I'm never going to be accepted. Joseph and David think I'm a freak, Linda tries to be nice, but they pull her away. Why am I so unaccepted here? I thought this was a group of gifted children. If we're all weird, than why am I?

He still remembered her face. She'd been young, and now that he thought back on it, she was probably too young. There were girls in the Orphanage who looked around the same age. She had hair as light as his with the same curl. His eyes, though, were far different from hers. Why were his eyes so much larger than hers? Perhaps this was why he was unaccepted. No one here knew his or her parents, but he could still remember her teary face as she handed him to Mr. Roger, the man, looking too young as well, holding her close and apologizing.

It's because I know I'm an accident, because they know I was an accident.

He sat in the hallway, stacking dice into an elaborate design of New York City. White ringlet curls played around his chin and shoulders. A boy approached and sat across the makeshift city from him. He wore all black but apart from that, their clothing was identical. He glanced up to view his new audience. The boy was around ten or eleven with pin-straight blond hair that dripped around his face, down his back and chest, and pooled around his waist.

"You could use a haircut." He remarked, returning to his city.

"So could you. I'm Mello." He stuck his hand out to shake the small boy's but only succeeded in toppling the two tallest buildings in his masterpiece and knocking parts of others around it down.

"There go the Twin Towers." The Small boy remarked in a youthful monotone. "I hated that nightmare, maybe I shouldn't have allowed myself to re-create it."

"What's your name, then?" Mello asked, retracting his hand as though he'd been burnt.

"I don't have one. I'm an orphan."

"Aren't we all?" Mello remarked bitterly under his breath. "How old are you? If you don't have a name you must be pretty new here."


"Well… you should have chosen a name by now."

"We choose our names?"

"Well… no. We choose what we wish to be called. When we leave we are told what our birth names are, and if we're adopted, then that name changes."

"In light of that, you can call me…" He paused, thinking of a name that would suit his personality, his drive to answer all of his questions. "Near."

Who is this boy? Why is he talking to me in the first place? Perhaps he was bet to talk to me by one of the others. No, that's not right. I don't think he has any friends either. I'm not accepted, he shuns himself. I hear the children talking about him at bedtime. They say Mello is mean and rude to them. He seems polite enough, but he's wearing a façade, even I can see that.

"C'mon, Near, I'll show you how to fight back against your Un acceptance." He toppled the rest of the city to a pile of dice as he pulled Near to his feet. "And we'll be friends."