I LOVED A NON-BELIEVER.

I LOVED A NON-BELIEVER.

Until John, I had always followed the right at crossroads. It was what mother taught me, that the right is right and left is wrong. That men who were not believers were not my ocean to fish in. That such men had their portion of women that God allocated to them in the world and I wasn’t one of those. She said, heat in her words, that such men will make me pawn the very last bit of my dignity, touch me in ways that would upset God and later dump me for a worldly woman.

I listened to mama for a long time, I did. Trained my hook to stick to the right waters, wore the right fishing clothes and mastered the language of my pool of fish. Until I didn’t anymore. Because for whatever reason, those relationships that followed mama’s and my preacher’s book failed.

I don’t know if it was the manual was faulty or if my men and I just never used it right. The latter, I think. Because we were faulty beings striving to live up to the stipulations of a perfect manual. But mama, if you ever read this; I did try it your way. I did. But it still didn’t stop John from happening to me.

John showed up at a time when I had no mental or spiritual muscle to flex. I was nursing my exhaustion from relationships that were founded on verses but ended on worldly terms. Relationships that got promoted to the next life the moment it was decided that I was a humble woman but just not humble enough to look right next to them through a lifetime of Sabbaths.

He came at time when I was making peace with the seat that life had pulled out for me and I was convinced within me that for once I was going to try and hold my hasty feet steady. Because the thing with me, I can hardly remember a time when I was ever single…like single single. I was always walking out of one and stumbling into another almost immediately. Breaks for who?

I will skip through and tell you that the moment John’s heart set out for mine, it did not stop or falter. Soon, we were a thing. Hasty feet, remember? And while he is what I now call a mistake, John was a flipping beautiful mistake. Charming, tall, intelligent to a sneeze and with a really good face, John stood at 6’0.  Ah, he was beautiful, my John. And very different from what I was used to. After him, I think I stopped walking around with the idea that I had a type. Maybe I was a woman with varied tastes on varied days. Who said that is wrong?

With John, I did most of the things I had envisioned doing as a little girl once I was old enough to love. Long road trips, camping, just sitting home doing nothing on Sundays, jumping on the trampoline in a body-hugging dress . . . ah, John and I did a lot of things. Fun, scary, senseless, educative things. Senseless ones especially. Because around him, it was all free ground. My inhibitions drowned and like a child, nothing about my expectations or feelings stayed tethered. It was really good. It is smoothing I miss to date.

John and I had our differences. Small ones like how I disliked his choice of jeans, and to an extent how he chewed food. See, it is not that the way he chewed was noisy or nasty, it just wasn’t right. I don’t know how to explain it, but if you grew around a mother who was strict enough to teach you a specific way of chewing, then you do understand what I’m talking about.

And his jeans, why was he always getting ones that shaped his ass funny? Sorry, that sounded crass, but jeans are pointless if they don’t flatter your ass. Also, the way the hair on his lower legs coiled in tufts … it was a little off putting for me especially when he did shorts. But I managed to separate the person I loved from my pettiness… I think.

John and I had our differences. Small ones like how I disliked his choice of jeans, and to an extent how he chewed food. See, it is not that the way he chewed was noisy or nasty, it just wasn’t right. I don’t know how to explain it, but if you grew around a mother who was strict enough to teach you a specific way of chewing, then you do understand what I’m talking about.

And his jeans, why was he always getting ones that shaped his ass funny? Sorry, that sounded crass, but jeans are pointless if they don’t flatter your ass. Also, the way the hair on his lower legs coiled in tufts … it was a little off putting for me especially when he did shorts. But I managed to separate the person I loved from my pettiness… I think.

One aspect, however, that remained eclipsed throughout my involvement with John was his indifference to my God. John’s spiritual ladder was not pitched upwards. I’m not even sure he had one in the first place. John…he acknowledged that there was a God and left it at that. He did not love God but neither did he hate Him, he just wasn’t into God or Christianity.

Yes, let us suck breath together here as we wonder what I was thinking when I dressed up and went to fish in uncharted waters. And why am I even surprised that I caught a shark instead of normal fish? Simple math, Wrong waters= wrong fish. But the heart wasn’t built to be smart, was it now?

I fought that thing with John, my feelings for him. Maybe I didn’t make a terrific run of it, but I did try. I chastised myself, prayed prayers that did not make sense about it. Here is what I mean, on some days, I could beg God to let me date John while on some I wanted Him to let John be swallowed by a fish and spat in a far of land that I know nothing of.

