Wednesday, 8 June 2016

I Did It For You ~ Part 2

A sharp pain needled him awake. Derek groaned. Why did his head hurt? What had happened? Questions surged forward. Suddenly, everything came flooding back. The snow and ice - the crash - the jolting shock - then Mom leaning on -

Mom. His mom. 

Derek jerked up and immediately cried out in pain. As he struggled with the wave of nausea that shot through him, he tried to see where he was. The lights in the room were off. “Mom!” he shouted. “Mom! Where are you?” 


“MOM!!” Panic enveloped him. He started breathing quickly, trying to swallow the uneasy feeling rapidly rising in his throat. A sob escaped him. 

Footsteps hurried toward him. He heard a door open. 

“Mom? Are you alright?” Derek cried. “Someone turn on the lights, please!” 

He groped around wildly and then arms were encircling him, comforting him.

“Shhh, it’s alright,” a soft crooning voice whispered. “Calm down. It’s all right.” 

The boy trembled as he drew in a deep, shuddering breath. But he started to relax. Mom was okay. Mom was alive, she was here. 

As sleep enveloped him, he murmured, “I’m so glad you’re alright, Mom. See you - in the morning.”

He thought he heard a shocked “Oh no” accompanied by a tightening of the arms around him, but he was too tired to investigate. Closing his eyes, he sank into unconsciousness, oblivious to the strange woman who held him, and who was calling out to the Father to bring strength and comfort to the now orphaned boy. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“There’s hope in front of me! 
There’s a light, I still see it!
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it,”

Aileen danced out of the stall she had been cleaning and moved onto the next. 

“I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope-”

Her singing stopped abruptly as she realized she had suddenly gained an audience. Her older brother, Edward, stood outside the barn door. “Hey, Danielle Gokey!” he grinned teasingly. 

Aileen groaned. “Please don’t start, Ed.” 

“My dear sister, what on earth are you talking about?” Ed asked, looking as innocent as a baby. He grabbed a rake and started cleaning the last stall. 

“Brothers,” Aileen rolled her eyes. “What did I ever do to end up being the only girl amidst a ton of boys?” 

“Correction - your ton of boys is actually only four,” Ed emptied his rake into the wheelbarrow. “We’re helping toughen you up.” 

“Yeah right!” Aileen laughed shortly. “Toughen up? I’ve lived with you for all seventeen years of my life and I still haven’t gotten used to anything you do.”

“Nice singing,” her brother suddenly changed the topic. “You’ve really improved over the years, Ally.” 

Aileen stared at him in amazement. Ed - complimenting her? It was unheard of! And how did he turn from teasing to praising, just like that? She shook her head. Never in the whole world would she understand this queer species of humans called boys. 

But Ed continued, “I was talking to Josh Brewster and turns out he knows this executive producer-”

“What?!” Aileen flew out of the stall. “Ed, you’re joking! Stop pulling my leg!” 

“Hey, I’m totally serious,” Ed’s clear blue eyes looked straight down into hers. “Josh is willing to mention you to the executive producer. I said I’d talk with you first. So - do you still have that dream of yours?” 

“Do I?” Aileen was half crying, half laughing. “Of course! Why wouldn’t I? This has been my dream since I was five!” 

“Alright then,” Ed grinned. “I’ll let Josh know.” 

“Oh, Ed!” Aileen was speechless with delight. “Is - is this a dream?”

Her brother laughed and pulled her hat down over her eyes. “No, you little goose. It’s real, ‘bout as real as it gets.” He pinched her arm. 

“Ow!” Aileen frowned, but her eyes were sparkling with excitement. 

“Well, gotta go to town now,” Ed settled his own black Stetson on his dark head. “Continue your chirping, goose!” he called over his shoulder as he strode out of the barn. 

Aileen finished the rest of her chores in a daze. Slowly, the truth began to sink in. She was so thrilled she thought she was going to burst. 

Just as she put the last brush away, her dad’s Chevy pulled into the yard. 

As Will Forrest got out of the truck, Aileen noticed the grim look on her father’s face. 

The girl ran out of the barn. “Hey, Dad,” she said as she greeted him with a warm hug. “What happened?”

“I have a very grave matter to discuss with your mother,” he said quickly. “I’ll tell you about it later on, okay?”

“Is something wrong?” Aileen looked up with concern. 

