HIS heart hung like a heavy lead against his chest even as he knocked on the door. Then it sank when it was Shiloh’s mother who opened the door.
“Good evening, ma’am.” Jeth worked up the courage to meet her gaze.
Joy pinned her coolest stare on the young man. He looked utterly distressed and heartbreakingly forlorn. “Evening. May I help you?”
“I don’t know if you’d be willing to, ma’am.” By hurting her daughter, he’d hurt her too. Jeth realised that. “I’ve badly botched things with Shiloh. I’ve hurt her so bad, in the worst possible way. She trusted me with everything but I messed up. I blanked, couldn’t think and didn’t know how to handle things. But I should have remembered that this was the woman I loved. The woman I love with all my heart. It shouldn’t have, and doesn’t, matter where she’d been. What matters is where we are going—together.”
A warm balm smothered over the heart she was struggling to harden. “Do you think my daughter is not good enough for you, Jethro?”
“Shiloh is the best, ma’am. The best for me. I’ve never met a better woman. I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve her warmth, her laughter, her love and her trust. I had the best but I was fool enough to stop recognising that fact because of some trivial facts.” He blinked before he made a fool of himself. Not that he was ashamed to do so. “I want a chance to amend my huge mistake, ma’am. I don’t deserve that chance, but I am hoping, praying that you would accord it to me.”
“Me?” Joy angled her head. “It was Shiloh you hurt not me, Jethro.”
“Yes ma’am, I hurt Shiloh. Very badly and without justifiable reason. But I hurt you too by extension. You are her mother and whatever hurts her, hurts you. And for that, I am sincerely sorry and very humbly ask your pardon and forgiveness.”
“You’re a man who knows how to make your case, aren’t you?”
“I’m a stupid fool who let the woman he loves walked out of his home with tears in her eyes and pain in her heart.” Jeth returned in honest self-deprecatory tone. “And I am worse than a fool for being the cause of those tears and pain.”
“I usually bat men who dare to hurt my sweet daughter’s heart with a club over their heads but a man wise enough to admit when he’s been a fool deserves to have the batting club spared.” Joy curved her mouth in a smile and stepped back from the door. “She’s in her bedroom and she’s hating you with everything in her heart right now.”
“She’s justified. And thank you, ma’am.” Jeth dipped his head in a grateful nod.
“Thank me by putting a smile back on my daughter’s face and never again hurting her in this way.” Joy peered at him with narrowed eyes. “And Jethro, if you so much as think to make any presumptuous move on her in that bedroom, I’ll be wielding my batting club.”
Jeth dipped his head again. “I wouldn’t dare.”
“Good.” She pointed her finger in the direction of the connecting door. “First turn on your left. And oh, what’s that in your hand?”
Jeth lifted the paper bag. “Snickers.”
“I’ll have one.” Joy held out a hand and cupped the Snickers bar he passed. “Next time though, get me Kit-Kats, hmm?”
Jeth dipped a regal bow. “Yes, ma’am.”
Joy grinned. “Now, go make my girl happy again.”
He so wanted to do that. Lord, give me the right words and I promise never to mess this up again, Jeth silently muttered as he went in the direction he’d been pointed to. He knocked on her door. There was no response and so he repeated the knock.
“She’s not going to respond, so I’ll suggest you announce yourself and walk in.” Joy called from the living room.
“You’re in so much trouble, Jeth.” Jeth muttered, then inhaled and knocked one more time. “It’s me, Shiloh, and I’d like to come in.”
He waited a bit and then turned the handle of the door.
“What do you want, brother Jethro?” Shiloh asked from her bed.
She’d heard voices filtering in from the living room and she’d guessed it was him. She’d also guessed he’d somehow manage to convince her soft-hearted mother into letting him in here. But he being inside her bedroom and looking like he had world’s worst problems dumped on him didn’t mean that she was going to go soft-hearted like her mum.
“I’ve come to ask your forgiveness, Shiloh.” Her expression was remotely cold and Jeth found he’d have preferred the boiling heat of rage.
“Really?” Shiloh shifted her mouth into an icy smile. “All right. Your sins are forgiven you, brother Jethro, now you can go home and sin no more.”
“I was so wrong. So much a fool.”
“Two facts we’ve earlier established.” Shiloh dismissed.
“I love you.”
“Shut up!” Shiloh hated that her heart trembled at the words. He didn’t have the right to make her heart tremble anymore. “You came here for forgiveness, it’s been granted you, now get out of my room.”
