Jesus worked in mysterious ways.
So, too, did girls. Not that girls were Jesus, or Jesus a girl. That was a robe, not a dress, and not once had Mark seen Jesus with his hair done up in some girly fashion. Just to make that clear. All Jesus and girls had in common was the mysterious part. Everything else was different.
For one, Mark could talk to Jesus. With girls, not so much. Especially the pretty ones. As soon as a girl he had known all his life began to register as damned attractive, Mark couldn't deal. New girls, who he had never seen until High School, were even worse. Well, better, in the sexy attraction way, but he couldn't even get near them without getting all flustered. Jesus, he could talk to.
Jesus AND God.
Jesus was God, kind of, but also kinda wasn't. It was confusing. The Bible was unclear, and Church? Forget about it. No Sunday School teacher since Miss Rene in 4th grade had really been able to make it all clear to him. He read the Bible every night, thanks to her. Soaked up the stories. Committed his soul to God, like she said to. His parents didn't know. They weren't religious, like him. Dad didn't even go to church, except on holidays. Mom took him and his sister every week, but Mark got the idea she was there for the people, the coffee hour afterwards the main draw. Sue, naturally, went because Mom took her. But, religious, no. They weren't.
Mark had tried. Attempts to get them to say grace before dinner met with heavy resistance, and he quickly gave it up. Prayer was to be private anyway, according to one of the gospels, he forgot which one, so he did that. All of his prayer was private.
Especially when he asked God and Jesus questions.
That Jesus answered him was one of the great things about his faith. God talked to people all the time in the Bible, like you couldn't shut him up. Both he and his son did the same with the fifteen year old Freshman. Not with words, no. That would be silly. Only insane people heard voices in their heads. No.
They used a coin.
Heads was yes. Tails was no. Mark would ask a question, a serious one (because Jesus wasn't going to be bothered doing his homework for him, and would probably give the wrong answer just to punish him), flip the coin, and get his answer. They were always right. Oh, sometimes Mark would screw something up, and it would LOOK like God had been wrong, but, no, it was Mark's fault. Just because God said he should or could do something, didn't mean he didn't have to try to do it right. God was just advising.
An example: Mark had not wanted to go with his sister to see that stupid cartoon that had come out. Cartoons were for kids. His Mom wanted him to go to keep Sue company, even though she was eleven and SHOULD be able to go alone. So, he had asked Jesus if he really had to go, or if saying he had lots of homework to get out of it would be OK.
It came up heads. He had to go.
And, it had been OK. Good, even, although he wasn't telling his friends he went to that one. God had been right. Again.
In the theater, looking around, Mark had seen a few teens his age. ALL of them were couples, a boy and a girl. Not brother and sister, though.
He wanted to go on dates.
Well, to be honest, it wasn't the date part Mark was interested in. It was the kissing, touching, and lots of other stuff. God, to be able to make out with a girl! To ... fuck! Wow, he'd love to do that!
At the moment, his chances were slim.
Which brought him to today.
Miss Rene had given him the idea. She had given him many ideas. Heck, his first boner had been thanks to her! Anyway, one Sunday he had been the only one in the 4th grade class. Maybe it was over the holidays and everyone was away, he didn't remember now. Mark hadn't complained. A whole hour alone with Miss Rene! They had talked, about God. Life. Love. Mark had asked the twenty year old redhead how he'd find the girl of his dreams. How he could find true love, someone to be with forever in Jesus's name.
"God will send her," she had said, smiling, nose crinkling in that cute way he loved. "You will know, because God's light will shine in her eyes."
So far, he had not found her.
That, most likely, had been because he had been going about it wrong. Looking at the girls around him, trying to see which one had been highlighted by God. That was just too hard. No, the proper way to do things, he now realized, was to narrow things down. To, in fact, just ask God which girl he should be with forever.
So he had.
Mark brought his bike to a stop in front of the large two story house.
It was larger than his house, at least a little. Fancier, yes, with two white round columns holding up the overhang over the front porch instead of the blue painted wooden beams he had grown up with. The lawn and garden was nice, too, everything trimmed perfectly.
God had led him here.
Maybe. Mark looked around. Nobody was paying attention to him, just another kid on a bike this Saturday morning in May. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his quarter. Mark closed his eyes.
"Oh, God, should I go talk to her today?"
He flipped the coin, catching it, slamming it down on his wrist. Mark lifted his hand.
"OK, then." It made sense. God had sent him here. He obviously wanted Mark to go through with it. That calmed him a bit. God was with him. This was the right thing to do. There was no reason to be nervous.
Taking a deep breath, he pedaled up the driveway. There were three cars there, with room for more. Nice cars, although one was a bit older and more beat up. It definitely looked out of place. Mark rode onto the sidewalk leading to the front door, kicking out the kickstand once he was off the driveway. He dismounted, quickly checking himself. Mark was not very fashionable. He liked wearing short sleeved light blue dress shirts, buttons down the front and a collar. His closet was full of them. They were plain, yes, but so was he. Short brown hair, with a part to one side. About five and a half feet tall. He would grow more, he thought. His dad was a good six feet tall, after all, and Mark was already taller than Mom. He wore bluejeans, just normal ones, whatever brand Mom had gotten on sale. They fit, which was all that mattered.
