I limped out of Lilith’s apartment and walked to the subway, eventually making my way back to my room on campus.  I slept deeply, and woke up sore.  I had slept for at least twelve hours.  There was an email waiting in my inbox the next day when I logged onto the Internet.  It was from someone named E.C.  It simply said:

 E,

 Good work.  You’ve earned a rest.  However, a word of advice:  You might consider going skiing when you have Reading Week this winter.  Don’t your friends have a chalet out west?  Maybe all your friends would like to go.

 Best of luck in your future endeavours,

 D and R

 

I deleted it when I finished reading it.  And I made sure to stay in touch with Alex, Jay and Neal all semester, so it was natural to suggest a reunion of the group, since all of us were finally university students and had the same week off from classes.  I even helped pay for plane tickets, using my inheritance. 

            I believe everything happens for a reason.  And I got on that plane after the hardest year of my life, confident that everything would work out.

 

***

 

            I remembered.  I remembered that for all the years of loneliness and pain, all the times I got picked on, all the times I thought life wasn’t worth anything, I had never quit.  The only time I had ever given up on trying to live was in the blizzard, and God had found a way to give my life meaning there.  So long as God took an interest, I would never quit again.  With or without my beloved, I was still Ethan Keaton Pitney, and I had a job to do.

            I stood up in the desert, remembering.  And I started to walk.

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