She’s never been on a date.

Looking in the mirror, she tries not to grimace at herself. It’s not that she doesn’t like what she sees; it’s more that, inwardly, it feels like a sin to be dissatisfied. She’s pretty enough to have dated several guys. To have flirted. To have danced. To have played around.

But I don’t. She tells herself, almost mournfully, this time not able to trick herself into being happy. Subconsciously, that’s what she does every time. Fake happy. Every time a good friend gets caught up with a significant other, every time they tell romantic stories, every time they get married, have kids, or celebrate an anniversary. Every time.

Looking down, she rubs her hand along her clothing. Clothes that are extremely proper. Only containing a hint of youth. Because that’s what she’s becoming: a woman.

A woman without a man.

Suddenly frustrated with her thoughts, her eyes well up with tears; she can’t stop the glare that enters her eyes.

“This was your choice!” She scolds herself. “You, and only you, decided! No dating. Only courtship! It’s what you freaking wanted!!” She pulls at her clothes. “This is what you’ve become! There’s no going back! If HE wills, you will be alone until the day you leave this earth!” Her tone leaves off just short of yelling. She breathes hard, tears escaping her eyes.

Alone.

The single word echoes inside her heart, holding eternity in it, bringing pain that she has always pushed back with it.

She sniffles, then holds her breath, biting her lip. She looks past the tears, staring at her pain, unable to look away. She wonders wearily, searching all that she knows, if that word is her destiny. The word haunts her. It mocks her. Every dream she has ever held about finding a God-fearing man somehow dissolving beneath the acid of it.

“No!” She cries out, feeling the weight of the word take over, sending her into a dark and very frightening despair. She puts out her hands and touches the cold and uncaring mirror, covering her face. She can see herself dying alone. No.

She lets out a few sobs, trying to stop it. Trying to resist the truth of her current loneliness and how it might last forever. Indeed, it would, unless God, Himself, did something.

But… He’s brought me this far…

The thought catches her off-guard, shocking her as if she had been hugged from behind. It was true. Wait. Not just true, but extremely true. Blinking back tears, she remembers. She remembers the one night at age fourteen, when she promised to let God write her love story. She remembers Him gently talking her out of finding a boy to sleep with after being shunned by so-called friends while in college. She remembers Him giving her words, attention, and affection, so she wouldn’t feel left out while her brother courted, and then married. Just maybe, He wasn’t condemning her to “alone,” maybe He was doing something she couldn’t comprehend.

Quietly, feeling her breathing slow, she removed her hands from the mirror.

Where her hands had been, her fingerprints left an almost-perfect heart.

A small smile touched her lips.

Not alone.

not alone

by Keviana Elliot time to read: 3 min
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