More Than a Tease

Birthdays with the best friend were always epic. Between the drinking, twerking, joking, and laughing, it was bound to be memorable, just like any other year. I knew this as I watched strangers gyrate in the darkness with all colors of the rainbow strategically shifting and shining across the sizable room. Many of the dancing shadows were gorgeous Houstonian women.

The atmosphere was as any I had experienced before. There were dancers, drinkers, shouters, fist pumpers, observers, attention whores, actual whores, pimps, and workers. The escapism was in full effect. People were coping in their own ways. It was called a party. Everything was going how I expected. The only anomaly was the girlfriend. She was getting dangerously close to drunkenness.

Buzzed in the midst of silhouettes, I really needed our next location to be confirmed. It was the time in my life where parties at the clubs turned to after parties at the strip clubs. I had become dissatisfied with going home without witnessing bouncing breasts with varying areolas, bubble butts shaking like vibrators or waves, and intense stares that said, “Come get me, big daddy.” I had become dissatisfied with many things. I needed to see a naked woman. My target revealed herself.

It was hard to miss her in the crowd. She towered over most men, including myself, and she fashioned a yellow dress and heels. Her curly, black hair came down just beneath her shoulders. Her iced coffee skin had just enough sugar to make your mouth salivate. My hands drooled in expectation of my prints on her butt cheeks.

She was bad, and she knew it. You could tell by the way she arched her back and gave her butt a little jiggle. She enjoyed the fawning of men. I, however, made my typical “are you seeing all this fineness in our vicinity?” face to my friend. It typically looked like enlarged eyes and a tucking of the chin. She was fine, and I was impressed. He understood.

She entertained the crowd for a good song or two, even daring to place her hand on the ground so that her arch could only invoke the thought of sex out of your mind. Some men attempted to dance with her, but she was about the money. Houston was known for its strip clubs. I had attended quite a few. She was advertisement, and her female friends were the hype-women as they constantly smacked her butt while she twerked, screaming, “Eyy!” with the music. You weren’t going to get their attention without throwing twenty-dollar bills onto a stage.

The lights turned on, an indication that the club was closing. Reality raided the building like police with rubber bullets. Many women turned around to judge the men they were twerking on in the darkness. Men received their judgments and were all the harsher with their verdicts. It was hunting time.

Herds of men and women gathered towards the front doors like cattle leaving out of the gate. Women were being grabbed by whatever part a man could get their hand on to stop them and talk with them. Arrangements were being made. It wasn’t something I was accustomed to, even then. Yet, here I was, thinking about taking my chances with a stripper.

She was the victim of many arm pulls, hip turns, and obscene cat calls. Many men wanted a chance – men who had no business even attempting. I might have been in that group if not for my character. Any woman would enjoy good man. She couldn’t have been any different. I knew my opportunity would come at a later time. After all, I knew this stripper, and I knew where this stripper was going to strip tease.

That’s when my friend stepped up to her and whispered in her ear. He had this ability to get comfortable with any person really quick. It wasn’t an ability I envied. However, he got what he wanted – what I wanted. He had her attention, even if it was just for a moment.

“Ey, my boy think you fine,” he said from her side as he pointed to me.

Of all the words in my vocabulary, I only managed to whisper, “Hi.” I said it behind a nervous smile.

Those eyes felt like the eyes of a deity. I could not hide my naivety from her, but still, I tried. I realized I was out of my element with this one, and that there was a very slim chance I’d ever be in my comfort zone around her. I was a Christian. I needed a Christian woman actively pursuing Christ. Hard to sell you love God when you tempt His sons with sex, even if His sons are no less guilty for placing themselves in the environments to be tempted. Still, I stood strong. Even long shots have a chance of going in. Every woman loved a good man. They raved about them on their social media sites. If I was good enough, she’d change to match my energy – the energy I displayed every other hour outside of clubs and strip clubs.

The rest of the conversation was drowned out by the shouting from the hunt, or “parking lot pimping” in some cultures, happening around us. It was semi-hilarious watching my friend almost resort to standing on his tip-toes to talk to her. I was 5’11” and still looked up to her. He was 5’10”. She leaned down, almost like a basketball player talking to a reporter. Somehow, it made her more attractive.

Her body was sculpted. You knew she worked out, which is obvious because she was a stripper, but she had to have been modeling as well. She was truly shaped like an hourglass, and her muscles showed up in spots that left you intimidated while her fat showed up in places that made you conscious about your breathing. She was fine. Up close and from afar, she was radiant.

