Written by Stephen A. Nicholas. Stephen is a first-time Jewrotica writer.
I took my seat in the sanctuary as I waited for services to start. I knew he was on-bimah tonight. All three rabbis were. I saw him enter through the side sanctuary doors. He passed close to me and did not even know it. He knew I was going to come tonight, this night of all nights. He stepped on to the bimah and his bright blue eyes darted around the sanctuary looking for someone. Was he looking for me? Due to the crowd, I was not in my usual seat just left of the center aisle about three rows from the bimah. Instead, I was way off to the side.
He finally looked over and our eyes met. I quickly darted my eyes away and smiled. He tilted his head to look through the crowds to catch my eyes again. My cheeks felt on fire as his eyes met mine for the second time. Could he tell I was blushing? He smiled and waved. I shyly waved back as if I were a 16-year-old schoolgirl instead of a gay man nearly twice that age.
Throughout the service, my eyes left him only reluctantly. The minute or so that we turned away during the last verse of Lecha Dodi seemed like an eternity away from my beloved – or at least away from a man who made my heart skip a beat. Did he know the effect he had on me?
The service ended and, despite the fact it was longer-than-average due to a special guest speaker, I could not remember anything other than how his eyes had looked at me and how I wished we could be closer.
I left the sanctuary and went to the Oneg to nosh while I waited for the crowd which had gathered around him to disperse. He always drew a crowd because when you spoke to him he made you feel like you were the only one in the world.
I approached him and he wrapped his arms around me in a hug – we pulled each other close temporarily, seemingly becoming one. While the hug was over in a few seconds, I could still smell the scent of his hair and feel his arms wrapped around me. This was all I was going to get. I will have to make due until next Shabbat in hope that our eyes and arms will lock again.
- Male, 31, Southeastern United States