New families came to the orphanage on Fridays.
A mother, a father, and a little girl were the only visitors. They looked bashful, like they didn’t know where to begin. The first orphan approached them.
“Hello!” he said, smiling his biggest smile. “I’m so glad to see you! I’ve been dreaming of a new family — you look just like them, the family of my dreams. Do you have any pets at home? In my dreams there are a cat and a dog, but it’s all right if you don’t have any — I don’t mind.”
The mother, father, and little girl had bewildered expressions. The first orphan thought maybe he’d been overly enthusiastic, but it was too late — they were already moving on.
“Hello,” said the second orphan. This one was much calmer than the first, having observed the previous interaction. “My whole life I’ve wished I had a brother — or a sister. Someone I could play with, someone to share secrets with — or someone to protect. I’ve even wondered if I had a missing twin, the wish was so great. Can boys and girls be twins?”
The little girl looked at her parents. She reached for her mother’s hand while her father steered her away.
The third orphan remained sitting. She didn’t look up until the mother, father, and little girl approached her. Then she smiled. She smiled before she even saw them. “I just knew,” she whispered. “I knew you’d find me.” She looked up at the mother. She ignored the man and the little girl, but not to be rude — like she didn’t notice they were there.
“Don’t you recognize me?” she said. “It’s a different body — I’m much younger — but look into my eyes. Don’t you know me?”
The woman gasped. “Mama?” she said.
Fridays were when the orphans ate fish. The first and second orphans received an extra helping that night, since the third orphan had left for good. That was a good thing.
This is a repository for JY's original content that's yet to be bound in a book -- essays, short fiction, etc. There's little rhyme or reason, so jump in!