If All Minds Are Clear (Chapter 4)

Tucker and Jada's wedding day finally arrived, and Tucker was beside himself with joy; nervous, but incredibly happy and excited. According to Viola, so was Jada. During the ceremony, both tears and rejoicing were clearly evident. Even I shed a few, being in the midst of so much love and emotion, how could I not? Watching Tucker and Jada drive away, headed for their honeymoon, excited me a little about our wedding. I suppose I look forward to it because every pastor needs a great wife. I don't believe I can do any better than Viola. I know she loves me dearly, and will always faithfully support me and stand by my side. I've known her practically all my life. Besides my mom and Tucker, there's no one I trust more.

Before leaving the reception, I was cornered by Monica Hawkins. She is the daughter of Sister Ruby Hawkins, who chairs our board of trustees. Long widowed, she dotes on Monica and her son Robert and is fully immersed in their lives. If that wasn't enough, she constantly tries to marry her kids off because she's so desperate to be a grandmother. It's been long rumored that Robert is gay, so she tries all the harder to marry Monica off. She has no respect for my engagement to Viola. Since Viola's a virgin, Monica and I fool around from time to time. As far as I know, only Tucker, Monica and Mrs. Hawkins know I've deceived Viola. I suppose the only reason Sister Hawkins hasn't blackmailed me is the fact that she, Monica and Robert would be publicly shamed and possibly exiled from the church. I know that aside from her kids, presiding over the board gives her the most joy. It fulfills her purpose. Plus, she knows I'm going to be named pastor soon, and she and I are going to need each other. My mother dislikes her a great deal because rumor has it she was one of my father's many paramours.

Anyway, Monica suggested I meet her at her place after I take Viola home. I know I shouldn't have, but before long, I found myself at her apartment. It was a warm summer's night, and the black sky wore a full moon woven with a blanket of stars. Monica is a very attractive and sensual woman, so needless to say, the sex is amazing. She claims her feelings run deep for me, and maybe they do, but she's a grown woman who knows I'm engaged to marry in less than a month. Plus, I'm a couple of weeks away from being named Reverend Cousins' successor. My mother hates and refuses to acknowledge this side of me because it reminds her of my father. I'm told he was a womanizer to the nth degree, and most of his lovers were members of Grace Baptist....

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