James rubbed his eyes and blinked the sleep from them slowly turning his head towards his alarm clock and trying to focus the harsh red light.
"5:30 AM.. " He grumbled
"I don't have to be up for another hour"
He hadn't slept well all week, ever since he had met that mysterious girl in the park. It had been a Sunday, and James was busy working away on his thesis for his masters degree. It was a tedious process and he found the park cleared his head and helped him think.
"Hey Mister," the girl had called to him
"I think this belongs to you!" She ran up to him with a photograph.
James had taken the photograph and studied it closely, it was a picture of his great grandfather. But how had she gotten it, and how did she know it was his. He looked up from it to ask her, but just had he had. She was gone.
His rational mind told him it was probably just a prank. He could think of a couple of friends and colleagues who might find it amusing, and they could have put the girl up to it, but he just didn't quite believe that. Maybe it was that the girl had just seemed too genuine, or maybe it was the way she seemed to disappear without a trace afterwards. Or maybe it was just a gut feeling, irrational but persistent. Whatever the reason, he couldn't shake the feeling that the event was more significant than it seemed. With less than 30 minutes until the alarm went off, and odds of sleep in that time slim to none, he decided to haul himself out of bed and fuel up on coffee instead.
James quickly cleaned up the coffee pot, and put on a fresh brew, it's welcome aroma filling the air and chasing off fatigue and thoughts of the fraught night.
James chuckled to himself,
"Why am I getting so hung up on this, I probably dropped the photo when I was digging through my wallet or something." While he couldn't quiet remember taking out his wallet, it was the only plausible explanation at this point.
With a shrug, James shuffled through the cupboard to find a mug and hastily withdrew the coffee carafe from it's holder. The machine hissed in protest as drops of coffee fell onto the hotplate. He quickly poured a cup and shoved the carafe back in place, allowing the machine to continue.
James slumped into a chair at his table, pulled out his phone, and began thumbing through his news feed. A lot of the regular stories scrolled by.
"I always knew i-95 was trouble, it's nice to see the cops finally cracking down" he said to himself as he read through a story of a late night ride program. Then something caught his eye.
"Orphanage raising funds for expansion project" It wasn't the title that had caught his attention as much as the accompanying photo. In it there was a small group of about 6 kids with 2 adults which he assumed were a husband and wife team. But among the photos was non other then the girl from the park.
"No, I really shouldn't" James mused to himself. James was considering the idea of going and talking to the couple.
"But it couldn't hurt, I could just make a donation..." he thought to himself.
"But wouldn't they think that was weird, 'Hey yeah this girl gave me my photo, and I just wanted to donate to say thanks?' no one is going to buy that"...
He wrestled back and forth with the idea until finally he stood up.
"You know what, I am going to do this. Clearly this has been on my mind, and I am going to clear it up!"
And with that, James hastily threw on his jackets and shoes and walked out the door.