She was the picture of politeness, nodding at the right time while she smiled sweetly at the D.A.R. ladies conversation.
"We'd love to have you back at the D.A.R." the first woman said, while Rory nodded and smiled. "So much, you were a breath of fresh air." the other one filled in. "We want to start a little outreach program." the third one inserted, while Rory nodded and smiled. "You wouldn't believe your generation's apathy when it comes to such things as the preservation of this nation's history."
"Oh really yeah that's a shame." Rory responded while nodding politely.
"We were thinking of renting out a roller rink…" the lady continued hastily, before suddenly being interrupted by Logan Huntzberger who just emerged. "I'm sorry, ladies." He said in a polite manner. "Mind if I steal my girlfriend away for a minute? Some rather urgent business..."
The D.A.R. ladies ensured them that it was quite alright and Logan guided Rory away from the crowd while holding her hand.
She looked up at him and said in a sing-song voice "Oh you really are my shining, armored knight. You know that." Logan smiled and responded with a smirk "I saw you dying, and I did want to tell you something rather urgent." he said while turning around to face her.
"What's up?" Rory asked.
Logan held her gaze and smiled at her "You look beautiful."
As always, Rory felt a warm sparkly feeling of happiness spreading inside, by his touch and by his presence. "Oh!" she exclaimed, kissing him.
"Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen," Richard proclaimed. With Logan's hand in hers, Rory led them towards her grandparent's position. "First, let me thank you for coming to celebrate our granddaughter's graduation. So, when my wife and I sat down to write our toast, we ran into something of a problem. All of our words sounded too mundane, too insignificant to mark such an auspicious occasion as Rory's graduation from Yale. So instead... maestro..."
Rory and Logan shared a quick glance, and both instantly knew what the other one was thinking. Oh my god!
"Please excuse us. We're not singers."
When the number was complete the crowd laughed and cheered, while a touched Rory pressed forward and hugged and thanked her beloved grandparents.
"You know that none of this would be possible without your help. You should all know that there's no way I could be a Bulldog through and through if it weren't for these two, so thank you so much, grandma and grandpa."
The speech was instantly followed by more congratulations on Rory's part. Directly after that, Logan surprised Rory by asking for everyone's attention. He took hold of her hand and smiled reassuringly, with deep seriousness in his eyes.
"You amaze me, Rory Gilmore, everyday." he began. "Everything that you do, everything that you are, This past year I realized that I don't know a lot more than I thought I knew." She could see that he realized that what he said was a bit confusing, but he continued "If that makes any sense…" He laughed as he faced the crowd, "I'm sorry. I'm a little bit nervous. I didn't think that I would be."
He turned back to face Rory, who still was utterly and obviously confused at his speech.
"What I'm trying to say is…" he continues, while the emotions found their way into his speech "that I don't know a lot. But I know that I love you and that I want to be with you. Forever." He took a deep breath and concluded the speech with;"Rory Gilmore…will you marry me?"
Rory's mouth fell open. To her, this was incomprehensible. She couldn't form a single though at that moment, as she was in such utterly shock. Her eyes went towards the blue satin box, which Logan had suddenly opened, and she saw a ring. She couldn't comprehend. Could not form a though at this moment.
"Umm…wow," She heard herself saying, "Umm…wow…I…"
"Is there a 'yes' between those 'wows'?" Logan asked, smiling and oh so hopeful at the same time.
"Um, I'm just… I'm so...surprised. I-I just - um, would - um... w-will you come talk to me outside?" Was what she finally stutted out, blushing and still in utterly shock.
Logan was quick to adjust and they left the room in a hurry.
As fast as they got outside Rory turned to Logan, apologetic, and explained that she didn't want to talk in front of all the people.
"No, it's okay. That's understandable." Logan replied reassuringly.
Then Rory saw what was waiting in front of her. It's was a horse driven carriage. What the?
"Is that—is that, um, for us?" she asked, not knowing what to believe.
"Yeah, I'm sorry." Logan responded, not so remorseful, and with a characteristic smile. "I know you said you're over big gestures, but that's what wedding proposals are. And tonight, with your parents here and your grandparents I just thought…"
"No, Logan, it's not the size of the gesture. It's the gesture, itself," Rory tried to explain. Why, she thought did he have to propose in that manner? She still felt her cheeks burning red. She wanted to ask him that, when he interrupted her train of thought.
