I met Chris downtown during my lunch break. I usually head over to Liberty Place to scarf down some food as I look over financial reports and then head back to the office. But since my department exceeded our quarterly goals, I decided to relax during lunch. It was a nice day so I strolled down Market Street and took in the familiar sights. The same old homeless man with his cardboard sign that reads: “Give me a Dollar” was in his usual spot on 16th Street and the same cabby that almost hit me last week almost hit me again as I tried to cross 15th Street. The city was teeming with people so I decided to sit in front of the fountain at Love Park and eat my sandwich from Corner Bakery. Within a few minutes, the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes upon sat down beside me just as I shoved a piece of my sandwich in my mouth. I was praying that he didn’t say anything to me because I wanted to finish my sandwich in peace. I hate trying to talk to someone as I eat. Knowing my luck, I’d have mayonnaise on the corner of my mouth the entire time. Luckily, he didn’t say anything to me.

Over the next few weeks, I kept seeing this same guy. I could spot him from a mile away with his broad shoulders, 6’ 5” slender frame, and dark chocolate complexion. I actually looked forward to seeing him at Love Park. It wasn’t until after the third week or so that we exchanged information. He was such a great catch. He worked for an investment firm, he had no kids, and he was single. We went out on a date twice. The first time we went to Davio’s and the second time we went to Capital Grille, two of the best restaurants in downtown Philly. Each time he treated me like a lady. He pulled out my chair, let me order first, and made sure I got everything I wanted. I had my pen and paper ready to write home to my momma about him because he had potential to be “the one.” If we weren’t meeting up at a swanky restaurant or talking about our goals in Love Park, we were on the phone. The funny thing is we never kissed or anything like that; yet, I wanted this man so badly. But all of a sudden, everything stopped: the phone calls, the afternoon meetings in Love Park, and the dinner dates. I couldn’t figure out what I did to drive him away.

I wasn’t in a relationship with Chris per se, but I felt like he had broken up with me and I was crushed. I was really depressed. I couldn’t focus at work because I kept hoping I’d bump into him during my lunch break to get a pep talk and be encouraged by his words of wisdom. But I never bumped into him again until three months later on a train ride from Boston. He must have gotten on the train in New York because I didn’t spot him in Boston. I didn’t know he was on my train until I went back to buy a sandwich from the concession car. He was sitting down sipping a cup of coffee. My stomach tightened and I didn’t know what to do, so I quickly paid for my stuff and hurried back to my seat. I hoped he didn’t see me.

Just as I got off the train at 30th Street station and hailed down a taxi, Chris came up from behind and gently grabbed my arm.

“Hey, Monica,” Chris said in his deep manly voice.

I motioned to the taxi driver to leave, declining the ride and turned to face Chris. “Hi”, I said dryly.

Smiling, Chris said, “I’ve been meaning to call you, but I’ve been so busy.”

I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to play things off like him dropping off the face of the earth was no big deal. “Whatever,” I said, grabbing my carry-on and walking toward the curb to hail down another cab.

“Monica, I can explain. Things in my life have been crazy lately.”

“Things like what?” I snapped.

Chris breathed a heavy sigh. “ I can’t say right now…”

“I thought you were a decent guy, but I can see that I was wrong. You’re inconsiderate and you’re just like all the rest. Stay outta my life!”

Chris hugged me tightly. “Please try to understand. I’ll email you and let you know what’s going on with me. I promise,” he whispered.

I wanted to pull away from him, but the scent of his cologne enveloped me as the warmth of his breath upon my neck sent chills down my spine. “Okay,” I whispered, holding back tears.

As soon as I got home, my best friend called and we talked for hours. Before we hung up, she told me to check my email because she sent me a crazy looking picture of my ex’s new girlfriend. I was so giddy about seeing this busted picture of my ex’s new girlfriend that I almost forgot about the email from Chris. After I opened the email with the crazy picture, I opened Chris’ email. Nothing could have prepared me for it. It read:

Dear Monica, I’m sorry for cutting things off so abruptly. I was and still am feeling you. If things were different I’d take things to another level with you. But about three months ago, I received a call from an ex and he told me that I should get tested because he just learned that he’s HIV positive. Well, I got tested and I learned that I , too, am HIV positive. That is why I stayed away from you all of this time. I’m ashamed, I’m angry, I’m devastated…


My temples throbbed. I clutched my heart and fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe what I had just read. Not only did this man tell me that he has HIV, but he also told me that he was gay. I tried to go to the window to get some fresh air, but my limbs were too weak. I couldn’t get off the floor. “Why God? Why?” I sobbed over and over for the rest of the night in the fetal position. On the one hand, a part of me was angry that I couldn’t have this man because he has HIV and because he’s gay or bisexual. My girlfriends talk about having “gaydar”, but nothing about Chris said gay to me. I really think Chris and I could’ve gotten married. Did he used to be gay and wanted to change his lifestyle? Was he still into men? Why would he lead me on like that? But another part of me was so grateful. I was grateful that I carried myself like a lady and never had sex with Chris because I was waiting it out to see if he was the real deal. In fact, Chris and I never kissed either. We were working on building our friendship and didn‘t want anything to ruin it.

Sometimes at night when I close my eyes, I can hear my grandmother praying. “Be a fence all around her. Protect her from dangers seen and unseen, Lord,” she’d pray every morning before I’d head off to school. Although my grandmother’s not here anymore I can still feel her and I believe it was her prayers that protected me in this situation. Only God knows what would have happened to me if I wasn’t careful in this situation.

I have yet to speak to Chris again and I don’t know if I ever will. I’m not mad at him for his lifestyle or his affliction, I’m mad at him for deceiving me. If he really wanted to be my friend, he should have been open about his lifestyle instead of making me think there could have been something between us. I think of Chris all the time and a part of me hopes to bump into him at Love Park someday.

The one thing I learned from this experience is that sometimes people’s rejection, is God’s protection.

© 2010, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.


  1. ShalenaD.I.V.A on October 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Girl, I know this hurts, but I’m so glad you were protected in this situation. The man for you will come your way and be all that you need and more. This story is so scary because it can happen to anyone. I’m so glad you’re safe.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Be blessed!

  2. Denise Jenkins on October 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Wow. Good article. Only thing is I would say to “Monica” – where you say you were angry at “Chris” for deceiving you, I don’t think that he did. Just like you, he may have been building up trust in you to be able to confide in you. When he says he was “feeling you” there is a great possibility that whatever was the issue with him – gay/bi-sexual – you were the one who was upsetting his apple-cart. You understand? That maybe he, too, felt there could be something between the two of you. I really doubt he was being deceptive just to be but more or less testing waters to make sure it was ok for him to dive into them. Listen to what he said in the email “This is why I stayed away from you all this time. I’m ashamed, I’m angry, I’m devestated”. That is not the talk of a malicios person, trust me. So, maybe when you do hear from him again you can be his friend in every sense of the word – trustworthy, loyal, confidant. I’m sure he is going to need all the support he can get in light of what’s going on in his life now.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on October 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Denise, I agree with you. I think Chris may have realized that Monica was “the one” for him, but found out that he was HIV positive and that messed everything up. I feel bad for Monica and I can udnerstand her hurt. I also feel bad fro Chris. I do think Monica and Chris can be friends though once she gets over her hurt. She really liked him and it takes time to get over people.

      I do commend Chris for staying away from Monica to protect her, too.

      This is such a sad story, but it could have a happy ending if these two can be friends in some way.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ShalenaD.I.V.A, ShalenaD.I.V.A. ShalenaD.I.V.A said: God’s Protection…: I met Chris downtown during my lunch break. I usually head… http://goo.gl/fb/Ofrq2 Be blessed! […]

  4. Monica on October 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. I’m still healing from this experience. Chris is a wonderful guy and it hurts to see him going through all of this. I really wish things were different. I truly believe in my heart that Chris did care about me and probably still does. I had to share this story to let other women know that sometimes people’s rejection is God’s protection. I’m so glad God protected me in this situation because my life could be different. I could’ve possibly contracted the virus, too. Hopefully, women can take heed to my story.

    Thanks for letting me share my story.

  5. Mikenda Early on October 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    This article is great and educating at the same time. Monica I commend you for sharing your story and I thank God for protecting you. I always tell my daughter God protects his children even in our ignorance. I really do hope that you too can become friends and I just have a question do you think that the signals you thought you were reading where just someone who really needed someone to lean on. Remember God places people in our lives for certain reasons. Be blessed and continue to trust God. You have really gave me something to think about.