He checked his breath, blowing into his hand in front of his face. Mark had no idea what this was supposed to do, but he didn't smell anything weird so figured he was good to go. Leaving his bike, he grabbed the yearbook and walked up to the front door.
"God, give me strength, and help me on this day. Amen."
He pushed the doorbell.
The girl that opened the door was pretty.
Not beautiful. Not in that movie star way. She probably could be, with only a little effort. Certainly, she wasn't ugly, or plain. No. She was just not trying at that moment. Her black hair was straight, pulled back into a pony tail with a white scrunchy. Her eyes were brown, large and questioning as she stood in the doorway. She towered over him, but part of that was probably just due to her being one step higher. On level ground, she probably only had a few inches on him. Slender, she wore a pink shirt that did NOT expose her flat belly like some slut, but did hug the curves of her nice bra enclosed breasts. Her jean shorts weren't THAT short, and could even be mother approved depending on the mother. He detected no makeup, saw no jewelry ... apart from a small gold cross on a thin gold chain around her neck, and one ring.
She blinked at him.
"Hi," he said, trying his best to look confident. It all came down to this moment. "I'm Mark. God sent me."
She blinked again. Her mouth opened, then closed, expression clouding. Those brown eyes seemed to bore into him.
"God sent me. I prayed to him to show me the girl he had chosen to be mine in Jesus's name, and that's you."
A third blink. The door did not slam in his face, however. He smiled.
"Y-es." Evelyn looked back into the house. "Yes I am. And, I'm sorry, but..."
"May I come in?"
"What?" Now her expression was a bit condescending. Mark was getting to see the full range of her emotions, which he quite liked. Get it all out of the way up front. "No, you can't come in, and I'm very busy..."
"Who is it?" A female voice came from inside the house. Now annoyed, Evelyn looked behind her again.
"Some boy who says God sent him."
"Tell him to come in!"
Mark looked at the four girls sitting in the living room, amazed.
Not that the girls were amazing. Well, they were, kinda, but then he was at the point where any girl who looked at him, let alone conversed in any way, was that. No, it was that he knew them. Sort of. Not personally, or even their names. No. It was that they had been in the same yearbook photo Evelyn had been in, that God had pointed out to him.
If you were a godless heathen, then sure.
"Everyone," Evelyn told them, sitting down between an African American girl and a redhead on a large, expensive looking couch, "this is Mark. Jesus sent him here looking for a girlfriend."
Ten eyes focused on him, eight of them amazed. Mark, always a good observer, one reason he was good at reading the Bible, noticed all of them had the same gold cross necklace. He smiled at them.
"Not girlfriend. I asked Jesus to show me who I was going to spend the rest of my life with, my perfect woman, the one who I would lay with and start a family."
"And..." said a small breasted blue eyed blond girl, in a white tennis outfit which showed off long white legs whose knees were tightly together. She sat next to a dark haired Hispanic teen on a love seat.
"And, God answered, as he always does..." Confident now, Mark walked forward. Opening the school yearbook to the purple Bible study bookmark, he placed it on the coffee table in front of the couch. "Jesus showed me this picture."
He heard gasps. The three on the couch leaned forward, cross necklaces hanging down. The other two left their seats, coming to kneel on the white rug on the other side of the coffee table. The Hispanic girl looked up at him with dark eyes.
"Do you know who we are?"
"No," he said. "Before God showed me that photo, I had never seen any of you, although I probably had in the halls at school. I had figured God was showing me the first girl named, but, now ... maybe you're all to be my wives."
"WHAT?!" Evelyn's eyes almost jumped out at him. The eyes of the redhead next to her were wide, her white cheeks flushed. He shrugged.
"I asked who would he wanted me to be with, and that's the picture he showed me. I never narrowed it down."
"How are you talking to him?" It was the brown skinned girl. Her blue eyes were curious. She believed. Or, wanted to. Mark dug his quarter out of his pocket.
"I flip a coin. God controls all things in the universe. I ask a question, and he makes it heads or tails."
The girls shared a glance. The blonde looked up at him, amazed.
"I do that, too! That's how Jesus told me never to touch myself, to save myself for the one special man he would send for me!"
"You do, Paula?" The Hispanic girl took her hand. "I did that, too! When I decided to get my purity ring!"
"Oh, God!" The redhead stood up, eyes firmly on Mark. "Maybe he's right! Maybe Jesus DID send him! Maybe he's the man who we've all been saving ourselves for!"
"We can't SHARE a husband!" Evelyn said, hotly. Mark looked at her, surprised.
"In God's eyes, yes we can, and he's the only one who matters! Most of God's chosen had more than one wife! I didn't come here thinking this would happen, but if God wants all of you to be mine and bear my children, I'd be condemning myself to hell if I went against his holy word!"
"Who are you?" It was the African American girl again, her hand on Evelyn's knee. Mark thought the contrast in skin color was beautiful. He smiled at her.
"What's your name?"
