He Was On His Way To Becoming A Catholic Priest When We Fell In Love

He said he was checking up on me. He talked about why he hadn’t called since the day we met. I forgave him, though I wasn’t expecting his call.

Friendship grew out of nothing and by the time we realized, we were on the phone talking to each other all the time. There was one question he didn’t want to answer. “What do you do?” His first answer was, “I will tell you later.” When ‘later’ came, he changed his answer to; “You’ll know as we move on.” And then one day he told me he was a student.

I grew fond of him and came to expect his calls every day. One day we met and he told me he would return to school the next day. “When I’m gone, communication will be very difficult, please don’t judge me. I will do my best to call whenever I get the time,” he told me.

I had come to love him. I was only waiting for him to propose. He wasn’t straightforward with me. One day he would tell me lovely things that sounded like a proposal. Another time he would go off as if he wasn’t the one who was all lovely and bubbly around me.

Three days after he left, I didn’t hear from him. My calls were not answered and my texts were read but weren’t responded to. “Hey, what’s happening? Are you intentionally avoiding me? Tell me I shouldn’t call you again I will listen. Just say it.”

“I will call you this evening. We will talk about everything.”

waited for his call all evening but he didn’t call. I started thinking about all the things that could be wrong. “Or he’s a married man? He’s with his wife and kids and doesn’t want me to disturb him?”

I called our mutual friend who introduced us. It was embarrassing bringing him in because since he introduced us, we hadn’t involved him in anything. He didn’t even know we were friends. I asked him, “Your friend Emmanuel. What’s going on with him? Is he married? Does he have a family he goes to?”

think my questions made him suspicious so he asked what was going on. I told him everything including the fact that I had come to love him. He asked me, “Has he proposed to you?” I shook my head and said, “It looked like he was going to propose until he left for school.”

My friend was quiet for a while. I pushed him to tell me what I needed to know. “Is he married? There’s a woman in his life already? You can tell me everything because we are not there yet.” He said, “He’s in the seminary school. He’s becoming a Catholic priest very soon. I don’t know how far you two have gone but that’s the truth.”

I could feel my heart breaking but I couldn’t stop it. I saw my hopes of a new beginning in love crashing down. He didn’t tell me but he acted his love for me and that was what gave me hope. From that day, I knew he was out of reach. I had to heal my heart and guard it against him.

He called three days later. He said he was sorry for not calling me earlier. I asked him, “Is there something I should know but you’re not telling me?” He hesitated before saying, “Yes but not now. I’ll tell you everything when we meet.” I answered, “You don’t have to because I already know. Why didn’t you tell me right from the start that you’re a priest? It’s too bad I allowed myself to be led on.”


kept ranting and ranting until the call dropped. I waited, hoping he was going to call again. He didn’t so I called. He didn’t pick up the call. Later in the night when I was about to sleep he texted, “I’ve loved you from day one. Everything in me yearns to be with you. It’s the reason I couldn’t tell you who I truly am. Forgive me just as I’m here seeking forgiveness from God.”

I didn’t respond. I turned my phone off and slept. In the morning, he called. In the afternoon he called again. In the evening he did. When I didn’t pick up, he made his friend call me while he was already on the line. We had a conference call. He was still telling me he loved me and wished we could have something. I cut the call and called him directly. I asked what he wanted from me and he said friendship. I accepted.

We didn’t talk often until one day he came straight to my house. For the first time, he hugged me. It felt so good I didn’t want to let go. After the hug, I wanted more. He sure did too. I pushed in and he held my head. We kissed. The longest and the most intense kiss I’ve ever had. When we let go, we sat still, embarrassed and yet satisfied. He said he wanted me. I told him he already had me.

We were no longer friends but lovers. In my mind, he wasn’t a priest yet so I felt I could change his mind. I was determined to make him choose me over the priesthood.

I asked why he chose to be a priest. He joked, “I didn’t know you would come along.” I asked, “So now that I’m here, what happens?” He answered, “I’ll pray about it. I don’t know but something tells me this is where I belong. I’ve never felt this way since I started on this journey. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve asked God to take the feelings away. The fact that I still have the feelings means God wants me to be with you.”

I hugged him. Tighter. I squeezed him. Tighter. If I could, I would have entered his skin and owned him completely so he wouldn’t have to go away. We were together whenever he was home. I went to mass on Sundays just to see him in a cassock. He looked saintly. I loved him more in a cassock. Why can’t he choose me and still wear a cassock?

The night before he went back to school, we went out to have fun. We stayed out until 1 a.m. He brought me home, we kissed and parted. He didn’t go but instead asked me for a walk. I was sleepy but I held his hand, leaned on his shoulder and walked on the street talking about nothing important. The next day he was gone.

Communication became sketchy again. It was hard getting him to talk to me. One day he told me, “Can you not call until I call you? I answered, “Will you call me as often as I want you to?”

We went a week without a call. My heart was mourning. A week turned into a month. He wasn’t picking up my calls. A month turned into two. When he finally called, he said, “It’s not easy.” When I asked what was not easy, he responded, “Everything.”

He sounded distant, like he wasn’t the Emmanuel I knew. He said, “I’ve had time to think about us, about me and my relationship with God. It’s not an easy choice to make but hear me out. Don’t be angry with me. I’m confused but I don’t want to love you in confusion so I’ll ask you to give me enough space to figure things out.”

“How long do you need?” I asked. “Just enough time,” he answered. I told him, “Take all the time you need. I’ll be here.”

That was the last conversation we had about our love and the future of us. He didn’t come again and I didn’t push myself to search for him. I used the time I gave him to learn to live without him—learn to live without his kind of love. I won’t say it didn’t hurt but I opened myself up to go through the hurt once and for all. I consoled myself, “I can’t take what God wants. If it’s his will, then I can’t go against it. I’m just a human. A human’s love can’t be stronger than God’s.”

When I received the news of his ordination years later, I went to support him. I didn’t want him to see me so I sat far from the altar. I watched everything while the future we could have had unfurled in my mind. I was at his first mass. He saw me and smiled. I listened to him preach about God’s love and forgiveness and why we shouldn’t go back to our sins once we are baptized in God. “He belongs to God now,” I told myself.

I left before the church closed. He called me later in the day to ask why I didn’t wait for the service to close. We talked for some minutes. Years had passed but my heart remembered everything as if he never went away. Before he hung up the phone he said, “May God be with you,” as if we were closing a service. I responded, “And also be with you.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.