This story talks about religion and depicts religious situations. If religion offends you, or if religion is prohibited in the place where you live, or if you are not old enough to practice religion, please stop reading now.
Oh, and there might be some sex, too. So, same thing. If sex offends you, or if sex is prohibited in the place where you live, or if you are not old enough to practice sex, please stop reading now.
If mixing sex with religion just confuses the hell out of you, I don't know what to say.
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This story is a sequel to JKLM, which was written by JJ Janicki. You can find his story in the High School section of Nifty's Gay erotica stories. I've only thanked JJ a couple hundred times for giving me permission to write this story - it's absolutely the most fun I've ever had writing a story - and I'll probably thank him a couple hundred more times after this. My hope is that I've managed to create a story of which he can be proud, and that I have accurately recreated the characters he originally envisioned. Thanks, JJ. It was truly a pleasure working with you.
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by Stephanie Silver
I first met Jenna Kaye at an LDS recovery meeting in Johnson City, Tennessee. That's LDS, not LSD. An LDS recovery meeting is kind of like Alcoholics Anonymous, except it's sponsored by the LDS church and is open to addictions of all types, including pornography, which I suspect was the secret addiction of most of the men there.
Jenna is a cute girl with dark blonde hair that just reaches her shoulders, small breasts, and a shy smile that just begs to be coaxed out of her. She's tallish at about 5'-8" with androgynous looks and the wide shoulders of a man. That was my first clue. My second clue was that haunted look on her face. It's hard to describe. It's as if she was constantly looking over her shoulder, expecting an unpleasant surprise. A life of gender confusion will do that to you. I knew, as soon as I "read" her that I wanted to make friends with her.
My work placed me in Johnson City for a few weeks managing the installation of some new widgets we were selling. I'd been to recovery meetings before; I found them a good alternative to regular LDS services. When you live in Utah and want religion, it's hard to get any flavor other than the Mormon version. There are plenty of churches there, of course. On my nine-mile commute to work each morning I pass nearly a dozen, all of them Mormon. Finding a non-Mormon church takes a little more work. I really wanted to be able to walk to church on Sunday and since there happened to be a Mormon church right across the street, that's where I started going.
To be sure, I tried other religions. I tried a Catholic church down on Redwood and a Baptist church over on 22nd West. Neither of them seemed to have what I was looking for. I don't know. Maybe I had a testimony.
The Mormons were mostly friendly and, of course, wanted to convert and baptize me. Being a former male living as female with a man to whom I was not legally and lawfully wedded - as if the trend of same-sex marriage would ever penetrate as far as Utah - I resisted their efforts, knowing they would have little tolerance for my lifestyle choices.
When one sister openly suggested that I made her and many other members uncomfortable - Why, I was even using the ladies' restroom, if you can imagine that! - and that my very presence in their church made a mockery of their beliefs, I knew I needed to find a new place to worship. One that was hopefully a little more tolerant and accepting.
At about that same time I learned of the LDS recovery meetings in a building just two blocks away - I told you it wasn't hard to find an LDS church in Utah. The meetings were held in the evenings, after the regular members had all finished for the day. I would have preferred an earlier service, but the convenience of being able to walk to church far outweighed the inconvenience of scheduling. Since I didn't feel pressure to attend every week, my Sundays felt like they were still my own.
In the recovery meetings I found the tolerance and acceptance I'd been missing. We were all sinners. All of us. We knew it, and we knew that everyone else knew it. And somehow that brought us together, for we were all sinners united in our desire to be better people. Over the door of the bishop's office hung a sign that read, "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints." I loved that sign. It's what made me feel at home there.
So, when I got to Johnson City and knew I'd be there for a while, the first thing I did was look up the closest LDS Recovery group. This time it wasn't right across the street, but the five-mile drive seemed worth it for the love and acceptance I found in those meetings.
After the first meeting, I stayed for the refreshments. Almost all LDS church meetings end with refreshments. I made my way over to Jenna and introduced myself. "Hi, my name's Chris," I said as I bit into a brownie. The soft, gooey kind that I canít resist.
"I'm Jenna," she replied, reaching to shake my hand. "Are you new here?"
