He drove down the highway late at night, looking with a newfound wonder at all the light, blurring and blending into one continuous sensation. Light filled his mind, his heart, his soul – it was the air he breathed. And to think - he would have never noticed any of it had not someone believed in his goodness; he would have only noticed it was dark and cloudy as the rain was pouring down, which would have only obscured him more.
It had only been a few days since everything had happened. He thought he had ruined his life, ruined every chance he had at goodness. He hurt the girl he loved most – he couldn't believe he did that. A wave of guilt and shame came over him in vivid recollection. How could he have done this? What demon possessed him? Yet, bottom line, he couldn't blame it on anyone other than himself – he did these things and hurt himself, the girl he loved, and someone else he had barely any affinity for. He used her, for what? He didn't take any joy out of it, and neither did she. They were both used and discarded – both ran away from love, and yet they both felt imprisoned in it. Yet, he deceived the girl he loved to be able to continue in his misery, that is, until she recently discovered this was happening. He had long feared her finding out; he really wished it hadn't been this way – he wished he had had the courage to tell her himself.
Yet, it was she, the very one he deceived, who took pity on him and gave him life again. How could someone love so much? She had every right to throw him away – yet she held on, hurt though she was: she was committed – to him. She even said I love you. He remembered even more vividly the pain she was in on his account – her ragged breath, the tremor of hurt in her voice, how her hands shook so violently in pain as the rain came down about them – all these things were daggers to his heart, which broke him into pieces each time he recalled them.
Yet, he was freed; he was free and far away, and he prayed he would never do these things again. He had gone to confession – God Himself freed him. How could he not love or praise God for what He had done? In the moment when he should've lost everything, when he was weakest, he gained much more than he expected – he felt he had gained the world. His heart overflowed and was overwhelmed with joy and peace, things he had not felt in a long time. Freedom! He was no longer imprisoned by the addiction of habit.
He saw a church coming up off the highway. Impulsively, he decided to go, in the excess of his joy. In the backseat of the car was a suit he wore to a job interview; he would put that on. It was a particularly special suit – when he wore it, it made him think of the girl he loved so dearly, who had given him everything he needed. He was more himself now than ever. How he wished he could give her everything in return! If only he could be a better man for her! No – he would be. Must be. Needed to be. He vowed it to himself. He had a feeling one day, she would be his forever – ah! the thought flooded his heart with so much joy and love, but he guarded it. He couldn't expect it; not after what he did to her.
He finished putting the suit on and felt much more manly and less of an overgrown child. He stepped out of the car into the rain, which fell on him and made his joy all the more abundant. To feel the rain running down my skin – God is so good to me! he thought.
He tried to get into the Church, but the door was locked – he sighed. You'd think a Church would be open, he thought to himself. Yet, this did not ruin his joy. He saw a statue of the Blessed Virgin just around the corner – his beloved had told him to seek the help of Our Lady. It was late and raining, so he didn't pray the Rosary, but he said a few Ave Maria's in his joy, and thanked her for her kindness and help.
He was going to leave afterwards, now thoroughly soaked, as it had begun to rain harder, but he saw a gently lit gazebo in the distance. Something called him to it, and he didn't know what it was. He should've driven there, but he walked instead over the uneven gravel. When he got there, he had an image – his beloved should be here, or would be here someday, and they would dance together in each others' arms on a night like this. He knew it with all of his mind and heart. Maybe the sky would be clearer and full of stars; yet, what did they need stars for? They would shine bright enough alone.
He began to dance alone in the gazebo – he felt strongly that he and she were destined to be there, together, someday. It was a feeling truer than any other he had ever had. He would have given the world to have her with him at that exact moment, in that exact place.
Strangers walked by and cynically watched the spectacle in passing, focused more on getting out of the chill of the rain than on questioning his sanity: a man dancing alone in the rain, wearing a rather nice suit. How can they, in the darkness of the night, hurrying to their homes, understand the immortal joy of that one man, found in the light of that gazebo?