Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart | Hephzibah Purity | Nigeria

I met him through my mentor popularly known as “Papa”. We were introduced after a prayer session on the school’s prayer field. Papa had many mentees at home and abroad, Justin and I were one of them.

Papa had called me out for a prayer session that night and usually it would be just the two of us, so the surprise that met me on meeting Justin on the field with Papa was huge. After the prayer, Papa introduced Justin to me and left us to attend to some other matters.

Justin and I talked for a while and exchanged contacts after which he walked me back to my room since his hostel was just two blocks away from mine. He told me his room number like he was expecting me to come around the next minute, but then again, that was one of the endearing things about him; his straightforwardness and bluntness.

Later that night, I decided to take my usual 15-minute walk (a therapeutic habit of mine to clear my head and mind every night). I would walk as slowly as possible to the school gate and sit for about ten minutes then walk back as fast as I can.

But that night, the walk took almost an hour as my mind was heavy on the thought of Justin. My heart was with him and I could not stop thinking about him all through the walk. He was a rare kind of guy, different from the ones that tried to impress me just to get their way with me. He was himself, so natural, and during the few hours we spent together after the prayer, my heart already went out to him, and I knew right there and then that, that would not be the last I would be seeing of Justin.

I was walking back to my room with an earpiece plugged into my ears. This prevented me from hearing the sound of someone calling me until the person walked up to me. I looked back, and lo and behold, it was Justin, standing there in a pair of shorts and a blue round neck that clung tightly to his body, exposing his entire body frame. My heart skipped a beat and I swallowed hard for a few minutes before finally finding my voice.

“Hey, Justin” I forced out of my clumping throat.

“Fancy running into you here, Annabelle “ Justin said in his thick and smooth voice

“Yeah, never thought you were kind to take walks in this part of our world” I replied

“I enjoy taking walks, most especially at this time of the night. It allows me to be myself without the usual daily constrictions” He replied and I was mesmerized by the turning effect of his lips, so much so that I imagined my hands on those full and plump lips.

“Annabelle, what are you thinking?” I thought in my head. We continued the walk in silence till I was almost reaching my destination. He saw me to the front of my door and just as I was about to insert the key into the keyhole he said “I like you Annabelle, and I would love to see more of you”. I lost all sense of reasoning for a moment and in my head I was dancing afro dance because I knew this guy is my type and I like him too. It felt as if I’d known him all my life. I wanted to feel those hands on my skin, feel those lips on mine and I want this guy to be mine and mine alone to conquer.

It took me about five minutes to realize that he was waiting for my reply. I gathered my thoughts and said “It’s nice meeting you today Justin, I hope to see more of you too”

“I guess you take walks around 10 every evening?” He asked

“Yeah, I do,” I said not thinking about it

“Okay then, I will see you at 10 pm tomorrow,” He said and without waiting for my reply, he turned and walked away.

I stood there transfixed for some minutes. This guy is dominating me, I could not object to him.

How could he have such great power over me if we just met? Why does it feel like I’ve known him all my life? He is such a rare kind of guy and I would love to go out with him….. All these were the thoughts running through my head.

My phone rang and I was brought back to reality. I opened the door, got inside and brought out my phone. It was Papa, the last person I want to talk to at the moment. I left the phone on the table deciding to chat him up later when I’m more settled with my thoughts appropriately gathered. I went into the adjoining bathroom and toilet in one to take a shower and prepare for bed.

After a long shower in which I was majorly thinking about Justin, I came out, put on my nightie and picked up my phone from the table. I went to bed and sat down, determined to pray as I usually would. As I opened my diary and bible which were usually side by side, my thoughts drifted back to Justin, the guy I met a few hours ago and who is already turning my life around.

I was a stickler for plans and orders. I wake up every morning by 5 am, do my devotion till 7 amand by 7:30 get ready for the day’s work. After class by 5 pm, I would come back to my room, take a short nap till 7 pm, eat, write and read books till 10 pm. I then go out for my walk by 10 pm and come back by 11 pm, then I pray till 2 am and sleep till 5 am again.

That was my routine but that day, I couldn’t pray as all I could think of was Justin. What type of guy is he? What is he doing at that moment? What would it be like to talk to him all night long? I was fantasising already.

“Annabelle, come back to earth, ‘’ I said out loud. I managed to pray for about 30 minutes before climbing the bed. I picked up my phone to check the time and that was when I saw Papa’s missed call. I hurriedly dialled his number and once he picked up he shouted “There is a reason why it is a telephone and not a landline”

“I’m sorry Papa, I was just getting back inside when you called,” I said laughing

“And where were you coming back from at that time Madam?” He asked although he knew what my answer would be.

“My usual walk. It took longer than usual” I replied

“Hmmm, well I just wanted to check you.” He said and immediately added “I see you and Justin kicked it off immediately after I left”

“Yes Papa, we talked for a bit and he walked me back,” I said and quickly added “I even ran into him during my walk”

“Hmmm, that’s okay. I’m just glad you’re finally making friends. I can’t be the only person you talk to on this campus you know” Papa said and I remained quiet.

