This is a purely fictional work. Any resemblance to real persons, organizations or events is merely coincidental. This story is not appropriate for children and the mentally unstable. Parental guidance is advised for children under 16.
Copyright © Ufuomaee
"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned" (Songs 8:7).
My earliest memory of romantic love was from the movie "Endless Love". That was the definitive romantic story for me. Not even "Romeo and Juliet" came close. It would be many years before I learnt that it was actually considered a "blue film", and not at all appropriate for impressionable children.
However, besides the lust and sex that seemed to define the movie, it was the heated emotions that burned between the lovers, despite the opposition from their families, that stayed with me. I wanted that kind of reckless love; a mad love, ungoverned by reason and driven entirely by passion. Even when I became a Believer, I always held out hope to have such a fiery romance. And not just romance, marriage.
But many years later, real life changed all that and I was about to marry someone for whom my heart didn't burn. I'd given up on love, as I knew it. Because my heart had been broken, and they said love is not about emotion, but an act of the will... But when the one for whom my heart once burned returned into my life, I realised that, truly, "the heart wants what it wants..."
Alas, ours was not the "forever love" kind. I was his toy, and he was my everything. And when he was done, so was I. And I didn't dare to dream that I'd ever find the kind of mutual, passionate and enduring love I desired. I took comfort in God, and was happy just to have Jesus, and to be content in Him. Or so I thought.
Mine was a wandering heart. A restless heart. A troubled heart.
It got to a point that I had crushes on almost every single man around me. I just wanted love. Marriage. The perfect romance.
And then I met Temi.
He was not the usual guy that I got hot for, but he was attractive and Christian. We were similar in some ways. We were two idealistic people with dreams, who were committed to or lazily following our passions, depending on how you looked at it.
As a Computer Engineer, he was very bright, and also ambitious. He dreamt of and talked about how he'd be the next Bill Gates by creating some revolutionary software. I liked that he had dreams and a drive. Though he was out of a job at the time. He had potential and lots of confidence.
I was working in a job to fulfil all righteousness. I didn't want to be dependent on my affluent parents to take care of me and chose a job I was sure I would do well in, while I chased my passion of becoming a writer. As a Bank Marketer, I wasn't using my degree in Accounting, a course I'd taken to appease my father, who was the greatest Accountant Lagos had ever known in his time. He now chairs a number of financial institutions, including the one I was marketing for.
So, one day, I met Temi when I was on a marketing run to a Telecomms company. He had just completed an interview for a job there, and we left the building together. As we rode the elevator, I was reading a book on my Kindle device.
"Good book?" he asked.
"Hmmm hmm…" I muttered in response.
"What's it about?"
I sighed and looked up briefly from my reading. He was tall and dark skinned. Not my flavour. So, I gave him a curt response. "Christianity and Evangelism."
"Interesting. It's rare to see beautiful women reading. And about Christianity too," he mused. And I thought it was funny that I was irritated about being disturbed while reading a book about evangelism, instead of seeing that as an opportunity to witness to him. Just as the elevator doors opened, he asked, "Do you mind if I ask what you do?"
It was obvious that he wanted to talk, and well, it was time I actually put to practice what I was learning about seizing opportunities to proclaim Christ. So, after he asked his third question, I decided to put the device away and engage him in conversation.
"I'm a marketer by day and a columnist by night," I said, with a grin.
"Hmmm… A go-getter and an influencer. You sound like someone I'd love to know," he drawled and I giggled despite myself. And when he smiled, I thought he looked like a movie star. And so, when he asked for my number, I didn't hesitate.
Still, I played hard to get, though not for too long. I liked that even though he didn't have much financially, and he knew my background, he was not deterred from coming after me. He showered me with attention, listened to me and read my writings, and believed in my dream to write stories that would change the world. He promised me his love and care. He said he wanted to give me the world and I believed him.
I followed him to Church and it was there that I began to fall for him. I saw him in his element, a passionate follower of Jesus Christ who, though poor, claimed the riches of Christ. And I didn't dare to judge him by his present circumstance. I saw a man of promise, and most of all, a man who saw promise in me.
And even though I never did fall with complete abandon, I said "Yes" to him the day he asked for my hand in marriage, in the presence of our friends and family, after only three months of dating. Because "love is an act of the will..." Or so they said.
To be continued…
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