A father who has turned to the darker aspects of life makes a bargain with God to save his daughter Arista's life. But will he keep his end of the deal, or will he have to lose her forever?
Arista, wake up.
She didn't move.
Come on, Arista, please. Please wake up. You know I need you.
Her eyelids fluttered, igniting a spark of hope from inside me. I placed a hand on her soft, smooth forehead, and shook her gently, even though the doctors had told me not to move her.
Please, Arista. Dear God, I swear--if you only let her wake up, I will do anything. Anything.
I stared at her perfect face, searching desperatly for any sign of movement. Her mouth twictched, and I heard a long, shuddering sigh. Then she blinked, just barely...and her clear blue eyes flew open to meet mine.
"ARISTA!" I gasped, and knelt beside the bed, burying my face in her long golden hair. "Arista, my precious, my darling, my girl..."
She lifted her head and reached out to stroke my hair with her tiny hand. "I love you, Daddy," she whispered weakly.
I hugged her tightly so that she wouldn't see the tears brimming in my eyes. "I promise I will never let anything ever happen to you, baby. I promise."