"I'm just a freshman, Gina. I go to the First Presbyterian Church out in Clarence, just because Mom likes it. I asked the Holy Ghost to come into me in 4th Grade. I read the bible every night, trying to understand God's word. My family is not that religious, or rich. I have never dated, or indulged in personal pleasure. I want the first time to be with one God has chosen for me."
"I'm Tara," said the redhead. "We're seniors. We ... well, we have all pledged ourselves and our virginity to God, vowed to stay virgin until our wedding night. We formed this club to help us stay on the true path of virtue."
His eyes widened.
"Wow! I'm impressed!"
"So am I," the blonde Paula said softly. Mark saw her eyes moving up and down his body. He felt himself blush, his maleness stiffening. Evelyn stood, eyes hard.
"I say we test this. Find out once and for all. If he's just playing with us..."
"Sure," he said. She was pretty when she was angry. "How do you want to do it?"
"I know," Gina said. She grabbed a purse off the floor, fishing a coin out of it. "We all flip a coin, while praying. If ALL SIX coins come up heads ... he's right."
"He's right, and what?" Paula asked, blushing. Gina blushed back.
"And we're all his wives in the name of God the Father and Jesus."
The room fell silent.
"OK," Evelyn finally said, walking over to her own purse. "Let's do this."
They stood in a circle on a empty stretch of living room carpet. Mark looked at the five beauties before him. All different. All blessed by God. All chosen, by God, to spend their lives with him. He closed his eyes.
"Oh God, hear me. I have followed the path you have shown, done as you have asked. Met five incredible girls who have dedicated themselves to being pure in your name. Please, Lord, confirm for us your plan, that we may follow where your path leads. Amen."
He flipped the coin.
His eyes opened.
There, on the white carpet...
Six shiny silver heads looked up at them.
Evelyn met Mark's gaze. Gone was the doubt. The distrust. Her hand reached out. He took it, her fingers soft, warm. Wonderful.
"You said your name was Mark, right?" Her voice was soft now. He nodded gravely.
"Yes. And you are Evelyn..." His gaze went from girl to girl. "Tara, Paula, Gina, and..."
"Maria," said the Hispanic girl. He nodded to her. He reached out his other hand, pulling Evelyn's next to it. The other girls all reached a hand out to take one of his, their hands overlapping in a rainbow.
"Maria," he said. "In the name of Jesus, I vow to love and honor all of you, forever. To take care of you to the best of my ability. To be your Husband, as God commands."
"And we," Evelyn said, squeezing his hand, "vow to be your loving wives, loyal and understanding, serving you as God and Jesus have said a good wife should. To bear and raise your children, and teach them to follow God as we do."
"Amen." All six of them said it at once, confirmation, if any was needed for Mark, that this was right in the eyes of the Lord.
"Do we remove our rings?" Tara held up her left hand, the lone silver band seeming to glow. Maria looked at hers, thumb and forefinger of her right hand lightly twisting it.
"No ... these are now our wedding rings. Our sign that we belong not just to God, but to Mark..."
"We can't," Paula said, biting her lower lip, "tell our parents."
"Not yet, anyway," Gina said. "We'll have to ease them into it."
"God will pave the way," Tara said. "We have to trust him."
"So ... what now?" Paula looked at Mark shyly. He looked at Evelyn, raising an eyebrow.
"How long will your parents be gone?"
"Until tomorrow night..." Her eyes widened, as did those of the other newlyweds. Mark's smile widened.
"Did we need any more proof Jesus wills this? My sister is sleeping over at a friend's, and my parents are in Toronto for the night."
"Wait, wow, let's..." Gina licked her lips, looking over at a grandfather clock. "OK, it's 2 PM now. Mark, why don't you come back here at 6? Give us time to run home, get ready. We'll have dinner made for you, then..." Her eyes met his, a red tinge appearing on her brown face. "Tonight, we give ourselves to you."
He sat at the head of the dining room table. Three girls sat down the left side, two on the right. All were dressed in white gowns, plain, but beautiful. Their hair was down, falling across bare shoulders, apart from Gina. Her curly black hair, an Afro he thought it was called, stayed above her ears, leaving her graceful neck bare, beautiful. All of them were beautiful, in their own way.
Beautiful, and his.
Dinner had been steak, cooked perfectly, with mushrooms, a wonderful mashed potatoes and his favorite vegetable, corn. They drank grape juice in wine glasses, also his favorite drink. Mark's parents liked to go tour local Western New York wineries, he and sister Sue drinking white or purple grape juice while they sampled the more adult drinks.
His plate empty, apart from the bone and some liquid from the meat and corn, Mark raised his glass. The five wonders before him did the same.
"To God and Jesus, Father and Son, for bringing us together. May we be together forever in happiness."
"We got something for you," Evelyn said. She pushed a small box across the white table cloth towards him. "Tara can't cook, so we sent her out to get it."
"Wow. You shouldn't have!" Mark opened the hinged lid, the name on it unfamiliar. "Oh!" It was a ring. A silver ring, plain, but beautiful. "Thank you!"
"It's a promise ring," Tara said, blushing. "Like ours, but for guys. You can tell everyone you're taken..."