“I wasn’t sure you’d even let me into your home after this afternoon,” Frank stands hands folded in front of him.
Frank and Sharon stand facing each other just inside the front door of Sharon’s home. Sharon is still feeling a bit bruised after Beverly Underwood’s verbal attack at the cookout. She is glad to see Frank and invites him to join her in her living room.
“I don’t blame you for what happen,” Sharon declares after they both find their place on her sofa. “As a matter of fact, I don’t really blame Bev.”
“What Bev did was wrong and worthy of blame for not only hurting you but what should have been good fellowship for all,” Frank sits tense with fists tight upon his lap.
“Don’t be angry with Bev,” Sharon covers Frank’s fists with a gentle touch. “I knew I did not fit in with the churchgoing crowd.”
“I don’t agree but I can understand why you feel this way with what happened today.”
“I don’t think I wanted to fit in. Looking back, I’m not sure the choice of the tank top was an unconscious effort to make sure I didn’t fit in.”
Frank notices that Sharon has donned a long sleeved t-shirt. Frank still believes Sharon looks very appealing, not just for a woman her age, but for a woman of any age. He is also attracted to her strength to accept responsibility for the incident, even though he is not sure she owns any of it.
Frank looks away for a second or two. Sharon recognizes the look on Frank’s face. She can tell he has something else he plans to say that is both personal and more difficult. He had this look on his face thirteen years ago when he suggested that they could only be no more than friends because of their differing religious viewpoints.
As Frank slowly turns his gaze back towards Sharon’s soft blue eyes, Sharon wants to stop him from saying what she fears he is about to say. She remembers that moment and has rehearsed it enough in her mind over the years that she has established what she feels is a good argument to negate it. She is prepared to engage that argument.
“God has guided through enough mistakes finally teaching me that when I can so vividly see the flaw in someone else to use that as a mirror,” Frank stares deeply into Sharon’s eyes. “I am embarrassed to say the lesson came so late in life.”
Sharon wonders what person and what flaw. Frank stated that Bev was wrong, so surely it is not her own worldliness Frank addresses like it was thirteen years ago.
Sharon realizes her hand is still resting on Frank’s hands which are now relaxed and open, palms up. He grasps her hand in one of his and reaches for her other hand. He is facing her. Thirteen years ago, he couldn’t look her in the eye. This is different. Sharon hopes.
“I realized that Bev’s unfair judgement of you was not that dissimilar than my own not that many years ago and maybe even more presently than I’d like to admit.”
Sharon offers her hand to Frank’s outreached hand but is still uncertain where this speech is headed.
“I know now and knew for years that you loved me,” Frank’s voice crackles with emotion.
Frank stops and swallows a couple of times.
“Would you like for me to get you a drink?” Sharon offers. “Water, maybe?”
“I need to say this now before I change my mind.”
“I’m listening, Frank.”
“I was wrong about us thirteen years ago. I thought because you didn’t believe as I do about God that we would not be good for each other. I’m afraid like Bev, I thought you too worldly.”
“I’m not sure what you think I believed about God, but I am worldly in many ways.”
“That’s what I realized today while judging Bev for judging you. I was judging you based on my bias.”
“So, you’re saying you thought I wasn’t good enough for you,” Sharon removes her hands from Frank’s clutch.
“I don’t think I ever thought that about you. As a matter of fact, I know many times I was amazed that someone with your background, successes, and talents cared as much as you did about a poor preacher like me.”
“Then, please explain because I’m sure Bev thinks I’m not good enough.”
“I thought because you didn’t go to my church or any other church for that matter, that I would change and that would be wrong.”
“I would never try and change you. That’s not who I am. That’s not my job. Besides, I love this … this you. Why would I change it?”
“But I would change. We have changed. Changing can be good. Changing can mean improvement, wisdom, or strengthening.”
Sharon looks back at her life and finds herself agreeing that some changes, maybe even many changes in her life have been for her good.
“Then, I need to confess something to you.”
“Maybe, we need to save that for another time.”
“If we do – and I’ll use your own words – I might change my mind.”
Frank forces a smile and then nods, “I’m listening, Sharon.”
“Hypocrisy in the church is only one reason I don’t attend. It’s probably not even the primary one,” Sharon’s eyes drop for a moment.
Sharon pauses a moment and watches Frank’s curiosity ascend.
“I’d rather think my standards are pretty good. Better than most. Definitely better than Bev’s. But when I went to church, it seems like I am only fooling myself. It never made me feel better to go. It definitely never made me feel better about some of the things I do.”
“I have to agree. Your standards are pretty good and better than a lot of people I know. But the things that make us uncomfortable is no matter how good we are, there’s always room for improvement.”
Sharon knows she cannot deny that she is not perfect by any means. But her argument is that no one is perfect and no matter how hard we try, we cannot be perfect, at least not all the time.
“Bev quoted part of a verse to try and make her wrong right. If she understood it, she would see she was guilty of her own condemnation. ‘Be not conformed to this world’ is what she said, but the rest states that we need to change,” Frank shares.
“Please, Frank, I don’t need another sermon,” Sharon pleads. “How about I make us some coffee and we relax a little.”
“Agreed on one condition,” Frank wraps one hand around Sharon’s hand before she is able to get up to leave.
“Let me hear the condition, first.”
“You allow me to get back on track and say what I came here to say.”
“Can it wait until we have coffee?”
“I think we’ve been over that. I promise I’ll say it this time and not cloak it in sermonette or avoid it with verbiage.”
“Say it and make it quick.”
“I was wrong thirteen years ago. I think we make a great team. I want to know more about you and I want to share with you more of me.”
“Well, let’s start that with some coffee, then.”
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.