I remember getting for the party that night, checking my reflection in the mirror while my sister and her friend got ready. I remember laughing, then doing the final mirror check before time to leave. That final mirror check where I ran my fingers through my hair a couple of times, grinned at my reflection, drank the last of my beer, and didn’t expect much. A few drinks, a party full of strangers. A party of potential fun, and more likely, great stories.
On the way over, my sister’s friend said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we met someone who turns out to be just what we’re looking for? What we’re missing out on?”
I smiled to myself in the back seat, thinking that it never happens that way. You make that kind of statement, and it just doesn’t happen like that.
I was wrong, though. That night, I met Jesus at a party.
Not the real Jesus. That might’ve been truly awkward. But he looked exactly like Jesus.
When I saw him, he was standing there, like everything beautiful you ever imagined, somehow cohered at the same time, in one person. It was miraculous, really. You know what it’s like if you’ve ever seen someone that was so unbearably beautiful that you don’t want to look, but can’t bring your eyes to look away. I couldn’t do much else but just look. He was that beautiful. He wasn’t even the type of guy I normally go for, but his beauty was so complete, so perfect, that anyone would’ve thought he was beautiful. He was so unbearably attractive, that I couldn’t see why anyone else at the party could do anything, make conversation, think, even breathe while he was in view.
We ended up getting drinks from our host, and I was so taken with J.C., I didn’t even want to know his name. He was, simply, Jesus.
I made a few jokes about him to my sister, something romantic to the effect of, “I wonder if Jesus says his own name during sex.”
I had a sort of daydream about actually touching, maybe even kissing him. That thought was enough to make my cheeks feel hot. I shrugged those thoughts off. If anyone had a chance with someone that gorgeous, it was my sister. She’s the beauty of the family, and usually, the beauty of every outing we go to.
Now, I’m a truly flawed human being, in a lot of ways, but one thing I can say is that jealousy is not one of my character flaws. My sister is a knockout. Big, beautiful blue eyes, long, lush lashes, and even without a stitch of makeup, she’s got this universal beauty. A kind of translucent, big-eyed, gorgeousness that makes men take notice. How could anyone be jealous of that? It makes me proud. In any crowd, she is the beauty. She’s the light that shines, without any effort. Just having someone like that in my life makes me want to sing, to nurture that beauty in any way I can. It would be selfish to ever feel jealousy. What I usually feel is pride. When you see something beautiful, it should be appreciated, revered. Protected. So, no. Jealousy never factors in to it.
By comparison, I’m an acquired taste. Not what everyone would consider attractive, but my strengths lie in other directions. I’m tall, where she’s that lovely height that’s petite. My eyes are an ordinary shade of brown, while hers are a kaleidoscope of green, blue, and gray. In the physical sense, we’re almost exact opposites. I’m average, and she’s as lovely as summer rain.
So, I thought, if Jesus has good taste, he’ll choose my sister over any of these other girls at this party. With that thought, I drank my first drink.
That night was full of drinks, full of laughter, and I have to say that when I think of a party, that is one that I wish could be cloned, to be repeated, spun out again and again, because that kind of night doesn’t happen often. The music was perfect, ridiculous, amazingly catchy, and had everyone singing along. We were all mingling, drinking together, singing. There was a feeling of camaraderie, almost as if we’d walked into a party where everyone was our friend. No bullshit, no drama, just good feelings.
A few more drinks into the night, and we all gathered around the table to play a drinking game. As I was sitting there, Jesus wandered up and introduced himself to me. He shook my hand, and then introduced himself to my sister. I remember whispering to my sister that it didn’t matter what his first name was, his last name was Christ.
We sat around that table, playing our drinking game, singing loudly to music, and when people started to move outside to smoke, I found myself close to Jesus. At one point when he was outside smoking, I saw him through the window, waving to me. It made me laugh, and when he saw me laugh, he started dancing along to the music.