She nodded as she followed her friends through the crowd. My boy walked over to me and stood next to me and watched the crowd. By now, security was coming from the rear, flashing their lights into the faces of drunkards still trying to spit game with women they weren’t going to take home. A few were getting numbers, but security was moving in on us all.

We lingered so that I could enjoy every single silhouette as she walked by. Truthfully, I just wanted to know what he said to the stripper, but that felt like a pathetic question to ask, so I remained still. What he wanted me to know, he’d tell me.

“She’s going to the same place as us,” he said to me.

Epic night. It was about to be another great, epic night. I rubbed my hands and smiled with glee. All he did was laugh at me and wrap his arm around me.

“Happy birthday, bro.” I said.

“’Preciate it, man.”

Then, the anomaly returned. Her legs were barely underneath her. She was all smiles. It was adorable, but unless she sobered up, it was likely going to end our night. She was not a small woman herself, so when she leaned onto my friend, he had to position himself to hold her up. My night was in jeopardy.

After a few missed steps, a few inappropriate PDA, and some wild sayings aloud, our night was coming to a close. I knew it. I watched her struggling on the way back to the car. The steps were diagonal rather than straight, her heels occasionally slipped from underneath her legs, and she stayed within grasp of her boyfriend.

I walked behind them, occasionally looking at myself in the windows knowing that guy was going home. The obstacle that would get us to the strip club was as tall as the skyscrapers we were walking past. It wasn’t that far from home. I knew my friend was going into full boyfriend mode. I couldn’t blame him. He didn’t have a reason to go to the strip club, not when he could have the same experience at home. I knew she didn’t care because she had the love of her life there to take care of her. I was the third wheel… again.

Sitting in the car, I realized how much I had come to hate being the third wheel. It wasn’t that our time together wasn’t still grand. It was just that I kept having to see their relationship thrown in my face, albeit unintentionally. It was the first time bitterness was rising in me. I didn’t know what to do about it, nor did I recognize it. I just knew my friend was going to have sex tonight, while I wasn’t even going to have the attention of the woman whose attention I wanted. I felt pathetic.

I didn’t care about my virginity. I had wanted to remain pure for the Lord, out of respect, but it felt more like an insult. I expected to be married already, but I hadn’t even had a woman. I kept running into women who would tell me, “I don’t want to ruin you.” Those who would do right by the Lord weren’t attractive to me. My purity felt like a trap, rather than a blessing.

Liquor and lust were in a conference in my mind. Lust keep shouting, “Booty, breasts, and naked women!” Liquor kept preaching, “Loneliness. Singleness. Empty…” I stayed quiet as they talked with each other, clinging to my emotions. My boy could see I was drowning, but when he asked, “You good?” I only responded with, “Yeah.”

Not too much later, we arrived at his apartment. We exited the car. I opened her door, and helped her get out. By the time she was to her feet, he was there for her. It was adorable. I hated that I wasn’t doing the same for a woman in my life.

I walked somberly behind them to the stairwell where we’d say goodnight. The departure always started with, “Aight, bruh.” Then, he’d extend his hand to me and we’d shake. It took everything in me to hide the anger and disappointment. I wanted to go to the strip club. I wanted to take a shot at getting a stripper. It was supposed to continue being a memorable night, but she had to get drunk.

“So what are you gonna do?” he asked me.

The obvious answer was “go home”, but part of me didn’t want to let it go. I didn’t want to go back to reality just yet. I lived with my mother, I was single, I was working a dead-end job, and I was discontent with my present life. Ambitions caused me to dream of brighter, future days often, so often that the present seemed like darkness. I couldn’t let the night end.

“I don’t know. I might still go to the strip club,” I confessed.

I wanted him to stop me, but that was never his nature. His nature was to let you be who you are. It worked great when I wanted to serve the Lord, but at this moment, the moment I wanted to abandon Him, all I received was, “Oh!? Well, alright. Tell me how it is.”

We shook hands. Then, he turned around and helped his girl get up the stairs. She was still adorable, and I loved that he could be there for her, but I still hated not having my own woman to look after. I hated that this was going to be the end of the night. There would be no strip club because she got drunk. I was dissatisfied to say the least.

