Mrs. Cecilia was very excited today. She had received a call from Mr. Hunt who regularly donated huge amounts to her orphanage. He had shown interest in adopting a boy of around 12-15 years of age. She absolutely could not disappoint him. Parents usually preferred young kids so there were not many kids of that age in the orphanage, but they were lucky as there were 2 boys Liam and Jack who were 15 and 14.
So Mrs. Cecilia called in Liam and Jack and instructed them to be on their best behavior as per the rules. They already knew about the rules as they had been taught to all the kids countless times. She even ordered the caretakers to instruct the other children to behave themselves just in case their guests took an interest in some other child.
Aiden was sitting in the corner of a dark room waiting for someone to come and open the door. He was punished to be locked in the darkroom for the whole night as he was yet again wrongly accused of stealing the cookie box the kids had received as a gift from an elderly couple a few days ago.
Aiden could never understand for the past 2 years why was he always the one to be accused. He never bothered anyone, nor did he hold a grudge against anyone for all the false accusations. He always wanted to be invisible as much as possible. He thought if he avoided everyone and was alone minding his own business, everyone would just let him be. But whatever he does or rather does not do, he is the one to blame. Though Aiden was just 10 years old, the various experiences he had in his life had forced him to mature soon. He was quite intelligent and perceptive. Even he could see he was made out as an easy target then why could Madam Cecilia not see it? The kids at the orphanage did all the despicable things as they knew they could easily blame it on Aiden. He sometimes wanted to shout out loud that he was not like his parents. He never stole anything, not before, not now and not ever, but every time he tried he failed. He never had the courage to defend himself. Whenever he tried to explain and the other person retaliated, he was overcome with fear and his words got stuck in his throat.
Even yesterday he tried to defend himself, but he could not, as a result, he had to give away his cookie box and was punished to spend a night in this cold and darkroom instead.
The room was very dark without any windows so he could not say it was night or morning. When he was locked in this room for the first time, he was so scared he literally pissed his pants. He cried out shouting and screaming to open the door until Mrs. Cecilia threatened him if he does not keep quiet she will lock him here for a week. After that, though he couldn stop his tears he managed to make no sound. It was ironic that he was crying due to fear and later on he shut up because of even more fear. Gradually he got used to this room after repeated punishments and now he feels this punishment is better than the others that is if you ignore the cold and the hard cement floor.
Finally, he could hear the sounds of people moving around so he guessed it was morning. Mr. John came and unlocked the door. He instructed Aiden to strictly remain in his room and not come out as a reputed family is coming to the Orphanage to adopt a child. How Aiden wished he could be adopted by a loving family someday. He was hoping for the past 2 years without any luck. Most of the time he was stuck in his room whenever the families came. According to Mrs. Cecilia, Aiden was the most undisciplined boy of the orphanage and she did not want to spoil its reputation because of one unruly boy even though she secretly wished she could get rid of him.
Aiden quickly walked towards his room and rushed to the bathroom. After he got fresh he was hungry but he dared not go out of the room. He had hidden a few biscuits in his drawer for such occasions so he had them and decided to study.
Meanwhile, Dylan and his parents came to the orphanage in their luxury car. The kids at the orphanage were very excited, especially Liam and Jack. Dylan got down from the car and looked at the kids staring at them and their car. He smirked at them arrogantly as if telling them they could never have what he had.
Mrs. Cecilia came out and greeted them politely and directed them towards her office. Dylan was curious to know how the kids lived here. So he told his parents he will go and look around. Mrs. Cecilia was about to send Mr. John with him but he said he would like to go alone.
Aiden was studying in his room sitting beside the window. He then heard a cat meowing loudly. He looked around for the cat. It was stuck in the bushes and was unable to get out. Aiden wanted to go out and help him but he was scared to go. He waited for few minutes hoping someone would see the cat and come and help him but the backyard seemed to be empty. The kids were all playing on the playground on the front side hoping to see the new family which was supposed to visit. Aiden was still not sure whether they have arrived, so he decided to risk it as the cats meows had gotten louder now. He thought he would go and help the cat and rush back, it will hardly take a few minutes.
So Aiden jumped out of the window and looked around and saw no one was there. He then dashed towards the cat and helped him out. He checked the cat and saw that it had hurt its leg. He washed the cats leg and wrapped its wound with a cloth.
