mrs. Wellton’s office after breakfast.
“What is it that you wanted to see me for, boy?” Mrs. Wellton asked as she stared at him from across her desk.
“I was wondering, if I could…” Bryan paused, contemplating on his request.
“If you could what? Speak up boy! Nobody would want a child who cannot speak!”
Bryan gulped as he continued, “I was wondering if I could see my records. I want to know who my mother is.”
Instead of responding with a ‘no’, Mrs. Wellton burst into false laughter.
“Could I then?” Bryan boldly asked again.
“Why would you want to see your records?” Mrs. Wellton snorted through her question, as though she found what he said extremely amusing.
“I want to find my mother,” Bryan answered.
“You want to find your mother? I don’t think you would want to do that boy, she gave you away remember?” Mrs. Wellton’s question sounded more taunting this time.
“I think she told me she wanted to find me,” Bryan quickly replied.
“Oh, she told you did she? Where? In your dreams?”
“Yes ma’am,” Bryan answered honestly.
“Are you fooling around with me now?” Mrs. Wellton’s change in tone told Bryan he had just stepped out of line.
“No ma’am. If I could just know her name-“
“There is no need for you to know her name, now run along before I send you to the factories! They need new boys and I don’t mind sparing them some,” Mrs. Wellton threatened, and Bryan did not stay any longer to see if she meant it.
But he did not want to give up, he needed to find his mother, and she said she wanted to find him too. So he plotted a possibly disastrous plan in which he executed the same night.
When all the lights were out, Bryan sneaked out of his dormitory, and crept down the wooden hallways. Thankfully, they were made to replace the old floorboards every now and then, and it didn’t creaked as he hurried down a flight of stairs and into the unlocked office of Mrs. Wellton, the owner and matron of Wellton’s Home for Boys.
Carefully pulling open the wooden drawers of a cabinet, Bryan searched for his file, and when he found it, he quickly flipped it open, and squinted at its information under the pale moonlight by the office window.
Under the parent’s information, no father’s name was given, but written in black ink was his mother’s name, Anna Wakefield.
“Anna, isn’t that her name?” Bryan asked himself, but no memories would return to him right then.
And just when he thought a light bulb had been flicked above his head, the lights of the office flicked on instead. And there by the doorway was Mrs. Wellton, not looking a ton too well as she glared at him angrily.