Lois looked on as Ashley granted an interview in the comfort of her home to the team that was to feature her on the cover page of their magazine. Ashley had become one successful and independent career woman who was sought after by many in the corporate world.
Though she was happy for her friend who seemed to be chalking lots of success and enjoying the attention and fame, Lois was concerned again about how hardened emotionally Ashley had become.
“Ashley you seem to be a really strong woman… But tell us, what’s your greatest weakness?” One of the interviewers asked her.
Ashley chuckled as she turned to look at Lois who was seated a few meters away.
“You guys aren’t expecting me to ‘reveal’ that, are you?” Lois heard her say to them with a giggle. “Well all I can say is that, at times it’s necessary to pretend not to have weaknesses so you can always stay strong!”
“Oh Ashley!” Lois muttered under her breath.
Ashley had formed so many perceptions about life, love and God based on all the hurts, heartbreaks and disappointments she had faced. These things drove Ashley to the point of independence and self-sufficiency. She saw no need in asking any man, or even God for help! “I can do it on my own!” “I’m a super woman!” Lois was familiar with these statements by her friend.
After the interview was over and Ashley saw them off, she went towards Lois who was seated under one of the summer huts.
“Haah! How was it?” She asked Lois who all along had been quiet and in deep thoughts.
Lois was thinking about Ashley’s words some months back after she suffered a failed relationship. “I don’t think anymore that love works for me… I don’t think that I’m meant to fall in love… Falling in love has only left me hurt and disappointed… Love only leaves me weak…” She remembered Ashley’s words
“Hey Lois… What are you thinking about? How did I fare?” She asked again when she didn’t get a response as she checked from the mirror-film tinted window of her house to see whether her make-up was still intact.
“You did great, Ash!”
“Yes! I’m soon gonna be on the cover of many magazines! I can imagine the caption that would be given! ‘Bold and Beautiful: Meet Ashley Banks!’”
“Why didn’t you answer that question?” Lois suddenly cut in. Ashley looked surprised. “Are you afraid?”
“Lois I am not afraid! I’d rather not talk about the thing which makes me weak!”
“Why won’t you? Why don’t you want to face reality, Ash? Why are you pretending to yourself?”
“If pretense makes me feel better then I’ll continue to live in that state!” she said to Lois.
Lois was beginning to feel the anger in her voice. “Ash… We all need God’s help! Acting all independent and strong wouldn’t still the storms of life. Just tell God that…”
“Please Lois! It’s too sunny for a sermon! And I don’t need any help! I’ll deal with it on my own! I’m successful on my own! I don’t need the love of a man or the love of God to feel better in life!”
Lois was getting worried. She knew about how so many women make decisions not to marry or give love a chance just because they experienced hurts or disappointments in some relationships. Many women lived under the guise of ‘independent career woman’ or ‘super woman’. Some even preferred having just a child or two with a man but wouldn’t want to make a marriage or love commitment, or they would just have a fling with a man as long as they won’t get their emotions involved. And she was more scared now that Ashley wouldn’t even open up her heart to God’s love!
“Ash… Just give love a chance! You seem to be making certain decisions based on fear, and that’s totally not right!”
“Yes Lois! I’m afraid!” She retorted. “I’m afraid of being hurt again! I’m afraid of being disappointed! I’m afraid of feeling weak! That’s why I’m not gonna give my heart to anyone again! My career is the only thing that I’m gonna give my heart to… And I’m really surprised at you, Lois! Just look at you! You’re experiencing a turbulence in your own marriage! You cry every night in bed and your husband doesn’t seem to care! You…”
“Please… Ash… it’s alright!” Lois cut in. Her eyes were beginning to get filled with tears, and Ashley regretted the comments she made.
“Lois… Lois! I’m really sorry! Honey I didn’t mean to hurt you with those words!”
“It’s Okay Ash…” Lois said as she forced a smile. “It’s okay… I’ll just get going now.”