“I love you, Shiloh, and I am such a narrow-minded fool for hurting you like this.”
“You’re not just a liar, you’re a goddamn cheat.” Furious, restless and hurt afresh, Shiloh sprang off the bed. “You think confessing love for me is going to turn me all mushy and let you back in my life, huh?”
“I made a huge mistake with you.” He desperately wanted to hold her. He desperately needed to wipe the hurt from her eyes. “You shared your past with me because you love me and trust me.”
“Loved, Jethro. Past tense.” Shiloh slammed her hands on her waist and aimed him a sneering stare. “I’ve frozen my heart where you are concerned. I feel absolutely nothing for you anymore.”
Though he knew she was lying and only aiming to hurt him as he’d hurt her, Jeth’s heart constricted at the words. “If that were true then it’s no less than I deserve. You shared the worst of you with me and instead of drawing you into my arms and assuring you that nothing like that will ever hurt you again, I pushed you away. Heavens! I didn’t even have the courage to do the pushing away upfront like a man. I slinked away instead like the spineless coward you called me and hid from you. Shiloh, I don’t deserve you or your forgiveness…”
“Darn right, you don’t!” Why the heck was her fury thawing and twinges of love flickering once more to life? Traitor human heart! “You don’t deserve me and you don’t deserve forgiveness. But hey, Christ gave it freely when no one asked whilst he lay bruised and dying on the cross, so why shouldn’t I do the same? You’re forgiven. Now leave me alone!”
“I wasn’t looking for a virgin bride.”
“Go away, Jethro!”
“I wasn’t worried you’d be more experienced than I am. I always figured two hearts in love could find their way around a perfect sexual rhythm.” Jeth took a step closer and touched her face. She slapped off his hand. “You’re so beautiful. You’re just the most perfect thing.”
“Liar! Stop with your lying tongue!”
“The most perfect thing for me. They don’t matter. Not thirteen men or even one man or even a zillion. They don’t matter. I now clearly know that. I let my head think that they did… but now, I know nothing else matters except the love you and I share.” Jeth lowered to both his knees.
Shiloh took a step back, gaping at him. “What are you doing?”
“I am asking for your forgiveness, Shiloh. I freely admit that I do not deserve a woman like you. I don’t. You are better than I am. You showed Christ’s unconditional love more than I did. I failed you and I failed him who constantly loves us in spite of our short comings.” He dug his hand into his pocket and brought out the ring box. “I got this two days before your confession. I couldn’t wait a second more to begin our lives together. I was thinking of the best time to propose.
Then you shared your story and I went mindless and utterly stupid. I forgot that when we come to Christ and take him into us, we are no longer who we once were but that we are given not just new hearts and spirits but also new bodies. My heart’s desire, my peace, my perfect place, I might have stayed away but my heart loved and longed for you every single miserable second I spent away from you.
I love you. I want so much to be yours. If you take me, I promise, on the love that came from God into my heart for you, I will never again hurt you like I’ve done. I will stand by you and love you through all the good times and bad times we will encounter. I will never again lie to you, avoid you or put a hedge between us. I promise, if you will take me, that that past no longer exist. Not in my head and even not in yours. It is done. It is finished.
Nothing exists between us but today and all our tomorrows.” He raised his hand. “Will you take this, Shiloh, and with it, take me too?”
“Shiloh stared at the silver-framed box. Her heart was thudding and when she moved her gaze from the box to his eyes, it leapt and surged like a soaring eagle.
“Darn it, you’re always hounding me!” She let out a tremulous laugh and blinked her watery eyes. “I should smack your ugly face for putting me through a side order of hell.”
“Please do. I deserve it.”
“Stop trying to worm your way back into my heart!” Shiloh smacked his arm.
But he caught her and drew her down to him. “Will you take this rustic, not-very experienced, un-ripened Christian man and make him yours, please?”
“Does he love me like the sun and moon rises and sets through my eyes?”
“I love you with a heart that will never love this way again.”
“Then I will.” Shiloh reached over and took the ring box. “I love you too. Like I’ve never loved a man before and like I would never again love a man. And Jeth?”
“You deserve me. Like I deserve you.”
“My Shiloh. My place of rest.” Overcome with love for the woman God has given him, Jeth gently drew her against him, turned her face up with his palms and kissed her.
*** ~~~ ***
Eyaf end… breaks out bottle of wine… #free!
If you see typos, leave it… is it your typos sef #yimu
Tomorrow we celebrate the new month of April. On Sunday, we talk new blog schedule… #TM #Boss-Lady