I simply didn’t want to be the one to do the dirty work of pushing John away. So instead I demanded of God that He take those feelings away from me, after all, He was God. He Gives and takes, remember? So, why wasn’t he taking those feelings away? Why didn’t he want to give me a push back into the right lane? He is God, isn’t he supposed to help the weak? Years later as I type this, I am shamefully amused as to why I was trivializing the big man like that. But I did repent. Lol.

Eventually, I did just what you think I would. I gave up the fight. The heart is a born wanderer, I told myself one afternoon as I walked to John’s room. I mean, just how hurt could I get by letting the heart do what it does best for once? Just for one flipping season of my life? Who knows, maybe I wouldn’t even like John as much as my mind imagined? Oh God, that is the dumbest thought I ever entertained. Because once I freed it like that, my heart set out for the horizon and never stopped to catch a breath or a sip of water. I ended up not just liking John. I loved the beautiful freak.

And from the run John and I had, we thought we could make it work. Okay, not really. On my side, I thought it could just work on its own. I mean, things with John were easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy from day one. I got to go to church every Saturday and still stayed loved and spoiled by him. I admit that it was a wickedly convenient arrangement but one that I loved, nonetheless. So exactly how was it not going to work?

But here is the truth. Dating someone with different religious beliefs from yours can be hard. At first you think that it is the only difference between the two of you. But it hardly is. It spills over to everything else. Your conversations falter at the mention of God. You have to put off things that he thinks are to be done on Saturday. Discussions that used to be fun and enlightening become tedious, because so much energy is spent trying to separate the person from their words so that you don’t get offended at the lightness which they carry your God.

Over time, I became very resentful towards John. I hated the fact that he rarely had anything to add to my passionate explanations about God. That whenever I talked about my prayers to God or what I was asking Good to do for me, all he did was he remain silent or point out how nice my God was. Oh how I hated it when he’d refer to my God as nice. Ha-ha.

Look, I don’t your thoughts on this, but nice is such an underwhelming word to use when describing my God. Nice is for stuff like clothes and watches. How about Omnipotent, and omniscient, my dear John? How about those?

But what I hated most were the times he accompanied me to church. Those were hard especially because I had chopped my expectations down to nothing when it came to issues pertaining to God. I don’t remember ever asking him to join me to church. Maybe because I knew how much it would break my heart if he said no or maybe it was because I knew better than to shove someone down the path of Calvary. That road is as individual as it gets.

But in John’s dictionary, accompanying me to church was his way of supporting and loving his girlfriend. And well-meaning as those escorts were, they would agitate the life out of me because John would sit bored throughout the service, a bland look attached to his countenance like one who didn’t understand why we bothered to give God such loyalty then with his witty but somewhat misplaced sense of humor point out at those sleeping in church with wicked amusement. Oh, how my heart ached at the faultiness of my choices during those moments.

I’d sit next to him during those services, shrunken like a baked potato and afraid to choose between God and Him. Afraid to chorus my amen alongside with other congregants lest I looked foolish in John’s eyes. I think I was slowly forgetting how to be a true Christian. Horrible, horrible feeling that was. To love two different men at the same time: one that sustains your very being and another that you love almost hopelessly.

It is like that with such involvements. You get to a point in that relationship where you feel like you are drowning, your limbs distending in your quest to hold God’s hand on one side and John’s on another. It becomes hard to pledge loyalty to two men at one time. So hard that the next time you pass by a mirror holding John’s hand, it becomes almost impossible to not see the furry tail dragging behind him.

Not to say that John had some tail trailing him, but that one stark difference between us, that difference in crucial beliefs illuminated several others which we were too afraid or lazy to address. And it was freaking painful, the day we finally had to dredge through those. The pain was everlasting but even as my finger shook, looking for a place, someone…anyone to heap the blame on, I knew within me that John was not the problem. Neither was God.

I was the problem. I was the freaking problem for asking John to give me more than he could at that time of his life. See, a human being can only give out of what they already have, and John … my beautiful John didn’t have God. And if he did, he didn’t have enough of it to be able to share of it with me.

Follow:
administrator

2 Comments

  1. Boniface Sagini
    January 28, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    This is interesting and bold and honest!

    • January 31, 2019 / 12:14 am

      Hey Boniface, i’m am glad you enjoyed reading through it! It was a difficult experience to write about😅 but we pushed through and finished.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen + twenty =

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Search:
Post Categories: