Proposal for Marriage
I graduated from the four-grade night high school at last, and finally had much more free time at my disposal to do the “urgent work of the harvest,” working the Gospel door-to-door. I no longer saw George, my classmate, after graduation. There were more important priorities than social contacts. The important thing for him is that he was already in the “truth,” and I was informed that he was progressing well. Besides, I needed to evangelize others. The Bible studies that I conducted for individuals interested in the Society were constantly increasing, and despite my internal struggle to bridle my passions, externally I gave the impression of being the perfect Witness.
The temptations of the world were many, and toward the end of my adolescent years, I felt ready to start a family. The only obstacle was the mandatory army service I needed to face in about a year (after the expiration of my postponement). I had but one or two summers free, and then I needed to face the consequences of my denial to carry arms.
As we did every year, this summer we also went with my mother and my grandmother to live in our vacation home in Salamina. This area was known for its high percentage of faithful Witnesses. Fifteen years ago in our neighborhood, there was only one woman Witness in the Society. Now we had grown to five families. But since we were quite a distance from the major local congregation, we used to organize some independent meetings in our neighborhood. That year, however, the Society announced that these types of private meetings should be discontinued, and we needed to go to the official ecclesiastical meetings only. Thus, we needed to find a local church to attend its gatherings.
With the help of a local Witness woman who came to our door to preach out of mere chance, we were led to one of the three local congregations rather quickly. They were all strangers to me, and despite the repeated introductions, I could not remember anyone’s name. However, towards the end of the meeting, a certain well-dressed young lady wearing all white caught my attention. Although she seemed not to notice me, I very much noticed her, and I kept looking towards her as she was conversing with her girlfriends. Up to that point, several matchmakers had introduced me to a number of young girls, but in this woman, I saw the person with whom I could spend my life with. I learned rather quickly that she was available, that her name was Roula, and that she was the daughter of the Elder and owner of the Hall. I was not concerned about much else. The fact that she was a Jehovah’s Witness and the daughter of an Elder, served as a guarantee of her overall conduct and personality. From that moment on, I began to put on the charm around Roula. I flirted with her at every meeting and every opportunity I got. I was present at the start of every meeting and sermon, and I accepted every invitation for volunteer work at the local hall.
Despite this intense siege, however, the “city” was not falling. Worse yet, I sensed that she was beginning to avoid me. Toward the end of the summer, I tried a different approach; I asked my mother to intervene and discuss the matter with her mother. Although Roula’s answer was negative, her mother presented it very politely, stating that her refusal was temporary mainly because of her young age. I still had hope. Meanwhile, I also felt that my appearance could also be a factor. I immediately replaced my bifocal glasses with contact lenses, and I lost some weight (I was over 200 lbs). Working methodically, I slowly began to earn Roula’s affection, and by the end of the following summer, the “city fell.”
We announced our intentions and celebrated the joyous event with out very close relatives. After a brief homily and a blessing given by one of the Elders, we were officially “spoken for.” The few invited relatives who were not Witnesses observed with obvious indifference. For the next ten days, Roula and I had a wonderful period of getting to know each other. We both knew that we did not have much time ahead of us because on the eleventh day, I needed to sign in at the army barracks of Corinth.