"Rory, I got the job out in Silicon Valley." he stated with a serious tone.
Rory was overwhelmed by an instant feeling of pride and happiness for him, and said with a voice that exposed her inner state; "You did? When?"
"About 45 minutes after the meeting, but I wanted to save the news until after I proposed." Logan continued - feeling grateful, but speaking in the same serious manner.
"Wow!" Rory exclaimed, still unable to collect her thoughts properly," You've been thinking about this for a while."
"Back when everything was up in the air business-wise, I realized as long as I had you, I'd be okay." Logan answered heartfelt "You would love Palo Alto, Rory. We could go hiking in the Dish on weekends, biking at the Baylands," he continued and looked at Rory with excitement in his face.
Rory didn't know what to believe, all she could think of say was an attempted joke. "California me sounds really athletic."
Logan laughed at this, and corrected his statement; "Or coffee drinking on University Avenue."
"That's easier to imagine." Rory answered without even knowing what she was saying. Her thoughts were all gone.
"I went exploring a little and there's this little house that we could rent. It has a backyard with an avocado tree." Logan continued.
"I do like guacamole." Rory answered by reflex. Her brain was numb.
"And it's only 35 miles south of San Francisco. Just a straight shot up the 101." Logan pointed out.
"Wow! You've done a lot of research." No real thought or feelings, she was all numb.
"Yeah. You could work at the Chronicle or the San Francisco Bay Guardian." he smiled.
Rory tried to describe what she felt, and make Logan understand that she couldn't comprehend."It sounds amazing. Logan it sounds wonderful. I just—I don't know. I mean you've had time to think about this and research newspapers and it's so sweet and wonderful. I'm hearing about it for the first time."
A puzzled look came over Logan's face "So you're saying in the past 3 years you've never thought about marrying me?"
"No, of course I have," Rory responded quickly. This she knew, even though her brain was out of service right now.
"And?" He asked hopefully, and with a broad smile.
"And it's always been a really wonderful thought but it was always hypothetical and…" Rory rambled.
Logan nodded and began knowingly to describe his thoughts on this matter; "I know." he said "But then it hit me. Why wait? Remember when we were in the Life and Death Brigade and we stood on top of that tower and we held hands and we jumped? Let's do that again, Rory. Let's jump."
They stood there for a while, hand in hand. Rory nibbled on her bottom lip and looked at him with wide eyes, and felt the realization of what just happened hit her. She had to find an answer, and he wanted it right now. For some reason she couldn't say yes but at the same time she really didn't want to say no. She could see that he was starting to worry, yet no answer came to her mind. "I…" she began somewhat baffled. Something was stuck in her throat, and she had to swallow. She tried again. "I don't know what to say… I really don't."
Logan's face fell, and he let her hands go. She could see the disappointment and the sadness in his eyes, and all she wanted to do was to reach out to him and hold him. But she couldn't. Something was off, and she couldn't define it. Something felt different. She needed time to figure this out.
"Can you give me some time? I… I think I have to really understand all this. It's a really big decision, and I don't know what I think." She met his eyes, and she could feel the distance that was forming between them. Yet again she wanted to reach out and connect them, make them feel normal again, but alas; something was not normal.
Instead she accepted his nod and the blue box that he placed in her hand. She slowly and rigidly turned and went inside to the party. She was still in shock, and the rest of the evening was somewhat of a blur. Kindly enough, no one asked her of what had happened, or remarked upon the current absence of her boyfriend.
When she was allowed to leave, she went home to the apartment and changed clothes. She knew she had to finish the spackle work, but didn't know how to start. Instead she fell down on her bed, numb, and started crying. Her thoughts were all messed up, and she didn't know what to do. She reached for her phone and started going through her phonebook. Mom. Lorelai had obviously wanted to talk to her daughter both at and after the party, but Rory had purposely avoided her. She didn't know why, but she couldn't tell her about the decision she had to make. Paris. Rory knew what Paris would say, they had had the exact conversation a couple a weeks ago, and Rory couldn't get herself to talk to her right now. Lane. Lane was her best and oldest friend, and one Rory hadn't had much time for since she started college. She knew that many childhood friends drifted apart, but Rory had never intended their separation. Lane was the one who knew Rory best, and suddenly she felt a wave of shame for not giving her dearest friend enough, for not being there and for not investing enough in their relationship. Just for that reason, Rory pressed the "call"-button and waited while the tones rang.
