Devon Morris looked over at the sleeping figure beside him. “Touchdown,” he thought as he crept out of bed and picked up his clothes from where they had been thrown just hours before. Michele Lane was the finest sister in the bunch. Every man wanted her and every woman wanted to be her. He dressed carefully in the dark and then slowly walked to the elevator, which took him to the lobby, and then he walked outside as if nothing were wrong. When he knew that no one had seen him, he drove away congratulating himself on a job well done.
It had happened in the usual way; he had noticed her at church and then immediately his mind had sprung into action. First he started by talking to her friends to find out her interests, which happened to be the church choir and the children’s ministry. Finally it was time to put his information to good use. He “casually” ran into her after the service one Sunday and they talked. She was so surprised to learn that he was taking early childhood education and that he wanted to join the choir. Of course he couldn’t sing a note and had no interest in children whatsoever, but that was all part of the plan. So it began with him showing up at choir rehearsals and at the children’s ministry to volunteer. Eventually he asked her out for coffee.
The amazing thing about Michele was that she was just like him: she loved to go to clubs, and she loved sex almost as much as he did. One night when they were out at a club they were both extremely drunk when she confessed to him that the whole “church-girl-children’s-ministry-choir–thing” was just an act. She said that was the only way to get the best men, and by the time they figured out that she was a player, it was too late. Tonight when she had graciously asked for a ride home from Bible study, Devon had agreed with a wink and a smile.
Devon pulled into his driveway. As soon as he got into his apartment he crossed over to his night table where the phone sat, and he dialed his best friend Kevin. The phone rang twice before Kevin’s sleepy voice answered, “Hello … ”
“Yo, Kev, it’s me.”
“Hey, D … so how did it go?” Kevin asked, feeling more awake now.
“Actually, I think she was more into it this time than before,” Devon bragged.
“You playin’ me?”
“Afraid not, bro.”
“Man, I don’t know how you do it every time; you never lose,” Kevin said in mock disgust, and Devon responded, “Well, I guess the honeys just can’t resist me. Honeys all want the same thing wherever you go. I used the exact same formula on Michele as I did for all the others; all I changed were the details. What’s so good about Michele is that she’s a player just like me.”
“Man, you are s-m-o-o-o-o-t-h.”
“Well, what can I say? It just comes naturally,” Devon replied smugly. The two friends talked for a few more minutes and then hung up. Devon went to the living room and sank into the couch. Just as he was about to flip on the TV, he heard the phone ring, and when he picked up the receiver he recognized the voice on the other end immediately.
“Boy, where were you? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all night!”
“Mom, it is nearly 3:00 in the morning.”
“I can read the time!” Devon’s mom, Susan Morris, was now practically shouting into the phone.
“Mom, I’m twenty-five; I think I’m a little old for you to be asking that question … ”
“You may be twenty-five, but you’re acting like you’re fifteen, and until you get your act together and stop chasin’ and clubbin” with anything that has two legs and wears a skirt, I’m going to treat you like you’re fifteen.”
“Are you finished yet, Mom, because I really am tired and I want to go to bed.”
Susan’s tone became softer and she said, ”Devon, honey, I just want what’s best for you. I want you to do something with your life besides bed hop and sleep. I want to see my grandbabies before I die – children that you have with a good wife!”
“I know, Mom, but that life isn’t for me.”
“Sweetheart, when your father left me I didn’t know what to do; you were seven and I was alone. But then your Aunt Betty invited me to church …”
“Mom, you’re not gonna start with that ‘Jesus is the only way’ garbage are you?”
“Well, it’s true -- he is, and the sooner you realize that the better. I don’t understand how you can go to church Sunday after Sunday and Wednesday after Wednesday and still not be a Christian.”
“I get in my car and drive five blocks and then I get out of my car and then walk up the stairs into the church,” Devon retorted sarcastically.
“That’s not what I mean and you know it! You have so much potential; you’re a smart young man and you can be anything you choose to be.”
