today is the first day in a long time. there's been days before but how many counted? if she were to add them up, she'd still have a hand to pick up the broken vase on the floor next her bed stand. the reversing truck sounded from her red digital clock and as usual, Constance spun over quickly to slam the snooze button into oblivion. but today she knocked the new flowers over. she met them the night before. they were waiting for her at the door. as she bent over to pick them up she watered them with her tears. how many flowers had she ever gotten? if she counted the dozens, this would be the first. the card sat anonymously on top of the white gardenia and read to her
you make me the maddest
you make me the happiest
you make me weak kneed
you make me the strongest
you make me the most i have ever been
she wasn't the kind that gave her attention to more than one man. in all actuality, she has only ever given her attention to three in her life. this floral gift had to be from one of those three. she couldn't imagine any other explanation. on the back of the card there was a number that wasn't in her phone. she tried those reverse phone look up websites. nothing. she called her sister to see if she knew the number. nothing. she had narrowed it down to the possibility of her home town based on the area code. none of the three men live or ever had lived there. so the mystery only widened.
her sleepy eyes were quickly awakened to the crash of the vase then just as quickly, they swelled with tears again. her instincts kicked in and she hustled off the other side of the bed, ran to the kitchen, got a broom, a glass of water and a towel. she saved the arrangement and gathered the pieces of the ceramic that held the first buds of happiness she'd had in a while. how many times had she smiled in the last year? if she counted, she could pass a kindergarten math exam. she brought the small pile to her bed and sat on the foot of bed bench her Pops carved in the depression trying desperately to put the puzzle together. the ceramic puzzle and the whole puzzle. get a grip Constance.. think. as her mind was racing through the memories of home, from the playground to the stage she took the diploma on, the phone rang. once. twice. and kept ringing. she knew she had eight before it went to voicemail. she had eight to ten seconds to decide: answer? screen? she took it. while the ID noted it was from her home town, she thought nothing of it. her Pops could be calling from the pharmacy again asking for his Medicare number. but her hello was followed by a voice she hadn't heard in a long, long time. Ethan. "Hi Constance." she could hear a smile on his voice and knew immediately who it was. who was calling. who had sent the flowers. all in three words, she knew.
the ensuing conversation ended with her in her car, overnight bag in the back seat and Ryan Adams on the speakers. she couldn't believe her best friend from home was back. he stopped the letters. he stopped the postcards. the blog his mother kept hadn't been updated in months. she assumed he had found his place in the Eastern European turmoil. his missionary heart had always been the driving force in his life. he was in love with the children affected by war. he was in love with the God who could save them more than any of us could. he was in love with marrying the two. her mind was racing faster than her '98 Camry. what was he doing home? why did he write those things? why did he have to compound the note with her favorite flowers?
this was part one. there will be more. i told you you wouldn't escape.