"Hi you!" an exited voice flooded through the line.
"Hi!" Rory heard herself respond.
"Oh! I forgot! Congrats for taking your last final and for graduating from Yale!" Lane knew that the ceremony was tomorrow, but wanted nonetheless to express the pride and happiness she felt for her friend.
"How does it feel? Are you happy?" Lane asked.
Rory responded that she was, and the silence fell. Lane suddenly sighed and said; "So, I heard. I heard that Logan proposed to you. Do you want to talk about it? It's ok if you don't want to, but I am really good at listening, you know."
Rory smiled. Of course she had heard. It had been 2 hours since her mother went home from Yale, and news travelled fast in Stars Hollow. She closed her eyes and heard herself say; "I don't know what to do, Lane. He asked me to marry him! And I don't know what to do." With the words Rory's voice broke and her breath shook.
"Oh Rory", Lane breathed. It was obvious to her that Rory was upset. In the many years that they had known each other, her friend had rarely showed agitation. To Lane, Rory had always been the steady rock that at all times could tell right from wrong, and invariably found her composure. Endless were the times when Rory had comforted and guided an upset and animated Lane. This was something unique, and Lane felt her heart ache for her friend, who seemed so lost and confused.
"Well," she started, "tell me what's on your mind!"
Rory sighed and swallowed. She closed her eyes and tried to collect her thoughts. It was all a mess, and she couldn't make sense of any of it. She started to ramble. "He asked me at the party my grandparents had for me. I mean, right at the party, where everyone was watching us. I was so shocked, Lane. I couldn't get a full sentence out, but finally got him to understand that I wanted us to talk outside. It was such a mess! And then I couldn't answer him. It was just so out of the blue and I wasn't expecting it, so first I couldn't even understand what he was saying, and then all I could do was to ask him for some time to think about it. I mean, marriage is such a big step and now I need to answer him, and I don't know what I want or what the right choice is." Rory took a deep breath before continuing to purge the entire situation to her best friend.
"And the biggest part of the whole thing is that he wants me to move to California with him."
Lane's "What!" was inserted somewhere here.
"Yeah! I already knew that he was looking for work over there, but now he has really taken a job there, and without even consulting me!" That, Rory realized, was a nagging thought. Logan had taken a position on the other side of the country, thousands of miles away, without any apparent regards for her feelings or wishes.
"That's really strange." Lane agreed. "Why didn't he tell you?"
Rory knew the answer to that too well. "Because he loves grande gestures. My God, Lane. You know what was outside waiting for us? A horse drawn carriage!"
"Oh my God!"
"Yeah. And that's so typical him. Everything always has to be exiting, surprises and adventure. And he is so impulsive! And he the way he reacts to bad situations, when he constantly makes choices without stopping to consider the consequences." She sighed.
Lane was quiet for a while. Then she said in a serious voice; "That sounds like someone else we know, don't it?"
Rory was perplexed. "Who?" she asked.
Lane was smiling; couldn't Rory see what was so obvious to her?
"No guesses? Someone that is impulsive and doesn't always think about the consequences of what they do. Someone who sometimes makes bad choices and then reacts poorly when things turn south. Who does that sound like?"
First she didn't understand what Lane was implying, but then the realization hit her like a block of bricks. "Oh my god!" she gasped. It was suddenly so apparent; that Logan was in many ways exactly like her mom. The way they both made the otherwise sheltered Rory explore the world to a greater extent, and the way they both challenged her and rooted for her.
Suddenly she started to giggle. Rory had always known that her mother disapproved of Logan, and that she didn't think he was good for her. When she now realized the similarities that suddenly connected the two most important people in her life to each other, so much of it finally made sense. She could finally fully grasp the fundamental reason why she even felt attraction to the smirking and somewhat spoiled boy from so long ago in the first place. Until now that had been somewhat of a mystery, which she never even considered. But now she could finally see why it was he and no one else that made her bold enough to retort to the method of seduction. A move that was so out of character for Rory, that she still blushed a little just thinking about it. Logan made her feel secure and at home, just like her mom did. They both were impulsive, yes, and they both made bold choices.
They both made bold choices. Rory suddenly remembered what Logan had referred to in the expression of; 'Let's jump!' In that moment, when she decided to climb up the ladder and do the craziest thing she ever done, what had she felt?