“I just want you to be fine, Annabelle. Don’t be a sadist and start talking to people” Papa added and I sighed deeply before replying

“I’ll call you tomorrow. I sort of have a lot on my mind right now”

“Alright bye. Take care of yourself” Papa said and hung up

I dropped the phone and was about to switch it off when Justin’s call came in. I picked up immediately and we talked for hours into the night.

Justin and I met again the following day on campus and later at night for the walk. We talked for a long time and my walk was already taking longer than usual. After every walk, I would come back and imagine Justin and I together, watching a movie and doing all sorts of things. There was no doubt that I liked him and he liked me too.

Days grew into weeks and weeks into months and the routine continued. My heart imagined Justin and I together in more ways than I can describe. There was a nudge in me that I shouldn’t be thinking about him that way but I was enjoying myself, so I couldn’t stop.

Papa had been noticing this during our joint prayer meetings and he took out time to talk to me to stop letting my heart go after him. He told me to filter my thoughts at all times because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and a man is what he thinks. I told him I would work on it but I didn’t. I kept allowing thoughts of Justin and me together until the unfortunate event happened.

One of the nights for our walk, I wasn’t feeling too well so I was planning not to go for the walk, but the thought of not being with Justin that night was devastating. I decided not to inform him of my health status and wait for him to come around.

At a few minutes to ten, he came around and knocked at my door. I pretended I didn’t know it was him and asked him to come in. He came in and seeing me under the sheets, he rushed to my bedside asking what was wrong.

“I don’t feel too well,” I said with a shaky voice.

“Have you used anything? Do you want me to take you to the hospital?” He asked with worry written all over his face.

“No, I’ll be fine. I just need to rest. I’ve not been sleeping well, that’s all.” I said and asked him to sit.

He sat on the chair opposite my bed while I sat up on the bed.

“Would you stay with me for a while?” I asked

“Sure, why not?” He replied

We started to discuss as usual and I was feeling a bit better a few minutes into the conversation.

All of a sudden, Justin’s countenance changed to one laced with seriousness.

“Are you fine?” I asked

“Yeah, I am. It’s just that there’s something I have to say to you”

“Go on,” I said with my heart beating fast at the moment.

He drew the chair close to me, leaving a few inches between us. He leaned forward and held my hand before finally saying, “Annabelle, I like you. I like you. I have liked you from the first day we met, and now, I can’t stop thinking about you day in and day out. You’re just everything I want in a lady. “He said.

I opened my mouth to speak but he interrupted.

“I love you Annabelle and I want you”

“Justin, I like you too,” I said and kept quiet

Justin leaned towards me such that our faces were a few inches away. He kissed me on the lips and before I could say JACK, we were both lost in our world of passion.

After the event that took place in my room, Justin and I realized what we’d done and guilt was eating us up. We could not talk to anyone about it until Papa called for me to see him a week later

Papa had called an urgent meeting with me and I was not sure why. On the day of the meeting, Papa asked me “How is your spiritual growth”

“Fine” I replied

“Don’t deceive me. I know what I am asking “ Papa said in a strict tone

“It has not been going fine” I confessed. “Praying and studying the scripture has become a very hard thing for me,” I said, almost crying.

“Why is that?” He asked

“I don’t know,” I said amidst tears

“Is there anything you did recently that has filled your heart with so much guilt that you can’t bear to go to God and converse with Him?”

At that point, I broke down in tears and explained everything to him, from the fantasies to the illicit affair. He looked at me and said, “Annabelle, I told you. You gave your heart out to him. Your heart was not guarded at all when it came to matters concerning him. Your heart was too free to think and fantasize about him. Out of the abundance of your heart, you have done something very bad.

The Bible said in Proverbs 4:23, ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.’ If you had filtered your thoughts and put a guard on your heart, you could have avoided all this. Your heart is the starting point of anything you do or say that is why you should guard your heart at all times. Do not allow every thought or every emotion.” Papa spoke at length about guarding my heart and then I realized that my fantasies of Justin played a major role in my actions towards him.

A heart without a guard is free, and a free heart is liable to sin.

Hephzibah Opeoluwa is an 18-year-old writer of many inspirational stories, focusing majorly on poems. Her stories are basically from inspiration and real-life stories.

Hephzibah Purity works with a pen name of HEPHZIBAH PURITY and has published so many write-ups on medium. She took to writing due to low self-esteem at a very young age since that was the only way she could express herself to the world.

She is currently studying biomedical engineering at the first technical university in Ibadan.

She also trains people with potential for writing and helps them build up their writing ability such that they are well-versed in the art of writing

Writing is a means of expression and also a way of escape for Hephzibah Purity.

To check more about her, follow all social media handles with the links

Facebook: Hephzibah Purity

Instagram: @hephzibahpurity

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