Jack stepped on the brakes as we arrived at the tall building.
“I’ll wait for you out here.” He told me as I got out.
“Thanks Jack.” I replied over my shoulder as I slammed through the heavy mahogany doors and into an over-cooled waiting room.
I rushed over to the receptionist immediately.
“I talked to you over the phone.” I stated to her blank face.
“Oh yeah, did you bring the picture?”
“Right here.” I handed it over.
“Right, this may take a few seconds.” She placed the picture under a strange machine. The machine ran a red light over the picture. The words “SCANNING” soon appeared on her computer screen. She pushed a button that said “similar matches” and a loading bar popped up at the bottom. It started at a steady pace. It was too slow, for I could feel my anticipation tearing me apart from the inside out. A painful minute later, the bar was finished. Green letters that read “COMPLETE” replaced the bar. The screen turned black and white, then, the computer shut down. I stood there for a good ten seconds.
“What the hell just happened?” I demanded.
“I have no idea…” the receptionist looked dumbfounded. “I’ve never seen this before. Only the government has access to shut down my computer besides me.”
“Can you try again?” I asked desperately.
“It’s not turning on.” She told me, her finger jabbing at the power button. “Why don’t you leave your number and I’ll call you when this is working?”
Sighing, I jotted down the church’s number.
“Sorry about this.”
I was already out the door. Jack was waiting outside his car.
“How’d it go?” was his cheerful reply.
“I don’t know. The computer just turned off when it was done scanning. Then it wouldn’t turn back on.”
I got in the car, not willing to talk anymore. I felt I had been robbed. Jack got in beside me.
“Cheer up mate.” He said. “When the computer turns black and white, it just a normal problem, like every other computer.”
“I don’t remember saying what happened with the screen.” I asked, suddenly suspicious.
“Oh, well, ah, lucky guess, after all that sounded like the problem” Came his reply.
He was refusing to look at me now, and I knew that somehow he had caused the computer to turn off. For some reason, Jack was trying to stop me.
I was still trying to get over what happened the next day. The anger was still inside my body, not wanting to leave. Every time I saw Jack, I saw a threat, a hidden danger. I knew the only way to ever fell normal again was to complete this scanning process, but my mind was refusing to wait that long. I had called back that morning and the woman had said the computer was now running. I had this one chance to find my parents and no one was going to take it away from me.
I didn’t know how to drive. I would normally just ask Jack to take me. I soon flagged down a cab as I had seen others do countless times.
“I need to go to this address.” I told the man, handing him the brochure.
“Right away sir.”
I remembered my conversation with Jack right before I left.
“Jack, I’ve decided to stop looking for them.” I had lied.
“Anthony, I don’t think you could have made a smarter decision.” He said, looking straight into my eyes.
I remember his look, almost relieved for some reason. The car pulled to a stop.
“We’re here sir.”
I paid the cab driver and went inside those tall mahogany doors once more.
The receptionist looked up.
“Oh, you again?” she replied in a dreary tone.
“I want to try again.”
And so we went through the same steps. The bar had just finished and “COMPLETE” came up when Jack burst through the doors.
“Anthony, no! Don’t do it!”
I swiftly looked back down at the screen and saw an older version of me, then I realized it was someone who looked so much like me, he could have been my…
“What is his name?!” I demanded, I saw Jack running towards me from the corner of my eye.
“Gregory Horrison.” The name sounded familiar somehow, like from an old dream. Jack was getting closer. I smashed through a door that led out of the room. I was outside. I started sprinting down the sidewalk, sun blaring in my face. I heard the door slam open a couple yards behind me.
It pained me to run from him, he who had taken me this far in my life, but I knew he wanted to stop me from reaching my goal, and I couldn’t allow that. I stopped running after at least half an hour. I stood in the middle of New York, hands on knees, panting for breath, sweating underneath the intense sun, adrenaline pumping throughout my body, and I couldn’t care one bit, because now I knew my father’s name.