There was no way I was going to enter the strip club alone. Entering the strip club alone is the epitome of lame. Was I so pathetic that I actually needed to see strippers before calling it a good night? Why was my pelvis craving the feeling of a grind?

I sat in my car and thought about it. “Do I go home, or do I go to the strip club?” I started my car. “Do I go home, or do I go to the strip club?” I merged onto the highway. “Do I go home, or do I go to the strip club?” I came up to the exit to go north, back to home. This is when the Spirit began to contend with me openly.

I began to have realistic expectations. My night wasn’t going to recover from what it already was. I didn’t have money. All I had was 120 spendable dollars, and $250 in my savings. Someone was bound to outspend me with ease. I didn’t have a place to take this woman if I succeeded. Then, why would she want to waste her time with a virgin who didn’t know anything about how to please a woman sexually? All the reasonable thoughts clouded my mind. Still, pride led me south, instead of north, towards the strip club. The Spirit would just have to stay in the car with reality.

Everything in me tried to tell me to turn around. I had church in the morning, I had never been to any night club alone, and I didn’t have money to waste like this. The only thought that carried me forward was the thought of success. What if I did get the girl? That would be one of the most memorable moments of my life. Somehow, I knew she’d give me the best sex I could’ve ever asked for to break my virginity. I could picture it, thanks to the hundreds of videos of pornography. It had to be an experience much like those videos. I just knew it. I’d have wild sex and the Lord would understand when I explained it to Him later.

My thoughts stopped when I heard people walking past the car. I was tense. My heart beat rapidly. I heard the women laughing. They weren’t laughing at me, but I feared they were. Why would a man pull up to a strip club parking lot and just sit in the car alone? They somehow knew I was out of my element. They knew I didn’t belong. I had to prove them wrong. I had to prove I could handle this. I knew God would be angry with me if I went through with this, so He would just have to wait in the car.

I opened my car door, and exhaled slowly. More footsteps approached. I looked out my door and saw another person walking up to the strip club alone. I wasn’t alone after all. Never mind the feeling that they were at least meeting someone at the door. No one would know that I had no one inside waiting for me.

I stood up. I stretched out of habit. Whenever I was too nervous, I stretched as if I had just woken up. It was a strange coping mechanism. I closed the door and headed to the entrance.

My legs felt light. My hands trembled. I had never gone into such a place by myself. I had no idea what I was doing, and yet, I knew it wasn’t going to be any different than any other time. I would pick a corner, scope out the strippers, pick a stripper to get dances from, and watch my money drain for the pleasure of feeling a woman’s bare body with my bare hands.

I approached a tall, big man. Even with my stout stature, he made me feel small. I was 250 lbs. He held his hand up to stop me and then looked inside. You could tell it was packed. I couldn’t see what kind of people crowded the place, but I could tell it was packed. The bouncer held me at the door as they waited for the strip club to empty just enough to let more people in.

My heart raced. I feared I would see someone who recognized me. What would I tell them if they saw me? Who would I say was inside waiting for me? Would I be able to admit that I came to such a place on my own? Was it a big deal? My mind raced. The only thing that brought me back was, “Aight, man. Get her.”

The bouncer, a big, black, and bald man, pointed inside to a cashier. I walked into the darkness and pulled out $20. I gave the cashier the money, she lifted the black, metal lid on her black cash box, and slid the money in. She nodded to me, and I to her, and then I walked in.

The darkness soon turned into an orange hue and a must clouded my noise. It didn’t take long for me to find out that I wasn’t going to be able to get a seat. There were faces lining every wall, and almost every step in between those walls. Everywhere I looked, dozens of people were talking, twerking, throwing money, or smoking. This strip club was for the folks from the hood. That was clear.

To my advantage, the very first stage featured the very woman I came to see. I slid through a crowd up to a stage that stood as high as my stomach and looked up to her. Her yellow dress had been traded in for a purple two-piece bikini with a thong for a bottom piece. You understood very quickly why a thong was her choice of wardrobe, as it allowed her cheeks to clap and jiggle on command. Her athleticism was on full display. Somehow, she had become less of a prize with so many men throwing ones, tens, twenties, and more at her feet. Still, I was going through with my plan to bed her.

She glanced at me, causing me to smile. She waved, so I waved back. It was in that moment that I knew I had to make a statement, so I threw $20 at her feet. I had $80 to go.

“A twenty!? Oh you like that one, huh!?” an older black man said.