"Rory, you're still there?" Lane's voices brought Rory back to the present.
"Yeah. I just… realized something…" Rory replied in a strained voice.
"What?" Lane asked. "Oh wait just a second! The baby is…Zach! ZACH! Come here, take him!"
Rory could hear the couple discussing the issue at hand at the other end of the line, and started unconsciously to smile. A warm feeling was spreading inside her, and she suddenly felt so overwhelmingly proud and happy for her friend Lane. She had always been the brave one, the one who knew what she wanted, and fearlessly went for it without ever looking back. In a sense Rory felt as if Lane was free where Rory wasn't; her friend had rebelled against her family's demands and expectations, and in the end gotten everything she wished for.
In that moment Rory realized another truth about herself; something she always had known, but never reflected upon. The reason she felt so torn at this moment was to a great extent caused by the oh so powerful bond Rory shared with her mother. As far as she could remember Rory had viewed her mother at a role-model and a source of inspiration. She unconsciously and undoubtedly knew what her mother would think in every situation, and always took her opinion in consideration. That might have been part of the reason why she was such a cautious person, Rory though. She knew perfectly well how much her mother had scarified just for Rory to be here, and the debt could therefore never be fully repaid.
Rory's inner turbulence was the collected thoughts and wishes from two women, who now wanted two different things. One voice told her the story of a young girl that was special. She was the most wonderful girl in the world, and no one could stop her from conquering the world. The same voice told her in a whispering tone that the life she considered and was given an entrance-pass to was not for her. The strings that were attached were too many and to tightly strained, that it would ultimately crush her or make her into someone else. The voice, Rory now realized, belonged to her mother. The mother that never had given Rory any idea that she couldn't do whatever she wanted to do or be whoever she wanted to be. Her mother, the person Rory wanted to be the most.
The second voice told another story. It was a story about a young woman who was less perfect, and therefore more human in all her insecurities and flaws. She was a person that often hid behind walls of security, and she was hence sheltered from the world. Her whole life was planned and well-organized, and she somehow often achieved what she strived for. The young woman had never felt real fear or anxiety, and her life's goals were well thought out and planned for. Then one day a young man appeared. He was like no one the young woman had ever met before, and he made her question who she was and why she was it. Without knowing it the young man came to be a catalyst that started the woman's process of blossoming into something more. Without even trying, his mere presences made her want to explore who she was and become something new. The start of that had been the words let's jump; and together they had. The voice reminded her that the jump into the unknown had meant taking a risk for both the young man and the young woman, as neither of them at the time knew what the future held in store. The voice, Rory realized, was her own. It was an mirror of her wishes and desires, free from any other influences. Rory sighed.
"Oh sorry!" Lane exhaled heavily. "It's a baby-thing, or rather a baby-daddy-thing now!"
"How is it like to be married, Lane?" she asked in amusement. Suddenly she felt lightheaded, and a smile slowly started to spread across her face.
"To be married? Well, it isn't too bad." Her friend hesitated a second before continuing, "It's… It's pretty amazing actually." Rory could hear the badly covered excitement in Lane's voice, and she suddenly started to giggle.
"What?" Lane asked in a confused voice.
"Nothing" Rory exclaimed, "It's just, so strange! When did we grow up so much?" her giggle wouldn't die, and soon Lane shared her amusement. The two women soon fell into an uncontrollable attack of incoherent words and phrases between the laughter.
"It's true though" Lane said afterwards.
"We have grown up. Even if we don't feel like grownups I guess no one ever really does."
"True" Rory said. She was silent for a moment, then she told Lane in a low and serious voice that she was going to accept Logan's proposal.
"I think that is the right decision." Lane replied, in the same serious voice. "I'm really going to miss you."
A silence filled the line. It was a silence of mutual understanding and affection.
Rory went to the fridge to look for food of some sort.
She found some cereal and poured it into a bowl, which she found in a box. She then checked the fridge for milk, but only found the 2% milk that Paris had to have for breakfast. It was covered with capital letters written with a black marker-pen; "FOR! PARIS! ONLY!"
Rory smiled when she realized that the text was meant for Logan, who by mistake used Paris' milk a couple of weeks ago. Rory grabbed the milk and poured it over her cereals, started to eat, and suddenly remembered the box with the ring that was still in her purse by the door. She hastily fetched it and put it in front of her, on the table. She contemplated for a while before reaching out for the ring, but finally pulled it out from its bed of textile and tried it on.