"Yes, but only for a few weeks," I said. "And then I go back to Utah."
Her eyes brightened. "Oh really? That's where I'm from. Originally."
We continued to talk, talking about places we both knew in Salt Lake. That quickly we became friends, and she introduced me to some of the other members. I'm normally not much of a mingler, but I was enjoying Jenna's company so much that it wasn't until the meeting organizers were politely ushering us toward the door that I realized how late it was.
Desperate not to lose my newest friend, and desperate not to sound too desperate, I asked, "Will you be here next week?"
She smiled shyly and shook her head. "Maybe. You know how it goes at these meetings."
I laughed, knowing just what she meant. With so many problems in our screwed up lives, there was little pressure in the meetings for weekly attendance. "Just come as often as you can," they said. Plus any of us at any time might suffer a setback that could keep us away for weeks or months or even longer.
"Mind giving me an email address or something? Just in case?"
She laughed and said, "Sure, no problem. Do you have something to write it on?"
Well, of course I didn't, and so we had to go to my car and find my electronic organizer (No, I wouldn't dare mention the brand by name). "But I'll try to be here next Sunday. And the week after," she said, having noted the days I planned to be there before my return to Utah. "So we should be able to see each other at least two more times."
I smiled, momentarily wondering if she was coming on to me. But there didn't seem to be any other indications that she meant for us to be anything more than friends, so I quickly dismissed the thought.
"So, can I ask you a personal question?" I said at length, lowering my voice, even though the parking lot was all but empty.
There it was - that haunted look again. "Maybe," she said, and I could see the communication barriers starting to go up.
I decided to leave the question for another time, but I still wanted to let her know I knew her secret and that she had an ally in me. I glanced down at my clock and remarked at how late it had gotten. "I need to go home and call my boyfriend," I said.
"Yeah, I need to get home to mine, too," she answered. Her voice was so soft.
"You're very pretty," I said, hoping she would take it the way I meant it.
"Thank you. So are you."
There it was again, that wondering if we were both talking about the same thing or not. She might have thought I was a lesbian. I'm not. Or she might have thought that I thought she was a lesbian.
"How long have you been together? I asked.
She hesitated and started to answer, "Two... I don't know. It's hard to say. I guess officially it's two years now."
She smiled and laughed softly, "Let's see... This is 2011. Minus '93 is... eighteen years, now."
"High school sweethearts?" I asked.
"Something like that," she said, and something in the way she said it told me there was an interesting story there. "How long have you and your boyfriend been together?"
"Officially, a year and a half," I said. "But we're the same. Been friends since high school."
"That's nice," she said, and I knew she was curious to hear my story, too.
Shifting from side to side to show that I was curious, just asking, and that I was ready for any answer she wanted to give, I asked, "Any marriage plans?"
"Uh, no, not yet," she replied, and I could see the communication barriers coming down. She wanted to talk. "What about you?"
Okay, I could go first, I decided. "Uh, no, I'm afraid it'll be a long time before Utah allows that kind of thing."
She looked puzzled. "What?"
"Same-sex marriage?" I said helpfully.
"Oh!" She looked at me. "Oh my word. Oh... Are you...?"
I nodded. "You are, too, right?"
She giggled and nodded. She obviously practiced giggling because she was very good at it. Yes, it is something you have to practice; it doesn't come naturally. At least not to me. "I should have known. How'd you know? About me, I mean."
I told her how her shoulders were her biggest tipoff, but that it was only because I knew what to look for that I was able to read her so quickly. "I'm sure most people would take a lot longer to figure it out," I assured.
"I don't know," she said, "I wasn't even thinking that with you. I just thought you were someone... I should have known. I normally don't get along that well with real girls."
"Well, some day... I really do need to get home," I said. "Derek's going to wonder what happened to me."
"Derek? That's your boyfriend?"
"Mine's Lucas," she offered, and again I noticed the way her whole body seemed to change at the mere mention of his name. Her eyes became a little more distant and soft and her entire demeanor relaxed. It was obvious she loved him. Yes, there was definitely a story there.
"Some day you have to tell me about those eighteen years," I said.
And by the time I returned to Utah three weeks later, she had.