“Hey, you’ve reached Monique Baker. I am not available at the moment so please leave a message and I’ll get right back to you,” Lucia’s voicemail announced for the fourth time. Ted sighed as he cancelled the call.
“Not available, huh?” Anita asked as she bit into some fries. He glanced at her.
“She has not come to the office for four days now. Doesn’t that strike you as odd?” Anita shrugged nonchalantly.
“Well, she still does her job, doesn’t she? And she sends someone to hand it in each day so I don’t really see what you’re so troubled about.”
“Why can’t she come herself?” “Perhaps she’s held up at her daddy’s office, who knows? Why do you care so much anyway?” “Because I have a heart.”
“Uh huh.” Anita slurped up her drink noisily. Ted raised an eyebrow.
“I’m glad she’s MIA for some time now. At least, we two get to spend some quality time together.”
“Uh huh, tell me about it,” Ted said cynically.
“Okay, to prove to you that I’m human, I’ll hit her up, okay?” Anita said and took her phone. Ted held her hand, stopping her. “That won’t be necessary.” When she looked puzzled, he added,
“It is okay.”
“All right,” she said and put the phone down.
Sarah Baker entered the study room to find Lucia busily hitting the keyboard with her swift fingers.
“Hi mum, you want me to help you with something?” Lucia asked without her eyes leaving the computer screen.
“Lunch is ready.”
“Oh okay, I’ll be right down.” Sarah pulled a chair and sat down.
“Tell me dear, what’s going on?” “What? I’m working.”
“Yeah, at home; when you’ve a well-furnished office at your father’s company.”
“Come on mum, I thought you’d love having me around; I keep you company, don’t I?”
“Yes and I appreciate that. But soon, I’d be travelling. You know that, right?”
“Yeah I do and I’ll return to my dad’s place when that time comes.”
“Did something happen at the office? Is someone harassing you? Because if that’s the case…”
“What, oh no, mum! Not at all! I just love working at home. It’s fun and stress-free,” Lucia said with a smile.
“You’re not fooling anyone here, Lucia Monique. What’s going on? Are you avoiding someone?” Lucia sighed.
“Yeah, you could say that.”
“Who and why?”
“Someone at the office knows who I am.”
“What do you mean, knows who you are?”
“I mean knows me as Lucia Baker.”
“Okay…I still don’t get it.”
“She knows me as Lucia Baker, the nurse.”
“Oh that Lucia…and what seems to be the problem? You didn’t happen to step on anyone’s toes back then, did you?”
“Not exactly. You remember me telling you about the guy I kind of fell for back at the hospital? Yeah, it looks like I’m working with his current fiancée and somehow has figured out that I’m the nurse her man liked and is still looking for.”
“Oh I miss being young! With all the drama and stories,” Sarah said dreamily. Lucia raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t mind me, keep talking. So what, the lady works at the company?”
“No, she doesn’t.”
“So where does she work?”
“At the other office…the McLean project.”
“Oh I see…but you’re just three, right?”
“Ted Bourbon and the other lady.”
“Uh huh,” Lucia said with her eyes on the keyboard. Some seconds passed. Sarah gasped. Lucia looked at her mother. “You’re not saying the guy you fell for at the hospital is none other than…”
“What? You fell for our business rival?”
“Point of correction; I didn’t even know him to be a family business rival.”
“But how come he didn’t recognize you at first sight when you came back?”
“He had temporarily lost his sight at the time so he never saw my face.”
“And why didn’t you walk up to him and tell him who you were when you first met him as…you know, him?”
“I couldn’t remember my past, remember? He was a total stranger to me back then.” “Wow…okay, why didn’t you tell him when you regained them?” “He had reconciled with his girlfriend and I didn’t think I had the right to tell him who I was because we never really started anything.”
“And why has it taken you this long to tell me this?”
“Because it is about a Bourbon and I had the impression that he was a ‘no-go area’ for me,” Lucia replied. “Well that’s true. But you could have used that as an advantage to snatch up this McLean company for yourself,” Sarah said with widened eyes. “Are you serious? You want me to complicate my heart feelings with business?”
“No, not complicate; just put it on hold. After all, neither of you are acting on them.”
“Yeah, I forgot I was talking to you.”
“Anyway, why are you hiding here now?”
“Anita knows who I am.”