I looked over and noticed a smaller, bald man smiling at me. He looked like a shyster. He seemed a little too happy about my money laying on the stage.

“You want a dance?” he asked me.

Having this stranger question my desires while in a strip club bothered me. Why is a stranger concerned about what I want to do? Why was he happy about my money rather than his own? We stood in a sea of people, and I’m the one he starts up a conversation with. In a strip club, I was only there for the women. I was not there to make friends.

“Yeah,” I eventually said.

“Aight. Don’t worry. I’ll get her for you.”

His enthusiasm was strange. I figured he was a worker in disguise. He had jeans and a t-shirt on. There was no logo present is his attire at all, but no one else would bother to try to get a stripper for you. Men, like the ones around us, were only there for the women. It was first come first serve, or biggest wallet first serve. He must’ve been a pimp, but why would she let someone so obviously a shyster make deals for her. It was strange. Still, if that’s what he wanted to do, I wasn’t going to stop him. I continued to watch the woman as the song played.

Then, as if entering a cosmic moment, the song changed. All the waving hands and raining dollars stopped. The woman kneeled down and started cleaning the stage of her money. A worker approached with a bag and started helping her clean all the money up. You could see the men and women sneaking dollars off the ground. They were as dirty as the room smelled, but I wouldn’t be distracted for long.

The woman hoped off the stage and hurried through the crowd. I reached for her to stop her, but she eluded me. My heart froze as my plan crumbled so quickly. I knew I didn’t get her then, I’d not likely see her for an hour, if at all, again. Instantly, it occurred to me that I could’ve been seen as one of those thirsty men grabbing anything on a woman as they left the club. I pulled my arm back in and accepted my defeat. I wouldn’t be able to see her again until she got back on stage.

Then, a hand grabbed her by the arm and stopped her. The small, bald-headed old man pulled her towards him. She leaned her ear down to his mouth and listened.

“He was looking for you!” he said.

“Oh!”

He pulled her back to me, as if offering her, rather than it being her decision to entertain me. I hated feeling like I needed someone else’s help to get the girl. She leaned down to me and spoke, “You want a dance?”

Of course I did.

“Okay, meet me upstairs. I’ll be right back.”

Yes. I had the girl. If not for a random old man, I wouldn’t have had her, but thanks to him, she would actually be looking for me. I slid through the crowd behind her and followed her upstairs. I felt the glares of many eyes following me up the stairs. I hated the amount of people in this strip club. I preferred my lap dances with a much lesser audience. It didn’t help that one of the tall ones was walking ahead of me. Still, my plans were already in motion. I had to figure it out.

I made it to the top of the stairs. My nose had already been filled with various perfumes, musts, smokes, and colognes. It made me wonder what a stripper truly smelled like without a scent to cover her. It also made me wonder what I smelled like outside of this place. I sniffed my shirt.

She turned to me. “I’ll be right back. You’ll be here?” she asked.

With my confirmation, she left. I watched her as she opened a door to another world. Many women were moving about in a much better lit room. I saw bikinis made of yellows, blacks, purples, and blues before the door closed. How I didn’t notice a white door against a burgundy wall I’ll never know. But the giant standing in front of the door made sense. All of those women were vulnerable to horny, drunk, and potentially armed men just a few feet away. Did they check for weapons at the door? They did. But criminals are criminals for a reason.

Still, my waiting period led me to inspect this arena I had stepped into. It was a much bigger venue than I was accustomed to. I leaned on a half wall observing the sections below. It was here that I noticed a grand stage behind the stage that drew me to my target. The DJ booth was on the left of a large stage. Another stage was higher up against the wall, and then there was the small, circle stage that received the spotlight.

The stage hadn’t been occupied yet. Two women were on the bigger stage behind it, drawing in the crowds with their duet. The stage was wood floors instead of some rubber material. It almost looked like a renovated skating rink as a result. There was even a kitchen in the back near the back entrance that I had entered by. I wouldn’t have spotted it if not for the line forming by the counter, and the drunken women walking away from the counter with white containers full of food.

I looked behind me. There was enough of a walkway to escape the touching of many people. However, on the other side of that walkway was the white door, and to the right of that door was an entirely different section filled with occupied seats with strippers making their rounds. Then, to the right of that section were curtained sections, and who knew what and who were behind those curtains.

