“Hey, Derek, are you going to talk to me?” Angie asked as she followed Derek down the school hallway. After about thirty seconds of silence, “Babe, you have to understand! I didn’t know she was your sister! And I care about you and I hate to know that you had to go through all that pain when you were younger. You have to understand that I’m sorry I hurt your sister’s feelings and mostly I hate that you’re not talking to me.”
Derek turned around so quickly that Angie almost ran right into him, “You’re sorry now? Darcy was crying when I got inside! She didn’t know any better! She was eighteen, Angie. She didn’t know that my dad hit me! He never did it unless he was drunk. He didn’t drink when Darcy was around, because he was afraid that she would give up on him completely! She didn’t want much to do with him after...” Derek stopped and looked up at Angie, “Just forget it. I’ll see you at lunch.”
When lunch time finally came, Angie was sitting at the table that her and friends usually sit at. Alex walked over to the table and sat down next to Angie, “Has he talked to you at all today?”
“Yeah, but he was so mad, it was like he just want to bite my head off!” Angie said.
Derek walked into the lunch room and went over to the table that Angie and Alex were at, “I’m not eating lunch with you guys today,” Derek turned around and started walking away.
Angie got up from the table and followed Derek into the hallway, “Where are you going?” Derek didn’t respond, “Derek, you can’t just shut me out! It was a mistake! You can’t do this to me!”
“I can do what I want. You’re my girlfriend, not my mother. My mother is dead, and I don’t need you trying to take her place, got it?” Derek raised his voice at Angie. “All I ever wanted was to find someone who loved me like she did. And I haven’t found anyone like her! My uncle is the closest thing I have, and he’s lying in a hospital bed, dying! And there is nothing I can do about it! When I was six I felt the same way with my mom, and I feel like I’m reliving that. You know, I was somewhat afraid to get close to you, Angie, because I figured it could never happen! Your family has hated me since I was in the ninth grade and I did nothing wrong. All your brothers tried to do was find the worst in me, and they thought I was sleeping with my sister! She’s my sister, Angie,” Derek stopped yelling and looked down at the floor.
“I can see your upset,” Angie looked over at him.
“You think? Wouldn’t you be upset if I didn’t know Alex and I thought you were sleeping with him behind my back? If you had a problem, you should have come to me about it. You don’t just assume things, I’m your boyfriend. Relationships come with a lot of extra baggage, like family problems and whatever. We obviously both have those. And you need to trust me, Angie. I would never want to hurt you. But you make me feel like you don’t trust me at all. What if I told you I didn’t trust you? How would that make you feel?” Derek stopped and was just staring at Angie. He was very upset with her, “What? Now you have nothing to say? Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Derek turned around and just kept on walking down the hall. He went into Darcy’s office, “I just like screamed at my girlfriend. Darcy, what am I going to do? I feel like she doesn’t trust me or even want to be with me.”
Darcy looked up at her brother, “I caused this, and I’m sorry. But you won’t have to worry about me being in the way of your relationships any longer.”
Derek saw a box with everything that was on Darcy’s desk placed inside of it, “What? You’re quitting?”
“I’m moving to Dellwood City, Minnesota. Out of the state, so no one has to worry about me and you secretly dating behind your girlfriends back any more.”
“You’re fleeing the state? Now, while our uncle is dying? Now would be the time I would need you, Darcy!”
“My husband got a great job that would pay a lot! We would be living the high life! Our house is beautiful! I’m not going to throw that away. I talked to Aunt Kate, and she said that she thinks it would be best if you came with us.”
“What?! No! I’m not leaving the state!”
“She’s going to give me guardianship of you, Derek. We all think it’s the best thing for you, and for all of us. It gives me the chance to redeem myself! I’ve been feeling horrible about leaving you with Dad, and now I get to take you in and prove to everyone that I really do love you, kiddo!”
“So you are doing this for yourself? You didn’t even ask me about it!”
“Our uncle is dying and well, Aunt Kate is getting older. She can’t raise you for much longer, Derek.”
“I’m not going to need to be raised for much longer. I’m sixteen.”
“You’re not even half way through the school year and a lot of stuff has happened. You don’t even need all this stress; you’ve gone through a lot in your life. You’re girlfriend and her family doesn’t need to pull you into all of the drama that they have going on. You don’t need all that stress.”