We ended up running into each other in the kitchen a few times, me and the savior. At one point, he took his shirt off because he spilled something on it, and at the beginning of the party, I thought it was impossible for him to be any better looking. How wrong I was.
He had this long, shoulder-length brown hair, golden brown eyes, and this smile that made me feel butterflies clanging in my stomach. It was uncomfortable how much he affected me, but it was excruciating in a good way. He looked like a Joseph Gordon-Levitt Jesus. His tanned skin went perfectly with his long hair, his long hair sometimes escaping the ponytail he was wearing to touch those gorgeous eyes, his hands carelessly brushing those strands back, his smile so big and unguarded, the warmth from it was a physical thing. Every time he smiled at me, I could feel the warmth of it. And I would smile back, holding his eyes for a moment, before dropping my own. He was beautiful.
As the night wore on, we ran into each other more and more. Every single time me and my sister went outside for a cigarette, he was there. Sometimes, he’d just finished smoking, and then he’d be right back outside.
One of these times, my sister and her friend went inside to go to the bathroom. I wish I could say I remembered when one moment melted into the next, I wish I could say I know exactly what happened, that I catalogued it and filed it away, but I didn’t. I was tipsy at this point, but nowhere near drunk. It happened, and maybe sometimes the things you want so badly, when they happen, maybe your mind overloads from that want. Maybe getting exactly what you want, not even expecting that want will be completely satisfied, maybe it causes sensory overload.
My next memory is that he was kissing me. Not drunk, sloppy, getting licked in the face by a dog kisses, but the kind of kisses that make my knees turn to water just writing about them. Somehow, someway, this perfect, gorgeous man was kissing me. Kissing me like he was dying for my breath, my mouth, my lips.
I remember releasing his hair from the ponytail that was holding it back, and sliding my fingers through those silky, impossibly soft strands. For the next couple of minutes, hours, days, weeks, I spent them kissing him. Touching the silk of his hair, with his arms around me. I completely lost track of everything else. Time, people, everything. The only thing that was real was the warmth of his lips, sharing his air, his hands touching me softly, always softly, and I remember when one of his hands found its way inside my shirt, I was surprised at it being there, because I never noticed it until he pulled it away. I’ve never encountered that kind of gentleness.
My sister had left to go with her friend, so I ended up alone with Jesus on the porch. A few people were outside, but we were alone. Later, I’m not sure how much later, we finally noticed that everyone was gone, and we both laughed. The moon was out, and I could see it shining down on us. The night had gotten cold, so we went inside. I remember laughing a little when we found out that all of the other rooms were occupied.
We ended up sharing a sleeping bag in front of the fireplace, his arms around me, and here’s the point where I would’ve probably decided to have sex with him. But I didn’t. Couldn’t. We lay there together, kissing, his hands touching me with that unearthly gentleness. I could feel the kindness in those hands. And I couldn’t.
Part of me wishes that I would’ve, but the better part of me is glad I didn’t.
I don’t have the words to tell you how it felt, how perfect it was, like some dream I had just walked up to me and kissed me. Like everything I’d ever wanted, and quite a few things I’d never even imagined just walked up to me one night and into my life.
Part of me knew that to take it any further would be to lose that sweetness. That’s what I keep coming back to, how incredibly sweet, how unexpectedly wonderful it was. To have taken it any further would’ve been to turn that sweetness into something ordinary, everyday, to turn that sweetness into something without a taste at all. Like trading honey for water. And that seemed…blasphemous.
I didn’t want to leave him. I wanted that night to stretch out for years. But, I knew that leaving before the magic was over would let that magic live, yet a little longer.
I kissed him goodbye, felt one last caress of those marvelous hands on my face, and I walked away. I knew that I might never see him again, might never see that beautiful face again, might never kiss him, touch him, or smell that delicious scent of his warm skin. I knew that, and somehow I was able to walk away.
That night, I had exactly what I wanted. I can say that. That one night, I touched beauty so unexpected, so warm, so real that I still find myself thinking of him.
Yes, it was enough.