Rome had had a difficult life.
It wasn't that he'd had a rough childhood. No, his family had been as loving and supportive as it could possibly be. Sure, his oldest sister had been a trial, thus causing the rest of the family to have their own set of problems, but in the end, Rome's family had been a good one.
And it wasn't that Rome didn't have anyone to claim as his friend. Especially in Summeridge, everyone treated him as something of a novelty. Traveling preachers were something of a rare kind. Sure, some towns had made it clear that he wasn't wanted in those parts, but all in all, God put him where he needed to be.
It was the money issue.
Sure, money wasn't the key to life. No, let's forget about that statement. In the material world, money...well, it's sort of important. But anyways. All this to say that Rome wouldn't have been so worried about money if it wasn't for the fact that he was nearly broke.
Traveling preachers - or "circuit riders," as Rome's type was more commonly labeled - didn't make much money. Somehow, God always provided what Rome needed in order to survive, but Rome didn't want to just survive. He wanted to thrive.
But Rome St. John was different from the average circuit rider. Instead of having actual circuits which he traveled regularly, he simply went where God directed. And it was nearly impossible.
What was even more frustrating was that all the women in Summeridge considered Rome fair game to flirt with, but never more. When all the glamour of Summeridge's "most eligible bachelor" faded away and the women found out just how hard it would be to be the wife of someone like Rome, they sighed and walked away, muttering, "Wouldn't it have been nice if he was anything but a circuit rider?"
Rome's thoughts had been interrupted when he'd overhead a snippet of a conversation between Miss Alina Bryant and Mr. Conner O'Breen. The compulsion to follow Alina home and make sure she was alright had been so strong that Rome had known immediately it was from God. But he was beginning to have second thoughts, especially when Alina practically dragged him inside her home and began drilling him for answers concerning Hendrick, Missouri.
Hendrick, Missouri - of all places!
But, no. We must leave Rome and Alina for a moment so we can meet a third crucial element of this story, an element by the name of Will Fletcher...
Fletcher. That's right. You might remember that last name from a story we all know well...