Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pred. & Preach. Daughter - Ch. 1

That’s got to be the last time, player. You have got to leave that girl alone, Marcos Valdez thought as he opened the door to his off-campus apartment and slammed it shut. The gust of wind that ensued caused the tail of his red and black school jersey to flap angrily against the waist of his black cargo shorts.

Marcos was scolding himself once again for sleeping with Reverend Boise Bradshaw’s daughter. Although Chasity was of consensual age at twenty, Marcos was starting to felt bad knowing that he’d pursued, wooed, and fooled the beautiful young lady at every turn over the last year just to get her to sleep with him. And now that he had, he found himself unable to stop.

Marcos couldn’t be alone with Chasity for five minutes without it leading to the bedroom. That’s what they’d done this evening, that’s what they’d done almost every evening since she’d given him her most precious gift six weeks ago. At first the twenty-one-year-old thought his sexual obsession with the shy, highly principled young lady was because she’d made him wait a whole year for intimacy, six months for even a kiss But when Marcos remembered that he’d secretly been intimate with other women up until the day Chasity finally gave herself to him, he realized that that couldn’t explain his fixation with the preacher’s daughter, either.

No, the real reason Marcos couldn’t shake his guilt or his intense desire for Chasity was because he’d somehow fallen in love with her. Somehow his plan of capturing her heart and body had backfired on him. Somehow all those fake I-love-you’s had turned into the real thing along the way.

No! I am ‘not’ in love with Chasity Bradshaw, Marcos mused, as if telling himself that was going to make it any less true. He was in love with Chasity. And even as he sat on the red and black Spring Garden University beanbag chair near the bay window of his garden apartment and watched the sunset on that warm August day, he knew that he was lying to himself by denying it. After all, the ladies man hadn’t been with any other ladies since he started sleeping with Chasity. Therefore, this had to be love. Knowing that made Marcos feel more vulnerable than the day his parents’ divorced and his mother left him and his father, taking his older sister Marjorie with her.

Not liking or appreciating this feeling of vulnerability at all, Marcos jumped up from the beanbag, suddenly feeling the need to run as adrenaline pumped through his veins. But run where? Around the University’s track field? No, that wasn’t far enough. He needed to get out of town. So what if he’d just started his senior year of college and loved each and every one of his classes. Marcos would transfer a month before graduation if he had to in order to keep from surrendering to love. He’d watched his father nearly drink himself to death because of the love of a woman and he was not going to let that happen to him.

Reaching for his black phone from the oak entertainment center near the window, Marcos prepared to make some calls, completely ignoring the violet, powder-blue, and orange streaked sky now. As far as he was concerned, he was out of there, regardless of how soft Chasity had felt in his arms today, how sweet she’d smelled, how deliciously she’d responded to his every touch like no other woman in the world.

********

Reverend Bradshaw sat in his comfortable, navy-blue living room recliner watching a local football program. Pulling his eyes from the sports show on the cherry-wood floor model television set directly across from of him, Boise turned to the left and smiled, waving to his red and white sundress clad daughter as she passed by the living room area on her way towards her bedroom. There was no doubt in his mind that Chasity was going to do her homework. She usually worked on some type of school project around this time of the evening, even on weekends.

To Boise, his baby girl and only child was the greatest daughter any man could ask for. Chasity had already prepared him a bodacious meal of fried chicken, steamed cabbage, rice and black-eyed peas. She also cleaned the mid-sized brown and white decorated kitchen of their middleclass ranch-styled home, and ironed his shirts with light starch for Sunday just like his wife (her mother) used to do before she died twelve years ago.

Heidi Bradshaw, with her fair skin, endearing freckles, honey-colored eyes, and dark auburn hair, had not only been beautiful, but had also been a truly virtuous woman while they’d been married. Fortunately, their daughter was fast following in her mother’s footsteps in looks and demeanor. Chasity always made curfew, brought home good grades, and was dating a nice intelligent young man that was not only respectful to her, but also to her father.

Speaking of Marcos, Boise had high hopes that the architectural student and Chasity would marry one day (after they finished college, of course). Then he and Marcos could play golf every weekend instead of just twice a month when the younger man’s studies and social calendar allowed. And although he was not as spiritual as Larenz McBride (Chasity’s first serious boyfriend who came from a long line of ministers and attended one of their sister-churches), Marcos’ healthy respect for the Lord, his wealthy background, fierce drive to succeed and the way the young man’s eyes sparkled with love every time he looked at the preacher’s daughter, gave Boise all the assurance that he needed to know that Chasity and any children she had would be well taken care of.

With a daughter like Chasity, it was no wonder that Rev. Bradshaw often praised her across the pulpit and frequently pointed to her as an example for other young women to follow if they wanted to live a virtuous life. Yes, we definitely named her right, Boise thought with pride, remembering how his wife had sought the perfect name for their daughter at her birth.

Heidi Bradshaw had wanted to name their firstborn Charity because she’d been created in love, but Boise had insisted upon naming her Chasity which is a play on the word Chastity and means modest, pure, and abstaining from illicit sexual acts or thoughts. He’d wanted his daughter to represent a certain standard of being and so far she has.

Perhaps she’ll be an even greater example of the Proverbs 31 woman than her mother was, Boise mused, adjusting the recliner’s right-side lever in order to put his feet up. Then even before the thought was finished forming in his mind, the distinguished preacher felt a twinge of guilt wash over him concerning his wife and the fact they’d had the biggest argument of their marriage before she left their lives for good.

********

In the privacy of her pink and white decorated bedroom, Chasity sat on the right side of her white canopy bed and pulled out the pregnancy test she’d just taken in the bathroom and stared at it again. This test had nothing to do with school and no matter which way she turned the slender white contraption, it still said the same thing. She was pregnant.

Chasity felt the same mixture of emotions that she’d had the first time she looked at the test. She felt sheer elation because she’d always wanted to be a mother and because she was pregnant by a man that she loved very deeply. A man that she believed loved her just as much in return. Chasity also felt scared because she knew that she’d have to tell her strict father sooner or later and deal with his inevitable disappointment.

Suddenly Chasity’s fear lessened a great deal when she thought of Marcos again. Not only had he hung in there for a whole year with her without intimacy and stopped his playboy ways, he even started going to church in order to be with her. Surely he would stand by Chasity’s side now and help her break the news to her father.

In Chasity’s mind, Marcos would probably even ask her to marry him. He’d certainly talked about marrying her one day and perhaps the conception of this child would move that wedding date up that much sooner. Reaching for the pink phone on the white and pink trimmed nightstand to the right of the bed, she placed a fateful call to her boyfriend.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

2 comments:

kris said...

i remember this story...

Suprina said...

Do you? Maybe you read it when it was featured on my website.