Dylan walked around and checked a few rooms, the dining hall, study rooms and then he went towards the front playground. There a few kids come and ask him politely whether he wanted to play with them. Dylan arrogantly refused and left. He felt suffocated because of the loud noise of the kids playing around, so he went towards the backyard. There he saw a boy with a cat. The boy looked very small and frail. Dylan observed the boy was alone here playing with a cat rather than with the other kids. He was intrigued.
He went towards the boy and asked ” What are you doing here alone? ”
Aiden jumped up in fear scared that he was caught. The cat fell out of his arms and ran away. He turned and saw a smart looking boy staring at him. He was dressed in expensive clothes and looked quite tall and healthy. Aiden had never seen this boy before but he was intimidated by him. He was wondering what was he doing here.
Dylan was irritated when he didn get a response, so he asked again this time a bit louder.
Aiden came out of his thoughts and stuttered ” T…T…The cat was s…s…stuck, so I…I…I was helping him. ”
Dylan asked him ” What is your name? ”
”Aiden ” he whispered.
Dylan then suddenly held Aidens wrist and squeezed it lightly. Aiden was shocked and retreats his hand back. Dylan smirks and says ” You look so weak and small. How old are you? ”
”I…I…I am 10 years old ” says Aiden looking down.
Dylan stared at Aiden for some time and observed him thoroughly. The boy seemed to be intimidated by him and tried to avoid meeting his eyes. This boy is quite submissive so he was interested and decides to test him more.
Dylan looks at the cat who was running around the backyard, then looks back at Aiden and says ” I want that cat. Can you get him for me? ”
Aiden just nods and starts running towards the cat without even thinking about refusing. He was conditioned in a way that he would always listen to whatever others ordered him to do. Moreover, Aiden had already guessed the rich boy must be one of the guests who came to the orphanage so he did not dare to disobey. The cat was running away but was slow due to its injury, so Aiden managed to catch him after 5 minutes.
Dylan looked at him with an amusing expression. Aiden came towards him and held the cat in front of him. Dylan ignored the cat and said ” I don want the cat. I was just checking something. ” Saying this Dylan turned and left from there.
Aiden was puzzled and stared at the back of the boy. He then went back to his room praying to God he won be punished again.
Dylan went back to the office where his parents were talking to Mrs. Cecilia. He saw a boy of about 15 standing with them.
As soon as Mrs. Hunt saw Dylan, she got up excitedly and said ” Look, we have found a brother for you, his name is Liam. ”
Dylan stares at the boy who was giving him a huge smile. He was standing there as if proud of himself and looked quite confident. Dylan then imagined the weak boy Aiden and he felt he will be easy to control but not this guy standing in front of him.
He told his mom ” I don want this boy as a brother, I want someone else. ”
Mr. Hunt and Mrs. Hunt exchanged a look. Then Mrs. Hunt looks at Mrs. Cecilia and says ” Can you give us a few minutes alone? ”
”Yes Of course Mam ” By saying this Mrs. Cecilia leaves the room with Liam closing the door behind her.
Mrs. Hunt looks around the room to see if there were any cameras. Not finding any she whispers in a low voice to Dylan ” I have checked the records of the boy. He is smart and disciplined and also 15 years old so he can easily help you with your homework and can even do the other work you ask him to do. ”
Dylan shakes his head and says ” No mom, that boy is not suitable for us. He is already 15 years old and will be an adult soon. Do you think I can easily order him around? Moreover, he looked so confident. ”
Mr. Hunt thinks about it and says ” He is right Diana. We won be able to control him and it can be a problem for my political career if he decides to retaliate. I can risk that. ”
Mrs. Hunt huffs and says ” What do we do then? ”
Dylan replies ” I just met a boy Aiden. He is 10 years old and was submissive and obedient. I am sure he will follow my orders without hesitation. ”
”10 years is quite young. How will he be able to help you in your studies? ” asks Mrs. Hunt.
”Don worry about that mom, I will train him ”
”I think the younger the better, we can easily scare him and make him obey us, ” says Mr. Hunt.
”Ok then. We will talk to Mrs. Cecilia about this boy ” says Mrs. Hunt.
”Ok, Mom. You talk to her. I am going to Aiden to check something ” saying this Dylan leaves the room.
Dylan goes to the backyard and starts looking for Aiden again. He then sees Aiden sitting in a room near the window. He went towards the window and saw him engrossed in his books.
”Do you like studying? ” Dylan asks.
