A Seal Upon Your Heart

age gap
realistic earth

Jane used to have a different name, a different life—but that was before she was rescued from the refugee camp after the Rwandan g******e and brought to the convent to be raised. Now she is being dismissed, told to go out into the world.

Tim Singleton lost his wife to breast cancer less than a year ago and yet the pain and anger is still fresh in his mind. When Corrine died, so did Tim’s faith…so when he received the call from the convent, Tim isn’t quite sure why he agreed to help the young African girl with a job.

She didn’t quite fit in with the others at the law firm that wore thousand dollar Chanel suits while her clothes were picked with care from the donation bin at the church. At nearly six feet tall, the shy girl tried to become invisible in the hectic world around her. But if her ill-fitting clothes didn’t draw attention to her, then it was a beauty that couldn’t be hidden so easily.

Soon Jane sees Tim as not only her benefactor, but her one true love. But can Tim finally open up and allow someone else touch his heart? Can he forget their difference in race and age? And more importantly, would being with him mean the loss of her innocence?

A Seal Upon Your Heart is created by Pepper Pace, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
They help you. They keep the rebels from raping and murdering you. They make sure your belly is full and there is a warm place to sleep. They teach you about God. And they tell you that your name is Jane and to forget that your dead mother and father had named you Martier Nufaika Besigye. "Your father was imprisoned for crimes against humanity. That is not a last name that you should carry with you. And Martier sounds like a boy's name. Jane. Do you like that name? You will be Jane Nufaika." They teach you everything that is important … except how to understand the world around you. "I thought you might want to become an aspirant." Sister Louise removed her small glasses and rubbed them with a worn tissue that lay crumpled on her desk. "There are many of us here that are willing to mentor you, Jane. When you went to school and studied theology…well," the older woman said, smiling, "I had hopes that you would join the sisterhood." Sister Louise seemed to forget that in order for the school to pay for your college education, you had to pursue some course or training in one of their prescribed curriculum. Well, she didn't want to be a nurse or secretary or even a bookkeeper. She had studied theology along with literature and history as a means to understanding the world around her. Theology was thrown in so that St. Bartholoma would willingly pay for her further education. But to become a nun—that was out of the question. "Sister, I don't believe I have the calling." "And you've prayed on it?" No. "Yes, Sister." There was a short sigh. "Jane, I don't want to see you leave. But you've graduated and received your degree … and you're over eighteen, dear. This is a school for girls not women." She nodded, feeling panic rise in her. "I understand Sister Louise, but I was hoping to be able to stay long enough to find a job." Because the facts had been laid out before her—you either become a nun and stay or you go out into the world and good luck, goodbye, and good riddance. She felt ashamed for her thoughts. The sisters had been good to her. They had prevented her from being raped and murdered; had provided her with food, a place to sleep, and an education; and they had told her of this often enough. Sister Louise had a Rolodex on her desk, and she rifled through it once she'd replaced the glasses on the bridge of her nose. "Now that is something that I may be able to help you with." She withdrew a card and examined it. "Tim Singleton, attorney-at-law. Mr. and Mrs. Singleton are two of our biggest supporters, even if it is just for the tax write-off." Jane found that funny. Maybe Mr. Tim Singleton and his wife were humanitarians. There was no shortage of those among whites. They would say, "Oh my goodness. You survived g******e. You survived the refugee camp. Are you Tutsi or Hutu? Oh, it doesn't matter. It's all the same in the end." She had been six years old—old enough to have memories—but there was only an empty hole there now. Still, she knew that they were wrong; it did matter. My name is Martier Nufaika Besigye. I am a child of Africa. I used to run in the sun with my brother and sisters— "Jane?" Her eyes moved back to Sister Louise, who had the phone covered. "Mr. Singleton said that you can begin on Monday. Is that good?" "What?" Sister Louise sighed in practiced restraint. "Jane, the job? Remember?" "Yes." Jane nodded, feeling ashamed that she'd allowed herself to travel away from the present. She had only wanted to find her own job, one that she liked. Of course if she tossed away this opportunity, then Sister Louise would be displeased and call her ungrateful. "Yes. Monday is fine. Thank you." The sister and the man over the phone continued to chat, and Jane slipped out of the room, happy to be away from the scrutiny of the one person that she most loved and most despised. She went back to the small room that she shared with Sister Callista. She had long ago moved out of the dormitory and was no longer considered a student of St. Bartholoma International School for Girls, but she willingly helped out with the girls or in the kitchen or wherever else she was needed. Jane dug into her drawer for the bundle of letters that she kept hidden beneath her bras and panties. It wasn't that she couldn't have letters—Sister Nicolette and some of the others didn't approve of Dhakiya. She smiled at the memory of her old friend. Jane used to love listening to her voice. Her mutterings sometimes lulled her to sleep. It reminded her of home, and she had felt an instant kinship to Dhakiya long before she had gained the courage to befriend the older girl. Everyone said that Dhakiya was a troublemaker and crazy, but because of this no one dared to mess with her. Jane had been at the school for two years before Dhakiya had joined them. Dhakiya was nearly eleven and had done something that Jane had never seen anyone else do—she had yelled at a sister. "My name is not Betty! My name is Dhakiya and I'm a child of Africa!" "You are a child of God, first!" Sister Nicolette spat back angrily. "You say!" Sister Nicolette smacked her hard, and all of the smaller children had become nearly hysterical. But Dhakiya had glared back. Later Sister Nicolette had been reprimanded in front of everyone and was assigned to the older students, never to work with the young ones again. Dhakiya had been given double chores but barely seemed to care. Later that night, Dhakiya lay in bed muttering while Jane fell asleep to the soothing words that no one else could make out. She was speaking Kinyarwanda and no one but Jane understood it. "Mwaramutse, Jane," Dhakiya had said one morning. Jane had flinched and looked away. Dhakiya slipped from her bed and placed her face inches from Jane's.

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