Eyes fixed forward. Hands embraced in one another’s he revealed, “I have seen you every week for the past eight months. You’re a great mother and you give your son and everyone around you great love. I have also seen that you have no one to love you.” I felt completely naked as I sat fully clothed.
He continued, “I have a lot of love to give but I’ve been hurt enough. I de
cided to give up. I thought maybe I am really not the man I thought I was. Then I decided to come to this church one day. I didn’t know what I was looking for but somehow some way this church found me broken, disgusted with myself and my situation. I’m an architect and I cannot for the life of me, rebuild my own life. I was completely hopeless and beyond repair and I just didn’t care anymore.” He snickered, “I know the saints of this church probably think that I’m sleeping every week. But really as the weeks pressed on I had to keep my eyes shut just to take it all in. My eyes could not experience the video of my life as it unfolded before me sermon after sermon. Every week that I came I find more and more of me right here in these pews.”
He became silent as if contemplating to say more or simply get up and walk away. Instead he turned to me and said humbly, “I believed everything the pastor said today. I also believe everything God has told me in his Word. And now I know that I deserve love from a wife and a family and I want it. I need it.” I turned and looked him in his brown eyes, searching for where this was all coming from. Searching for the “Ah hah… Got cha!” hidden in the stress lines around his mouth. I was puzzled to say the least. Why had this stranger decided to be so transparent with me? Light bulb moment, could he had overheard my prayer?
Like a recording, every word I had uttered in prayer replayed verbatim.
“Our Father who art in Heaven, hollowed be thy name…. Dear Lord, I praise you for bring me two loving parents that saw fit to rare me in a loving 37 year marriage. You have blessed me. You have taught me how to love my child unconditionally with my hands, my mouth, my heart, my entire being. Never before have I ever experienced such a humanistic and unwarranted type of love. Lord please teach me how to love myself in the same manner. Teach me to love myself enough to forgive myself for having Sarid out of wedlock. Forgive me for not thinking so much of him to opt for a family first. Lord I have cheated him out of the blessing you had given me. If it is your will please send me a man that I might be able to give Sarid a family, a father that loves him, a man to teach him, a mentor to guide him. And Lord, if it’s not too selfish please send someone that loves you more than life itself. Because then I’ll know he’ll love and care for us without limits. I thank you for grace that allows me to petition your throne. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling. Amen.”
Like an outer body experience I watched myself quietly and timidly say to him, “I want and deserve to be loved. I know I’m a 30 year old single mother but I want a husband, one that comes home and laughs with his family and looks forward to pizza nights and picnics. I want a man that’s not going to leave me or fold when life decides to be difficult. I want a man that going to be true in every sense of the word. I don’t want someone to make me feel dumb or ugly.” My speech became rapid and intense. “I don’t need a lack luster type of love. I need passion, desire, blazing fire on a winter camping trip type of love. I have so much love to give and I just need a chance.” Unsuspected I divulged my deepest hidden desires and began inserting him in what I wanted. “I want to feel like you will never leave me and when I hug you I want to melt with each exhale. I want you to keep our family safe and together. You are the one…” I grabbed my mouth when I realized the gravity of what I’d just done. My eyes became glossy but I tried hard not to cry. Pure emotion had taken over me. Just when I was about to retract all that I had said and shamefully apologize I heard music in the form of words.
“I love you and I will love our family until the end of time faithfully, whole heatedly, and without conditions. I. Love. You.” Maximus who had listened to every word I had expressed continued and said, “I promise to love you and OUR family. I will keep you safe and hold all of your secrets.” After each word he held my hand tighter and tighter. “It is my duty and honor to make you feel beautiful and worthy of all of my time, thoughts, and affections. My joy will be in seeing and making our family happy and prosperous. I promise to love you with everything that I got inside me and more.”
My whole body was shaky but for the first time in my life I felt completely transparent but confident and cherished, with a stranger. When I had glanced down at our hands that had been joined together for the past hour, it dawned on me that this had been the most emotionally revealing and honest conversation that I have ever had with a man in my life. And this was the immediate answer to my prayers.
“I don’t want to waste time with dating, pretending and creating a persona to impress you. I want you to know now, right now, that this is me and everything I am and aspire to be. I’m picking you and our family. Do you want me to love you? Will you love me?” Maximus words had penetrated layers of me that I didn’t even know existed. My heart was beating rapidly, my palms sweaty. With conviction I told Maximus, “I will love you and I want us to be a family.” Maximus held his son in one arm and embraced me and my son in the other. Our embrace was the most obsessive and loving thing I had ever experienced.