“So? It is obvious she has not told Ted because if she had, he would have found you by now. And she knows she can’t afford for Ted to know because it’s likely he’ll ditch her for you because, of course you’re a beautiful Baker woman,” Sarah said proudly. Lucia chuckled. “Yeah but I’ve a feeling she’s going to use it to her advantage to put me at any spot that she desires at any time and eventually drop the bomb which might not favor me at all.”
“So what, you hide out here so she can’t manipulate you? Sooner or later, you’d have to go back. How do you intend to face her?”
“Still working on it.”
“On your computer?” Lucia gave her mum a look.
“I’m serious. You locking yourself up here isn’t doing you any good; you’re only postponing the inevitable and trust me such delays end up leaving behind a nasty mess. I suppose you still like this guy?”
“That is not important now.”
“But it is; if you believe he’s the one and he feels same which I think is the case if not, he wouldn’t be looking for you, you should go see him.” Lucia was surprised.
“Did you just give me the go-ahead to go date a Bourbon?” Lucia asked.
“Well, I don’t know how your dad would take the news but if you ask me, it gives us an advantage in the business sense, of course. We can become a great force in the business industry.”
“Could you not see everything as profit and loss for just a minute?” “No, sorry, I can’t do that. I didn’t marry your father for nothing. But on a serious note, put away all your fears and go talk to him. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” Sarah asked.
“He’s going to get pissed that I didn’t tell him all this while and that I’ve watched him about to marry a woman he has confessed to me that he doesn’t love…” “Whoa…you better tell him now, dear or he’ll end up hating you if you let him marry that woman before letting him know.” Lucia nodded.
“Come on, let’s go eat.” They both got up. Lucia closed the laptop.
“Honey, you know the deadline is almost up, right?” Anita asked Ted. He looked up at her.
“What are you talking about?” “The McLean thingy. So if there’s anything up our sleeves, now would be the time to pull it out.” “Uh huh,” he said distractedly. “What’s on your mind anyway? You seem to be at outer space right now.”
“Oh no, I’m right here. So what do you suggest?”
“Find a way to grab the cake for ourselves, what do you say?” She said slyly and winked.
“I don’t know…I wish it didn’t have to come to this, you know? I’ve grown to like the Monique lady. She’s a pleasant fellow, isn’t she?”
“Uh huh…you don’t feel attracted to her, do you Ted?” Anita asked suspiciously.
“What, no; of course not. I mean she looks like a genuine friend material. Won’t you miss her? You two have also become close.”
“Well yeah but business is business and niceties do not count. I’m sure she’s also planning with her dad on how to win this for herself.”
“That wouldn’t be a bad thing actually.” Anita cast him a stunned look.
“What? Why would you even say that considering how far we’ve come? I hope you’re not considering handing it to her on a silver plate because you find her cute.”
“Enough with the girly jealousy vibe, Anita. I think it would be good for her. This is her first project. She needs something she can be proud of.”
“Ugh…ugh, certainly not this one. What will you tell your parents?” “And who says they have to know?” Anita stared at him, stupefied. She chuckled.
“No, there’s more to this, isn’t there, Ted?”
“What are you talking about? I just want to help a friend out.” “No, it’s either you’re lying to me or you’re lying to yourself. Either way, you’re deceiving yourself if you think you’re merely thinking this out of the goodness of your heart. You like her, don’t you?” “What, come on, Anita.”
“I don’t, okay? Now, can we get back to the subject?”
“I won’t let you do this, Ted. I’ve worked too hard just to let someone else have it.”
“So has Monique. Everyone has worked hard on this thing. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”
“And it’s us against her. She’s outnumbered. Let’s just do this fast before her father smells anything. She’s still new in this whole thing. She wouldn’t even know.”
“I won’t let all my efforts go to waste, Ted.”
“But you’ll still get paid, right? Isn’t that what matters to you?” “What? Of course not. This is the family business.”
“Exactly, my family not yours so stay out of it. I would give you an extra something if that’s what would appease you,” Ted said. Anita shook her head in disbelief with her hands on her waist.
“Has she cast a spell on you or something? Because I’m sure this is not you talking.”
“It is me.”
“Well, you seem to forget that I’m going to be part of your family soon which makes this also my business so don’t tell me…” “Anita! Don’t let me repeat myself. I’m sure I made myself very clear and I know you’re a smart woman so don’t play the thickhead here, okay?” Anita stepped back in shock.
“I can’t believe this,” she said and turned away.
