The New Secret Room

Father Kiesler had decided that he was going to spend Christmas with his parents and that he was going to take Monifa with him. He called his mother at lunch time that morning to tell her. She sounded happy and told him that she and the rest of the family couldn’t wait to see him.

Then, he mentioned that he was taking Monifa and his mother didn’t sound as enthusiastic but after he explained that Monifa was an orphan and it would be nice for her to spend Christmas with a family like the other students at the school, she told him that she would be delighted to have her there too. He was sure that Monifa would be thrilled too. After all, he had promised that they would return to Quedlinburg for Christmas.

It was going to be tough, though, being under the same roof with Monifa and not being able to be with her. He couldn’t chance sneaking into the guest room where she would be after his parents had gone to bed. And, she couldn’t sneak into his room either. It would be hard not being able to make love to her. They had to be careful when they were at the house. The only time he could be alone with her was when he took her out. There was plenty to do in Quedlinburg at Christmas. There was the Christmas market where they could stop at the different stalls where they sold baked goods, hot food, Christmas crafts and products.

At night, they could go for a walk and enjoy the festive lights. Quedlinburg was a different place at Christmas. It was almost magical. He would have to find a secluded place where Monifa and he could be completely alone so that they could kiss or make love. While they were out in public, they couldn’t hold hands or kiss in case someone he knew or who knew his parents spotted them. There could be no public display of affection in Quedlinburg. He was going to tell his parents about his relationship with Monifa but after Christmas. He didn’t want to spoil the holidays for his mother. She was going to be bitterly disappointed when he told her that he planned to leave the priesthood and marry Monifa. She was so proud that he was a priest. It was something she particularly liked telling people.

He sighed. How could he make her understand that he hadn’t planned on falling in love but he had? He still hadn’t told her or the rest of the family about the murders of Father Schmidt and Sister Augustin. Or how he had almost lost his life trying to save Monifa’s. No, he couldn’t bring himself to tell them about any of that stuff. It was a horrible ordeal which he wanted to forget–to leave in the past where it belonged. As for Gracelyn, he still hadn’t decided if he would visit her in prison. He would pray about it. He hadn’t mentioned the letter she had written him to Monifa and he was not going to.

He glanced at his watch. Classes would be over soon and Monifa would be waiting for him at the same spot where they met earlier that day, during recess. He left his office and said to Gretel, “I’ll be gone for a while. You probably won’t be here when I return. Have a good evening and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Gretel smiled. “Thank you, Father Kiesler. You have a good evening too and I’ll see you in the morning.”

He walked out of the office. Gretel was a perfect replacement for Gracelyn. She was in her early fifties, happily married to her high-school sweetheart and they had a grown son and daughter. In some ways, she reminded him of his mother.

Monifa couldn’t wait for the bell to ring and when it did, she quickly shoved her books into her knapsack, zipped it off, said a hurried goodbye to her classmates and left. She raced to her room, dropped off her bag and then, raced to the spot where she was supposed to meet Father Kiesler. She probably should have changed first but she didn’t. Besides, she was anxious to take him to their new secret place.

It was balmy outside. A bit too balmy for that time of the year but she didn’t mind at all. She didn’t want to bother about wearing a coat or tights to keep her legs warm. She couldn’t stand the cold although she had gotten used to it. Sometimes, she imagined Jürgen and her living in a tropical or exotic where it never got cold and hardly rained. But, then, she would miss the white Christmases here in Hamburg. She supposed she couldn’t have it both ways. Either she remained here where it was nice in the Spring and Summer and even in the Autumn but lousy in the Winter or go somewhere hot and miss a snowy Christmas. Then, again, it didn’t matter where she was, as long as she was with Jürgen.

She raised her face towards the sun, loving the feel of its warmth on her skin and closed her eyes. It still thrilled her that Jürgen was in love with her and wanted to marry her. She was madly in love with him and couldn’t wait to marry him. After she graduated, they would leave Hamburg, go somewhere else, get married and while he worked, she would attend university. After she graduated from university, she would work for a while and then, they could start a family. She smiled at the thought of having Jürgen’s children. She hoped to have three or four or as many as they both wanted.

Her smile faded when she thought of his family. How would they react when he finally told them about his relationship with her? She was supposed to meet them in August when they went to Quedlinburg but since they were there for just a week, they decided that they would visit his family another time. Perhaps, it was just as well. She could imagine how upset they would be when they met her. It was because of her that their son had broken his vow of celibacy. If she hadn’t come to St. Albertus Magnus, Jürgen wouldn’t have fallen in love with her, plan to leave the priesthood to marry her and begin a new life elsewhere.

She never dreamed that she would fall in love with a priest or that one would fall in love with her. When the girls in the dorm spoke about the older boys or male celebrities whom they had crushes on, she thought to herself, I used to have a crush on Father Kiesler but now, I’m head over heels in love with him and the really cool thing is…he’s head over heels in love with me too.

Whenever the topic of losing one’s virginity came up, she didn’t say much but listened to the other girls. Some of them wanted to wait until they were married while others were curious to see what it would be like to have sex. None of them had a clue that she wasn’t a virgin anymore. She had lost her virginity two years ago when she was 15. It was an experience she would never forget–not because of the pain but because she was sharing herself to the man she had a major crush on. The crush turned to love. She wondered what the girls would say if they knew who her “boyfriend” was. She smiled. They would probably be shocked, envious. Some of them thought that Father Kiesler was very handsome and wished that he wasn’t a priest.

When she heard them talk about him and how good he would look wearing regular clothes instead of the cassock, she thought of the number of times she had seen him in secular clothes and naked. There was an intense sensation in the pit of her stomach and the rest of her body reacted strongly to flashbacks of him lying naked in the bed, watching her as she got undressed.

What a gorgeous body he had. She couldn’t help herself. She would run her hands wonderingly and possessively over his bare skin and then, kiss every inch, driving him wild. That was what she was going to do when they were in their secret room.

She opened her eyes and her heart skipped a beat when she saw him striding towards her. All she could think about was removing that priestly garment and feeling his naked body against hers. As soon as he reached her, she said rather urgently, “Let’s go!”

“Did I keep you waiting?” he asked.

“No. I’m just anxious for us to be alone.”

“Me too. I’ve thought of nothing else since we spoke this morning.”

She longed to hold his hand but thought better of it. Instead, she preceded him across the field and towards the parish. They went up to the tower where the secret room was. “I found it one morning when I was out walking during recess. It’s a bit smaller than the other room but it’s big enough.”

Father Kiesler looked around. There was a floor to ceiling stained glass window and old wooden cabinet with books, including the Bible on top. The floor creaked slightly as they walked. “This will work.”

“I knew you would approve.”

He turned to face her. “Yes, this will be our new secret place for now.”

Monifa walked up to him and put her arms around his waist, pressing against him. “We could spend hours up here.”

His eyes darkened as they met hers. “I have something to tell you but it can wait until later…” He cupped her face between his hands and lowered his head.

Monifa closed her eyes when she felt his lips on hers.

Sources: Trade Fair Dates; Liverpool Echo

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