I am hot. My arms and face are burning and I feel water on my face. I drift back into reality and the Caribbean sun is pelting beams of sunshine on my skin. I adjust my seat to find my mother sitting among the other ladies looking cold and stern. In the midst of all the excitement I couldn’t understand why her demeanor wasn’t one of long awaited overwhelming joy. Her last born child is about to be married. Trying to stay positive in thought, I reconciled that she might have just been jet lagged. I reach for her hand with a loving smile and she clenches my hand seriously hard. She is trembling and her bugged eyes are steering at me. As fast as she took a hold of me is as fast as she let me go and turns her attention out the window to the scenery. I nervously look to my sisters for an explanation. They are oblivious to this brief and weird interaction. Soon the ladies become excited once again and demand my attention above the sunroof of the SUV, we have arrived at the resort, and it is breath taking!
We are greeted by topless chiseled chest men dressed in white linen pants singing the melody of Jagged Edges “Let’s Get Married”. An older gentlemen walks down the pathway they have created and takes me by the hand. My name is Mr. Webster, the owner and operator of Utopia Luxury Resort, welcome to paradise.
“Ohhh girl did you hear that Caribbean accent. You might not be the only one getting married this weekend,” yells April from the back. “You get a green card, you get a green card, and you and you and you, she screams pointing at each topless man.”
The first thing I see when I enter is the double marble staircase. It looks even more royal and elegant then in the pictures. I could hear the “ooohhs” and “ahhs” of my girlfriends, I know they are impressed. Mr. Webster gives us the grand tour. The amenities are endless, a lavish spa facility, fully equip gym, Olympic size salt water pool, a palm covered pathway that lead to a private beach and a 80 ft. yacht is sitting on the water at our disposal. I was speechless. Inside, an elevator takes us to the second floor to the living accommodations. I am instantly in love with the gigantic 2,000 sq. feet four bedroom suite for the bridesmaids, the wood floors are exquisite. All of the small manicured details stand out to me. Mr. Webster concludes the tour with the honeymoon suite. I am already overly impressed; I don’t think there could be anything more stunning then what I have seen.
Mr. Webster places his hands on the door knobs and pause. “Before I open this door I want to tell you a little story first. I was at an airport in Chicago when my flight back to Barbados was delayed for three hours. I was very tired and in fact a little under the weather. I guess the gentlemen next to me noticed so he offered me some water and moved the chairs around so I could elevate my legs. He even went as far as to fetch my medication out of my luggage and phone my wife to let her know my status every hour on the hour. I asked him if he was a doctor or nurse because the care he gave me was so exceptional. When he told me he was an architect I could not believe it. The way he paid attention to my symptoms I determined that this man had a natural knack for details.
After waiting four hours it was determined that the flight would be delayed until the morning. Now, I was in Chicago on business so I had no family or friends to take care of me. Before I could motion to the gate attendant for assistance, this gentlemen offered to put me up for the night at his home. He rationalized that I should not be left alone just in case my condition deteriorated. And if I was feeling better we could both make our way back to the airport in the morning.
I was impressed with his level of compassion for a mere stranger and agreed to stay the night at his residence. He appeared fairly well dressed and groomed so I imagined the accommodations would be suitable. When we arrived to his home I was blown away with how magnificently crafted it was. I spent the whole night eyeing every curve, every line, the modern feel messed with contemporary flair and I loved it all. I decided that night I wanted this man to build my resort. I felt better by morning and during the flight explained my vision of Utopia to him. He was equally excited about the idea and happily accepted my proposal. He began working two weeks later. It took a year and three months for him to erect my dream of Utopia on Earth. When he was done I told him that I wish I had a daughter that I could offer him just so he could get married in a place that he so beautifully created.”
We all laugh, I thought it was a great story and I am excited to see my bridal suite. I am a hopeless romantic so I love a place with a little history Mr. Webster. “Is that right,” he said. Mr. Webster opens the doors and we all walk in. The bridal suite is even larger than the bridesmaid suite. The actual bedroom even has its own French door entrance.
Mr. Webster finishes his story, “As time went on I began to love this man as my own son. When the building was complete he promised me he would marry his wife in this resort, the first resort he had ever built.”
He allows me to open the bedroom doors. I look to him as I open the doors and ask “Did he ever make good on his word? The doors open and reveal Maximus sitting on the bed with a single red rose in his hand. I grab my face and begin to cry.
In his sweet Caribbean accent Mr. Webster whispers, Maximus was the architect.
This is the second installment from my first short story entitled “I Called the Wedding OFF!” I’m excited to hear your feedback. #takemyfoolishadvice subscribe and share this story with a friend. Trust me you do not want to miss what happens in part 3.
“I Called the Wedding OFF!” Pt. 1 at (www.takemyfoolishadvice.com)