MidReal Story

Sacred Hearts and Forbidden Art

Scenario: Make a love story of a seminarian
Create my version of this story
Make a love story of a seminarian
I first met Emily Carter at the annual art fair in our small town.
I was there with my mentor, Father Thomas Jennings, and a few other seminarians.
We were manning a booth for the seminary, selling religious artifacts and taking donations for the school.
The art fair was a big deal in our town, and people came from all over to see the local artists’ work.
There were also food vendors and live music, so it was a fun event for everyone.
Father Thomas had been going to the art fair for as long as I could remember, and he always made sure we had a booth there.
He said it was a good way to get out into the community and meet people, but I suspected he just liked looking at all the beautiful artwork.
I’d never been that interested in art myself, but I went along with him because I enjoyed spending time with my mentor.
He’d been like a father to me ever since my parents died when I was young, and I loved him dearly.
When I saw her, I couldn’t breathe.
I was transfixed by the sight of her, my heart thudding wildly in my chest.
She was just so damn beautiful, with her vibrant red hair and her petite frame.
Her skin was fair, and she had the most perfect pink lips I’d ever seen.
She was like a goddess walking among us mere mortals, and for a moment, I thought she might actually be an angel.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and it took me a minute to realize she was heading straight for our booth.
I opened my mouth to say something, but then Father Thomas stepped forward, his face breaking into a wide smile as he held out his hand to greet her.
“Emily!” he exclaimed in delight.
“What a lovely surprise to see you here!”
She smiled at him, taking his hand as she flashed him a dazzling smile.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she said.
“I love this art fair.”
He nodded in agreement, tucking her hand into the crook of his arm as he guided her over to our booth.
“This is Michael,” he said, gesturing to me.
“Michael, this is Emily Carter.
“Nice to meet you,” I said, forcing myself to look away from her so that I could shake her hand without making a complete fool of myself.
“The pleasure is all mine,” she replied with another smile, and I swallowed hard as I took in her beauty.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be standing here with her, talking to her like I was just an ordinary guy when it was clear she was anything but ordinary.
“What are you doing here?”
I blurted out before I could stop myself, then winced as I realized how that must have sounded.
She just looked at me and laughed, and I felt my cheeks heat up as I tried to think of something else to say to cover up my mistake.
I wanted to know everything about her—where she was from, what she did for a living—but all I could do was stand there like an idiot, lost in the depths of her green eyes as the world swirled around us.
Father Thomas must have noticed how flustered I was because he quickly stepped in.
“We’re manning a booth for the seminary,” he explained.
“We’re selling religious artifacts and taking donations for the school.”
She looked at him in surprise, then turned to glance around at our booth.
“Really?”
she said with a laugh.
“I never would have guessed.”
He smiled at her indulgently, then gestured toward our booth.
“Would you like us to show you around?”
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“Not right now,” she replied, shaking her head as she turned back to him.
“I’m kind of on a mission right now.
But I’ll definitely stop by later if I get the chance.”
“We’d love that,” he said, his eyes crinkling around the edges as he smiled at her.
She nodded, then squeezed his arm before stepping back.
“It was really nice seeing you, Thomas,” she said.
He smiled at her, taking her hand as he gave it another squeeze.
“You too, Emily.”
She smiled again, then turned and walked away, her hips swaying enticingly from side to side as she moved.
I watched her go, feeling like an idiot for just standing there.
I’d wanted to say something more, but words had failed me, and now it was too late.
She’d already moved on.
I let out a long breath and looked away, trying not to think about the way she’d made me feel, but even though I didn’t want to admit it, I knew I’d never forget her.
A decade ago
It’s been over ten years since I first met Father Thomas Jennings, and I’m still not sure what I would do without him by my side.
I was twelve years old when he came to live with us in our small town of Morrow Bay.
My parents had just died in a car accident a few months earlier, leaving me an only child and an orphan.
It had been a devastating experience for me, and I’d been struggling to cope ever since.
Father Thomas had been a friend of the family’s for years, and when they died, he left his post at the seminary to come and be with me full-time.
He was the one who encouraged me to join the seminary a few years later, even though I didn’t think I had the right temperament for the job.
I’m tall with dark hair and a brooding demeanor that makes me look more like an actor than a priest, and even though I’ve always tried to be a good Christian, there are times when my body betrays me.
My eyes stray where they shouldn’t go; my mind wanders to places it shouldn’t be.
But Father Thomas believed in me.
He believed I could be a good priest if only I tried hard enough.
And so I did try.
I tried harder than anyone else in my class, and it paid off.
Now I was in my final year of seminary school, eager to graduate so that I could finally become a priest.
But no matter how hard I worked or how many people told me what a great priest I would make one day, there was still a part of me that wasn’t sure.
A part of me that didn’t think being a priest was what God wanted for me.
But I’d come this far.
And now it was too late to turn back.
Father Thomas was already inside our booth, setting up our display for the day as he arranged our inventory on the table.
I watched him work from where I stood outside, taking a moment to reflect on how much he’d done for me over the years.
He’d not only helped me through my grief after my parents’ death but had also encouraged me when I had doubts about my path in life.
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I noticed a couple of young women who were setting up an interesting installation across from us as they squabbled over the best way to hang their paintings.
I was about to turn away when a bright flash of red caught my eye.
I turned back around to see another young woman who was arranging blown glass ornaments on a wire tree at the booth next to us.
She was petite with vibrant red hair and an air of confidence about her as she carefully placed each piece in its proper spot.
She wore a pair of faded jeans that clung to her shapely legs and a loose-fitting white cami that exposed her tight stomach as she reached up above her head to hang another piece of glass.
She was beautiful in a way that made you want to stop what you were doing and watch her every move as if you were afraid you would miss something important if you weren’t paying attention.
Father Thomas slapped me on the back before he walked outside to join me.
“Isn’t this exciting?”
He asked with a grin as his eyes scanned the scene around us.
“I can’t wait to see all of the amazing artwork here today.”
I laughed as I took in his expression.
Even though he was in his late fifties with a head full of greying hair, Father Thomas was always a joy to be around.
He was a wise old man who looked at the world with the eyes of a child and found joy and wonder in even the simplest things.
He’d been a mentor to me for most of my life, and even though no one could ever replace my parents, I considered him to be like a father to me.
He was the best friend I’d ever had.
And I knew that I could never repay him for all the kindness he’d shown me over the years.
I only hoped that I could do him proud in the end.
He was already distracted again by the time he asked me to hand him another box of rosaries that were still inside the booth.
I watched him tear through the brown paper packaging like a kid on Christmas morning as his eyes lit up with joy.
Even though he’d seen these rosaries a thousand times before, he still acted like they were the most beautiful things he’d ever seen.
And I knew that if anyone else on earth could see God in the smallest of details, it was Father Thomas.
After we’d finished setting up the rest of our display, we spent some time rearranging items on our table before the fair officially opened for business.
I was amazed at all the different things we had to sell.
From crucifixes and prayer candles to holy water fonts and rosaries, we seemed to have everything that the average spiritual person could ever need.
It made me proud to know that we were there to offer a service to the people in our community even if they didn’t quite understand.
Father Thomas took a moment to admire some of the artwork that was being set up near us, and I watched him curiously as a young man arranged a wooden crucifix on a table in front of us.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
The young man asked as he turned towards us with a smile.
“I made this one myself.”
“You’re quite talented,” Father Thomas said with a grin as he admired the intricate details of the piece.
“The way you carved the face of Jesus is simply remarkable.”
“Thank you,” the young man said with a nod of his head.
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