all she wished she could do was wash her hands of the whole thing. there was a moment that the dirt under her finger nails reminded her of the times digging for treasure with Ethan in her back yard. the filth on her hands was a sign of a time full of happiness, regardless of the obvious health issues of living her entire life never cleaning them. but now... now that she was where the dirt had so embedded itself into her skin, she scrubbed and scrubbed with metal brushes and he wouldn't come out. all she wanted him to do was come out. after a lengthy talk with her mother about the pitfalls of love and the perils of life, a quick drive around the old neighborhood with a few cups of tea in her veins, and she felt calmer. she felt ready to confront it all. to get back in her car, drive to his house, walk to his door, knock, wait, smile, hug, walk, talk, confront, cry... and after that she wasn't sure. what came after that she could never have written in her most imaginative moment. so she stood up, determined as the Philistine facing down a young boy who claimed his God would save him. and as she walked towards her front door, the rock hit her forehead. there was Ethan. at her door. all strength she hoped to gain on the drive to his house was waiting outside on the road. all the emotional fortitude she'd hoped would grow in her in the time it took to get to his house was still a fetus. helpless. she was helpless. Constance could feel her Atlas knees giving way to weight of this world of Ethan. through the window was his smile, and below his smile was the second bouquet. somehow she made it to the door, and as she opened it, the breeze blew in and brought tears with it. all he said was "hi." and her arms were around his neck. she had those laugh cries that people get when they don't know how to emote. if a cough was a person and that person was laughing like a middle aged woman screaming at a spider, that was how she sounded.
after the whirlwind settled they started to walk. it was beautiful spring day and the sun couldn't have been more appropriate. the breeze was playing its role perfectly. and the words coming from his mouth were singing the soundtrack. as he waxed eloquent on his time in Europe she could hear the Lord. as he spoke about the tragedy he lived in she could see God's face. and she felt low, humbled, ignoble but still somehow, loved and welcome. they spent the remaining daylight hours sharing what their lives were while they were apart. she let the vulnerability that she knew so well with him be her language. and by that, learned that even in his missionary life, he felt the same loneliness she had donned all these years. he had come home for her. it was true. and when he walked her back to the front door of her parents' house, stars blinking lovely above the cloud they were on, he kissed her.
and now we're here. now he is back in the US and looking for his next step vocationally. now she is amidst a love that would cripple a nation if it were a bomb. and the next steps we don't know about, but we know they're taking them together.
this was a story about Constance and Ethan. and its not over yet.