But her father wouldn’t say anymore. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

That Saturday, Will Forrest called for a family meeting. So after dinner, the Forrests gathered in their rather small living room. Aileen and her mother sat together on the couch. Ed and Peter, who were only a year apart from each other, lay sprawled on the floor, while Aileen’s younger brothers, Aaron and Jack, tried with difficulty to squeeze themselves into the single bean bag chair. A lot of laughing and pushing was going on when Mr. Forrest entered the room. For a time, the head of the house only stood in front of the stone fireplace, staring into the blazing flames. 

Finally, he turned around. He coughed for attention, and instant silence reigned over the room. 

“You all remember Robert and Pauline Miller, and their son Derek,” Mr. Forrest started. 

Aileen nodded along with the rest of her family. The Millers used to live nearby the Forrests before Robert had died. Then Pauline and Derek had moved away. Aileen was secretly glad when they left. Derek had been a loud, pesky boy whose chief goal in life was to make her as miserable as possible. He had pulled her hair whenever he got the chance, slipped bugs down her shirt - she shuddered.

Mr. Forrest continued, “I’m not sure why they were up here, but my guess is that Pauline was heading back to their old house. She wasn’t prepared for the weather though. The roads were pretty bad, covered in ice. A passerby found her car in a gully along Dawson Forest. It looked like she had been killed instantly. But Derek survived.”

Aghast, Aileen tried to process what she was hearing. Her father’s solemn attitude was starting to worry her. Where was he going with this?

“Excluding his parents, Derek had only one other living relative. An aunt. However, he has never met this aunt before and officials are trying to contact her. In the meantime, Derek has no place to go.” He paused, then continued, “Your mother and I have talked long and hard about this, as well as asked the Lord for wisdom and guidance. We have come to an agreement that we should open up our home to Derek Miller.” 

For a few moments, there was stunned silence as Will’s words sank in. Then the room erupted with questions. 

“When’s he coming?” 

“Is he going to be our new brother?”

“How long will he stay with us?”

Only Aileen remained silent. 

“Hold on, hold on!” Mr. Forrest held up his hand. “Good,” he said as quiet once more came over the group. “Now to answer your questions. We’ll have to talk with some people before Derek can come over here, but, Lord willing, it will be in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how long he will be staying with us, probably until his aunt is found.”

“But I would like you all to give him a warm welcome. It might be hard at first. You haven’t seen him in nine years, and Jack, you’ve never met him.” Mr. Forrest turned to his youngest son. “For those of you who have met him and remember him a bit, well - just know he isn’t the same anymore. For one thing, he is no longer a little boy of eight.”

Aileen’s thoughts drifted away again. Another boy? she thought to herself wildly. Even worse, Derek Miller? True, she was sorry that his parents had died - but having that troublesome boy live with her for who knew how long was simply unimaginable. And I haven’t even gotten used to my own brothers, she moaned inwardly. 

Then again, Dad had said Derek was different now. Maybe the change had been for the better. Maybe he would be much nicer than the nightmare Aileen had last encountered. Maybe - 

“There is one other thing you should know.” Her father’s voice brought her back to reality.

She turned her full attention onto him. 

“Derek Miller is blind.”


  1. Derek? Orphaned? Blind??? *sobs* Oh poor Derek!! ;)
    Great job Blessing!!! No wonder you won. ;) Can't wait for the next part!!! :D

    1. Thanks, Kaitlyn! Glad you're enjoying it! :)

  2. Oh, I love this story so much!!! It was the first I read during the contest, and it remained my favorite. ;)
    I love, love, LOVE how you fit the songs into it!!!

    1. Awww, thanks, Jesseca! That means a lot to me :)

  3. Oh, this is SAD! I feel so bad for Derek! :( You've sucked me into the story, though, and I really want to know what happens next. Excellent work, Blessing. (I also liked the bit of teasing from Ed to Aileen. That was cute. I like teasing brothers!)

    1. Oh, goody! I'm glad it's "sucked" you in :) I was afraid it wouldn't be captivating enough ;)

  4. Beautifully written, and so heart-wrenching! Can't wait to read more of this story!

  5. Wow! This is good, Blessing. I didn't want to stop reading. How long is this story anyway? I hope it doesn't end too soon. :)

    1. Thanks, Rebekah! There are six parts in total, the last one goes up tomorrow morning :)

  6. Congratulations on getting 2nd place in the contest, Blessing!!!! :D I'm so happy for you! :)

    I'm really enjoying the story! I can't wait to read more. :)


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