‘Are there any other pressing questions you would like to ask me,’ Sierra welcomed the possibility that he did, even though it was getting pretty late and she had that job interview the next morning. ‘Do you have an early class in the morning?’ She asked. ‘Well, not too early. My first class isn’t until 10 o’clock tomorrow, so I have a little bit of freedom. I will probably stay here tonight and drive to New Orleans in the morning. I would hate to fall asleep on the way there tonight,’ he laughed.
‘Just a couple more questions. First, do you have a picture of yourself that I can have? I have told just about everyone at the seminary about you and they want to see your picture.’ Sierra was honored, yet amazed that Grayson had already told all of his friends about her. ‘Well, I guess it is no different than me telling everyone in my life about him. Boy, he must really be feeling the same thing I feel. I can’t believe it!’ she thought to herself. ‘I will have to get you one out of my car when I go out, I didn’t bring my purse in,’ she said through a blushing grin.
‘Ok, one more thing,’ Grayson voiced as he grabbed hold of her wrist softly and pulled her back down into her seat. ‘I am going home to Tennessee next week for my cousin’s wedding. If you would be willing to go with me, I would be honored. I would love for you to meet my mom and dad. They just have to meet you and this would be a perfect opportunity,’ he said with hopeful air. Sierra was taken aback by the invitation to meet Grayson’s family already. PJ had been avoiding that situation for nearly two years, and now after just a few days he says his parents have to meet me. ‘Whew!’ she thought. It was almost overwhelming, but she just knew; in the deepest part of her soul, that it was right.
‘I have that job interview in the morning. Let me talk to that Lucille lady and tell her that I can start this week, but next week I will not be available because I already have plans. If she agrees to let me do that, I would be honored to go and meet your family,’ she nervously replied.
‘Before we go get that picture, I just want to tell you how thankful I am that you were willing to listen to the Lord tonight and obey Him. If you feel even half as overwhelmed as I do by this whole situation, I know that it would have been the easier thing to just run away from me for fear of saying the wrong thing. But you didn’t do that. You made this relationship transition so much easier for me to accept as reality. I don’t know why at this particular time in our lives God chose to make our paths meet, but I can tell you that I am thankful He did, and no matter what comes out of it, I will never – ever be the same person I was a week ago,’ she humbly disclosed.
’Let’s go get that picture so you can head home. It is almost twelve-thirty. The morning will be here before we know it, he encouraged. Sierra and Grayson headed out the garage door to where Sierra had parked her car. She opened her glove box to get a picture of herself. She had a stack of wallet sized photos that were part of a set she had made a few months back and never got around to sending out. ‘Here you go, it isn’t the best, but it’s me,’ she said as she handed him the photo. Grayson held the picture into the light of her car so that he could get a good look at it. ‘Thank you. Thank you so much. This is beautiful – and I am not just saying that either. You are really a beautiful girl. Your brown hair and green eyes look really amazing with the pink dress you are wearing,’ he remarked as he intently studied the picture.
‘Now, can I ask you one last question,’ Sierra pressed as she waited for him to put the photo down. ‘What kind of cologne do you wear because that is all I have been able to think about since Sunday,’ she admitted. ’I think it is called Fine. My mom gave it to me before I left to move to New Orleans, I will have to check the bottle and see exactly what it is. I am glad you like it. Knowing that, I will make sure I wear it every day!’ He said with a wink. Sierra thought Fine was the perfect name for Grayson’s cologne for more reasons than one.
‘Now, before you go, do you mind if I just give you a hug,’ he said. ‘Man, a hug,’ Sierra thought. She was sure hoping he was going to ask for a kiss before she left, but a hug would be better than nothing. It was actually amazing to her that he respected her enough to not push a kiss on her, and that he even asked for a hug. ‘Wow,’ she sighed.
Sierra felt like she would melt as Grayson pulled her in close to his chest and wrapped his strapping arms around her. It was obvious to her that he did not intend to let go quickly, so she just rested her head against his chest and thanked God for blessing her beyond her wildest imagination. She closed her eyes and took in the moment, hoping it would be the first of many in the days and years to come.
After what seemed like ten minutes, Grayson loosened his grip. As Sierra lifted her head from his chest, he placed his hands on the sides of her head and kissed her forehead tenderly. ‘Goodnight,’ he whispered as he observably resisted the urge to kiss her lips. ‘I will be praying for you tomorrow as you go for your job interview,’ he said as he stepped away so she could walk around and get in her car.
Sierra felt light on her feet, she had a time walking to the driver’s side of the car. ‘I guess this is what it feels like to be swept off of your feet,’ she actually said out loud to Grayson. He laughed and said, ‘I hope you are right, Sierra, I hope you are right.’ Sierra quietly said goodnight as she sat down in her car. She rolled down the passenger side window and told Grayson that she hoped he had a safe trip back to New Orleans in the morning and a wonderful rest of the week.
‘I will call you if I can,’ Grayson said, ‘but on a youth pastor salary I will have to make the calls short,’ he laughed. Sierra waved and backed out of the driveway. ’But I will be back up on Saturday before noon. The youth have a car-wash if you want to come you are welcome. I can swing by your dad and mom’s house and pick you up around ten o’clock. ‘Okay, that sounds like a plan,’ she said then she reminded him that she would find out the next day about that trip to Tennessee.
At the end of the Allen’s long driveway, Sierra stopped long enough to get her breath. It was all she could do to hold back the tears. She was certainly not sad, so crying seemed a bit strange to her. She had heard of people being ‘so happy they could cry,’ but it had never happened to her until that moment.
As she drove home, she tried to sort out all of the emotions that were running through her head but it was no use. She just gave into them and cried the happiest cry of her life.