Ever notice that the whisper of temptation can be heard farther than the loudest call to duty ~ Earl Wilson
I have zero doubts that the devil is alive and walks on this earth tempting man and woman alike. Now I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that among his favourite targets are Catholic priests, African Political Leaders, Pastor Mboro (Yes. He is real person. Yes. He named himself that. Yes. It was on purpose) and newly-engaged/married folks.
The day after I got engaged, I spent what felt like 20 hours trying to work while fielding what felt like an endless stream of calls from well-wishers. My husband posted an engagement announcement on Facebook at the crack of dawn. Lol. I was so not ready. The day was a blur after that first “I saw on Facebook…” What I do remember is my Top Shutter (old school Zimbabwean slang term for very close friend), after the screaming and excitement, pulling me aside and saying, “Babe, listen. A lot of weird things are going to happen and some weird temptations are going to present themselves in the coming days and months. You need to pray and be alert to what is going on around you.” I didn’t quite understand but she spoke with such gravity that I nodded and promised I would.
Boy, was she right!!!
What I am about to tell you is a true account of a real events in my life…
I am a grown woman so being hit on by random men while I’m out and about is not new. Most of those men are not even guys I would give a second look for any number of reasons so the temptation levels are zero. This is especially so when I am in a relationship.
On a random day, a month or so after I got engaged, my human and I had a lover’s quarrel and I left his flat and headed to my favourite place: the mall. I wondered aimlessly around for a couple of hours, picked up a few items and finally reluctantly decided to go back and deal with it.
I paid for my parking and headed into the parking lot. There was a tall, male figure walking in my general direction whose outline I could see with my peripheral vision. Having lived in South Africa for a decade, I immediately did the smart thing. I randomly turned between cars while still making my way towards my car to ascertain whether he was following me. He stayed with me. I wasn’t sure if he posed a threat or not but I was on red alert now. I still hadn’t looked at him properly because I would have to turn awkwardly to do so but I reached into my bag and took out my phone. At this point I was so close to my car that I had to make a decision: Walk past it or turn around. I chose to turn around and…. there he was. A guy who looked like he walked right out of a Telenovela with a shy smile on his face. He might as well have been Eugenio Siller himself which his long, curly, brownish-blonde hair pulled away from his face. He walked right up to me and stopped.
I. Wasn’t. Ready. He was devastatingly handsome. And I was speechless. The very short conversation that followed went something like this:
Him: Hi. I’m sorry. Did I startle you? I didn’t mean to. It’s just that I saw I saw you in the mall. You were in… (he hesitated a little and seemed to change strategy.)
Me: *Head turned slightly to the side while I listened. My verbose self didn’t produce a single word. Not one. I just looked at him.*
Him: (Taking a deep breath, he plunged on…I’m sure he was wondering whether I could talk at all) I guess it doesn’t matter where I saw you, what I am really trying to say is that I think you are beautiful and I was just wondering if maybe I could have your number?
Me: *my eyebrows shot to my hairline I’m sure* (Notwithstanding the WTAH that my mind produced, I calmly and politely said) I’m afraid that’s not possible. I’m engaged.
Him: (Taking an immediate step back and looking very apologetic. He had manners too. What. Was. Happening???) I am so sorry. I hope you are not offended. Please take this as compliment and all the best to you and you fiance.
And off he went into the sunset…literally. Yes. I turned around and watched him go under the guise off putting my shopping in the boot unnecessarily slowly.
I got into my car and the first words out of my mouth were:
Although this little story is a Hall of Famer, over the months of my engagement (mostly immediately after and right before the wedding) a lot of strange things happened. The random ex reached out for no particular reason. Then the ex’s cousin called incessantly asking to meet. The girl who was his high school friend was suddenly devastated because she always thought they would wind up together eventually according to one relative who decided to throw this in at a dinner party at my house that I was hosting for his family. Because, as we all know, that’s the perfect time for such (sarcasm level:100). The only thing she achieved was making sure that poor girl wasn’t invited to the wedding. “Are you pregnant?” was thrown around a time or two. Relatives who had hitherto acted like I was for all intents and purposes dead, called literally shouting about their rightful claim to my lobola. The level of devilish activity on his side of the world spiked up as well. It was truly a weird and wonderful time.
Thank God for solid friends who know when to give the “brace” command. Coincidentally, this will probably be the subject of the next installment.