Perhaps if I’d seen him sooner, I would have reacted better. But I didn’t. It wasn’t until he was placing his laptop upon the table across from mine did I notice him.
I was seated with my husband at the cafe area in Barnes & Noble. We were engaged in discussion over carrot cake and coffee. Michael sat across from us at a small round table. I believe he saw me long before I saw him and chose that spot on purpose.
Michael was the last chapter of my sinner’s nightmare. With him I became a person my family and friends did not know. Michael escorted me into a realm of darkness most people probably didn’t know existed. Together we explored pleasures to the degree of abominable. How God found me and brought me out still floods my eyes. I was not worthy of His love nor His forgiveness–especially after all the people I hurt.
I believed God when He promised to drown my sins in the sea of forgetfulness. Lord knows I was happy to forget. I didn’t think about the past, and I certainly didn’t talk about it. When Michael and I went our separate ways, it never occurred to me I’d ever see him again. Last I heard he had moved to New Orleans–to explore his dark arts more freely, I guess. That was five years ago.
In that time, I gave my life to God, and He healed and restored most of the relationships I screwed up with my family; I lost a lot of friends, though. But I made new ones at church. That’s where I found Zeke, the best thing that ever happened to me since salvation. This year in October, Zeke and I will have been married for two years. We are still working on extending our family. With all going so well, why in the world would Michael come back in the picture?
He had earphones in his ear and seemed to be engrossed in whatever was on his screen, but I knew better. When he glanced up, our eyes met and my stomach dropped like a stone. His green eyes twinkled and a smirk curled comfortably in the corner of his thin mouth.
Meanwhile, Zeke, unperturbed, carried on about the miracle and meaning of walking on water. What I wouldn’t give to be out in the middle of a lake right now. I couldn’t imagine what Zeke would do if he knew what I was before God saved me. He would never see me the same. How could he?
I feigned a migraine and Zeke and I rose to leave. We had to pass by Michael because his way was the shortest route to the door. His earphones suspiciously dropped to the floor just as I was passing. When he reached to retrieve them, his arm grazed my leg. It was the slightest of touches, but it made my knees weak and my legs gave out. Zeke caught me by one arm and Michael the other. Horrified by the feel of Michael’s fingers, I yanked my arm away and tasted blood when I bit down on my lip to cage a scream. Zeke looked at me curiously and thanked Michael for his help, then ushered me out the door. By the time I got to our car, I had a real migraine. I fought to restrain the tears stinging my eyes.
God may have forgotten my sins, but my sins had not forgotten me. Michael was back.
© D.L. Lunsford