He was looking directly at me.
“Is there somewhere we can go to meet discreetly? I think we could enjoy our bodies together.”
I looked around the foyer of the church. Was this man talking to me? Had anyone heard his question? A myriad of thoughts flew through my head. He was suggesting such things here, in church! The two couldn’t seem to go together. He was a professor of religion at the college where I worked. I knew his wife.
I had been a non-person, functioning in an arranged marriage and then my husband left me. In my journey of starting over, I moved to a different state and took a job at a church college. This allowed me to talk with many professors. We would discuss a wide range of topics; from raising kids to spiritual matters. I was in the process of learning to choose my own opinion instead of what my mother, my church, and my husband had decided was right. So I enjoyed these discussions immensely. It gave me opportunity to explore new concepts.
Several times this particular professor and I had talked; nice friendly talks, interesting and thought provoking. He had spoken of the changes in me. I was developing a personality, improving my health and appearance by diet and exercise and learning how to dress in contemporary styles.
For the first time in my life I was beginning to feel good about myself as a woman. He assumed from the talk of my history (and rightly so) that anything sexual had certainly been merely a wifely duty to be performed and I had never known pleasure.
Now he was offering to teach me what I needed to know. An attractive professor; not some bum, was propositioning me. And such questions. I was so shocked, I don’t remember my responses, but they contained a large NO.
But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He called me at work. I would run into him walking across the campus with students passing by. They would never believe the conversation taking place here. I repeated my no answer on a regular basis. Even though I never really had a battle saying no to him, I desired to experience what he talked about.
My life went on. I kept growing and becoming. Part of that process involved changing jobs, going to work in a nearby town. One day I ran into him in the grocery store. I was relieved to tell him I would be working in another town and probably wouldn’t see him again.
“Great. That will make it all the easier to meet discreetly. Shall we try it?”
It would have been a tantalizing excursion into the forbidden. Who knows what the consequences would have been. It could have destroyed his family and caused a break in my relationship with my own children. And what would have happened to the new found feelings I had of myself, that I was a person of value?
With God’s help, I didn’t go there. My answer remained a steadfast no.
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