Adopt-A-Child Day

8:00 A.M. Saturday May 5, 2018

Hikaru laid awake in his single bed, staring at the chalk white ceiling above him. He had been awakened 30 minutes prior due to the stirring and loud snoring from his roommate occupying the bed to the right of his. Hikaru sometimes wished that he could just stuff the guy's gob with a sock or anything else that would be efficient enough so he wouldn't have to lay here hearing such a racket. He was more than sure that his four other roommates would appreciate it or award him with a pat on the back at least. Instead he opted to try to get back to sleep regardless, so he gathered up the hem of his blue plaid comforter and pulled it over his head hoping it would block out some of the noise. As he was about to drift off to sleep, the door slammed open and the lights came on followed by Nani Ayumi.

" Rise and shine my little bean sprouts!" she said as she seemingly glided over to the only window on the other side of the room. " You know what day it is today and it is going to be special."

The room filled with different emotions- those of excitement and those of depression, but amongst those feelings, Hikaru stood out as he did neither since he just glowered because today was the day that the children will get a chance to find a home with a new family. This day was known forever to the residents as "Adopt-a-Child" day. Hikaru cared nothing for the sort; he believed in the notion that he will either find a family or he won't. It didn't really bother him; he was indifferent.

" Come on, come on, come on! Get up, get up, get up! Clean up, wash your faces, brush your teeth!"

Hikaru would have to admit that the one thing that could put a smile on his face was watching the antics of Ayumi. She was the only obvious mother figure he had around considering his real mother or someone left him here. He could remember the appearance of his mother although rather vaguely. All he can remember is that she was blond and that wasn't enough. He still laments that she never thought to leave a picture of herself for him to linger on, though it was probably for the best.

Ayumi practically skipped out of the room and down the hall to the other rooms to do the same. Hikaru reluctantly placed his small feet out of bed and felt the coolness of the hardwood floor. He sighed briefly then stood up and grabbed his clothing that he had set out from last night and proceeded out of the bedroom towards the nearest bathroom.

Since the orphanage had about ten times the residents than there were bathrooms, each morning always started off with much fighting over who goes first and who goes next. After all, there were only five bathrooms within the entire building.

Hikaru considered himself lucky as he already took his bath the night before. All he had to do right now is brush his teeth and wash his face. Once that ritual was done, he got dressed in his clothes which were a sweater and black dress pants. He looked in the mirror and saw himself standing 4' 3" inches tall.

He left the bathroom and the next boy in line went in as usual.

" It's about time, Queen." mocked the boy as he entered the bathroom impatiently.

Hikaru paid him no mind and continued down the hall and down the stairs to attend breakfast. The families were not suppose to come before 12 noon, although they still had the decorations and activities set up for the event. It took the staff two months until this day to prepare everything. The lawn had to be properly landscaped, the stage had to be built, snacks had to be prepared- anything to keep families attending the event comfortable and entertained. The orphans were to participate in a musical and attend interviews afterwards.

Each orphan had a set scheduled time with each family. It could somewhat be compared to a job interview- you had to be focused and especially answer each question carefully and for Hikaru, that wasn't much of a problem. Ayumi had the boys line up in the foyer side-by-side before the doorbell rang and a staff member opened it. The guests filed in through the threshold to be greeted by the boys and the staff.

Hikaru scoped out any potential family that he would be obliged to be a part of. He knew that looks weren't important, but they still make a first impression and this batch of folks didn't look harsh, although they can be deceiving. He only hoped that at least one would accept what he enjoys as his personal hobbies.

If he were to find someone who showed as much of an interest in science and other cerebral things of the like, maybe a bit of forensics, then he would surely change his indifferent attitude. The production was a success; Hikaru's performance was done like a professional. He had a photographic memory so the lines weren't a problem and he was playing an abandoned child, the emotion was surely there, earning much applause, then they quickly changed back into their usual clothing and proceeded with the interviews.

Hikaru observed his first potential family with feigned intrigue until the man of the duo spoke.

" Say what is your name and how old are you?" he asked extending his hand.

" My name is Hikaru and I, as of now, am 7 and will be turning 8 in October." He answered while shaking his hand. The man simply stroked his chin.

" Yeah…and w-what a well-mannered child you are. What would you like to do when you grow up?"

Hikaru only hesitated briefly, glancing between the couple before coming back to the man's hazel eyes. " Either something in the field of medicine or law. I often read old medical books and take deductive reasoning tests", his glare became intense as he gave a smirk, " Preferably, I'll say, something between a detective and a forensic analyst."

He observed the couple, preparing himself for whatever else might fall from their lips. The woman with fair skin looked over at her husband then back to him. The man brought his lips up to his wife's left ear as if he was whispering to her. From their facial expressions, Hikaru could deduct that these two were a lost cause and the chances of them adopting him were null, besides the fact that these two didn't cherish the fact that a child most likely knows more than them.

" W-well Hikaru, it was fun meeting you today, but we have to go." The man sounded as though he was in a rush, grabbing his wife's right hand with his left.