“What do you mean I don’t need all of this stress? I’m the one who’s causing it!”
“Then it would be best if we moved. If you really like Angie, then you will agree to leave. If you are causing this much pain, then leaving will only make things better, for all of us. Think about who will benefit from this.” After she got no response form her brother, Darcy said “We will be all settled in around December 7th.”
“That’s in less than a month!”
“I know. Thomas starts his job at the end of December.” Derek was mad about all of this. He lift Darcy’s room, and went to class.
It was now the end of the school day, and Derek couldn’t stop thinking about moving to Minnesota. How was he going to tell Angie? Would his Aunt Kate be okay if something happened to her husband? Who would run the farm or the filing service? He couldn’t believe that his aunt would want to just give him up. But would it make everyone happier if he was gone? Would the house be quieter and the stress of raising another child be lifted from his aunt and uncle? He decided he was going to go over to Angie’s later on and tell her the bad news. He figured it would be best if he moved in with Darcy.
It was about six o’clock at night, and Derek was driving home from work, and he decided to stop by the Anderson’s house. He pulled in the driveway and got out of his car. He just kind of stood outside of the house for a minute thinking about what he was going to tell Angie. He finally got up the courage to walk up the front porch steps. Right as he went to knock on the door, Aden had opened it, “Oh, hi, Derek. It’s like crazy in my house!”
“Why is that?” Derek asked.
“My other two cousins, Kayla and Sam are here. Kayla is eight and Sam is six.”
“Oh, wow. I’m going to say there are a lot of people here then, right?”
“Yeah! My grandparents are staying for the night. They have a flight back to New York tomorrow.”
“Oh, well, I’ll just get going then. I don’t want to add on to all the craziness,” Derek turned around and began walking down the porch steps.
“Derek, wait!” Aden called. Derek turned back around, “I just want to say thanks.”
“For what, man?”
“With everything that’s going on in our lives, no matter how hard it may be for Angie, whenever she’s with you, she has a reason to smile. And seeing my sister be happy means a lot.”
Derek felt horrible after Aden had said that. He just came over to tell Angie that he was moving to Dellwood City, Minnesota! He couldn’t say anything back; he just turned around and kept on walking. He got in his car, and pulled out of the driveway. When he got home, there were five cars in the driveway. One was his aunt’s, one was Darcy’s and he didn’t recognize the other three. He parked on the side of the street and started to walk up to the house. He saw that one of the license plates said “Indiana” and he knew that one of his aunt and uncle’s kids lived in Indiana. When he got inside he saw his three cousins in the kitchen talking to his aunt and sister. “Um, I’m home.”
“Oh, my! Is that Derek?” his cousin Clara asked. “I haven’t seen him in years!”
“He’s so cute! Do you have a girlfriend now, Derek?” his cousin Addi asked.
“Oh, leave the poor boy alone!” his cousin Daryl said.
“I’m going to go to my room,” Derek turned around and began walking to his room.
“Don’t be rude, Derek,” Darcy said.
“Yeah, we haven’t seen you in forever, boy. Come, sit, chat!” said Clara.
Derek walked over to the kitchen table and sat down between Darcy and Daryl. He was looking down at his hands folded in his lap. He didn’t want to look up because he didn’t really want to talk to anybody. He didn’t want to move out of Tennessee. He liked it there. He would rather work three jobs and get to see Angie then not work at all and not get to see Angie. He really feels as if he loves her, but no one understands!
“So, Derek, how have you been?” Addi asked.
“Just fine,” Derek said with a bit of an attitude.
“You don’t sound fine to me,” Clara said.
“Well, I am! Can I go now?” Derek stood up and started walking to his room.
“He’s just mad because he doesn’t want to move to Minnesota,” Darcy told Derek’s cousins.
Derek walked back into the kitchen. He wasn’t going to bring anything up about it, but he figured he might as well say what he felt since Darcy said something about it, “No, I don’t want to move to Minnesota with you. I wouldn’t even want to move into the house you live in now! Just because you would be there.”
“You left me with him when I was six! You tell me you want to redeem yourself! So you wouldn’t be taking me in if everyone wasn’t going to be like ‘Aw, that’s so sweet your taking in your brother.’ Well, I have a life here. You didn’t want anything to do with me up until like last month! Why the hell do you think I would want to move out of the state with a hypocrite like you?” Derek turned around, and walked away.