I took a taxi back to Stacie's house, just as I promised. It was very hard not to direct the driver to a certain apartment building where I might see a glimpse of Quinn.
In fact, each day after that called to me to stop by the hospital or the bakery. My heart wanted one more chance to see Quinn. I decided to leave it up to God. He could orchestrate a chance meeting anywhere and anytime. My heart hoped He would.
My week with Stacie and Neale went so quickly. I saw so many exhilarating sights around Paris. Stacie loved my red dress until I wore it to her conservative church service. It didn’t matter to me, though. I felt beautiful in it. Besides, I rationalized that God had shown it to me. Therefore, he wasn't surprised to see me wear it - not even in His house. The only people shocked were my sister and her husband. A fresh, new beginning.
Stacie’s eyes filled with tears as we stood in line at the airport. I was about to pass through the security gates and leave my sister behind . Our time together was precious to me. It surpassed all that I thought it would be.
Only, that was not the hardest part for me. I had clung to a small hope that somehow Quinn would find me. The longing to make Paris all about him and I had been a low rumble in my heart each day. I knew if I left Paris then I left Quinn behind.
Sure I had prayed. The Lord had probably grown tired of my requests to “bump” into Quinn at the market, the mall, or the restaurant. Wherever I went, I made my wish known. Today was no exception.
Lord, please let Quinn be here. Maybe he is flying somewhere, or he is picking a friend up or something. I know you can do that Lord. You can do anything.
However time ticked away. The tick-tock blared in my ears as I sat in departures waiting. The seconds loudly skittered past as I boarded the plane for Canada. I searched each and every face that passed by me. I checked every seat. Soon the flight attendants closed the doors and began to prepare for takeoff. My heart sank as the plane was slowly forced backwards. My dream has ended. I will head home to face my lonely life ... alone.
I determined myself not to sleep on this flight. I read a magazine and then a book. I watched the television and spent endless passages of time staring out into the cloud masses.
It took several hours into the flight before I could bring myself to speak to God. He let me down. He gave me hope and then took it away. My house would be too quiet after staying in Stacie’s home. My solo life would be hollow after my exciting days with Quinn. Even more hollow than it had been for three years.
As much as I wanted to feel angry with God, I couldn't. Buried somewhere deep within me was a seed. One I planted into Quinn’s life that was probably meant for me.
Quinn is not yours to give up or hold on to. He belongs to Me. As soon as you can process that then the pain will dissipate.
Upon arriving in Montreal I found Mitch’s mother waiting for me at the luggage carousel. She embraced me with her tall, full frame.
“How was your trip, Cathie?”
She looked at me with a curious look. “That’s good ... I think.” She squeezed my hand as we stood waiting for the suitcases to fall. “So, I'm dying to now. Did you meet anyone new?”
She was from the same camp as my sister. Everyone - except God, seemed to think it was time for me to meet a new man.
“I met a man on the plane. He was very friendly.” I contemplated asking her if she knew Quinn, but I decided not to.
“You didn’t happen to make plans to see him again did you?”
“Evelyn! I just met him on the plane. I'm not that desperate.”
She started to scan the crowd. “Which one is he? What's he wearing?”
“It wasn't this flight. I met him on the way to Paris.”
She looked deep into my eyes and I blinked in case she could see right through. “God has a plan Sweetie.”
“I know.” I sighed. He has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, apparently. He has a plan to turn my mourning into joy and my ashes into beauty. I'm just waiting.