All I remember is the pain and hurt. They left me behind. How could they? I trembled as their eyes went blank with death and they took their last breath. It wasn’t fair that they left me on this cursed and torturous place. Nothing was ever fair here. Yet they ascended to a place I could not see. A place I could not feel their loving presence. They left me behind.
Five months had passed now, and I still sat on my bed, as I did every morning, and stared at the floor. I had ignored all the comments made directed at me, trying to help. Everyone tried to cheer me up, but nothing, absolutely nothing, could make me smile again. Even if they came back, nothing could make me forget the night they had left me. I knew I had to go eat breakfast. I didn’t want to see the other broken children like me. All of them had gotten over it so easily. I couldn’t do that. I touched my feet to the cold wooden floor and slowly got up, my soft brunette hair falling over my shoulders. I had inherited that trait from my mother. I looked down at my feet and stepped out of the faded wooden frame and out into the lobby. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. For what happened that morning while I slowly descended the stairs and took my place amongst the other lost children. I was unprepared that today was the day that I would finally start to heal.
When I had finished my breakfast, I finally noticed the young couple standing in the back, watching us with tranquil expressions and sometimes exchanging small words. I knew why they were here. To pick a child to accept as their own and shower them in love. I didn’t think I could take that again, being loved and taken care of by someone who you would eventually lose. I was wrong when I thought that. Because it was the only way I could truly overcome my emotions, even though the incident happened five months ago, I still needed time to heal. Then the head of this whole organization clapped her hands at the front of the table, her piercing blue eyes scanning the crowd of young faces. “Children, this is Mr. and Mrs. Nixon. Please be on your best behavior for them. Perhaps you will be chosen today if you do so.” She said, her eyes landing on me with a cold look. “Now I must remind you that your rooms are off-limits when visitors are here. You must... interact with the guests and show them respect.” I returned her glare with a glare of my own, pushing my chair back and leaving the table, everyone’s eyes following me as I went to the small bathroom on the bottom floor. I opened the door loudly, but before I closed I turned around, my eyes narrowing when I saw the couple watching me with vaguely curious expressions. I turned back around, flipped my hair, and slammed the door shut behind me. I will not get chosen today. Not any day. Not ever again. The bathroom was old and rundown. No one ever used it, the toilet didn’t flush. But no one told the head mistress that it was broken, simply because it was the perfect getaway from any given situation you wanted to get out of. I leaned against the wall with a sigh, sliding down and landing on the floor. I can’t get chosen today. I have to be worse than normal. For my sake....and theirs. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I sat up quickly, picking myself up off the floor and opening my mouth to speak, knowing it was probably the head mistress. “I need to go to the restroom!” A higher voice spoke, making me sigh again. “Just a minute. I’ll be right out.” I said, turning on the sink and washing my hands to make it realistic. I knew it must be the new kid. He didn’t know what happened. What the virus did to people. He didn’t know his parents were dead, just like all of ours. I dried my hands a bit and opened the door, looking down on the small, blonde haired boy with hazel eyes that blinked up at me. “There you go.” I said, moving over to the side to let him through. The boy gave me such a genuine look of thanks that I was startled. I almost smiled, but stopped when I saw the couple standing off to the side, watching me. I scowled at them, but they only responded with small smiles of their own. How could they still be interested in me? After all that had happened, they were still watching my every move, calculating me. I turned away from the couple and walked into one of the living rooms, which was really quite plain. I just wanted peace and quiet. Silence. Then I could think, and think some more, and then more and more until I eventually drifted off into peaceful dreams where everything that had happened was erased from my memory. Where they were still here. I sat down in a rocking chair that looked out a large window that looked out on the once beautiful gardens. Now everyone was afraid to go outside and work. Fear of the virus implanting itself in them and slowly destroying everything they loved. I closed my eyes, soaking in the small amount of sunshine that shone through the window. I tried to go to sleep, but the memory of the couple and how they wouldn’t leave me alone kept on entering my mind. Eventually, I gave up trying to stop thinking about it, and let my mind wander until I was dragged into sleep.
I was sitting in front of a man. He had darker skin and startlingly blue eyes, which bored into me and made me want to flinch. But I didn’t. I held his gaze, knowing that if I didn’t, something would happen. How long could I do this? I knew I couldn't hold this position for long, so I finally looked away, expecting something awful to happen. Nothing happened for a moment, but then the man spoke. “Do you know who I am?” He asked, and I glanced at him with a slight shake lf my head. “I-I don't know.” The man gave me a small smile, his eyes twinkling. “I am the dream visitor. I visit people when they are blind to their own fate that is before them. People, such as yourself, that are lost and need guidance to find their way back.” I glared at him. “How do I know you are real? What if your just a figment of my imagination?” I said with a scowl. The man shrugged, folding his hands on the table in front of us. “Let me be straight-forward with you. That couple has been searching for a kid for year's. Ever since the pandemic started, they have had a difficult time getting to orphanages before they shut down. You are the first kid they have ever truly met that they are interested in. They want to help. And I am telling you to let them.” The man said and I gave him a blank look. “You sure are a strange conscious. I never would have imagined my conscience like this.” The man smiled, and I noticed I was starting to see through him. “You might never know who I am really. But if you are ever lost and don't know how to find your way back, I shall come and bring you out of this...hibernation-like state you have made. It is time you open up. It is time for you to accept a new family. A time for rebirth.” The man said, the last bits of him fading away and leaving me behind, like they did.
I woke up with a gasp, my dream still vivid in my mind. The man had told me to accept that I must get over the past. That I had to accept a new family. For once in the past five months, I felt uncertain. Did I really want to stay alone and isolated from everyone forever? I knew that I might lose them if I did go with them. But I also knew that I had finally grown tired of my state of sadness I had been through. It had slowly built up, making me an angry and unlikeable person. And yet these people saw me as something else. They saw me as a way to help the world. Perhaps I should just let me. Not for me, though it would help me also, but for them, so they felt they were making a difference. I knew it was time to open up. I stood up quickly, glancing around the room for any sign of movement. There was none. I walked out into the lobby, looking around for any sign of anyone. Finally, I saw them. The woman with her wispy blonde hair and comfortable posture. The man with gentle movements and an all seeing gaze. I had never noticed those qualities before, and it made me smile to know I had changed. It was amazing how just one dream could change a heart. Perhaps, one day, when you are lost and going down a path, spiraling downward, you will have a small change of heart. Remember me. The one who was changed simply because of a dream. I never figured out who the man was. But all I know is that, if ever in time of need, he will show up for each of us, in different ways, different forms, and let us know the answers for which we do not know we seek.