“I have to start making dinner,” she said, changing the subject and he understood that she didn’t want to talk about it. “I will be happy to help,” he announced. Six-year-old Ellie and four- year-old Lenora walked into the kitchen just then, and Steve turned around and began playing with the girls. She watched with interest and was surprised to see her girls warming up to him, which was very unusual. Steve broke away from the girls to help her make dinner, but this did not stop him from telling them funny stories which were not only amusing to the girls but to Hope too. After they had eaten, he washed the dishes, with help from the girls while she bathed the baby. She fell asleep while rocking the baby to sleep but she later woke up in her bed, and the baby sleeping in his cot. She got out of bed and went to check in on the girls. They were also sound asleep. They looked so happy and peaceful. Even though she had toyed with the idea of sending the doctor away, she was glad that she didn’t. The next morning, she looked out through her window and realized that the snow had stopped falling. She rushed out of her bedroom and found Steve looking out through the living room window. They both turned to look at each other and smiled. This was what Hope wanted and although she smiled her heart was filled with sadness because Steve would have to leave. He had been with them less than two days, but she was already becoming accustomed to having him around. And it was nice to have another adult in the house to talk to. She had missed that. On Sunday morning, she woke up with a heavy heart. She couldn’t find Steve in the house, and none DOZ Magazine | January 2019 of the girls had seen him that morning. He was gone. But he had left her his home address, telephone numbers and a short note which read; Thank you, Hope. She told herself that she was glad that he was gone and that her girls were becoming too attached to him and she didn’t want them to be hurt by his absence. She told herself that she wouldn’t miss him, but it was hard not to. She was in love with him. She tried so hard to forget him, but she couldn’t. She told herself that she was a mother of three and a young, handsome man like Doctor Woods wouldn’t be interested in her, besides he deserved better. But she couldn’t stop thinking about him. The girls were also missing him, and he was all they talked about. Meanwhile, Steve had been praying that Hope would call him. He was in love with her and missed her and the kids terribly. When he walked out of her door that morning, he felt like he was leaving his heart behind. It was so difficult to walk out through that door, he loved her, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He felt at peace whenever he prayed about Hope, and he knew that the Lord had brought them together for a reason. The telephone in the hallway began to ring, and he walked into the hall to answer the call. “Hello. Doctor Woods’ residence,” Steve said. “Hi,” Hope said, breathlessly. “Hope!” He cried. “Thank you, Jesus!” He muttered under his breath. “How are you? How are my kids?” “Your kids?” She queried. “Oh…ur…I didn’t realize that was what I said,” He stuttered. She chuckled. “They are fine.” 34 “Hope…I need to see you.” “Then open your door,” she said. He flung the phone away and raced to the door. Hope was standing at the door, and she looked stunning but very nervous. He pulled her into his arms and held her tight. “I know this is too soon but….” He broke off, “I love you Hope, you and the kids and if you’ll welcome me into your loving home….” “God,” Hope cried. “Will you marry me?” He asked. “Yes,” she cried. “I love you too, Steve,” He pulled her into his arms and gave her a warm hug. “Where are my children?” He asked. “They are…in the car…” She said. “I couldn’t get a sitter…” He brushed past her and raced toward the car in his driveway. He opened the back door and lifted little Moses into his arms; the girls squealed and hugged him. He placed a kiss on the tops of their heads and ruffled the baby’s hair. “Why did you leave?” The girls asked. “I’m sorry that I left without telling you,” He replied. “I will never leave again.” “Forever?” The girls asked. “Yes,” he grinned, “Would you mind terribly?” “No!” The girls screamed in delight. “We want you to stay.” Steve looked at the adorable faces of his new daughters, the baby grinning at him and the beautiful woman sobbing on his doorsteps, and his heart welled with love for all of them. He knew that he was finally home.