“Anita.” She stopped at the door. “And don’t you dare go whispering into my mother’s ears. You do that and the wedding is off,” he warned. Anita glared at him and left the office, slamming the door behind her. Ted sighed.
“You know your time with the Bourbons is almost up, right?” Lucia’s dad said, giving her a glass of water.
“Thanks; yeah, I realize.” She sipped.
“You don’t sound excited about it,” he remarked. She shrugged.
“I thought you would be glad about it.”
“I’m indifferent, really. I’ve grown to like both Ted and the Anita lady. But life goes on, right?” “Exactly, that’s the spirit.”
“I wonder what’s next after this project wraps up.”
“What do you mean? You keep working with me, that’s what.” When Lucia was silent, he added, “I hope you’re not rethinking about working with me, dear. I really do need you by my side.”
“I know dad but there’s a lot I need to learn. I think I’ve to enroll in some training course or something so I’d be sharp about this whole business thing.”
“I agree. I’d get right to it. I’ll find you the best school and program for you.”
“Thanks, dad,” Lucia said with a grateful smile. I need to find myself far from here anyhow after Ted’s wedding, she thought to herself. She has just a month till she ceases to be anything significant in his life.
Lucia entered the office to find Anita inside, her legs crossed on the table.
“Anita? What are you doing here at this time?”
“Just needed the peace and quiet to clear my head. You?”
“Why, you and Ted got into a fight?”
“You could say that.”
“It will be fine. The stress of organizing a wedding can get to you sometimes. I left something of mine here so I just passed by to pick it up. Here it is,” Lucia said and took the book off the table and put it in her bag.
“All right, I’ll see you tomorrow.” “Sure, Lucy.” Lucia froze and turned slowly and faced Anita who was looking at her coolly. “What did you call me?” “Lucy…short form for Lucia. That’s your name, right?” “Who…who told you that?”
“No one…I heard your dad call you Lucia the last time we met with Mr. McLean.” Lucia rolled her eyes.
“Nice name…why don’t you use it?”
“I do…but I prefer to be called Monique at least around professional circles.”
“Sure…your secret is safe with me.”
“Secret, what secret?” “Your name being Lucia; I thought that’s what you meant, that you don’t want others to know.” Lucia gave an uneasy chuckle.
“No, it is not like that. It is not a secret. I just don’t use that name…formally.”
“Okay…but Ted and I are more than professional contacts to you, right? We’re practically work buddies now, huh? Would you mind if I call you Lucia in his presence…?” Lucia flinched.
“Or tell him you’re also called Lucia Baker.”
“No…that won’t be necessary.” “Okay; as I said before, your secret is safe with me. Have a nice day, sweetheart.”
“You too,” Lucia said and walked out. She touched her chest and tried to control her heavy breathing.
“That…she figured me out. Damn it!” she muttered and walked away.
Anita smiled triumphantly.
“Just wanted you to know that I’ve you exactly where I want; in my palm. How things end between you and Ted depend on how far I allow it and right now, I’m almost out of patience. Sooner or later, I’m going to drop the bomb so hard that it would shake the very foundations of your wretched soul. Why the hell did you have to come out of whatever hole you were hiding? Why now?!” Anita said, hitting her fist so hard on the table with heavy rage.
Lucia checked her phone again. “Where did you say you were taking me?”
“Just a hangout; and you get to meet a good friend of mine,” Ted said. Lucia sighed.
“Can’t we do this another time? I need to get back to my dad.” “Come on, daddy’s girl! I promise to take you back to him myself.” “Why do you need me to meet this friend of yours so badly?” “Nothing serious. I’m sure the two of you will get along very well and fast,” Ted said with a smile. Only he knows Lucia’s face. Although Monique seems different, there is a feeling he quite cannot shake off. Ever since he realized they both shared the same surname, there has been this nagging tick in his head telling him to check it out and that is what he is going to do so he can put it all to rest.
Lucia watched Ted closely. He seemed to be in deep thought. If only she knew what he was thinking about. He has been acting a bit awkward since that intense conversation they had a few days before.
“This friend of yours…what does he do? Is he also into business?” “No, he isn’t.” Lucia waited for more but he kept quiet. “So…what does he do?” He glanced at her. “All in good time, Monique.”
“Okay, now I’m officially uncomfortable with this, Ted. You’re taking me to meet some stranger and you refuse to open up to me about exactly who he is.”
