Feverishly, Alina picked up the letter that contained Miriam's address. How could her eyes have missed this? How could she have read the letter without finding the address?
A feeling of unmistakable elation filled Alina's heart. Perhaps Miriam's address held the key to unlock Alexander's past!
Hendrick. Hendrick, Missouri. Alina had never heard of the place. But if it held the power to tie any open strings left in Alexander's wake, then there was no stopping Alina from going there!
Of course, Miriam was dead. There would be no consulting with her to find out about Alexander's past. And even if Miriam had been alive, Alina would never have sought her out. It would have only been too painful for both of them.
Hendrick, Missouri. Hendrick, Missouri.
The two words held a great deal of hope for Alina and her search to find Alexander. Pressing the letter against her heart, Alina uttered a soft thank-You to God before realizing that she hadn't prayed in quite some time...
"I'll consider praying to You if You show me how to find remnants of Alexander's past," Alina told God. So, I have been reduced to this? Making deals with God to get what I want? No matter. I'll have what I need soon enough.
There was a knock at the door. Was it just Alina's opinion, or was everyone and their brother trying to bother her that day? Huffing loudly, Alina scrambled to her feet and opened the door.
"Hello, Miss Bryant. How are you doing today?" asked a young, caring voice.
Rome St. John.
Mr. St. John had moved to the small town of Summeridge not quite a year ago. To all the ladies, he was considered one of the most eligible bachelors in all the land. But to Alina, he was just another man, just another stranger who had no weight in the course of her life.
"What can I do for you, sir?" Alina asked. Rome St. John was one of the few people in the town who did not plague Alina about her relationship with Alexander, and so she somehow found it within herself to respect him.
"I just wanted to make sure you're doing alright, Miss Alina. You seemed upset in the mercantile."
"I'm alright. It's just that I've never gotten along too well with Conner O'Breen. It's nothing you need to worry yourself about." And then, because Alina felt a strange prompting to, she added, "You've never heard of a place called Hendrick, Missouri, have you?"
Rome looked surprised. "Why, yes, ma'am. I have some family there."
Shocked beyond words, Alina felt as though a bucket of cold water had been thrown over her. "You're joking."
Rome shook his head, still looking quite puzzled about the whole ordeal. "No, ma'am...I'm quite serious."
Alina gestured for Rome to come inside. "Do come in, Mr. St. John. We don't want you standing out there like a lost puppy. I do believe we've got some things to talk about..."