Smiling giddily, and still holding out her hand, Rory reached out for her phone and called a new number.
The tones echoed through the line, and Rory was getting a bit frustrated. Why didn't he pick up? Finally his voice came through, breathing heavily. "Hi!" he said, in an attempt to a normal voice.
"Hi!" she said, swallowing laughter.
"How are you doing?" Logan asked, still trying to sound as normal as he possibly could.
"Where were you running from?" Rory interrupted him in an amused voice.
"Oh!" he said. She could hear his confusion and yet again tried to swallow the need to laugh. "I was inside, and the music was so loud... I had to run out." He continued.
"Where are you?" Rory asked with a frown.
"Oh, I'm at Brian's place. He had some kind of celebration…"
"Oh." Rory said, rather confused.
Logan was quit for a moment, and then he said in a serious voice. "Well, I really couldn't be alone, and it was the only place I could think of in town. I didn't want to leave… if…" his speech dissolved into silence, and the awkwardness became apparent.
Rory sighed and told him in a strict voice to please be kind to come home, as she had something important to tell him. Then she hung up and felt a bit conflicted. Why, she thought, was he at a party? How stupid was that? She sat herself with crossed arms and legs in the couch and decided to wait for him to explain himself. After a while she purposely took the ring of her finger and put in back on its place in the velvet box. She held on to the box, though. She placed herself yet again in the couch, and awaited Logan's arrival, still upset. 5 minutes later she could hear his steps outside, and then his key in the many locks that kept the badly located apartment safe from intruders.
He found her like that. Frowned and apparently upset over something. To say that he found it confusing was an understatement, but he was happy nonetheless that she had called and that he could see her. He placed himself next to her and tried to catch her gaze.
"What's wrong?" he asked in a concerned and somewhat confused voice.
She still didn't meet his eyes, but responded nonetheless. "Well, what's wrong, is that I was going to tell you something very important when I called. And then I realized you were at a party. That's what's wrong."
Logan didn't know how to respond to that, so he simply said the one thing he knew would be better than saying nothing; "I'm sorry, Ace. I didn't mean to upset you."
Rory finally met his gaze, and relaxed a little. "No." she said. "I'm sorry for being mad at you. You did nothing wrong, I'm just a bit …nervous."
Logan took her in his arms and held her. When he felt her body soften and nestle into his, he gently places a kiss on her hair.
"Logan" she started in a soft voice. "My answer to your question..." Logan could feel his body tensing up and his heart suddenly missed a beat.
"My answer is yes." Rory proclaimed in the same gentle voice. She released herself from his grip and looked into his eyes with an earnestness that took him by surprise.
He felt one un-ask-for giddy smile spreading across his face, and Rory started giggling. "Logan, you look really funny!" she laughed.
Suddenly he grabbed her and swirled her through the air. "I don't care!" he exclaimed with the entire world's happiness in his voice. "I don't care how I look!"
"Happy?" Rory asked him with an equally giddy smile on her face.
"More than happy, Ace." he answered, and before he could continue she kissed him. Throwing her arms around his neck she passionately connected them throughout their entire bodies. Logan kissed her back and for a moment nothing but the two of them existed, as if time had stopped.
Rory knew that she had to call her mom the same night.
She didn't want her to find out from anyone else, and now that Lane knew, Rory had to hurry.
She looked up and saw Logan on the phone, talking to his sister. Fiddling with the buttons on her phone, she knew she just had to do it. 'Like ripping a band-aid of, fast and painful', she thought. Looking over at Logan's moving form spackling away at the walls while talking on the phone, she distracted herself for another couple of minutes. Then she remembered that she had to wash her dishes; the bowl and the spoon she used a couple of hours ago, while waiting for her fiancé to come home. After that she went to the bathroom and found the sink dirty enough to be cleaned. After that she watched Logan, who was still on the phone, and checked his handiwork at the walls. She was then attacked by a pair of arms, and they wrestled for a while very loudly. Then she was suddenly talking to Honor; accepting congratulations in all possible forms. After that she was sitting on the couch, fiddling with the same buttons yet again.
Logan sighed and placed himself next to her, making himself comfortable and letting out a theatrical exhale of exhaustion.
