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"I wish they would hurry," she thought. By the time she left the busy store, the sun was burning hotly in the sky. Cars sped by her, as she picked her way through the crowd on the side of the street, her mind bent on getting back home before John awoke. After she had walked some distance, she realized that none of the surroundings around her were familiar.

"I must have went in the wrong direction," she thought, making an effort not to panic. "Help me, God!" she again pleaded.

A young man wearing a white T-shirt passed by her and then abruptly stopped.

"Excuse me, but is your name Izumi?" With a surprised face, she nodded. "John has been looking everywhere for you! You better follow me." He motioned to her to follow him, as he turned in the opposite direction from which she was headed. "I never thought John would get married," he said, shaking his head. "I don't think he's ever looked twice at a girl in his life, let alone get up the courage to ask one to marry him!" He turned to look at Izumi as they walked. Her head was bent, and she remained silent. The young man was obviously curious, but refrained from asking any questions. The walk that led to the little yellow house, soon told Izumi that she was near home.

"Hey! John! Get out here, I got your wife!" he shouted. Izumi became even more embarrassed than before. When no one came out to meet them, the young man sat down on the porch swing. Izumi ran into the house, and quickly found the bedroom, locking the door behind her. Izumi buried her face in a pillow and let the tears she had been holding back, burst through. John soon made his way up the walk, confident that, wherever his Little Dove was, God was watching out for her.

"So you lost her on the first day," the man on the porch swing joked.

"Did you find her, Terry?" asked John.

"Sure did." He descended the steps, and whispered in John's ear, "I think she was embarrassed. I mean, after all, to go the wrong direction when there were only two directions in the first place! There's only one main road in all of Three..."

"Thank you, Terry," interrupted John.

"Sure, just don't lose her again," said Terry, grinning ear to ear. "Aren't you going to go in?" he teased.

"Aren't you ever going to leave?" asked John, half-jokingly. Terry threw his arms up in the air.

"I know when I'm not wanted!" he exclaimed, sauntering down the walk, mimicking someone who just had his feelings hurt.




He smiled, and left.

John opened the door, and looked about for Izumi. He saw the grocery bags resting on the table.

"So," he muttered to himself, "that's what my Little Dove was up to." John soon discovered the locked bedroom door.

"Dove, open the door," he said gently. "Please." The heartfelt tone in his voice did not fall on deaf ears. The door opened, and a tear-streaked face met his. John embraced her, and all was well again.

"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved
among the sons. I sat down under His shadow with great delight,
and His fruit was sweet to my taste."
~ Song of Solomon 2:3 ~

end of chapter
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