She sat with her head bowed and her eyes closed. It was hot and she felt her dark, thick curls begin to stick to her forehead. She reached her hand up to touch the stocky shoulder of the man next to her. As if he knew her intentions, he opened his eyes and glared.
“Don’t,” he snapped. “Head down. Be respectful. Pay attention.”
She instantly snapped her head down, but she couldn’t close her eyes. She could feel the heat radiating from the bodies around her, and she shifted uncomfortably. Her hands were squeezing her black skirt causing it to wrinkle and expose her black stockings. She would be respectful and pay attention, just as her father instructed.
A man started speaking. His voice echoed throughout the silent room. His voice was enticing, an intoxicating sound that captured the girl’s attention. She found herself clinging to his every syllable.
The man’s voice was deep, seated way back in his throat. His consonants were crisp, taking away the possibility of sleep. She could hear his strength in his words, and she felt a draw to the man. Her instincts advised her to stand and approach him, to hold out her hand to him, but she kept her body firmly planted on the wooden bench.
His voice rose in pitch and intensity. She could feel the entire room start to sway. The man on her right began to rock gently. Forward. Back. Forward. Back.
A woman on her left let out a small moan. The girl lifted her head.
The congregation of people had their eyes closed, bodies moving to some un-known music. Yet, it wasn’t unknown. It was the man’s voice. She could feel it building in her blood.
The volume of the man’s voice rose again. The congregation responded accordingly. More moans could be heard from other people throughout the crowd. Her heart started to race.
The woman next to her started to wring her hands together. Her mouth was moving, but there was no sound escaping her lips. The man on the girl’s right starting pulling at his tie and collar. Beads of sweat were dripping down his face.
The speaker’s voice sang out, calling, deep and passionate. His words were cascading notes with trills and a strong melody. The sound melted in to her, hot and sticky. She gasped for breath, and snapped her eyes closed. His voice pounded her, over and over and she felt herself surrendering.
Members of the congregation began to cry out; she heard their cries, sharp and frantic against his control. She ignored them. All that mattered was him and his voice.
It engulfed her, and she allowed it to take over. Her body began to shake and shiver despite the growing heat. Her breath quickened and moans began to escape her lips. She thought it was beautiful, her sound with his, and so she continued until she too was crying out, her body moving uncontrollably. The cries of the congregation turned to screams, but she heard him, deep and strong and clear over the commotion. The music grew and so did her passion and excitement. She couldn’t stop. The bench began to shake with her movement. His strong voice penetrated her, causing hot liquid to flow from her eyes. She sucked in a breath of air and let him fill her. Like the beating of a drum, his voice became a rhythm that pounded into her. Slowly it grew in strength and speed until she could no longer breathe. Her passion melted into his fire until she screamed and with a loud shout from the man, the music stopped.
She collapsed onto the bench with a sigh and a moan. Her clothes were soaked and her ears pulsed in time with her heart. His voice found her again, cradled her, warming her exhausted body.
“Let us pray.”