Orphan Challenge – Harkins Family 16 – Catch Up (Pt 2)

Dear Mom,

So, things were quiet around here for the most part through the past several years.  Oh! There was this one time when Josef got really sick.


He was so scared and Tori couldn’t do anything to get him to a doctor.  He finally admitted that the pox he had looked like the same ones his mother died from!  Tori pleaded with him to let her take him to the doctor.  He finally agreed and sure enough, it was Starry Eyes.  It can be fatal apparently if left untreated.  The delirium can get really bad near the end.  Tori got him to take the medicine too and he recovered.  He was off school nearly a week.  We spent about §300 on that visit.


Then wouldn’t you know it, not even a month passed and I got something too!  It wasn’t the same thing so I didn’t catch Starry Eyes from Josef, but it was scary.  The doctor called it Bloated Head or something, but I think it must have just been because I’m so smart!  Haha!  So yeah, §600 down the drain in the period of just about a month.

We didn’t have a lot to spare financially either, we never do, but at least with me helping out with the side jobs with making plug ins and entering game tournaments occasionally I was able to contribute a little.


Tori never wanted me or Josef getting actual after school jobs, she said our job was to be a kid and being a kid meant doing well in school.  This from the girl who hardly ever cracked a book when she was in school!  Though I guess there is the difference huh?  Tori didn’t get to be a kid.  As she said earlier, she was too busy being a parent to me and Josef.

Whew…stuff just got deep there for a moment.  Anyway…


I started programming not long after my birthday all those years ago when all the trouble started. Tori got me that used computer for my birthday as she said in an earlier letter to you, and all those notes I took from the kids at the library really paid off. Being able to search online for bits of code and scripting examples helped too.

After graduating high school (Valedictorian thanks to Tori constantly harping on my homework and grades. My awesome brain helped a bit too though! haha) I got a job at a local IT company. I got hired in right away as a code monkey too! That is Geek talk for I made far too many plug ins as a teen and played far too many hours of video games!


I love my job so much!  It’s really not like working at all.  I know Tori feels similar about her job at the Gallery, but she puts a ton of pressure on herself to get promotions.  She’s always studying up on art and perfecting her technique to show her boss how much she’s improving.


So what else can I catch you up on?

Rickard is growing up so fast, though I suppose plenty of time has passed since he was born.  Tori bought him a little leather jacket recently. I’m sure you can guess why.


Sometimes I hear her crying late at night in her room. I also know she keeps that picture of her and Wolfgang by her bed too.  She’s never even looked at another guy since Wolfgang went away.


She’s had plenty of guys dropping hints too that they’d like to take her out.  She always is quick to make excuses though.  She doesn’t even hang around the Renegades much anymore.  She’ll text Morgan occasionally, but she doesn’t really do anything anymore other than work, garden, take care of us and paint.  She’s really going through the motions lately but her depression this last year has deepened.  She puts on a happy face most days, but I can see the spark has left her eyes.


I feel her love and protectiveness of Ric is even more intense because she isn’t able to love his father anymore. She constantly says how much of us there is in Ric.  I think that’s to deny how much of Wolfgang he has in him.  She mentions his love of art for one thing. His very first picture he ever drew her she framed and keeps near her bedside now too.  Ric told her it’s our house.  The house looks different now, but yeah, the kid had it pretty close when he drew that first picture.  Tori was so proud of him.


She also tells him he’s part of the art world now too. Every time he completes a drawing she includes it in with the paintings she sells to the Art Gallery. The gallery always tosses a couple of extra bucks in with the picture.  He always gets so exited that he’s an artist like his Momma.


It’s sweet of course, her saying he looks like us, but other than Ric’s darker hair, which now that I think about, he could have gotten from Mila Munch, he’s absolutely Wolfgang’s child. The boy is a spitting image of his father.  He even does this look at Tori that I know breaks her heart as it reminds her so much of Wolfgang.  I have to say though, Ric does try to copy Josef, he even wanted his hair cut like his Uncle.  Tori loved that and gladly took him to get his hair shaved on the sides like Josef’s.  Ric really admires Josef.


I can tell you something Mom, something big is brewing…Tori’s been so tense since I caught Josef talking to Lucas at the park this past year right before I graduated high school.  We were there playing with Ric, like we do pretty often.  There isn’t a lot to do around home here for him.


Josef went off by himself for a bit.  Camille caught my attention to tell me that she had been talking with Josef and Lucas and then she told me that Josef was heading down a dangerous path. He started mentioning his nephew Rickard!  (Camille knows about Ric because there is no way the Gill’s are talking to the Munch’s.)


I couldn’t believe Josef had gone against what Tori wanted!  I jogged over immediately and told Josef that Tori needed him right away.


Lucas looked at me a bit weird…as if trying to puzzle something out.

When we got home that night, Josef and Tori had a heated argument out in front of the house. Tori was screaming at Josef that it wasn’t his place to make these decisions about her child and who he knows and doesn’t know.


He argued that he felt it was time that Ric know he has more family. If anyone should understand about having family, it’s our family. He was tired of the secrets and hiding things from his best friend.


Tori finally agreed Josef was right, but she wasn’t happy about it, I’ll tell you that.  When she came in I could see her thinking and worrying.


Between you and me Mom, I think Josef was right too.  I told him that night too.  He’s really one of my best friends.


Apparently, after a lot of tears and consideration over this summer, Tori has finally agreed that there will be a meeting this weekend between Ric and Lucas at least, I’m not sure if Lucas has agreed not to tell Mrs. Munch yet or not.

Tori talked to Ric last night and I know she asked Josef to talk to him too.


We’ll see what happens, perhaps Ric will have two families. I must say I’m a bit jealous if that’s the case. But I’m happy for the little guy, he deserves nothing but happiness.

Well, I think you’re all caught up now Mom, I’ll write again soon when I know more about the Ric and Lucas situation.


As always, your loving daughter,



Continue to Chapter 17

Return to Chapter 15


6 thoughts on “Orphan Challenge – Harkins Family 16 – Catch Up (Pt 2)

  1. Wow, Lucas aged up with star sunglasses! How cute is that? Rickard is also adorable!! 🙂

    *Sigh* Josef, why did you mention Rickard? Something tells me that he’s most definitely connected with the Munches, so I’m guessing Wolfgang is the dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww yes I actually liked the star glasses. I feel like Lucas is a good guy and a bit goofy!! Haha.

      As for Rickards father you’re in the right track for sure! 😉 thank you as always for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Josef is right there is no reason to hide Rickard from anyone. In fact none of them need to be hiding anything as they are just a happy and loving family living together. Victoria is a remarkable woman who at a young age had to become an adult and she should be proud of the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very right! I think Victoria was just selfishly thinking Wolfgang hurt her by removing her from his life so she wasn’t going to give them an opportunity to get to know her son. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.


    • Thank you!! As I said on my other comment to you regarding the time jump, these were all game driven shots. No posing or anything. I wanted to hit some of the ‘challenge’ highlights and then get back to the ‘plot’ at the end of the time jump! Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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