  6. Regina Sessoms on November 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    This is a story that seems to be common anymore. What happen to you was a blessing for God! Many women get into these kind of relationships everyday. We all are looking for Mr. Right but these days you need a partners entire backgrown before even getting involved. It’s kind of scarey isn’t it. But that’s the way it is. This is a great story share this with other young ladies because this is real. And please make sure that there isn’t any dust in the mans eye’s.

  7. LK on February 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I truly appreciate reading Monica’s story. Last year I began dating a classmate and he suddenly disappeared. Rumors surfaced regarding his orientation. I was so hurt because like Monica I felt intense connection. Luckily we never kissed or share any sexual intimacy. But the expectation was even more hurtful. He had appealed to me becaise for once I believe someone was seeking to get to know me. I still pray for restoration and forgiveness because I waited for him so long believing him worth it. But forgiveness is more valuable and faith that God has a plan for my mate which won’t include feeling abandoned or betrayed. Thanks again.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on February 9, 2011 at 9:09 am

      LK, I’m glad that this story was able to touch you on a deeply profound level. I hope it let you know that you are not alone in this experience and that most of all, God protected you in this situation.

      Thank you for reading this article and leaving a comment.

      Be blessed!
      Shalena D.I.V.A.

  8. Shalena D.I.V.A. on May 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I truly believe that God has my best interest at heart and that is why He closes certain doors and open others. Everything that gliiters isn’t gold. I used to date a guy whom I loved with every fiber of my being, but no matter how hard I tr…ied to please him and love him, it was never good enough. We should’ve been able to grow together because we shared so much in common, but God knew that man had evil intentions for me. That is why that door was slammed shut in my face and nothing could break it down. Thank God for His protection.

  9. Esther on May 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    @Shalena u rite, when God closes certain doors in our lives it means that they an’t the rite ones for us so i’d also say that its God’s protection for us.

  10. Nicole on May 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    That’s what I’m talking about right there…It pays to take things slow because you never know. I am so there with you on the “no matter how hard I tried to please him and love him, it was never good enough.” A lot of times much to our own… chagrin, God has a plan for us that we can’t even begin to conceive and instead of pushing toward something that is not for me and getting mad because it’s not going as planned, I will sit back and just thank God for his wisdom and ask him to let his will be done and not mine. Not a case of “the one that got away” more like “the one that wasn’t meant to be”

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      @Nicole–Girl, girl! We know!

  11. Merrika on May 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    omg im sitting here crying because the Lord is always on time! Pain is pain but sometimes pain is for your protection….Lord only you know why..it hurts tho but you have been myhearthealer before yall do it again…

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      ‎@Merrika– He’s always on time. This story just touched me on so many levels. IT’s an eye opener for men and women.

      • Merrika on May 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        I would just like to no how it feels to hear doors open instead of close for once

        • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

          @Merrika– Sister, you have to hold on and be strong. Cry it out, scream it out, do what you have to do to feel what you’re feeling so you can heal. Email me at [email protected] to talk. I feel your pain through your posts. He has better things in store for you.

  12. Victor on May 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I like it.This reminds me Romans 8:28 which says ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called arcoding to His purpose”.

  13. Denetrice on May 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you Lord for protecting me. Thats scary because that is just how it is. Thank you Lord for discernment and taking it slow.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      @DeNetrice–I met a potential business partner who took me under his wings, For some reason, questions lingered about his organization and its founder. This woman whom I never met, but wondered about. Just before I was about to involve him… in a venture, he was arrested by the FBI and is now sitting in jail formoney laundering and fraud. And as for the founder of the organization… she never existed. He made her up. He fooled hundreds of people into giving him money. I didn’t find out until after he got arrested

      • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        ‎’t hear from him. I prayed and asked God what was going on.. Well, He revealed it to me and I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. I thank God for protecting me and not allowing me to get caught up!

  14. Jamie on May 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm


    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      @Jamie–why do you get so angry? What’s causing it?

  15. Bridget on May 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Yes, you cannot judge a book by its cover reigns supreme again….just because it looks good dosen’t mean its good….Thanks God for his kind mercy!

  16. Elana on May 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm


  17. Josiane on May 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Oh Lord… I am speechless, relating to your story: Sometimes people’s rejection is God’s protection.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      @Josiane–tell me about it! I’m glad you appreciated the story. I’ms o glad the woman told her story. Be blessed!

  18. Merrika on May 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I dont really listen to beyonce but i heard a song by her this weekend little did I know..but the name of the song is “Save the hero”..when i heard it i cry because the songs matches and fits my like my baby t!

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