"Nice choice of activity to celebrate our engagement, Ace!"
"Well," she said somewhat distracted "If you're going to be a husband, you need to be handy!"
"True. And see the amazing handiwork I have done." He proclaimed in a bad British accent, and expanded his arms in his usual dramatic pose.
"Ken Follett would be proud." Rory said and gave him a kiss. He then held her face captive with his hands and looked into her eyes.
"What's wrong, Rory?" he asked, while examining her face.
She pulled free and remained quiet, while yet again gazing at her phone.
Logan directing his eyes towards the object in her hands, then reached forward and saw the display. "Hm." he stated with exclamation and fell back in the same comfortable position as before.
"What does that mean?" Rory asked fiercely, turning around to see what he was up to.
"I was just wondering why you don't want to call her." he said in a casual voice.
"It's not that I don't want to call her. Why wouldn't I want to call her? She's my mom! She'll be thrilled! " Rory said, lying through her teeth.
"Hm." Logan said, and she knew very well that he knew that she was lying.
She pouted for a bit. Then she said with great animation; "It's just…"
"Yeah sure, I am anxious of what she's going say and all that. Because I know what I want her to say, but I also know what I think she's going to say. But the worst part that I'm really scared of is of how I am going to react to what she says..." She sighed heavily and fell quiet.
Logan scowled slightly, rose from the couch and asked somewhat defensive; "What do you mean, exactly?"
When she heard the tone of his voice she instantly rose to meet him, assured him that nothing in the world could ever get her of his back at this point, and that he now was stuck with her for all eternity. "Nice." was his answer, and the couple held on to each other and was lost to the world for a while.
"Alas" he interrupted with the same mock-British accent as earlier."Back to the subject at hand, young lady! No more distractions allowed."
She hung her head, and bit her lip.
"Rory!" he said in a serious voice, "Just call her!"
"But it's so late. She must be sleeping by now. I'll call her tomorrow!" she said in a determined and elevated voice.
Logan watched her for a moment, then shrugged and said "Fine. Your call, Ace."
Rory watched him return to finish the handiwork, then focused her gaze at the phone and finally exclaimed loudly "Fine! I'll call."
"Great." Logan responded without even turning away from the wall.
The display showed her mother's number. All she had to do was to press "CALL". She did so, and heard the ringing tones multiply. 3…4…5… She wasn't at home. 6… "Hello!" her mother's sleepy voice came through the line.
"Hi mom." Rory said in a high-pitched voice. "Were you asleep?"
"Well yes, fruit of my loin. It's one a.m. in my time zone. What's the time in Crazy Town?"
"Mom. I need to talk to you. It's important. Can you get up?"
A moment of silence followed, and Rory could feel her inside rumbling. "Yes, absolutely. I'm up." Lorelai responded in a serious voice. "So… what's up?"
"Well," Rory had to swallow and clear her throat before continuing "The truth is that I said yes to Logan's proposal. I'm engaged!" Rory said the last sentence in an overly elevated voice, which told her mother two things simultaneously. The first thing was that Rory was determined in her decision, and the second thing was that she wished for her mother's approval.
Lorelai swallowed her initial feelings and thoughts, and put on the mask she had already prepared for this occasion. She placed her voice in a high, exited, pitch and exclaimed loudly; "Congratulations my love! I am so happy for you! Are you happy?"
Rory was surprised and overjoyed at her reaction. In that instance she felt a fierce and penetrating love, gratitude and longing for her mother, and wanted nothing more that to see her. "Mom." was all Rory could muster to say through the swirling emotions, and the single word told her mother more than enough.
Lorelai could feel her eyes tearing up, and she said; "Yeah. I know kiddo. I know."
They both wanted nothing more in that moment than to stop time, and never let go of each other. But life is meant to be lived, and the memories of their endless days together was not reason enough to keep on living in the past. Their bond was in some sense stronger than time or any distance. Rory knew in that instance that despite the conditions, there was nothing that could break them apart. Not really.
After they hung up, both women sank down in tears. On one end the grieving was found by arms of comfort and security, as the young woman held on to the warmth with a desperate determinination. On the other end the grief was heard by no one, and the woman in the empty house felt the hopelessness grow accompanied by the loneliness. For the first woman the night symbolized a new beginning, for the second woman the night was the mark of something that had come to an end.