I stayed leaning over that half wall for a while. Songs had come and go – good songs to get a lap dance to. She had been gone long enough for me to start feeling like a fool. How dumb was I to think $20 was going to get me high-dollar attention? All the money in the world wasn’t going to make her ignore the gut, the shyness, and the broke that exuded from my being.

Before I had gone too far into my tangent, I turned and saw her. She had even changed into a light-blue bikini just for me. She did have some class. Had she remained in her purple two-piece, I would’ve been expecting her perfume to be strong. She came up to me. Her perfume was strong, but I was enamored.

“Come with me,” she said as her eyes began searching for a place.

She looked at the many occupied seats in the upstairs section. There was no room. She walked over past the curtain section and looked down a flight of stairs. It was crowded. She came back to the stairway we came up. All of the walls were occupied. She stopped, out of options, and approached me.

“There’s no room out here,” she said.

Yeah. I knew that. I could’ve helped her search end much faster. The Spirit was fighting me. I began to tell. God didn’t want me to go through with my plans. My night ended before I came here. I had almost missed her when I first came in. I almost became upset because she took too long for me to come back. Now, I couldn’t find a seat. The Lord knew what I was doing, and I told Him to stay out of it.

“Is there anywhere else?” I asked.

She walked back to the curtain sections. She flipped a curtain open, and then walked back over to me.

“You want to go in there? It’s twenty dollars.”

I only had $80 to spend and $250 in my savings. I couldn’t afford anymore expenses. I was broke. I shouldn’t have thrown that $20 on the stage. I was such an idiot, but if I got her, I’d be a champ with a story to tell.

“Alright.”

She led me to the curtains. Another big man, closer to my size, stood at the entry. She whispered in his ear, and their eyes turned towards me. I pulled out $20 and placed it in his hand. He stepped to the side, and she led me, by the hand, into the curtain area.

Imagine my surprise to find two leather seats against a wall in a closet-like room. Even the light bulb hanging from the ceiling looked like it belonged in a closet. It was less than romantic, and rather unappealing altogether, but if I got this woman, I’d have an epic tale to tell.

I sat down in one of the chairs and faced my desire. She was tall from where I sat. Her body was borderline cartoonish in appearance. The longer I stared, the more excited I got. I reached out for her to sit on my lap, so she did. She sat on one thigh and waited.

“I’ll wait until the next song starts,” she explained.

That was it. The business portion of this dance had begun. I had three songs maximum to convince her to go somewhere with me. What does a broke man say here? What does a shyster sell? How can I convince her to see my potential and give me what I came for? To be honest, I don’t even remember.

The conversation started off with small talk. “How long have you been doing this?” “You making good money tonight? It’s crowded.” Then, I crept into the more in-depth questions. “Do you like doing this?” “How much longer will you do this?” “What are you doing this for?”

The more she talked, the more human she became. I knew deep down that she was more than her job description, but I had grown tired of finding disappointment in the real person being the same as the job description. She was one of the good ones. She had an end she was working towards. She had an education that she was obtaining. Though I didn’t like her path, I understood it. She’d be debt free out of school. I only wished I could be.

Before she became too human for me, the next song played and she rose to her feet. All the discovery of her ended, and now I had to find my way underneath her thong. She bent forward and started to jiggle. Lord knows I wanted to put my face right between the cheeks and breathe, but I kept it to a simple smack from the hand.

I was enjoying myself so much that she had to say, “Stop smacking so hard. My butt still sweaty. It hurts.”

I laughed internally and stuck to butt rubs for the night. I pulled her into my lap and she grinded on my lap. Her weight comforted me for some reason. I felt her. She had to have felt me. An animalistic hunger rose up in me. I wanted to pin her, twist her, or show my strength to her. I wanted to defeat her in a way that made her crave me more. I had heard about how animalistic sex was. I had to see for myself.

I placed my hand on her butt and kept her in my lap. I stared at the crater that was her spine. It was a line that you could trace your finger down from the upper shoulders to the butt crack. She was fit, and she was about to let me take my shot at her.

What do I say? “Hey, I think you fine and I want to take you dine?” How do you casually ask for sex during a lap dance? Do I just come out with it? What if she doesn’t appreciate it and gets me thrown out? What if she’s down with it but needs to come to my place that doesn’t exist? How do I convince her to a hotel instead? Do I tell her I’m broke? What if $250 isn’t enough? Am I okay with looking like a chump?