“There’s nothing to get nervous about, Monique unless…” “Unless what?”
“Unless you’re hiding something.” “What are you talking about? Stop the car, Ted.”
“I said stop the car!” He stopped the car. Lucia got out and so did he.
“Listen, I’m sorry, ok? I don’t mean to be a jerk. I’m just looking for answers.”
“To what questions?” Lucia asked.
“It is a long story. Please let’s go and I’m sure it is nothing.”
“Just tell me what you are looking for; maybe I can give you the answers myself.”
“Where were you working before you joined your father in his business?” Lucia swallowed. “Certainly not at a bar, that’s for sure. Why, do I look like some bartender tramp who robbed you or something?”
“Funny but no. I’m serious, Monique.”
“It is a long story; I don’t want to talk about it.” They stared at each other.
“Okay, let me take you back,” Ted said and walked back to his side. He sat inside. Lucia sighed and sat in the car. Ted started the engine. Before he could turn the steering wheel, Lucia touched his hand. He looked at her.
“Let’s go meet your friend.”
“No, it is a dead end. I know it.”
“I insist; you look like you need some closure. It is the least I can do as a friend.”
“Are you sure?” Ted asked. Lucia nodded.
“Okay.” He drove back onto the road.
They arrived at a cafeteria and they both ordered a glass of water.
“I’m sure he’ll be here soon,” Ted told Lucia.
“It is okay; I texted my dad that I’d be late. So, how far with your wedding preparations?”
“Trust me, I have no idea. Anita is running around doing everything.” “And she sends you the bill, I suppose.” They both chuckled. “Women get high when they are about to take the trip to the aisle. I wonder why.”
“Perhaps it is because of the overwhelming rush of joy they feel that their lives are now going to begin with the right guy for the rest of their days.”
“Yeah right; five years from then, it is a whole different story.”
“Not all unions end like that, Ted. Take our parents for example. I’m sure they’ve had rough times but they stayed together.”
“Uh huh, we’re of a different generation now, Monique. We don’t know how to endure through it all.” “
You can if you indeed marry the one.” He looked at her.
“You are the optimist type, aren’t you?”
“I believe there is good out there; I believe in love, in happy endings. I just choose to believe.” “I used to…now, I don’t know.” Lucia was about to reply when the door opened and Dr. Grant entered. Her mouth hung open and Dr. Grant’s searching eyes met hers. Ted turned.
“Dr. Grant, you made it!” He stood. Dr. Grant walked towards him and they shook hands.
“And I want you to meet a new friend and colleague at work, Miss Monique Baker.”
“Hi,” Lucia said uneasily as she stretched her hand. Dr. Grant took it and shook it. Both gentlemen sat. The doctor was also served with water. “Colleague, huh?”
“Well not exactly; she’s the daughter of my business rival. We met when we were both interested in buying off some company. With some interesting turn of events, we ended up working together…for some time.” “I see.” Ted watched his reactions closely. He was unusually quiet and he seemed to be watching Monique closely. Could she be the one?
“I don’t know why but Ted was pretty persistent of us meeting. I was wondering, how did you two become friends? Doctor and businessman, I doubt you two hang around the same crowd. Are you old friends from college?” “Funny you should ask,” Dr. Grant asked as he sipped his water.
“I was his patient once…” His phone rang. He took it.
“Yeah? Sure okay, let me get the code for you. Excuse me guys, I’ve to rush to my car,” Ted said and walked out of the cafeteria. “What game are you planning, Lucia?” Dr. Grant asked heatedly. “Calm down, I should have known. I think he’s beginning to suspect…”
“Why haven’t you told him yet?” “Because he’s getting married. What is the point of ruining things for him? It is not like we two are meant to be or anything.”
“I’m telling him the moment he comes back.”
“Oh no, you can’t do that.” “Why not? He deserves to know the truth. He can’t continue to be in the dark like this.”
“I know; I’ll tell him when the time is right.”
“Oh yeah, when is that exactly? At the wedding when you realize how stupid it was not to have done so earlier and ruining the poor girl’s dream day?”
“And why would I do that?” “Can’t you see what is happening here? You obviously like Ted and so you keep hanging around him and his instincts are telling him there’s more to you than meets the eye so he’s confused. Perhaps he is attracted to you and he doesn’t know how to handle it. Please have some mercy and put him out of his misery.” Lucia turned to watch him talking on the phone.
