Her Hearts Longing

Some minor characters have major impact. Derek Hall appears in all three books in The Three Sisters Series.

I’m Derek Hall.

I’ve known Aubrey, Haleigh, and Katie for a long time. We weren’t really friends in school, because they were religious and goody-goody and no fun. In high school, I enjoyed my bad boy image. I kept my grades just high enough to stay on the football team, where I was the star player, the quarterback.

Aubrey started hanging out with my friend, Leanna Nelson. Leanna was funny, smart, and a talented athlete. Aubrey was very smart and beautiful, and she was almost as good as Leanna in soccer and basketball. I thought she’d join my admiration society, but she refused to have anything to do with me except as Leanna’s friend. Boy, I was mad, but I didn’t give up entirely.

Haleigh was easy to pick on. She really didn’t have friends to hang out with when Aubrey joined up with Leanna and Katie joined drama club and became an item with Nathan West. I did a pretty good job of bullying Haleigh without her friends and brothers knowing, at least most of the time, teasing her, calling her names. I did it because I could, and she was an easy target.

The night of the accident I didn’t think I was drunk. I just wanted to have fun and help Leanna, the star basketball player in tenth grade, celebrate the girls’ basketball championship. When I invited Leanna to go for a victory ride, she pulled Aubrey in with her.

I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. But I spent four years in prison. They called it “vehicular manslaughter” and “driving while intoxicated.” And I killed Leanna and nearly killed Aubrey.

A lot has happened since then. The most important is that I’ve confessed my sins and received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. It’s mostly because of Will White, Aubrey’s brother. He never gave up on me. He knew Jesus could change me. I’ll always be grateful for how he encouraged me and talked to me about Jesus. Even after all the awful things I did.

If Jesus could change me, He can change anybody.

I’m sorry for what I did. I go to AA, attend church, work, and I hang out  with Nathan West. He became a Christian while I was in prison. He’s an all-right guy, but he has this thing for Katie Mann, like he did in high school. Katie’s nice to everybody, but I don’t think she’s interested in him now. She’s gone on with her life, and he needs to let go.