My mind formulated a plan, and I only had a song and a half left. I started to encourage myself, “Do it. Do it. Do it!” My mouth opened and shut, and opened and shut. The words were escaping my mouth like breath. I was about to casually ask for sex from a stripper! Then, the music suddenly stopped.

Following the music, a howl sounded throughout the room. The DJ began speaking into the microphone. The howl became a boo. We both listened.

“What is he saying?” she asked.

“I don’t know.”

We listened some more.

“Hold on, I’ll be right back.”

And with that she, left. I waited for her to return, but the music never came back on. I just sat there, figuring that my night was over, but hoping I was wrong. The night’s end was confirmed when the bouncer slid the curtain open and waved for me to come out. I couldn’t even play dumb.

“The fire marshal shut us down. Everyone has to leave,” he said coldly. “Come on.”

What!? I found myself rising up from the chair into a wave of conviction. I knew Who it was, but I just couldn’t believe He would go to such lengths. Why else would the fire marshal randomly choose tonight to shut the club down? He could’ve picked any other night. Instead, He chose the night I entered. I knew it was God. I just hated admitting it.

I walked over to the same half wall I was leaning on. I searched everywhere for the woman, but all I saw were waves of people heading for the exits. The bouncers were yelling at everyone to leave, but I waited around, trying to see if the woman would come back. I had to take my shot. I couldn’t leave without letting her know I wanted to get in the guts.

I looked to the white door. It swung open. All the woman were just standing around talking. They were no longer prepping to come out into the arena. I tried to see the one I had come for, but the door closed as fast as it opened. I went back to looking down at the people below. I caught eyes with the woman.

She had made her way to the stage and was talking to the DJ. From the look on her face, she was upset. However, we weren’t getting our way tonight. The DJ wasn’t going to play a few more songs so she could get some more money, and I wasn’t going to get to ask this woman for sex. Some would call it coincidence or a bad night. I knew it was divine intervention. God was saving me when I didn’t even want to be saved.

I finally listened to the bouncers, and started heading downstairs. As I went down the stairs, I was watching the woman. After her negotiations failed, she looked up at me and shook her head. I shrugged as I kept walking, feeling the sulking rising to the surface. I was furious, and when I cooled down from being furious, I cried.

She walked down from the stage. She met me as I reached the halfway point to the exit. I stopped to admire her one last time. Something felt permanent about what was happening. I had crossed a line. That was clear, and I couldn’t come back here even if I wanted.

She approached me and said, “They shut it down.” She could see the disappointment in my face. “I’m sorry.”

“Nah… It is what it is. Oh well,” I managed to squeeze out, wanting to say, “God don’t want me to have no fun!” But there were lines I didn’t cross with God. I wouldn’t accuse Him of doing wrong by me. That didn’t make sense.

She hugged me. “Maybe next time.”

“Yeah.”

“Have a good night!”

“You, too.”

There was no next time. It was sweet of her to think so, but the chance of us seeing each other again was very slim. I was over it. God won. I wouldn’t win again. I would be stuck a virgin until my wife came. I had resigned myself to failure.

I was angry. I couldn’t have my wife or the stripper. I was forced to remain single. God allowed me neither woman – neither version of myself. I hated it. What was He holding me from? What blessing could He really have in store? How long would this blessing take!?

I started moping internally as I walked to my car. I crossed the street and looked back at the strip club. People were waiting outside. More parking lot pimping was happening in front of me. I began to wonder if I could wait long enough for her to come out in plain clothes. As soon as the thought came, so did the realization of defeat. Even if I waited, it was highly unlikely she’d let me approach her. It was highly unlikely I’d even see her leave. I was sure they had hidden ways to their private cars. Security would be all over it. With that, I left.

I headed back to my car and sank into my seat. I hit the steering wheel in fury, wanting to curse, but I didn’t. God was in the right. How could I be mad at God for being in the right? Instead, I played secular music to show Him that I was mad at Him. How dare He save me!

I felt it coming. My emotions were high, and my fury was dissolving into depression. I hated being weak. I didn’t wait for my wife. I didn’t want to wait until marriage to have sex. I didn’t want to wait for anything else. I was tired. I gave God years to bring the wife He promised me, but she was too busy getting cheated on. I hated it.

As much as I hated it, I knew tomorrow was Sunday, the Lord’s day. Instead of asking for forgiveness for having sex, I would be asking for forgiveness for rebelling and trying to have sex. I felt pathetic. I felt the Lord shaking His head at me as any disgruntled parent would. I felt the laughter of Satan. “He’s so lame, he couldn’t even get the sex he wanted. Lame!”

