Thursday, December 5, 2013

Forbidden Fruit

My hands are shaking so bad it's hard to type. I am not a good person.

Jan, being the laid-back zen goddess she is, forgave me for being late to our date. We didn't have set plans--we just met at the Wilk, grabbed a bite to eat at the CougarEat, and talked. I told her about this afternoon's hospital visit. I told her about my family. I told her a couple of funny stories from my mission. Jan told me about her mission (she served in Chile). She told me about this club for female engineering students she's in (apparently there aren't many of them). She told me about the first time she confessed to her bishop that she has a mutant power.

By this point we were done with dinner and were just walking around campus. Holding hands. It was dark and freezing cold (today's high was 23 degrees!) and her hand felt warm in mine. "Do you mind if I ask," I said, "what your mutant power is?" Since I'm new to this whole talking-to-other-mutants thing, I wasn't sure whether it's okay to ask that.

Jan looked away. "I'm sorry," she said, "I'd rather not talk about it. My power is... really bad."

"Worse than flying?" I asked with half a smile.

"Like, blasphemous-bad."

I tell you this so that you understand what kind of person Jan is. She draws clear boundaries between right and wrong, and doesn't cross those boundaries. She has a strong sense of reverence, and a great deal of respect for the prophets. I tell you this so you'll have an open mind and won't judge her when I tell you about what happened later. I am the only one here who deserves judgment, not Jan.

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Much later, after several hours of wandering around campus and chatting, we found ourselves at the bell tower by the Marriott Center. Thanks to the ridiculously cold weather there was not another soul in sight. I'd been having such a good time talking with Jan, though, that I hardly noticed the cold. Standing below the bell tower, Jan took both of my hands and smiled. "This is nice. Talking to you is like talking to myself. Except taller, and with a deeper voice."

I laughed, then sighed. "It makes me a little sad, though."


"Because nothing can ever come of it. You know, with the Church's stance on mutant marriage."

Jan shook her head. "I don't believe that for a minute. The Church's position on mutant marriage is policy, not doctrine. It'll change."

I blinked. I didn't know what to think. I knew some people believed what she was saying, but I'd always thought those were semi-apostate Mormons on the fringes; not active, faithful, BYU-attending Mormons.

Jan laughed. "I'm not saying they're going to revoke the Priesthood Proclamation or anything. I have a testimony of that. But the marriage thing is just a policy that was created in a time when there wasn't a good way to ensure that mutants who married didn't have children and pass on the mutant gene. Nowadays, it wouldn't be that complicated for a woman with mutant powers to get her tubes tied, or for a man to get a vasectomy. Then we could adopt. Problem solved."


"Mutants. Us."

This conversation was getting scary. Scary because after this afternoon I wanted to stay as close to the iron rod as possible, and that meant not questioning the General Authorities. And scary because what she was saying made my heart race with excitement. The thought of being able to get married someday, after years of accepting that it could never happen, was invigorating. "So what are you saying? It's okay to ignore what the GAs say and get married anyway, because it's just policy and not doctrine?"

"No. I'll wait until the Church changes its policy before I get married. But in the meantime I can plan ahead. And if I do find the right guy, we can wait together." She grinned.

Without thinking about what I was doing, I closed the gap between Jan and me. I wrapped my arms around her back and pulled her lips into mine. I've kissed girls before--mostly in high school before I accepted that I was a mutant and could never marry--but never someone I felt such a strong connection with. As Jan and I kissed, it was like our souls touched. Never had I felt anything so powerful.

After a few minutes of bliss, Jan pulled away and smiled. "This is amazing."

"Thanks," I said, laughing. "You're not bad yourself."

She shook her head. "That was a great kiss, don't get me wrong, but that's not what I meant. I meant this." She pointed down with her chin.

I followed her gaze to the top of the bell tower, at least twenty-five feet below us. I swore. I willed us down to the ground so fast that we both fell over when we landed on the concrete. "I'm sorry, Jan. I'm so sorry."

"It's okay," she insisted. "It was an acci--"

"It's late. I should walk you home."

So, yeah. Now I'm flying not just in my daydreams, not just when I'm asleep, but when I'm wide awake. And the worst part? My hands aren't trembling because I'm so deeply ashamed of my sin. They're trembling because it's taking every ounce of willpower I have to keep from doing it again.

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