A young boy lay in bed. His youthful face furrowed in sleep and dark curls spiked every which way as was their habit. At first glance, this boy, in waking hours, seemed nothing
special, but then you'd walk away and realize you'd missed something. Something crucial. You'd go back and look into his open face. Normal face, normal hair. Average nine-year-
old. Yet some awareness tugs at you, tells you to look once more. At thrid glance you see the loud velvet eyes staring back at you. A myriad of colors that could puzzle one all day.
And that pair of eyes would be unnervingly staring back into yours.
You think, such peculiar eyes, and then you notice one more thing. It's deeper in tone and texture than any other emotion. Rarely seen but immediately recognizable and something
one should not see on a nine-year-old's face. A profound sense of nothing.
Niam is this boy's name. He lived on the fourth floor of a church in the orphan's ward. He shared his small room with five other boys- though never the same five for too long. One or
another was always adopted and replaced by the next Charlie Jones or Duncan Smith. Those boys always avoided his gaze just as most adults did after their first meeting. Niam
didn't bame them; he had no idea who 'Niam' was either. In fact, he had no memories before the age of eight yet he had a perfect memory. he could remember everything since the
day he showed up on the church step.
Niam could tell you what he'd had for breakfast on the third day of his arrival (grits and an english muffin), the name of every book he'd ever read, and the exact phrasing of all 207
sermons he'd heard. This was wide-spread knowledge and Niam wondered if maybe this was part of the reason he had no friends and when adopting hopefull-parents-to-be
never spared him a second glance. But Niam didn't mind too much. His mind was always wrapped up in fantasies worlds away from the Italian seaside.
This morning was no different. If anyone had bothered to look they would have seen an array of colorful images and words cross his face which promptly vanished as the church
bell trilled noisily into his ears, the sound grating on his nerves. He was startled awake into the reality known as St. Florence Catholic School for Boys. It was 5:00 am.