I accepted my condition. I wanted to sin. It told God to stay in the car. I tried to leave Him! God had to be angry with me. I was deserving of His wrath. But in my defeat, I switched my music from secular to gospel. As I turned back where I came, and headed north, back home, I began to cry.

Like a fool, I reached for something I had no idea how to obtain, and I embarrassed God with my antics. I tried to get a stripper to have sex with me. I went alone to a strip club to try and get a woman to have sex with me. I was the lowest of the low. I did not deserve all the “He’s a good man” praises I had received. There was nothing for my parents to be proud of. I was as any other man. I was pathetic, animalistic, horny, sinful, and wretched.

I cried my eyes out begging God, “Please, forgive me. Please.”

I had spent decades of my life dedicated to God, only to find out I was capable of desiring a reprobate mind. I wanted to abandon God, who had done so much for me. Our relationship didn’t mean everything I thought it meant. I was still willing to surrender it for sex. I was getting worse. I was progressing from pornography to personal experience. My whole life changed.

I tried to wipe my eyes clean, but snot and water covered my hand. I tried to look as if I was composed enough to drive. I didn’t want strangers glancing into my windows and seeing this pathetic boy crying his eyes out. They would think some woman broke my heart. They wouldn’t know that I had broken my agreement with God. “Wait for marriage. Don’t fornicate.” I said forget all that, I want some sex. I wanted something to hold! I wanted something far more powerful than I had realized.

I made it home and went straight to sleep. My mother and brother were asleep. They had no idea about what I tried to get into, and I was going to keep it that way. That moment of weakness would die with me, and I’d walk away with a clear understanding that I was way weaker than I ever thought I was. I hated myself, I hated sin, and I hated that I betrayed God.

I went to sleep overwhelmed by my failure. I wouldn’t have been mad if God struck me as He did Ananias and Saphira. I deserved it. I was scum in my eyes. God had to come into a strip club to save me. I was no longer worthy of living. I couldn’t even pray, as I normally did, before I went to sleep. I hated myself. He must’ve hated me also. I had become His enemy for sure…

Yet, I woke up the next morning. I didn’t wake up in the afterlife. I woke up, groggy, in my own bed. No one but God and I knew what took place last night. I didn’t understand it, but that was God’s grace. He allowed me to continue living my life despite my failure and intentions for further failures. I realized God’s mercy and grace far outweighed the severity of the crime that I committed in my heart. I knew what I wanted, and I knew those desires wouldn’t go away. He knew it, too, and deemed me worthy enough to let continue.

Thus, I rose from my bed, and sat on the edge. I teared up again as I asked God for forgiveness. The evidence of my ability to continue living gave me just enough courage to return to God in prayer. I felt like He heard me, even if He was angry with me. I didn’t feel like His son anymore, and He knew He would have to show me otherwise.

Then, I begrudgingly went to get dressed. I couldn’t have what I wanted, but I wasn’t going to miss church either. I knew the value God was in my life. I couldn’t continue the disrespect, no matter how rebellious I felt.

I took a shower, got dressed, and I went to church with my family. We pulled into the parking lot. I wasn’t struck down with lightning. We walked through the doors. I wasn’t treated like the outcast I felt I was. We stepped into the sanctuary. Angels weren’t waiting for me with their flaming swords. All was how it had ever been. I was with the Lord.

I learned that night that I could never escape God, no matter how hard I tried. He would be there, by my side, through the obedience and the rebellion. He didn’t just meet with me at my home, or at church, or wherever else I tried to invite Him, but He met with me in strip clubs, dance clubs, and even in the midst of sin. He was there even as I watched pornography, or did foul things inside a club with women, or a strip club with women. I couldn’t escape Him. He was everywhere

So, as I mustered up enough forgiveness for myself to sing along with the choir and sit amongst the elect in the church, my own mother being one of the people I respected the most, I realized my journey was not over. There was much I needed to learn about myself and God, and our relationship. I determined in my heart that I would never abandon God like that again. He wasn’t going to leave even if I shooed Him away. We were going to stand together in every environment, and whenever He decided to save me, I would take it as divine wisdom knowing more about what’s going on around me than I know. I was His, and nothing was going to change that for us. Thus, the walk with Christ continued…


THE END

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