Orphan Survival Stories Index |
"Roger Dean, this is the third time that you been sent to my office this month. What seems to be your problem young man?" asked the tall, thin, dark haired woman.
"I guess I get bored easy 'cause there ain't anything to do," I told her.
I sat there with my little hands folded on my lap. I knew better than to speak unless spoken too. I watched her face as she shifted her eyes back and forth, from right to left, as if there were something mentally wrong with her. The two of us just sat there in her office staring at on another.
"Lets us see here. Last month you were caught climbing up a pine tree, climbing on top of the boy's dormitory roof, spitting water out of the shower onto another boy and leaving your shoes outside at night."
I started to talk but decided to remain quiet because of her evil stare, and the tilting of her head when she saw me open my mouth.
"Are you going to speak or are you going to sit there like an idiot?" she replied.
"I don't know what an idiot is."
"Did you look in the mirror this morning?" she asked.
"Then you looked directly into the face of an idiot," she continued.
"I didn't see nothing in the mirror 'cept me," I thought to myself.
"Can I say something?" I asked her.
"And just what might that be?"
"I'm sad," I said, as I wiped my nose on my short sleeve.
"I'm sad too. I'm sad that I don't have more money and I'm sad that I don't have a new car to drive. Being sad is just a part of life. You will just have to get use to it, like the rest of us," she explained.
"But there ain't nothing to do here at the orphanage," I said, as I started to cry.
"LOOK, young man," she yelled, as she pointed her finger at me. "There are thousands of children overseas who would give their right arm to have what you have. A warm bed, food and clothes to wear," she continued.
"They can have my vegetables and some of my clothes."
Slowly, she turned her head sideways and she became quiet. Her evil stare went right through me. I knew that I had overstepped my bounds. Her eyes squinted and her cheeks puffed outwards. Her lips became tight and hard. I watched her lips moved up and down as she tighted her sagging jaw.
"Can I go back to my home now?" I asked.
She said not a word. She just sat there staring at me for more than a minute.
"YOU’RE SAD. Well, that's just too bad," she said, as she stood up.
"Yes Ma'am. I'm real sad all the time."
"And what can we do to change that?" she asked.
"Can somebody tell me how to be happy?"
"You can be 'happy' by not being sad. It's just that simple."
"Do you just wish you were happy and the sad feeling just all goes away?" I questioned.
"When you clean your dormitory and when you rake the orphanage grounds you should feel happy about it."
"But, how can I be happy when I'm working all the time? We never get to play."
"If I were to hold you down and cut off your arms and legs you would not be able to clean or rake. Right?" she asked.
"Then you should feel happy about having two arms, two legs and being able to work here at the orphanage," she said, as she smiled at me.
"I never thought about it that kinda way."
"So you see, Roger. Being happy is a state of mind. It is strictly a state of mind. It is how one views things."
"So I really am happy?" I asked her.
"You are as happy as you are ever going to be," she told me.
She walked over and she patted me on the top of my head. I smiled, stood up and I left the room. All the way back to the dormitory I became excited about having to clean the toilets and sinks. It was good to know that I was “happy” even though I did not feel happy inside.