This story is by Maria Carmelina Montesano and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Today would challenge Dr. Trey’s sanity. In all his years of being a child psychologist, Dr. Trey never encountered a boy such as Adyant. He walked back to his colleague’s office completely baffled.
“What do you mean the child says he is 300 hundred years old? Where are his parents?’’
“He said that his father was deceased and that he has no mother. The boy didn’t want to talk to us anymore. So then Dr. Anderson suggested that he write down his feelings in this notebook. But you wouldn’t believe it… Well here read it for yourself.”
“Give me that Dr. Williams.’’
Dr. Trey’s facial expressions went from serious to bewildered as he read the child’s testimony.
I was known as, ‘Project Forever’, and so my father named me, Adyant. He told me that he chose my name because it meant unique. He was an intelligent scientist and with the help of other great scientists, I was a successful experiment. That’s correct, I was genetically engineered. They wanted to design a human being that would never get sick or die. I would never age, and my youthful face would always remain. My strength was like no other. I was the government’s best-kept secret.
I was an immortal super-human in every sense of the word. My father was Dale Frasherhardt, he was the top dog scientist that made me perfect. He loved me like a father would love a son. I wasn’t allowed to leave the lab, but my dad and his co-workers made sure that I received the best care. I had access to the best education, a big field to play in, and anything that I needed. They played soccer with me, read me stories, fed me, and treated me like their own. I have fond memories of them, and I consider them my only family.
However, as the years progressed from 25 years to 30 and so on, my father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. After telling his employer this revelation, they had given him the instruction to destroy his beloved project. That would be me. The government was adamant that they never wanted anyone in society to know about my existence. The only way he could do that is if he would surgically separate me. Yes, it was murder. But he was the only one that would know how to do it.
As the days grew closer to my destruction day, my father had made other plans. He was going to free me from the lab. Late one night while I was asleep, he woke me up and told me that we were going on a special outing away from the lab. I was so excited because this was the first time that I could leave the grounds with my father.
He told me to get dressed and then he snuck me out into his truck. All I remember was driving for a very long time. I eventually fell asleep and when I woke up, he left me with a lady I called Mrs. G. She was going to take care of me now. He said that he had to go. I was in tears. I didn’t want my father to leave. He then explained that he hadn’t much time left to be alive. For the first time, I understood what death would be like. It was permanent and it left a scar on my heart.
I reluctantly took Mrs. G’s hand and went back to her house. For a few years, I lived with her and she became my adoptive mother. She took great care of me, but one of the neighbors was wondering why I never went to school. The Child Protective Services came by for a visit one day, and they told her that they were going to take me away from her. I cried so hard when the social worker lady and police officer put me in the car. This was the second time I lost someone familiar to me.
They put me in foster care, and I went to school with the other children. I must’ve been about 75 years old at the time. The teachers were amazed at how much knowledge I had for a 6-year-old boy. I was a genius in Mathematics, and I read at a university level. I was marked as a genius child. I made a wonderful connection with one teacher, Mrs. Halohan, she didn’t have children of her own. She decided to adopt me.
For a few years, she noticed that I never aged. She became concerned so she took me to the doctor to see what was wrong. The doctor told her that I was a healthy 6-year-old boy and that she shouldn’t be worried. However, she knew that couldn’t be possible because now I must have been at least 11 years old. She became confused and didn’t understand that I was not aging like the other children.
She kept me for a few more years until that fateful day. We were at the bank when it was being robbed. One of the gunmen shot up in the air and the bullet hit my chest. Mrs. Halohan noticed the bloody wound began to heal itself instantly. The thieves were gone, but her eyes weren’t fixated on them anymore. She said the most hurtful words that I ever heard anyone say to me.
“You’re a freak! That’s why you don’t age. There is something wrong with you!’’
She drove back in her car and left me alone on the street. At that point, I had to take care of myself. I managed to get food. I was the homeless kid, I was the cute kid, I was resourceful. I would sleep anywhere warm and sometimes make friends. They took me in, but like all my experiences they either died or left me.
The night that the officers found me sleeping near the garbage bins, they called Child Services to help find my family. No one would believe my life story, so I never spoke about it. They thought I may have been a runaway or an abused child, so they brought me here. Do you see my predicament?
“A 6-year-old boy wrote this?’’
“Yes, Dr. Trey. We witnessed him handwriting it.’’
“This child has a very overactive imagination. Yes, it is far beyond his years, but… I need to see him.’’
Adyant was lying in a fetal position on his bed as the doctor walked into his room.
“Hello son, do you like to read books about science?”
“I do, but why are you talking down to me? I told you I am old enough to be your great-great-great-grandfather show me some respect.”
“Alright. You say that you’re 300 years old, Adyant. Prove it to me.”
Adyant pulled a dilapidated aged olive-green scrapbook from his knapsack. He then motioned Dr. Trey to sit beside him.
“What do you have there?”
“My father kept this book for me. This is my dad and I when I had my 14th birthday party at the lab. Here is another on my 22nd birthday, dad bought me a new bike. If you see on the back, my dad wrote the date on all of these pictures.”
“Can I see that closer?”
“Sure, here you go.”
Dr. Trey studied the photographs and Adyant appeared as a 6-year-old boy in all of them. Although the age of the photographs proved to be legitimate, Dr. Trey refused to accept it as a truth.
“You’re going to have to do better than that kid.”
“You are stubborn. Give me a pair of scissors.”
“I don’t want you to hurt yourself, Adyant. They can be sharp.”
“Just get me the scissors.”
“I was going to cut a lock of my hair. But if you fear for my safety so much, you do it.”
“Fair enough. I will be right back.”
Dr. Trey went back into Adyant’s room to cut out a piece of his hair. As the scissors snipped some hair off, Dr. Trey stood back in astonishment. The missing hair instantly grew back.
“What are you?”
Adyant then pulled a tattered old folder with reports in it from his knapsack once more.
“What is this? Project Forever, top secret experiment?”
“This is what I am. I am a 300-year-old experiment that will never die. At the same time, I will never be able to truly live.”