A self-conscious stillness formed between them. The expression on Molly’s face mirrored his thoughts. Their last long holiday together had come to an end. What did the months and years ahead hold for them? David pulled himself upright and stoked a fire that didn’t need it. Molly vacated her chair and stood beside him. Together they watched as flames licked the logs, sending sparks up the chimney. She shrugged her sweater jacket off her shoulders. “Will you go to London for Christmas?”
“Some of our family will come here. They don’t want Father and Mother traveling during the winter months.”
Mesmerized by the fiery ballet, they lingered in contemplative silence.
He cast a sidelong glance at his friend. Was that moisture on her lashes? Please God, don’t let her cry.
Sea blue eyes caught and held his. “Must you leave so soon after graduation? Surely a month or two won’t make that much difference.”
“Dr. Morris needs me now. The work has increased, and Dr. Murray wants to devote more time to research.”
“But what’s another month when you’ll spend the rest of your life there?” Her bottom lip quivered.
“Molly, I gave my word.”
Tears loomed in her eyes. “We have so little time left. Even if you do come home for the Christmas holiday, it’s such a busy time.” Her gaze drifted back to the crackling fire. “I should have gone to Aberdeen this fall. I prayed about it, but God seemed to say ‘no’, or perhaps it was ‘wait a while.’ I wonder if¼“ Countenance brighter, she swept hopeful eyes back to David. “Why haven’t I thought about it before now?”
“I’ll go to India.”
His breath stuck in his throat.
Excitement flashed in pools of sea blue. “I’ll go as a missionary nurse. We can work together.” She bounced on the balls of her feet, grabbing his upper arms. “Why didn’t I think of this before?”
Her touch made his head reel. His voice faltered as he spoke. “Do you feel called to mission work?”
“Well, I just never thought about it.”
He sighed. “Molly, you don’t think about being a missionary. You go only if and where God calls you.”
Her grip tightened. “But don’t you see? If God doesn’t want me to go to Aberdeen, then, well, couldn’t the thought have come from him?”
“You need to pray about it, Molly.”
A shadow slid across her face. “Don’t you want me to go?”
“I’d like nothing better, but only if it’s God’s will.”
Tears spilled onto her flushed cheeks. “What will I do without you?”
Enfolding her in his arms seemed the natural thing to do. Though he spoke soothing words as to a child, his dearest friend was no child. Her soft body, delicate lavender scent and satiny skin pressing against his cheek tantalized his senses and stole air from his lungs. He nuzzled his face in her clean-smelling hair, wanting the moment to last forever. When her tears subsided, he expected her to pull away. Instead her cheek glided against his, and before he realized what was happening their lips met in a tentative kiss. Then, as if tasting forbidden fruit and finding it deliciously sweet, a hunger for more flamed between them. Their long passionate kiss held him suspended in time. Molly, dear precious Molly.