“Are you done yet?” Devon asked impatiently as he paced the floor.
Susan said, “Just remember that I love you and God loves you too,” and with that Susan said goodbye. Devon went to bed that night without feeling regret or remorse. He couldn’t understand why his mother was making such a big deal out of nothing when all he was doing was having a little fun. What made it worse was the fact that she kept spewing out this religious nonsense that made him sick. What couldn’t she understand? He didn’t want anything to do with God or church; all he wanted to do was “hit and split,” and there was nothing that his mother or any stupid preacher (who probably hadn’t gotten any in ages) could say that would change his mind. He was the king of his universe, and any woman he came into contact with had no choice but to submit to his will, and that was the way he liked it.
There were already people filing into church when Devon got there on Sunday morning. As usual he had to wait while the opening prayer was said and then while the passage of Scripture was being read. Honestly, he couldn’t understand why just because someone was saying a few words and reading out loud he had to wait ten minutes to get in the door. Finally he heard the band playing the introduction to the opening worship song. He took his seat at the back as usual. Almost everyone in the church was standing. He didn’t get it; what were people making such a fuss about? The worship leader, a fat man with a bald head, started jumping up and down and moving around the pulpit acting extremely stupid. This whole church thing seemed so crazy to Devon, but the honeys were fine, so he couldn’t help coming back week after week. When the singing was over, the preacher stepped up to the pulpit. He was a man in his late forties but he talked like he was ten or fifteen years younger, trying to seem like he could relate to what people of the younger generation were going through. He had black hair and a mustache. Personally Devon thought he should resign. Devon hated the crappy jokes he told, and he hated the way everyone stood up after every word he said like this preacher was a king or something, and worst of all was the huffing and puffing of every single preacher he’d ever seen, and the screaming of the crowd made it ten times worse. After all, if there was a God, couldn’t he hear you if you talked normally?
After church Devon was walking to his car when he heard a sound like someone kicking her car, and when he turned around he could see a lovely young lady struggling to get her car door open. Devon saw that it was the finest honey he’d ever seen. She had slender legs that went perfectly in line with a backside that Devon just wanted to squeeze, but before he looked any further he reminded himself that he had just come from church, and even though he didn’t usually adhere to the rules, he thought it would be best to save the rest of her for his imagination. When she turned around, however, he discovered that the front half was even better than the back half had been. Her eyes were a kind of hazel and her skin was the color of honey, and she had lips that he felt like kissing at that very moment. Again he reminded himself where he was. He walked over to his car and took the crowbar out of the trunk, and then he sauntered over to her car. “Looks like you could use some help,” he said with the most inviting smile he could work up.
“Thanks, that would be great,” she said, returning his smile with one of her own. Devon took the crowbar and gently pried open the car door.
“I really appreciate your help,” she said.
“It’s no problem,” Devon replied nonchalantly as she got into her car, rolled down the window, and then turned to speak to him.
“My name is Jessica Silverman.”
“I’m Devon Morris.” Devon cleared his throat before he said, “Look, I’m not busy … would you like to go for a coffee?”
“No thank you; I make it a rule to never go out with guys I don’t know very well.”
“So how is a guy supposed to get to know you if you never go out with him?” Devon asked, teasing her.
“Well, that’s up to the Lord; if he wants us to see each other again, we will. If he doesn’t, we won’t. I don’t mean to be rude, but I really need to get home. It was nice meeting you, Devon.” And with that Jessica started up her car and drove away. As her car faded from view, Devon stood where she had left him, speechless. A girl had never turned him down in his life. Something about Jessica Silverman puzzled him; he couldn’t put his finger on it, but there was something about the way she spoke that made him shudder inwardly. She spoke with such confidence but still with such politeness, and he was determined to find out more about Jessica Silverman, that was for sure. He had a feeling that although she was beautiful, this one was going to be tough, and Devon was up for the challenge.