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Part Six: A Voice, but not a voice
The night Simon gave me his CD, Sara and I went to the pub and hung out with him and his housemates. He bought me a drink and made me laugh, and I told him I really, really liked his music.
A few days later, we were with some friends a few blocks from my house, when I gathered my things up and said, “It’s getting late…I think I’ll head home.”
It was dark, but I was 21 and a bit braver/stupider than I am now.
“I’ll walk you,” Simon said.
We put our coats on and made our way down the dark promenade, past the beach, round the corner, and down my road – which was really just an alleyway. We talked the whole way, and when we got to my door, I asked Simon if he wanted to come in for a few minutes.
“…for a glass of water?”
I got us both a glass, and we sat across from one another in my living room, taking gulps and swallowing loudly.
He asked me some questions about North Carolina, and laughed when I told him about the high school I went to where boys rode tractors to school and thousands of people showed up at Friday night football games.
“Sounds like a film,” he said.
“Hmm, maybe,” I answered. “Except less glamorous, and more boring.”
We were quiet for a moment, and he took a long sip of water.
“You know,” he finally said. “It’s weird how I don’t know a lot about your past, and you don’t know a lot about mine. But I feel kind of…connected to you.”
“Yeah,” I nodded, looking nervously into my glass.
“Anyway,” he took a deep breath. “I’m glad you’re here.”
He stood up and handed me his glass.
“Thanks for the drink. I should go home. See you tomorrow at uni?”
“Yeah, definitely. That’ll be good.”
I walked him to the door and leaned against the frame while he stepped out into the crisp October air. I could see his breath in the alleyway against the light from a lamppost across the street.
“Thanks again, Faith. See you later.”
“Alright, yeah. See you.”
I watched him walk down the alley, back to where we had come from. His black hair was shimmering with mist, and he was wearing the big camel-colored toggle coat he always wore then (and for two winters after). He turned around one last time to flash another smile at me, and I smiled back.
It was then that I heard it. A voice, but not a voice. Maybe clearer than a voice.
“This is the one I have for you.”
Clear as day.
And I knew.
Just like that.
He turned the corner and disappeared into the night, and I closed the door and ran upstairs to my room, where I dropped to my knees and told God I heard.
Where I asked if it was true.
Where He stamped it onto my heart – a deep imprint for me to come back to over the coming days, weeks, months, while I waited for the man I was falling in love with to realize he loved me too.