“Why ruin something for him for a future we are not even sure about? Maybe it’s a crush and that is all it would ever be.” “Maybe, maybe not. Don’t you want to know for sure?”
“Not at the expense of someone else getting her heart broken. Please doctor…”
“Listen, sooner or later he’s going to find out and he’s going to get really pissed that he was lied to all this time. And I don’t want to be second on the list, Lucia so you might as well spare us all the suspense and let it out already!” Ted entered.
“It seems you two are kicking it off already. Didn’t I tell you, Monique?” He sat.
“And did I forget to mention that Monique is also called Baker, just like the nurse, Lucia Baker?” Lucia’s heart felt like it would jump out any minute.
“Oh yeah?” Dr. Grant said, his eyes not leaving Lucia’s face. “Quite a coincidence, right?” Ted asked.
“Yeah, they kind of look alike too.”
“Is that so?” Ted looked at Lucia. “How alike?”
“Very.” “Hmmm….so now at least I’ve an idea of who I’m looking for.”
“Wait, what’s going on here? You brought me here to see if I am some nurse you hooked up with at the hospital?” Lucia asked.
“I told you it was a dead end. We’ll be on our way now. Thanks for meeting us, doctor.” “Anytime, dear friend. But know this, it is a sign that Lucia is around somewhere. Very close. Don’t give up on her yet.” “Oh yeah, in a month’s time, I’d be married so she’s on a deadline.” “I hope she realizes that,” Dr. Grant said, glancing at Lucia. “Let’s go, Monique.”
“It was a pleasure meeting you, doctor.”
“Same here, Miss Baker.”
“So what, if Lucia turns up, you’ll not marry Anita?”
“It depends.” “On what? Why not just move on? Maybe she’s not that into you, you know.” “
Yeah maybe.” Ted stepped hard on the accelerator.
Everything we see is a matter of perspective. What is meat to someone is poison to another. What is tolerable to one is unbearable to another. That is life.
The unbelievers of this world who see the Christians leaving everything behind to do all that they can to make the Kingdom of God known call them “Fools.” Why, because they are denying themselves of the pleasures of this world to work themselves out for the sake of their faith whiles life passes them by. So they watch the “Fools” with disdain and shake their heads with pity.
But they are not the only ones with a sense of perception. The believers who are constantly killing the desires of the flesh so as to be able to yield to the Spirit view the worldly people who only live by what they see and survive on only what the world has to offer them as the “Lost.”
Why, because they are blinded by the things of this world to perceive what truly matters in this life-seeking after righteousness so as to gain eternal life. So they in turn watch the “Lost” in their ragged and skimpy clothes, wasting their lives away with various addictions with pity and a heartache because of where they are headed.
So everyone thinks he/she is right. If you do not believe in what I do, suit yourself. It is a free world, anyway. But it is up to us to convince the Lost that we are not the Fools here. After all the Bible says, only the fool says there is no God. The world would have a change of heart about us if they see a change of character from our camp. We as believers must work and live as one not one against another using slander and co-existing under the guise of hypocrisy. The world sees it when we are trying to pull each other down and they laugh at us. No wonder they would be calling us fools.
But we should approach the Lost with love not with the tone of judgment because it is not our place to judge another. Just say and do your part and leave the rest to God. Only He can stir the heart from stone to flesh. The more we win the Lost over to God’s side, the lesser the number of people who would remain to call us fools.
You could put on your ‘game-on’ face to convince people that you are okay;
You could put on your biggest smile to conceal the pain that’s eating you away;
But whenever you come before Me, you don’t have to hide it from me;
Because before you even stepped into My presence,
I could see your heart laid before Me.
In My presence, the one beside you does not matter;
Don’t bother yourself with whose eyes may be watching you;
You did not come because of them;
So why should their thoughts about you matter at all?
Whatever it is, the pain, the joy and the tears, let them flow; Whatever you are keeping within, let it go;
Because you only set yourself free when you lay it all down;
Lay your burdens on Me and I will give you rest.
You don’t have to act all composed when you feel so broken within;
Face straight, arms crossed and lips pursed but heart bleeding;
If it is your pride you cherish so much, let it down;
Don’t pin it up like your hair and suffer inside.
My arms are open wide just for you;
All you have to do is run into them;
And I’ll take away your pain and tears;
And replace it with peace and a smile.