" We wouldn't want to keep you from other families." the woman proclaimed as her husband practically shoved her towards the door.

In most cases, Hikaru didn't look at others in a transcendental attitude, but in some, he just couldn't help himself. He walked out after the couple then scanned the den, taking notice of the retreating couple then to their left was a man dressed in an authoritative outfit; he was either a police chief or in the military. Hikaru did take the time to honor those who were truly upholding the law to protect and observe citizens and the general innocent population, however he was also aware of those who abuse their power for their own affairs and to him, these were the lowest form society had to offer akin to criminals.

Accompanying the so-called officer, was a woman who at first glance seemed ditzy. He hated it when women let themselves go uneducated to the point that others had to decide for them and the thought of them coming towards him made him shiver.

He quickly scampered away before the couple could spot him to continue his observation of the other possible adoptive parents, but none of them seemed suited to handle his rather scholastic lifestyle.

He retreated to his shared room with disappointment and locked the door behind him. Frustration engulfed him as he contemplated the rest of his life without a family that could truly stimulate his mind.

Sometimes he had strange dreams of a perfect world with no wars or feuds where everyone understood each other. A metropolis with pure morals and ideas and he would be its savior. He could remember on days when they went into town and being the observationist that he was, he came across many distasteful people that were just hoping to be wiped out.

He shook himself for thinking such thoughts but his mind couldn't help but subconsciously conjure up such things. His mind wanted this but his heart was telling him that they were only human. When he saw or even thought about those who were rebellious against authority and gave up simple morals, his fists clenched, his countenance scrunched with red and his heart rate increased with each breath.

A series of knocks at the door came which drove him from his thoughts, then a soothing voice followed.

" Hikaru-kun…can I please come in?" asked the soothing voice.

He was about to oblige until he took a glance at the watch on the wrist of his right hand. Ayumi-san gave it to him last year. She said that it was in the basket that she found me in. It was probably the only thing left to him from his parent so rather than dispose of it, he instead opted to keep it due to the strong feeling of significance later down the line. It read: 6:40 P.M.

" Sure," he got up to open the door "why not."

" Hey Hikaru-kun!" she greeted him after he slid the door open. He acknowledged it with a solemn nod, grinning and moving over to give her walk-in room. He left the door open to not seem inappropriate then laid back on his bed.

" So how's luck been for you, Yumiko-chan?"

" I'm not too sure." she said, covering her cheeks " I was really nervous during many interviews and…I t-think I may have involuntarily slapped one." She paused with a nervous chuckle. Hikaru gave a soft chuckle at that. He loved teasing her about her attitude. " So…how were things with you?"

He sighed " Well…the couple I met weren't interested once I revealed my interests." The left corner of his mouth went up " I seemed to freak them out when I mentioned 'forensics'."

" Yeah!" she exclaimed, " If only there was at least one couple who'd appreciate a spunky boy and a beautiful, informative, but often shy girl."

" Hopefully…" he began thoughtfully, " there is a lonely old guy out there searching for two young wards to pass his knowledge down to, but what are the odds of that?" He once dreamed of such a person, there face was blurry in the dream and they adopted both him and Yumiko but he knew the difference between dreams and reality. He was still young. So what was wrong with him holding on to such dreams as a child?

The doorway cast the shadow of a figure and in came its owner-Jin- whose vision darted around the room to see Yumiko standing, nervously with her fingers twiddling, then to Hikaru. " Dude! What's a girl doing in the room."

" Nothing. I was just leaving" she retorted, pushing past him out the door. Jin went over to his own bed, letting himself fall on it.

" Guess who's leavin' our pack." asked Jin, positioning his arms behind his head while his right leg crossed over his right. Hikaru didn't really care but still was a little curious.

" Who? Please say it's you because your constant snoring makes me want to…" he trailed off contorting his hands to make choking gestures.

" W-what…nah it's that happy-go-lucky kid by the name of Taro. Man, and you shoulda seen the two-they looked loaded. I'd give anything to be in his shoes right now."

" Have you met them?" he asked frantically sitting up " Did they seem self made or…the type to mooch off others?"

" Yep, sure did," he smirked " though they didn't feel what I was comin' from. Lost cause. Too snooty for my tastes."

Hikaru left eye blinked rapidly. Other boys began to file into the room exhaustedly. Some groaning about being tired. Others about constantly hearing the echoes of Taro's gloating as the wealthy couple took him home with them. Out of the 20 that shared this room, 4 were missing and it still felt empty due to Taro's absence. He wasn't sure if it was the same for Yumiko. She didn't say anything about it, but probably would have, if wasn't interrupted by Jin earlier.

The noise died down after awhile as everyone went to bed. Hikaru went to take a brief shower then put himself to bed, but not before making a wish, to no one in particular.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the outskirts of a small American town, a barricade of military vehicles are traveling. One vehicle in particular hits a pothole and off into the nearby river, goes a mysterious barrel-which contents are hazardous upon inhalation- without the driver even noticing.