Delores quickly dabbed at her nose with a soggy tissue and looked up to see headlights in the driveway. Not bothering to smooth her frazzled hair, she opened the door for her ex-boyfriend, Rylan. His foot was no sooner over the threshold, when Delores felt his arms wrap around her, enveloping her soul in a soothing balm. Tears flowed from deep within her, tracing down his shoulder, as they stood together in the doorway.
“I was thinking about you earlier, even before you called. I was going to bring this to you at work tomorrow, you know, for Valentine’s Day.” He handed her a single rose, which up until now, had gone unnoticed through her swollen eyes.
“Rylan, I don’t think you’ll want to give that to me--not after I tell you what I’ve done.” She tried to look at him; shame forced her to turn away. Her fingers crumpled her wet tissue and squeezed it tight, as she crossed the room to sit on the couch.
“Whatever it is, I’ll be here for you.” Rylan sat at her side. He looked at her with such tenderness and concern, that she found it difficult to remember why she’d broken up with him last year.
“Last night I went to Kari’s house. She had some friends over and we played a drinking game. I still can’t believe how much I drank. Anyway, I-I ended up going home with one of the guys. I don’t even know his last name.” As she continued to explain the night’s events, Rylan listened in silence. “We didn’t even use protection, so for all I know I could be pregnant--or worse. I feel like such an idiot.”
Rylan lifted her chin with a gentle finger and locked his blue eyes onto her own darker ones. “Sarai, you know I want to be a part of your life in anyway you’ll let me. Even if it means helping you raise some other guys baby, I’ll do it.”
“You haven’t called be Sarai in a long time…” Her skin tingled at the mention of his pet name; her heart sank at the memory of it’s meaning.
“You’re still my princess, Sarai. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. Nothing you’ve done or will ever do could change that. I don’t care about the details; I just want you.”
“You know, this is the part where most guys would kiss the girl and end up spending the night.” Delores half joked with a hint of hope in her upturned eyes.
“Why would I want to violate someone so precious to me?” He’d always claimed she was worth waiting for. He’d even talked about marriage and children. That was what had scared her off. Yet, tonight somehow she found the thought comforting, having one man to be loved by, forever.
After Rylan left, Delores went to bed and pulled the layers of blankets up around herself like a cocoon. She sat there under the dim light and inhaled the fragrance of the rose.
Rylan’s words haunted her. No one had ever expressed such love for her before. There was one person, but she had not talked to Him since she was a kid being shipped off to Sunday school in the church van so her parent could spend the morning sleeping in.
She took one last whiff of the rose before gently placing it on her nightstand and opened her journal to a fresh page.
Tonight ended up a lot better than I thought it would. Rylan is so amazing. We talked for hours and he said all the right things. I really thought he’d be disgusted when I told him what I’d done, but it really didn’t seem to matter to him. He even called me his princess again.
If Rylan could still love me like that, I wonder if God could too. Guess God already knows it all, huh? I’m sure I could never surprise Him. Maybe, just maybe God could still love someone like me? I don’t know. I sure hope so. Maybe I’ll go to Rylan’s church with him next weekend and find out.
She started to sign her entry with a capital D as always, but paused and signed Love, Sarai instead. With a slight smile, Delores returned her journal to its drawer and snuggled back under the covers.
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