The Good Priest - Chapter 2

Love is an emotion which can put even the most sorted of individuals to dilemma and confusion..

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Next Sunday, Father Edward addressed the crowd. Father Carlos Munevar was too disturbed to deliver a sermon. Today, she was not seated in the first row. His eyes wandered into the room full of faces looking for that one face which soothed his soul. Midway, half the lecture, he spotted her. She smiled at him, her eyes glued to his face. SWEET TORTURE – this only thought came to his mind. His eyes kept going back to her face and the beautiful smile it carried.

His mind barked at him; it is wrong, get yourself back in the priest game. He took a deep breath and tried to focus on the choir. He sang it fixating his eyes on the painting of the Jesus on the roof. But her beautiful face made him miss the rhythm and forget the tune. He was totally aligned with a different tune called SWEET TORTURE.

It was time for the priests to bless the people individually. After the blessing, few people would stay back have a word or two with the priests, asking questions or giving them updates on their recent confession, spiritual experiences and the like. It was a quick one-to-one session with the families.

When he had that one-to-one moment with her, he simply said, ‘GOD BLESS YOU’. She spoke rapidly, her words garbled, ‘Meet me at the nursery, this Wednesday. I will be waiting for you. You must come.’ Before he could answer her, she was gone, mixed with the crowd.

That Thursday, Priest Carlos Munevar, sat on the far end bench in the nursery at 3.30 p.m. fidgeting and wondering whether it was the right place to wait. She did not give any specifications, she just said, nursery. The far-end corner seemed to be the correct choice.

 He should not have come. He got up to leave and a sweet voice from behind spoke, ‘Nice shirt.’

He looked at himself. He was wearing a white and blue striped shirt on black trousers. It was a long time he dressed in civilian clothes, but they felt nice. For a change, he was not in a robe today. She came over and sat on the bench. He too sat in the other corner.

He started the conversation, “Look. I do not know why you called me. I just came because I don’t want to be rude.”

She laughed hilariously, the sunrays falling on her skin made her look more beautiful, more attractive. This time he could see her teeth, all of them shining in the broad sunlight. She stopped abruptly, and then he smiled, and she continued her laugh. It ended with a smile lingering on her lips.

‘Why would you laugh? I was serious.’

‘Because that was the silliest thing I heard.’

‘Did you?’


He couldn’t say anything. She was right. That was silly. The truth was he wanted to come here, meet her, and talk to her.

‘Confession in a nursery. Good. At least there is sun here. I was bored of the dark room.’

She giggled, and he smiled.

‘No confession today.’


‘It is good to see you. Thanks for coming.’ She looked into his eyes and looked back at the trees in front of her. He too looked away.

The skin on her face had already begun to turn red, not due to the sunlight, but due to excessive blushing. He was a Priest. Sitting there was wrong. But he had come to talk to her, to explain her, to counsel her. And that was the right thing to do to show her the way, and in the process, he too will find his way back home.

‘What’s your name?’


‘Look, Emma, I do understand your feelings. And I think it is quite normal. But I have dedicated my life to the service of God. It is my duty to show you the right way, bring you back where you have trailed off. Please understand this, it is quite normal to trail off from your path in life, and that is why God has given the responsibility to the church to help people finding back their path, their religion and their love.’

‘I don’t need this lecture. I know. I am spiritual. I have been celibate all these years. I have served God. But when I see you, and I think of you, it is love flowing out of me. I cannot contain myself. You are the one I have been waiting all this time. You are my love angel. You are my soul mate. Believe me, right now, this moment, you don’t know how I am feeling. My feelings for you flow like a river. I feel as if I have found my shore.’

This was something Carlos Munevar, correction, Father Carlos Munevar, did not expect to hear. That moment he was no Father at all. The Priest had detached from his name. He was just Carlos, a human being, a man of forty-five years, lost his priesthood in the love of a woman called Emma.

They kept meeting every Thursday in a restaurant, in a park, different places, each time. They do not want to be spotted. Father Carlos took off on every Thursday, never attended confessions. He was the one who required confession now, to the High Priest.

He was confused about his feelings for Emma. No doubt he was falling in love with her. But was it more than love? Was it carnal? He kept asking himself. He loved to watch Emma talking, smiling. She was an Angel, an angel of beauty and love. He asked himself the same question how can someone be so much empowered. Why did God bestow all the beauty on Emma? To him, beauty was love. His love for her was pure, just like his love for God, for faith, for the church.

Emma wanted more than love. She wanted all of him. She dreamt of a family together, of kids playing in the backyard, of getting old together and of so many other things. She became possessive day by day. She could not be blamed for being normal. But did he fit into this entire plan? What about the priesthood? What about his vows that he took as a priest, to dedicate his life to the church, to the welfare of the people?

Is love meant to be a commitment? A marriage? And then what about sex? There were ways to have children without sex. They could adopt, or they could go for artificial insemination. His love for her was purely platonic. The more he thought about it, the more he was confused. He had to discuss this with the High priest, his father figure, but the high priest would arrive early next month. Until that time he had to stop meeting Emma.

But Emma would not hear a no. She made frantic calls in the middle of the night when he did not see her one full week. He was forced to meet her at her tiny apartment the next day. It was confrontation time. He was wearing again the blue and white striped shirt and the only blue jeans he had. He sat on the divan facing the floor, the fingers of his hands locked together and his elbows resting on his thighs. He was lost in deep thought.

Emma sat at his feet, took his hands in her hands. ‘Do not desert me, my love. You are all that I have. I know you are a priest, and you cannot love me the way I want you to. But deep in your heart, you too want to love me the way I want you to love me.’

She took a deep breath and suggested, ‘Let us leave this town. Let us go somewhere else. Let us start a new life where we can live as man and woman.’ Her eyes were hopeful for a positive response. But Carlos was unfathomable to read.