Patience Is It's Own Reward
“Ruth,” He pulled her close again. She began to cry, her body shaking as she released all her emotions. He rocked her gently and let her work through all of it. Good God, he thought to himself. How was she even able to function dealing with all of this? He was not surprised at the corruption of her government. The practices she described happened everywhere and to everyone. His students had described similar practices in their own countries. As a history professor, he had researched slavery both past and present. The current form of slavery was so much more insidious and far reaching. The damage done lasting for generations. And of course it all boiled down to profit. When Ruth had finally calmed down, he kissed her again. “Go and take a shower and then we’ll go out somewhere for breakfast. Your choice.” Ruth thought for a moment. “Have you ever been to Dunkin Donuts?” “No.” She smiled. “Good.” With that she kissed him again and went to take a shower. He loved seeing her smile again. She seemed so much lighter, happier. She had an amazing ability to bounce back so quickly after having disclosed such traumatic experiences to him. Her fear of abandonment was certainly understandable. He had certainly managed to find a diamond in the rough. And it was his intention to see to it that she learned to shine. He sighed then. He had certainly moved things along a lot quicker than he had intended, but with spring break ending only days away, he was running out of time. He would only be here until the day after the festival. Then he was required to return home. He had responsibilities of his own back in Japan. Meeting Ruth had made things interesting, but also much more complicated. He had no intention of leaving her behind. At least not for long. And he was sure that despite any reassurances he planned to give her before he left, she was going to crash emotionally. He had a plan to help her while he began taking steps of his own. The process would be a long one. Even with his connections. A year, maybe two. But when it was all over, he was going to make sure that Ruth never had reason to suffer again. Fate had been unkind to her. So, he was going to see to it she only knew happiness. No matter what he had to do. She was one of a kind, and he had no intention of losing her. The thought soul mate crossed his mind and he chuckled. Certainly finding ones soul mate in such a unusual way as he has, was part of the mystery of life.
Ruth stood in the shower and let the hot water wash over her. She had began to cry again. She was such a fool. Hirozaki was so wonderful. Her heart ached. There is no way he could be real. No man in his right mind seeks out a woman like her. She fully expected that when his time here ended, he would simply tell her that it was nice to have met her and leave. That’s how things worked in her life. God seemed to have a sick enjoyment in watching her suffer. She knew that was unfair. Her favorite scripture went through her mind then. Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you.” Declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Ruth sighed again. She was not religious. That was a whole other part of her past. She sighed again. Hirozaki had no idea what he had gotten himself into. Her entire life was nothing more than a living nightmare. The only good that had ever happened to her was her children. They were the only constant she had ever known. The fact that they had grown up to be like her. In all the best ways. They rarely drank, they never did drugs, or smoked. They had never gotten in trouble. And her proudest achievement? They were not abusive. She had managed despite everything to raise three wonderful boys into men. She had finally broken the seemingly endless cycle. She smiled then. Maybe God would finally let her be happy. She has been struggling for so long. She was tired. All she could do is let things fall where they may. And then survive if what she wanted to badly was not meant to be. The water finally started to cool, so she turned it off. She dried herself with the towel and dressed. She brushed her hair and left it down so that it could dry. When she went in the kitchen, Hirozaki was waiting for her. “Good Morning,” Iruko says. Ruth jumped. “I’m sorry.” He says. “Hirozaki said he needed me to drive you guys to Dunkin Donuts. I haven’t been there in a while.” Ruth smiled. “You’re welcome to join us.” Hirozaki tells him. “I would hope so, I’m driving.” He said with a laugh and slapped his friend on the back. Hirozaki took Ruth’s hand and kissed it. “Shall we?” Ruth nodded. When they arrived, they found a table and sat down. Iruko went to place their orders. “I hope I haven’t messed up the rest of your plans.” Ruth says suddenly. “Plans?” Hirozaki looked at her surprised. “You’re activities that you keep planning for us.” “Oh no, dear. The plans will continue. Though...” He paused, his face becoming sad. Ruth looked at him. Here it comes. She said to herself. “I do have to return to Japan next week. I had only arranged to stay here for the week.” He watched her face fall. The tears would come next he knew. “Ruth,” He took her chin in his hand again. “I may be leaving, but that doesn’t mean our relationship is ending.” Ruth looked at him. “I have responsibilities that have nothing to do with how I feel for you.” Of course Ruth understood that. He was a professor and had a home and a life of his own. “I have every intention of seeing this relationship through to wherever it decides to go. You are certainly worth it.” Ruth blushed then. She would never get used to being complimented. Certainly to this degree. Her hope began to raise some. “Thank you.” She tells him. Iroku returned with their orders. After they had eaten, Hirozaki took Ruth’s hand. “Iruko is going to take you home, I’m sure you have some things of your own you need to get done.” Ruth nodded. She did and was actually thankful that she was returning home. She loved being with Hirozaki, but too much of a good thing was not a good idea. “I’ll send you another email in a little while, so our game can continue.” He smiled. They went out to the car and as had become normal, Hirozaki opened her door for her so she could sit down. When they arrived at her apartment, he let her out and walked her to her door. He waited for her to unlock it before he took her hand in his and kissed it. “I will see you soon, Ruth.” Ruth hugged him. Hirosaki closed his eyes and held her. “Thank you so much, Samuke.” “You’re welcome, Ruth.” He took her face in his hands and looked her in the eyes. “If it eases your fears, I can tell you right now, Ruth.” He paused for a moment. “I’ve fallen in love with you.” Ruth gasped, her heart nearly stopped. As if to prove it to her. He kissed her passionately. With that he smiled before turning to leave her there. If she could’ve melted into a puddle right there, she would have. She watched Hirozaki climb back into the car and then the car pulled away. Ruth’s hands were shaking when she finally opened her door. She sat down before she fell down. She took a deep breath and lay back. Her heart was still pounding. The butterflies working overtime in her stomach. Then she did something she knew she would regret later. She called her mother.