Veronica had lost her peace ever since Felix’s proposal, although she loved him, she didn’t know what to do. She had told him right away that it was impossible for her to express her love to any man in marriage because of her allegiance to Christ, nevertheless she felt disturbed, and her heart never ceased to long for him.
It’s been two months since Felix proposed to her, she had struggled with the thought on several occasions but she couldn’t help herself, she lost concentration at work, the school principal called her to her office to ask what was wrong, but she claimed everything was alright, when the principal realized that there were no changes, she reported to the Reverend Mother in charge of the convent in the school, nevertheless she was at sea about the situation.
“Come right in dear,” Juliet answered from where she laid. “Good afternoon,” Veronica said as she shut the door behind her, “afternoon, and how are you?” said Juliet on her feet opening her arms for a hug, Veronica received the hug with a down-cast face. “Good to see you, “Juliet said as they both settled on the mattress.
“How has it been at your work place?” Juliet asked, “It’s been splendid, thank you.” Juliet noticed her troubled face. “What is wrong Veronica? Why do you look troubled?” Veronica adjusted on the mattress and reached for the pillow.
“I am fine,” she said bowing her heads, “that’s a stereotyped answer you know, you don’t look fine. So, girl tell me what it is,” Juliet moved closer to her, Veronica started to say, “it’s about Felix” she dragged. “So what is it about him?” Juliet tried to cuddle her into her embrace, “ermm ermm,” she dragged again. “Ermmm what? Or have you gotten over that erroneous feeling you had for him?” This made it more difficult for Veronica to speak, erroneous is what you call what has cost me sleepless nights for months now! She thought.
“Felix proposed to me!” She said looking elsewhere as quick as possible, “what! Didn’t you tell him you are a nun; I mean you are a Reverend Sister for Christ sake!” “I did, in fact, he has seen me in Nun`s robe before, but he asked me to make a compromise for him,” Veronica said as if tears might be clouding her eyes.
“That’s serious, what sort of compromise is that? That is simply too grave.” Then she took a minute or two before she spoke again, looking into her friend’s eyes, she saw the tears that clouded them, she knew Veronica was in love with Felix, she knew what it means to be in love, and so she understood how Veronica felt.
“Okay, let me ask you, what exactly do you want,” Veronica raised her head, with tears dripping down her cheeks, “I love him, I have lost my concentration for months, I can’t help it, but I fear what people would say; that I am not bold enough to keep my allegiance to Christ.” Juliet removed a handkerchief from her bedside, pulled her unto herself and wiped her tears. “ Dear, one key to failure that I am sure of is trying to please everyone, your joy is what matter most to you, much more than that of the Abbess of your nunnery, it matters more than the joy of the other Reverend Sisters, I am not a Reverend Sister because I have the capacity to have sexual desires, celibates are those who have the God-given gift to live above their emotions for the opposite sex, they don’t struggle like you are doing now.”
Veronica had stopped crying, “so, if you love Felix and you want to be married to him, why not? Instead of losing your concentration over what God would be happy about, why not accept his proposal!” Veronica adjusted and moved out of her embrace, “but I have told him it’s not possible,” she answered, “that’s no big deal, if he really loves you he will give you some more time.” “Alright then,” Veronica drank some of the water she was served earlier, Juliet added, “and when he comes back to you, tell him how you feel, let love flow in your heart unhindered, it’s God`s gift to man and shouldn’t be a thorn in the flesh, if you have love in your bowels, then spill it out and don’t die in silence.” “Thank you dear friend” Veronica answered with a smile.
“Morning, I’m fine, thank you,” she answered her caller with a blush,” she still had her towel wrapped around her; she just finished from the bathroom. Felix said a lot of things and eventually mentioned his proposal to her. She was more relaxed over the phone this time, “well it’s not like you are not a good man or something like that, it’s just that…”
Felix quickly took over from where she dragged, “what if we talk about it over lunch? Would that be fine by you?” Veronica quickly embraced the opportunity, “alright then, yes 1pm is fine by me” joy filled her mind as she ended the call. She sang a song that came to her mind. She sat on the mattress to moisturize her body; she became so eager about the appointment.
