After two hours of reading on a Friday evening, she decided to take a break. Catching a glimpse of a busy road from the balcony was a ready option.

It’s been three months since Melissa’s life took a new turn. Three months of making hard decisions, one of which was giving up her modeling career. This should have created a friction between her parents and herself, if she was in their vicinity. Her decision to live alone at this time must have been divinely arranged.

, MELISSA – THE PROPOSAL, PeaceWrites

Eight months ago, the pressure to settle down with a man had intensified from both friends and family. “A woman still single at 35 will soon become an object of mockery by the society” her mum had asserted. It was like a bullet traveling into the heart. Fear fired at her and desperation set in. But who? What responsible man would want to build a home with a 35 year old model who had given her body to just any man to gain relevance? Her last resort was to play religion.

There were no much drama on the street after all, it had just been a way to exercise her legs and body. She sat back on the bed ready to continue her reading. Her phone vibrated. “How about dinner at our usual venue by 7?” – the text read. It was Jarvis, her two month old friend. They had grown so fondly in a little while. They had even been out together on a date twice. She had to reply and she did speedily. Then a notification popped up – “sex on the beach, click to watch”.

“You should watch it” her mind whispered to her. She stared at her phone helplessly for a minute. Her breathing rate increased at the thought of it. The urge was strong – she gave in. In less than five minutes she was there – watching. Her heartbeat changed. She could feel the tingling. Her internal organs were sparking, getting ready to be set on fire.

“Stop! Cry out for help! Lust, pornography, masturbation, they’ll all land you in hell” It was her pastor’s voice – a line from the Sunday school summary last Sunday.

She shooked and looked up. “I shouldn’t be doing this” she thought. The sound from the video called her back. She was about concentrating again when her mouth opened wide “Lord help me!” she cried out loud. He did help.

“…I pledge allegiance to the lamb…” her phone sang. It was Jarvis. “I’m on my way already” he told her.

She ate in silence with guilt written over her mind. One could tell her smiles were from a well of condemnation. Jarvis noticed it.

“Hey bae, what is wrong with you?”

“Nothing” she replied, turning her face rightward to escape the alcoholic smell from his mouth.

“Nothing? Why is it that I have this feeling that your smile is fake? Common you can talk to me”

“You won’t understand”

“I will” he said, putting the cigarette in his mouth.

“What do you think of pornography and masturbation?” she asked.

“Heeeeeee” he said smiling. “My bae is in the mood o. I could treat you well you know” He added.

“I shouldn’t have asked you” she said with a frown.

“Ok. I’m sorry” he said clapping his two hands to apologize. “Pornography and masturbation is a good way to sort yourself out if you are not ready for sex” He added.

She shook her head pitifully with a look that meant “I regret asking you”. A young man in black suit walked up to their table.

“Miss Melissa Addison?” he asked.

“Yes”

“You have a parcel”

“From who?” Jarvis asked.

“I don’t know” she replied.

The post man requested that she signed reception of the letter which she did, passing a glance at the envelope over and over again. With curiosity written over her, she removed the seal. It was a card. As she opened to read, an object hit the floor with a sound. It was a ring.

“Marry me” he said, going down on one knee. She sat speechless as he picked the ring, holding it high enough for her to see. “It’s a diamond ring” one of the waitress whispered to her colleague.

“Yes! This is it. It worked. Now I have a man to myself” she thought. She closed her eyes in excitement and she saw the picture – the bible. She opened her eyes and her joy deflated like a punctured balloon. Apart from the reality that age was not on her side, she had grown to love Jarvis. Unfortunately, she had to choose between her new found faith and her lover.