Counting Stars

16 year old Lela Hemmings has never felt real love. Her father died when she was 15 and her mother died giving birth to Lela. Lela lives with her Aunt. She is depressed, insecure, and shy. She walks the halls with her head down and her mouth shut. She is bullied though. Pushed. Laughed at. Judged. Due to her shyness, she literally doesn't talk to people. At all. As a result, she is afraid to stand up for herself. Then someone walked into her life. She didn't want them to stay, but she didn't want them to leave. Can someone as simple as a person, as simple as a boy, change her life?


14. Red Box

Red Box


I sit on the couch next to Ashton. I am leaning forward going through Facebook. Ashton sat back playing my hair. I pushed my glasses up.

"Your so cute when you do that." He giggles. I roll my eyes.

"Hey check it out." I say sitting back so he can see.

"What? The ad for a jewelry box?"

"Yeah. But its red."


"I had a while back. It was the night my dad died, he said something about a red box." I say. My aunt looks up at me.

"I knew this was coming." She sighs standing up. She pulls open a draw on the T.V stand and picks up a red box.

"Your dad made this." She places it in front of me and walks into the kitchen.

I lean forward and open it. I folded piece of paper is on the lid.  

Dear Lela,

If your reading this, you are most likely married, with kids. Or maybe you are graduating soon. Its your dad. I am writing this from the hospital. You are so beautiful. You were the last thing your mother saw before she past away. You are so small, but I have a feeling you are going to be something big. If you are reading this, I am probably in a better place. Think of it like this, I am with your mom. In a happy place without a care in the world. Your mom is watching us. She is sending good things our way. I am going to put pictures in the box along with this note. I love you.


I felt the tears fall down my cheeks.

"Its from my dad." I manage, handing the note to Ashton. I reached for the box and pulled out a pile of pictures.

My mom.

She looks so beautiful. She had long brown curly hair. A beautiful smile. She is gorgeous.

I notice I forgot a picture.

My mom and dad. My mom was pregnant. I flipped it over and looked at the back.

We can't wait to finally meet Lela! Super exited! ~Nicole.

Her name was Nicole. Ashton looks over my shoulder.

"I wish I could see her. I want to hug them and laugh with them." I cry.

"Shh, its okay." Ashton whispers as he rubs my back. I turn around and cry into his shoulder.

"Its not okay! He is gone, and she is gone. They cant come back!" I sob.

"Hey, Lela, listen. Your dad said your mom was watching you. She still is. She is, and so is your dad! They are watching us right now. I bet they smile because of what you became. They are proud. Your smart, beautiful, funny. They are happy." He says. I look up at him and kiss him.

"Thank you." I say.

"Don't thank me. Its true. They are looking at us right now." He smiles.

I am glad I met him.

I really need him.


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