She entered the restaurant exactly the time they had agreed, Felix was not there, she sat in there at her choice table, looking around, just as she looked through the glass door, she noticed exactly the same image that had caused her heart to tremble. There was a tingling in her belly; she adjusted herself in her chair, and looked away so that he could look around for her.
There she found her, Veronica inhaled a deep breath as he marched towards her, (where was this well built handsome man when I took my oath of allegiance, did Jesus ever knew I would meet such a handsome man as this when he let me swore that oath of chastity?) “Good afternoon Veronica,” his voice vibrated and called back her attention.
“Afternoon, you were behind schedule,” she said. “Well, I was here before now, I went to get something, I am sorry I kept you waiting,” he settled on the chair opposite her. “It’s alright then,” Felix raised a lot of issues, politics, life and lots more, Veronica feared that he might never mentioned what she wanted to hear. “Veronica, you know life is beautiful,” Veronica muttered beneath her breath, (yes I know it is; if only you would ask me again, please ask me)
Felix spoke on subjects, different from what she expected, Veronica began to mutter,’ Holy Mary Mother of God, is this a way of punishing me for my attempt to break my allegiance, please let it not be’ Veronica sat in there staring at Felix has he spoke, depression was quick to settle over her, how everything could rapidly fade into the deep deep dark chasm of no return Veronica had no idea, didn’t he say we are going to talk about this over lunch, so why is there no mention of it now during lunch, now that she had nurtured a desire to be with him.
Veronica decided to take the bold step, “if I may ask, what do you desire now that would make life more beautiful to you?” Felix answered with a smile, “a lot of things my dear, but more importantly to express my love to someone I am endeared to,” Veronica quickly grabbed the opportunity, “why not go ahead and express it?” Felix enjoyed the line the discussion towed, “yes I love to, but she has denied me this rare privilege,” they acted just like in the movies, Veronica replied, “but a ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘Never’” Felix said, “ I agree, maybe I should ask again, dearest Veronica I want you to be the love-----“
“Yes! Yes! She interrupted with glee, “but I haven’t finished my question to you Ma’am,” his voice expressionless but his eyes twinkling in merriment. The chuckle rising up within him played like music to Veronica’s ears. They both laughed at each other just then a waiter walked to their table with a package and handed it over to Felix, he bowed and walked away. Felix opened the package and brought out a lovely bouquet of roses. “I love you more than you can imagine Veronica,” he handed her the roses.
Veronica eventually summoned the courage to speak to Reverend Mother about Felix, and Reverend Mother asked her to return after a week with the young man in question.
“Please have your seats,” Reverend Mother offered, “thank you Mother,” they said in unison as they settled in their seats. Reverend Mother started to speak, “I presume this is the man that wants to make you break your allegiance to Jesus Christ?” Felix was almost furious with the Reverend Mother’s words. “I beg your pardon Mother.”
She didn’t care but spoke on, “yes Mr. Man, that is exactly what you want her to do, isn’t it?” “Mother, I have only said I love her, I haven’t stopped her from serving Jesus!” Felix said back.“I see, you have only said you love her and intend to marry her isn’t it? Don’t you know she has been married to Jesus and has pledged her allegiance to him?” Reverend Mother said in her defense. Felix spoke fiercely now, “I am sorry, but did Jesus Christ ever demanded HUMAN WIVES in the first place?”
“Mr. Man if you don’t speak respectfully here, I will show you the door,” she said on her feet. Veronica fidgeted on her seat, this was what she feared, it was a battle of the soul, they had to fight it, Reverend Mother spoke towards her direction, “Okay since Sister Veronica here is not firm enough to take her stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, I don’t know what to say now, but I will give you both two months to go and think about this decision of yours properly, because I wonder why it is a nun that appeals to you of all the ladies in this world.