Sunday Kind of Love
by lynn gipson
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Melanie Lambert seemed to spend a lot of time at her desk daydreaming about the man in the office down the hall. She was a sales manager at her company, and the man down the hall was Guy Morgan, a top notch salesman recently transferred in from Ohio. She felt an attraction to him every time they met to discuss business. He often asked her to lunch. There seemed to be a slight urgency in his voice, but she always declined.
Melanie regretted her refusals, because she really liked this man with the gentle, composed disposition, and sense of humor. She liked the way his eyes smiled at her when they were in a meeting. They seldom talked about personal matters, but her assistant, Jody, told her he was single.
“Hold on, now Melanie. The last thing you need is an office romance, or anything or the sort! Remember Michael?” she chastised herself.
Michael was Melanie’s ex-husband, and even though it happened two years ago, her eyes still stung with tears when she thought about his betrayal.
One day she had a husband she loved, who attended Church with her every Sunday, and the next he was gone. He told her he met someone else. Just like that - after five years.
“I want a divorce, it’s over,” Michael said, as if he were reading her the newspaper.
Michael then took an overseas assignment as a news correspondent and took his new love with him.
Melanie was devastated. She cried herself to sleep every night for six months. Then she slowly began picking up the pieces of her shattered life.
Melanie was a Christian, and every day and night she prayed for God to take the pain and emptiness away. She and Michael had no children, agreeing to wait five years before starting a family. Five years turned out to be too late, so now she worked long hours to delay going home to her empty new house.
Melanie knew Jesus well, and it was her relationship with Him that kept her going. Still, something inside longed for the companionship of a man - just a friend, who shared her Christian beliefs.
At five o’clock one evening Guy walked into her office and sat down. Melanie looked up and smiled, expecting a discussion about a recent sale, and was completely taken aback by his question.
“Melanie, could I go to church with you on Sunday?”
“What did you just….I‘m sorry, what?.”
“Church, on Sunday, could you take me to yours? If I’ve overstepped, forgive me, but I haven‘t found a church here yet and I‘ve overheard you talk about how wonderful yours is. My wife died two years ago, and I don’t know many people here. I don’t have a family. I really need the friendship of fellow Christians right now, and I somehow feel a connection with you.”
“I‘ve felt it too.” Melanie said, before thinking.
The following Sunday Guy came by with a bouquet of daisies in hand to pick Melanie up for church. The sermon that day was about Christian relationships and dating. How fitting, thought Melanie.
Melanie and Guy went to church together every Sunday. They worked together as professionals. They studied the Bible together and learned the meaning of a Christ-filled relationship. Their dates consisted of dinners, movies, and long walks on the beach. He told her of his life, and she told him of hers
Melanie kept telling herself to slow down and watch it. She was still in great pain from Michael's betrayal. She had loved him deeply, even though she always felt she was the one doing all the giving and getting very little in return. Guy was so gentle and kind and seemed to genuinely care about her, but she couldn't give her heart away that easily.
Several times she backed away from the relationship, telling Guy she needed space. He seemed to understand and didn't push her any further at first.
After several break-ups however, he backed off completely.
"Melanie, I've come to love you deeply. This on-again, off-again relationship of ours is driving me crazy. I haven't asked you for anything but your love and respect. If you really don't want to see me anymore, just tell me."
"Guy, I'm sorry I can't give you something I don't have inside. I care about you also, but I can't bring myself to trust again, and without trust we have nothing. I can be your friend, but right now that's all I can give."
"Melanie, I'm not Michael. He was a fool to let you go! I am a man very much in love with a woman who obviously doesn't feel the same way. I'm sorry, too, but this is it. It's over." Tears rolled down Guy's face as he got up from the sofa and walked out the door.
Melanie sat there on the sofa with the lights out for three hours and cried. He was gone, just like Michael, and there was nothing she could do about it. She sobbed until there were no more tears, feeling empty inside.
The next day at work she stayed in her office. She didn't want to face Guy and the other employees' questions. They had all come to know she and Guy were quite the item; their relationship had been fodder for much office gossip. When she didn't see Guy all day, she supposed he was avoiding her as well.
Late that evening, as she was working, Guy came into her office and gave her his two-week notice. "I can't continue working here. It's too painful to see you every day. I love you too much, and I feel I have to move on."
Melanie was stunned. All she could do was nod. Then she told him she wished him well and turned back to her computer to indicate the conversation was over. She wanted him to leave, so he wouldn't see her cry again.
What is wrong with me? Why can't I trust him? Why can' t I forget what Michael did to me?
The following Sunday the sermon at church was about letting go of the past. She listened to every word the reverend said and knew somehow she had to find a way to get past her feelings of fear if she wanted to have any kind of peace in her life. When she saw Guy after the service, he smiled and hugged her, then walked to his car.
That night she prayed, asking God to let her be free of the past and of Michael. She was ready. She knew it was time to let him go, whether she and Guy were together or not. Suddenly, a weight lifted from her shoulders, and at once she felt free. She knew God had answered her prayers. If only it hadn't happened too late for her to have a future with Guy.
The last week of Guy's employment with the company was hard to take. Melanie wished with all her heart he wouldn't leave. She knew she loved him. She wanted to ask him to stay, but her pride got in the way. She was certain he had made his mind up and was too afraid of his rejection.
On his last day of his employment, Guy walked into her office and sat down once again. He looked devastated.
"I came to say good-bye, Melanie, and wish you all the best in the world. I will always love you, I hope you know that."
As he turned to walk out the door, Melanie stopped him cold.
"I love you too, Guy. I've finally given Michael up. Please don't leave." she said softly.
Guy's face broke out into a wondrous smile as he rushed over to Melanie and put his arms around her. Melanie's tears of joy were all the motivation he needed to ask his next question. "Melanie, will you marry me?" "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Melanie cried.
One fine Saturday in April, they came together as man and wife in the little white church they both attended. Guy moved into Melanie's larger house, they did some renovations, and when Guy slyly suggested they make one room a nursery, Melanie jumped for joy. She knew she was ready for a child.
A year later, their son, Isaiah, was born. As Melanie sat on the back porch one spring day, rocking her beautiful child and watching her beloved husband cooking steaks on the grill and singing lullabies loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear, the phone rang.
It was Michael. He had just returned to the States and learned of Melanie's wedding.
"Are you happy, Melanie?"
"I suppose I'm glad for you, then. I'm sorry I hurt you. I made the biggest mistake of my life when I let you go. I know that now," Michael said.
"You are forgiven, Michael, you are forgiven. May God bless you always. Good-bye Michael.
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What a sweet reminder of the freedom that comes with letting go. I enjoyed the story because I did not know until the end what the end would be. I am glad it was happy.
Well well well. Methinks we have an exciting new romance novelist. I enjoyed your short story very much and liked how you weaved spiritual principles throughout.