Rachel sat on the subway platform and watched people passing by, minding their own business. The next train was about to arrive; she figured this just by looking at the passengers preparing to board. But that wasn’t what Rachel had come for.
“Mommy, I’m hungry, and my leg hurts,” came the weak, desperate voice of Dave, her six-year-old sick son, lying in her lap.
Rachel knew she had run out of money after she had spent it all on lunch. She put the empty cup in front of her and began to sing a song close to her heart…
People who were distracted by her pleasant voice didn’t seem to notice her pain. Most of them were busy with their cell phones, some were looking for a coin or two to toss into her cup, and some didn’t even bother to look.
Rachel didn’t care about their ignorance. She was asking for alms in exchange for a song she had been humming all her life. She stared at the dirty floor with desperate eyes, and did what she had to do.
“God, please help me through the difficulties. If all these people put in just a penny each, I’ll have enough to buy my son a dinner and ointment,” she thought as she sang.
Rachel took a short break to see if her son was all right. “Dave, honey, just a few more minutes. And then we will get out of here, okay?”
Dave was panting. He was hungry and in pain because of his injured leg. Two days earlier, he had taken a terrible fall during a game. It happened in the same parking lot where mother and son usually slept on a stack of old cardboard collected from the dumpster.
The train took off from the platform, so Rachel got back to her job. She coughed, adjusted her voice, and began humming the tune again. But this time her voice and the lyrics of the song attracted a rich man who had just stepped off the train. It was 27-year-old Jeffrey, who for some reason realized he had heard this song before.
“This song? I’ve heard it before. But who sings it? And how does she know the words that only my grandmother, my sister and I knew?” – he wondered as he approached the spot where Rachel was sitting.
As Jeffrey approached the spot, tears slowly came to his eyes. Rachel was immersed in her sweet melody when a man’s long shadow fell over her, distracting her.
“Oh my God! Rachel, is that you? God forgive me,” Jeffrey sobbed, falling to his knees. “Please forgive me for doing this to you, sister.”
Rachel’s heart began to beat faster. It seemed like it wanted to jump out of its cell, because at that moment all of Rachel’s past pain came rushing back.
“Brother? Oh my God, Jeffrey, is that you?” – she screamed.
The siblings looked at each other in tears, remembering the one mistake Jeffrey had made eighteen years earlier that had cost Rachel more than happiness.
When Jeffrey and Rachel were young, they lost their parents in a car accident. They moved in with Grandma Alice, who took care of them instead of their parents. She was all they had.
When the siblings were depressed, thinking of their parents, she would often sing them a beautiful melody to comfort them. “Sing this song when your heart is heavy. And you’ll feel so much better,” she often said as she hugged Jeffrey and Rachel.
The family was happy with the little they had. There were no problems in their paradise until one day Alice died of a heart attack. That loss was unbearable, and the children were sent to an orphanage before they could get over her and grieve properly. And that was the moment when Jeffrey was given the opportunity to start a new life.
A wealthy couple adopted him, while Rachel stayed in the orphanage. No one wanted to take her in because she was lame. They just saw her disability, not her heart, which longed for love and care. Rachel was crushed, but she was comforted by Jeffrey’s promise to come back for her. But who knew that along with that promise he would break her heart?
“I promise to come back for you, sister. Stay strong and wait for me. I will come and take you with me,” nine-year-old Jeffrey promised before he painfully said goodbye to his sister. That fateful day was the last time Rachel saw Jeffrey. He never came back for her.
Jeffrey got his new rich life and absolutely forgot about his little sister and his promise to her. He assumed that someone would adopt her, but fate had something else in store for poor Rachel.
Rachel moved out of the orphanage of her own free will after she turned eighteen. She fell in love with a man and dreamed of starting a family together. Rachel was young, beautiful, and madly in love. She trusted him and believed he would be everything to her, but she was wrong.
Rachel’s dreams ended the day her boyfriend dumped her when he found out she was pregnant. The only thing she had left was the pain inside her.
Poor Rachel couldn’t find a job because no one was willing to take her without experience. They only saw her disability as an evil excuse not to hire her.
Challenges constantly piled up in Rachel’s life, but the only reason to smile was when she picked up baby Dave for the first time. She was homeless, but she was determined not to starve her son. Gathering all her courage, Rachel walked every day to a different subway station or a bus stop and sang the song her grandmother had taught her in exchange for alms.
“…And this is what I did to raise my son,” she cried. Jeffrey’s conscience began to question him, and he had no answer. The young man, who was now a wealthy business tycoon taking over his adoptive father’s business, did the unthinkable, watching what was going on.
“Sis, I’m sorry. I know it’s a small word compared to the hardship you’ve been through. But I promise that your days will be better from now on,” he said, picking up sick Dave in his arms. Rachel was stunned and stood up, struggling to balance because of her limp.
Jeffrey put his arm around Rachel’s shoulders and said: “Let’s go home, sis!”
Warm beads of tears rolled down Rachel’s eyes. For the first time in years, she shed tears of joy and felt her heart beat with relief as she felt her brother’s warmth at her side.
That day Jeffrey and Rachel were reunited after 18 terrible years apart. In addition to giving them shelter in his luxurious home, Jeffrey paid for his little nephew’s medical treatment. He hired a spa therapist to care for his sister and gave her a makeover that no longer reminded her of the ugly emotional scars she had endured all her life.
Today’s world is so competitive that most people chase money. But does that mean you can forget about your loved ones? Do you think siblings like Jeffrey should respect relationships and not trade love for money?