Sara entered her daughter’s room to find her coiled up on her bed, hugging a pillow tightly. Lucia seemed to be sobbing quietly. She sat beside her and touched her gently.
“What’s going on with you, Lucia? You’ve locked yourself up here since you returned and you didn’t even come down for dinner. What’s wrong?”
“I’m fine, mother; I’ve just lost my appetite.”
“Which is unlike you. Whatever it is, it is not worth starving yourself over, I assure you. Come down and tell me about it.”
“I don’t want to.”
“But you have to.” She pulled Lucia’s arm forcing her to sit up. She wiped her tears with her thumb and gave her the smile which only she could give to make Lucia feel better.
“It will pass.”
“Stop playing with your food, honey. Eat something,” Sara urged Lucia. Lucia dropped her fork in frustration.
“I hate myself.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I thought regaining my memory would add more meaning to my life but it is taking everything away.”
“What do you mean?”
“When I was away, I met someone where I used to work…” “At the hospital?”
“Yeah…he was a patient and…” “And what, you fell for him? Come on Monique, you know that’s against the regulations!” “Uh huh, tell that to my heart.” She sighed.
“But it ended before it even started.”
“What do you mean?”
“I had the accident and forgot all about him in the process. So I thought I was starting all over when I moved back here and started working with dad. What I didn’t know is that the guy from the hospital is right in front of me and I didn’t recognize him. When I finally did, he’s engaged to someone else.”
“Sorry about that, honey. It happens. Who knows, he might not have been that into you in the first place. Even if he was, perhaps it wouldn’t have worked out. You should be glad about this. Fate might have spared you some terrible heartache if you two had gotten close.”
“Maybe; but what if I’ve lost the guy who was meant to make my life complete?”
“If you two are meant to be together, then fate will find a way.”
“So what, I should just fold my arms and wait for fate to work in my favor?”
“What would you rather do, go and destroy things between him and his fiancée?”
“Of course not,” Lucia replied quietly.
“Does he seem happy with this other girl?”
“I’m not too sure. From what I remember, she was the reason he ended up in the hospital in the first place.”
“Love hurts and love heals. Who knows, they might be destined to be together.” Lucia took the glass of water and sipped.
“Do I by any chance know this guy?” Sara asked. Lucia gave her a sideways glance whiles sipping her water. She put the glass down and cleared her throat.
“I doubt you do.”
“Okay, who is he?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I want to know whether this guy is actually worth losing your appetite over and if he even deserves you in the first place.” “That is not your place, mum.” “But it is! I won’t let any riffraff come and break my daughter’s heart.”
“He is not a riffraff, mum; that I can assure you.”
“So give me a name.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Both; for everyone’s sake, let’s just close this chapter, okay?”
“I will if you finish your plate.” “Okay.” Lucia took the fork and started eating. She looked at her mother who wore a surprised look.
“So you’d rather eat what you’ve no appetite for than tell me who he is?” Lucia smiled.
Lucia entered the office the following morning to find Ted already there. His unexpected presence at such an early hour startled her.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to startle you,” he apologized.
“It is all right; what are you doing here so early by the way?” Lucia asked as she put her handbag down. He walked towards her. “Monique, I want to talk to you about something.”
“About yesterday.” Lucia’s brain went to work to recall the previous day’s events.
“Ah, you mean your fiancée asking me to be her maid of honor. Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming.”
“No, I’m not talking about that.” “Then what?”
“Monique, I know I don’t know you but I’ve this unsettling feeling whenever I’m around you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know…it feels like there’s something going on between us but I can’t quite place my finger on it.”
“If you’re referring to that fraction of a second where time froze when we stared at each other, let me help you clear the air. It happened at the spur of the moment, it means nothing…at all. Besides, you’re about to get married, you shouldn’t be thinking of any other woman except your wife-to-be,” Lucia said.
“I know but I just want to be sure…”
“Sure of what?”
“Whether I’m the only one feeling this way; that all this is in my head and you do not feel attracted to me in any way.” “Feel attracted to you? Are you kidding me? I’d be weird if I said I didn’t. You’re a very good-looking gentleman, Ted Bourbon. Of course I admire you…”
“I didn’t say admire…I said attracted,” Ted emphasized. “That’s exactly what I meant. I wish we got the chance to get to know ourselves better before you know, committing to Anita like that. Because such a status kind of puts an embargo on you,” Lucia said with a slight chuckle. “We can still do that,” Ted said, taking a step closer to her. Lucia stepped back.
