Rachel jumped up from her seat and ran over and wrapped her arms around Dahlia saying how glad she was that she was safe and sound. She placed her arms around her and guided her to sit next to her. Ralph reached over and patted her hand, telling her that he had been worried and now he could sleep better tonight.
Ruth looked at the three of them and was thanking God for making the right decision by calling these people. She could tell that there was a lot of love in this family. Rachel turned Dahlia’s face towards her and asked why. Why did you leave, I thought you were happy here with us. What possibly could have happened to make you want to run away?
Dahlia placed her head in the position of looking down at her lap. She realized that she loved these two people. With not being able to see, she could feel the love from them, and she was sorry that she had worried them so much. She could always sense when they were in the room no matter where they were. The scents, the warmth, and the glow, was important factors to a blind person, The touch of Rachel’s soft hands, the smoothness in her voice, showing patience and love. Why had she not confided in these two, and had decided to just run.
Tears started to run down her face and she buried her face in her hands. She was aware that everyone’s eyes were on her, but nothing came out of her mouth. Ralph handed her his hankie and told her to wipe her eyes and blow her nose. He went on to say with confidence that nothing could be so bad, that she could not confide in either one of them.
Dahlia could not take the words,she stood up and felt her way over to where Ruth was sitting, and Ruth tried to comfort her while saying, please tell them, child , what happened. What made you run like this, please explain to them. Can’t you feel the love they have for you? You can trust them.
Dahlia sat in silence, trying, wanting to get the words out, but how could she tell them that their own son, had taken advantage of her. How could she hurt them like this. The clock could be heard ticking in the background, the silence was so loud in the room. No one was saying anything, and all ears were tuned into her mouth.
Ralph broke the silence by asking her if something had happened at the picnic yesterday. Did someone say something to hurt you? Were you offended in some way? While he was speaking he and Rachel, went over to where Ruth and Dahlia were sitting, and knelt down in front of them, placing their hands on top of Dahlias. Please tell us, we can help with what ever it was.
Dahlia gasped and choked on her breath, spitting out, it was him. Him? Who him? Drew. Ralph asked immediately, what did Drew do? He looked at Rachel and Rachel looked at him. All fell silent again, as the same thoughts were racing through each of the minds of the husband and wife.
Ralph coughed, and tears began to well up in his own eyes, and he said to Dahlia in a monotone voice, I think we know what you are talking about, we both think we know what has happened. Did he touch you? Did he place his hands on you? Please tell us.
Dahlia explained with much encouragement, how she had went outside with one of the ladies at the boarding house, and they had taken a walk and had found a bench and sat and chatted for a while. She explained how her friend got up and went back inside, with she, herself, saying she would follow in a few minutes. She explained how a mouth had covered hers and how she had been dragged to a spot farther away and he had taken advantage of her virginity.
Ralph got up and went back to his seat, while Rachel kept holding Dahlia’s hands. We thought this was over, we thought we had solved all of this a long time ago. The whispers of her words could be barely heard, and Dahlia asked her what had she just said. Rachel got up also and went back to her own seat, leaving Ruth to hold Dahlia close to her while the two others explained what had happened so long ago.
They explained that Drew had become ill several years ago. He had run a very high fever, and nothing the doctors could do would bring that temperature down. They kept him in ice packs and they bathed him and with its own will, the fever did finally break, but the damage left behind, did something to his head, and sometimes he took to crazy spells, acting differently than who he was.
Rachel continued to explain how Drew would look at her in embarrassing ways and on different occasions, he would barge into their bedroom, coming over and sitting on the bed for no reason. One time, Ralph and Rachel were in the middle of a passionate moment, and he barged in.
They had called a special doctor the next day and set an appointment to get their son some help. He had gone to this doctor for over a year, but then the doctor had explained, that with much help and testings, they thought they had this all sorted out, and the world could be at rest now, knowing he was back to the man he once was, but something has happened, and he has lost his mind once again.
Dahlia sat there dumbfounded. Her first thoughts were how could you leave so many innocent ladies live in your house, and we are all blind too? How could we defend ourselves against such a monster, but then she had gotten to know Drew also, and he never gave her a feeling that she should live in fear. He had never treated her with any less respect than she expected.
Her heart began to soften a little, but the memories of the pain were still too close to the heart. Ralph looked at Ruth and saw that even she had a glistening from her eyes. The story was so sad. A man who was a good man, became ill, and a monster was born, showing itself when ever it felt like.
Please come home with us dear Dahlia. We will take him back to the doctor. We will also take you to a doctor to make sure you are physically alright. If you need special help to get through this terrible ordeal, we can find someone for you. We care so much about you, dear girl. You have a wonderful future ahead of you, you love your school. How can we beg you for forgiveness over something we thought was buried years ago, please come home with us.