The Clerical Engagement

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 I sat in the depressing silence of my chamber and waited for my seminarian friend to arrive, so we could defy the sanctity of the practice of silence and go visit the nuns, who would get to through a dark corridor.
Lucianus excitedly ran in, and I stood up. “I’m so happy. It’s the miracle of conception. Teresa is pregnant,” he shouted.
“And will mother superior think it’s an immaculate conception?” I asked since Teresa was a nun.
“It doesn’t matter. My dear brother, I have something I wish to ask of you,” he said and grabbed my hand, holding it tightly in his. “Would you be my best man?”
“Don’t you want to ask your son?” I answered.
“Imbecile! I’m talking about tonight. Today is the day of days. I’m going to ask for her hand in marriage tonight.”
A few minutes later, we were already on our way. We walked by the chambers of the other seminarians as quietly as we could, lifting our cassocks so we wouldn’t trip over them. We made our way to the staircase in the back and across a dark passage way, and so we got ever closer to the warm confines of the nun’s chamber, where, no doubt, Teresa was eagerly awaiting her betrothed. Lucianus had two rosary rings to use as wedding rings. I thought that was particularly apt for the engagement of a seminarian and a nun. When we reached her chamber door, Lucianus stopped, looked up at the sky, and made the sign of the cross.
“I thank you for her, Lord. Thank you,” he said and opened the door to the lovely creature he just gave thanks for.
Teresa blushed the moment we entered. Her face was glowing with joy as she embraced my fellow seminarian. I’ve never seen such a happy couple ever since.
“Well, let’s get to it,” said Lucianus nervously before looking around. Besides the three of us, there was another sister there, Ramona, who acted as Teresa’s maid of honor. I stepped over to the table, lit the candles, and turned off the light.
Lucianus blissfully kneeled down in front of Teresa. “I promise …” he said. “Take this ring as a sign of my love and my wholehearted fidelity. May this be ring be proof of my love. And proof of the fact that one day I want to … that is, I would like to ask for your hand in marriage. But why am I blabbering on?” he said finally, ending his little speech. He grabbed Teresa’s hand and clumsily put the rosary ring on her finger.
“Thank you,” stammered Teresa. She looked around nervously. “Is there something I should say?” she asked, and she eyed me for a moment, her face turning red.
“Maybe you could say your vows now,” I suggested.
“Alright,” she said, seemingly pleased with my advice. “I promise to be your loyal wife — I mean if you ever actually marry me. And I also promise to be a good mother to your children. And a good wife. And, well, I guess that’s all,” she said, finishing her train of thought. She leaned over to kiss Lucianus on the lips, but she missed and kissed his nose instead. They laughed nervously. Then Teresa went over to the bed and laid flat on the ground in front of it to pull out a small box which she place on the bed.
“Come, let me give you all something to eat,” she said smiling. She started to unpack a delicately tied package, but her hands proved weaker than the cord, so Lucianus helped her unpack it.
“Come, eat,” she said, beaming at us. “I made these cookies myself,” she said proudly. And she described each of the cookies she lifted up: “This one has some walnuts in it; that’s why it’s so sweet. This one has some thinly sliced apples and cinnamon. It’s very tasty. This is a custard cake. That’s my very own recipe,” she said, placing a hand on Lucianus’ cheek. “It’s his favorite, too.”
We stayed and celebrated till dawn. On or way back to the seminary, Lucianus and I went our separate ways. I went to the chapel, where I had never gone to on my own before, and I gratefully thanked God for the first time in my life. With a pure heart, I prayed to Him.
A few weeks later, Teresa left the convent. Lucianus was sent to the bishop for career counseling. He never returned from there. I met him about half a year later at his wedding; we were happy to see each other again. They were surprised to hear that I had been expelled from the seminary.