“I…I don’t think so, Ted. Anita deserves better than that.” He sighed.
“The truth is, I’m not really sure she’s the one for me.”
“So why propose to her?” “Because she has been the one there for me all this while although she’s betrayed me once or twice along the way but she’s been there. With my line of work and my family influence, I’m not sure I can find the perfect girl out there. Most of them out there are vultures, ready to just snatch up everything you’ve worked so hard for,” Ted said despairingly.
“So what, you’re settling for Anita, is that it?” Lucia asked. Ted shrugged in reply. “And…Anita is the only woman you’ve liked so far?” Lucia asked cautiously.
“Oh, I met this lady sometime back….it is a long story but she disappeared before we could actually see each other. It is quite complicated. She’s gone so I’ve to move on.”
“What happens if she comes back? Would you ditch Anita and go to her?”
“It depends; if she gives me a tangible reason for leaving me the way she did and if I find that I’m really in love with her, of course I would.” Lucia nodded.
“And what if her reason doesn’t sound good enough?”
“I don’t know; I can’t really say hypothetically. I have to see her and then see how it goes,” Ted replied.
“I think you’re too messed up in your head to get married to someone you don’t really love. You need to sort yourself out first,” Lucia advised.
“Uh huh, tell me again. And that brings me back to this, I know it would sound odd to you but I’ve this feeling whenever you’re near that this isn’t the first time we’ve been around each other.” Lucia swallowed and folded her arms to prevent her from giving herself away.
“What do you mean, you’ve the same feeling you had when you were with this other woman?” “Not exactly but conflictingly familiar. As I said, I cannot place my finger on it.” Thank God, Lucia muttered to herself. She raised her head when Ted took another step towards her. She felt her knees growing weak. Ted stared at her intently. Lucia stared back. He touched her face gently. Lucia was screaming inside. What is he trying to do? Force her to reveal herself?
“I swear the touch of your face feels so familiar…” He said softly. Lucia stepped back.
“I’m sure your mind is playing tricks on you. I am Monique, the daughter of Fitzgerald Baker.” “Yeah, that’s another thing. The two of you happen to share the same…” Lucia’s eyebrows raised. Oh no, he cracked it. The door opened.
“Here you are. I was calling you but you weren’t picking up,” Anita said as she walked to Ted and kissed him.
“Oh yeah, I think I put it on silent. I didn’t want to be bothered.” “Bothered by what?” Anita looked at Lucia and back at Ted. “Nothing; let’s go outside. I’ve something to show you,” Ted said.
“Like a surprise?” Anita asked excitedly. Ted gave Lucia a ‘we’ll-continue-this-talk-later’ look and took his coat.
“I’ll see you later, Monique!” Anita said.
“Sure.” They left the room. Lucia sighed in relief. She touched her chest where she found her heart beating very fast.
“Whew…that was close.”
I learnt today that singing can be an act of prayer. Sometimes life gets so stressful and exhausting that taking time to pray becomes a problem but we are advised to never cease praying so whenever you cannot find the right words to pray to our Father, but rather your voice, you should consider using it to pray in a song.
There are many powerful prayers written in the form of songs-you just have to find them. A lot of psalms and hymns are stronghold-breaking prayers when studied carefully. And thanks to the Holy Spirit who indwells us to decipher our spiritual situation and find a solution to it.
Sometimes you feel so tired to pray and so empty-headed to think of something to say but suddenly a song drops in your spirit and from the moment you open your lips and lose your tongue, you feel a sudden burden lift off your shoulders and your breathing becomes lighter and easier and a sudden rush of joy and peace just touches your soul and you feel…released. Have you ever experienced it?
No matter where you find yourself and regardless of the job you do, you can always make time to say something to God. Be it a hum or an actual vocalization of a song, you could use it as a way to communicate with your Master be it a petition or appreciation for how far He has brought you.
Life is hard and the times are busy but we cannot allow the pressures of this life to rob us of the quality time we need to share with the One to whom we owe our lives. All we have to do is pray for a sensitive spirit so we may hear the promptings of the Spirit as to when to make a call to our Father.
So whenever you find yourself very busy and you suddenly find yourself singing, do not stop. Let it all out; you may never know-it could bring you the answers and the breakthroughs you’ve been waiting for.
Want to say something to God but can’t find the words? Sing it! He’s always listening to your call.