Aiden is once again shocked and looks up to see the boy staring at him. He just nods his head in reply to his question.
Dylan takes one of the books and starts looking at it turning the pages. He then keeps the book back and asks Aiden ” How are you in your studies? Whats your score? ”
This was the only thing Aiden was proud about so he was a bit confident. He says ”I am the highest scorer of my class. ”
Dylan seems impressed and asks ” How many years did you live in this orphanage? What about your parents? Are they dead? ”
The confidence which Aiden had a few minutes ago is instantly gone and changed into shame. He looks down shyly and whispers ” I am here for the last 2 years. M…m…my parents are in j…j…jail. ”
Dylan is surprised and asks ” Why? ”
Aiden was so embarrassed he wanted to hide under the table. He didn want to reply so was just avoiding looking at the boy thinking he might just leave him alone. But, little did Aiden know, Dylan was not someone who would care about others feelings.
Dylan insists and Aiden replies reluctantly ” They were arrested. ”
Dylan scoffs ” Thats obvious since they are in jail. I want to know why were they arrested? On what charges? ”
”F…F…For robbery, possession of d…d…drugs and child abuse. ”
” Ahhh… So you are one of those ” says Dylan in a mocking tone.
Aiden felt he was judging him and tries to explain himself ” I…I…I was never involved in those things. I…I am not a… a thief. ”
Aiden was anxious and was contemplating running away from the room but he couldn do that as he was instructed not to leave. So he just stares at his book hiding as much as possible from the strange boy who seemed to not leave him alone.
In normal cases, someone would consider a thousand times before adopting a child of such background but Dylan was nothing but normal. He was rather twisted. By now he had guessed the main reason for Aiden to be so fearful and submissive was because of his parents abuse. Moreover, he must have been embarrassed by his background and everyone would be looking down on him.
Dylan observed the small boy who looked like he wanted to run away. He smirked in triumph and thought he had hit a jackpot. He had found a perfect prey who could be easily manipulated because of his pathetic background and fearful nature. Moreover, this boy was so innocent as he was honest even to a stranger like him. Such innocent fools can be easily influenced. The more he thought about it, the more he felt the situation worked to his advantage. To him, Aiden looked like a clay doll who could be mold in a way he wants. He felt an unknown urge to control this boy. Dylan was an expert in exploiting others weaknesses and the thought of doing that to Aiden filled him with excitement. Now the only thing left was to convince his parents and Dylan knew exactly how to do that. So, he just turns around and leaves.
Aiden hears the footsteps of the boy leaving and feels relieved. He soon closes the window and decides to go rest for a while.
Back at Mrs. Cecilias office, she was shocked to hear the Hunts wanted to adopt Aiden. She was confused about what to do as her impression of Aiden was not at all good. She didn want to reveal that such an undisciplined boy lived in their orphanage as it would show their incapability but on the other hand not telling them seemed even riskier. If they adopt him and he is not to their liking, then they would surely come back and blame her. They might even stop the funding. She decides its better to blame it on the boys previous upbringing.
”Aidens background is not so healthy. His parents were arrested for robbery. They were drug addicts who abused him. So naturally, the boy is undisciplined and we have even got numerous complaints about him stealing from the other kids. I would suggest you should adopt some other child. If you are not happy with Liam, then we can show some other kids. We have a lot of capable and smarts kids here. ”
Hearing about Aidens background, Mr. and Mrs. Hunt feel disgusted. Mrs. Hunt especially despised poor people with low backgrounds. Both of them stared at each other contemplating what to do.
Finally, Mr. Hunt says ” Gives us a day to think over it. We will speak to our son and get back to you. ” He knew his son is quite stubborn and it won be easy to convince him.
Mrs. Cecilia was not happy but she couldn stop them. She gives a forced smile and says they will be waiting to hear back from them.
Mr. and Mrs. Hunt leave the office and meet Dylan as they come out.
Dylan asks ” What happened? Where are you going? ”
Mr. Hunt replies ” We will discuss this later. Lets go home now. ”
Dylan realized by now they must have known about Aiden but he still asks ” What about Aiden? ”
Mrs. Hunt scoffs ” We cannot adopt that disgusting boy. ”
Dylan acts offended ” Why? ”
Mrs. Hunt was about to reply but Mr. Hunt interrupts ” Please, lets leave from here first. ”
They look around at the people staring at them. So they sit in their car and leave.