“But Mrs., we’re heading to the forest. Are you sure you know where we’re going?” he asked, beginning to get concerned. “Oh yeah, son, don’t worry about that. I know perfectly well where I’m taking you,” the blind woman answered.
Then, she laughed, and this sent a chill down the kid’s spine. But he was too scared. He couldn’t bring himself to let go of the lady’s hand and run away. Where was she taking him?
The last few months hadn’t been easy on Robert. It was more than most kids his age would have been able to go through. But still, he had amazed everyone with how he kept doing the right thing and pushing through all the setbacks his family had been suffering.
Everyone knew Robert as a boy way more mature than most other 7-year-olds. However, nothing could have prepared him for what happened to him that day.
Robert Bloom was the youngest of three siblings: like their parents, Anthony and Julia, they were born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. Until that fateful event took place, their lives had been nothing but happy and gleeful.
But at one point, something happened that made them face the harsh realities of life at a young age and shaped the course of their childhood forever.
Robert’s older sister, Janice, had been diagnosed with a rare disease just a few months ago. She was only 15 years old, and her possibilities of getting better seemed grim unless she got a certain expensive treatment that was offered by just two or three hospitals in the entire country.
But that wasn’t all. Janice’s diagnosis had arrived at one of the worst possible moments for the Blooms.
The first symptoms started showing shortly after Julia lost her job as a waitress in one of the local restaurants. Just a few weeks later, the doctor gave them the disheartening diagnosis.
Now, the Blooms were having a hard time paying the bills, and Julia hadn’t found a job after months of searching. And that wasn’t all.
Even if she found a job, Julia wouldn’t be able to work full-time. Janice’s symptoms were getting worse and worse by the day, and she needed to be taken care of. All the while, Julia still had to take Robert and his brother Albert to school every day, as they lived in a secluded area far from any bus route.
Their situation seemed desperate, and there didn’t seem to be an easy way out of it. It seemed like there was only one option that could alleviate their suffering.
The family thought about getting a bank loan to pay for Janice’s treatment. However, there was a problem. How would they even pay it back?
Janice insisted that there was no need for that. She didn’t want to see her parents stressed and suffocated by a debt they couldn’t handle. Albeit slim, there was still a chance that she would recover from her illness by herself, or at least that it wouldn’t get much worse past a point. Or at least, that’s what the doctor told them. But would they get that lucky?
One day, Janice’s symptoms got particularly bad. Julia and Albert had to stay home to take care of her, so Robert had to go to school on foot, all alone.
For the entire day, he couldn’t focus properly on what the teachers explained. His mind was filled with thoughts and worries about all the calamities afflicting his family. And what made it worse was that, as much as he’d do whatever it took to help them, he knew he was too young to do anything. Little did he know that his luck was about to change.
The bell rang, and Robert left the school, still immersed in thoughts about his family’s situation. He got distracted and went down one street he had never been to before.
Still, he knew the area and trusted that he would be able to find his way to the route that would take him back home. And suddenly, he saw something that instantly called his attention.
There was a senior woman standing still in the middle of the street, carrying a cane. Robert inferred that she was blind. There wasn’t anyone else on the street, and there didn’t seem to be any dogs around either. Was she alone? Did she need help?
Robert walked toward her and asked, “Excuse me, Mrs., is everything alright? Can I help you?”. The lady turned towards him and, after a few seconds, she spoke.
“Hey there, son. Yeah, I could use a little help. I can’t see. And I asked a man to help me get home, because I’m too scared of tripping. Promised to pay him and everything. But he just took the money and ran away.”
“I can help you if you let me know where’s your home,” the kid said. “Oh, that’s so sweet of you, young man. Thank you. I’ll pay you so you can buy something,” the woman replied, reaching out for Robert’s hand. “No need for that, Mrs. You don’t need to pay me,” Robert said. The two got on the way to the lady’s house. Or that’s what Robert thought.
The blind lady started walking by Robert’s hand. Still, it seemed like the lady knew where they were going. She walked ahead of Robert, while he only had to make sure that there were no obstacles in the way.
But after a few minutes, Robert realized something: they were leaving the suburbs and getting into the outskirts. He looked ahead of him: they were walking towards a forest.
“Mrs., are you sure you know where we’re going? We’re walking towards the forest,” Robert asked, starting to feel worried. Was the lady in her right mind? “Oh yeah, young man, don’t worry. I know where I’m taking you,” the woman answered.
Then, she laughed. This filled Robert with disquiet. What was the lady up to? What was she planning? Should he run away or stay by her side?
They wandered for a while among the forest until, finally, they arrived at what seemed to be a dugout. Then, the lady let go of Robert’s hand. “Would you do me a favor, son?” she said, “could you go inside there and grab the garbage bag you’ll find lying on the ground?”
With his heart galloping, Robert entered the dugout. He was too scared to do otherwise, although his mind kept telling him to run away. He ventured into the darkness, and then he heard the lady laughing as she walked away.
Sure enough, Robert found the bag the lady mentioned. When he opened it, he couldn’t contain a gasp. It was full of cash money! There had to be millions in there!
Quickly, he grabbed it, ran away, found his way out of the forest, and got a cab home. When he showed his family what he had found, they couldn’t hold their tears. That would be more than enough to pay for Janice’s medical bills! Robert never saw the old lady again, and, to this day, he’s convinced she was an angel disguised as a human being. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.