Author's note: I absolutely loved the new Glee character, Joe Hart (Teen Jesus). I immediately began wondering how he reached the (correct) conclusion that love is love, and that Santana/Brittany should "absolutely" be allowed to have a song. This was what I decided. I hope you enjoy! Please review!
"What's wrong, kiddo?"
Joe looked up in surprise to see an unfamiliar girl plopping down beside him at the lunch table. Her hair was shoulder-length and light blue with blonde tips. Her eyes were dark brown, very round, and rimmed with black eyeliner. She wore a loose—but stylish—top and skinny jeans with a pair of red converse.
"Hi," he introduced immediately, smiling at her. "I'm Joe."
"Yeah I know. It's pretty hard not to notice when Teen Jesus enrolls at your school."
The girl seemed content to stop there, but Joe stared at her expectantly. She sighed.
"It's nice to meet you, Angela," he replied, smiling. Angela could not restrain her own wide smile, even as she rolled her eyes appreciatively at the home-schooled boy's innocent attitude.
"So tell me what's wrong," she pressed him sassily.
"Nothing's wrong," he objected, "I'm just sitting here... having lunch... And talking to you now, of course."
"Don't give me that hogwash. I saw you sitting over here, completely ignoring your food. You were thinking so hard that I started wondering if the wrinkles in your forehead would get stuck there! So... I figured that it must be pretty important, whatever it is that you're thinking about."
Joe seemed surprised by her observations, but he chuckled and shook his head a bit.
"It's just a uh... personal dilemma, I guess you'd call it. I've been home-schooled all my life ["Clearly," she muttered teasingly], and I'm just not quite used to the public school atmosphere yet. It's forcing me to face issues I've never faced before, with my beliefs and... who I am."
"Well that all sounds rather deep, kid. What's the problem facin' ya?"
"Well... I'm in the God Squad." Angela nodded. "And for Valentine's Day, we're selling songs. You know... for ten dollars we'll sing a love song to your significant other. But one girl wants us to sing to her girlfriend."
"Ah," said Angela, getting the drift, "So, her being a lesbian bothers the Christian boy I suppose?"
"The Bible says that gay relationships are wrong," he explained heavily. Angela rested her elbow on the table and propped her head up, interested to see that he truly did seem to be struggling. This was clearly not easy for him. He looked guilty even for stating this fact.
"And so... you aren't sure if you should sing to her?" she completed.
"Well... yeah I guess so."
"Look... Doesn't the Bible also talk about loving your fellow man? Didn't Jesus promote harmony, forgiveness, acceptance? What gives you the power to judge them, Joe?"
Joe met her eyes silently. There was a gentle smile gracing her features, but he could see the intense passion veiled behind her eyes.
"You really care about this, don't you?" he asked slowly.
"About equal rights and human decency? Yeah. They're pretty high up in my list of important things in life."
"Are you also a, um..."
"Right." Angela laughed kindly.
"No. But I believe very strongly that no one deserves to be discriminated against. And it always makes me sick to see those Bible-huggers walkin' around, preaching about their own holiness, when in reality they judge and hate and commit all sorts of atrocities that Jesus would never have condoned. You don't seem like that though. I can sense a certain... tenderness in you, a willingness to listen to others. I thought that you had hope of being a good person. And I'm all too glad to help you with that if I can!"
"So you're the more liberal type of Christian then, I'm assuming?" Angela looked a bit startled, and this time she laughed brightly, very sincerely.
"Nah, not me. Never really been the type to belong to any sort of religion." Joe was shocked and his eyebrows rose quickly.
"Wait, so you mean that you're... you're an atheist?"
"That's right," she replied firmly, "That bother you?" Joe looked down at the table uncomfortably. He'd never actually met anyone before who had so blatantly admitted to being an atheist. He was rather surprised that this friendly, spunky girl didn't believe in God, and not at all sure how to feel about it. Taking a moment to think about it, Joe composed himself and looked back up to meet her eyes.
"Not at all," he told her, smiling. As he spoke, Joe realized the truth of his words, and his smile grew into a grin. Angela's features also softened at his words and she returned the smile. Feeling as though he'd just had an epiphany, Joe continued, almost excitedly, "You're right, after all. Jesus didn't want us to judge one another. And you're a good person. I can certainly tell that much. I feel sorry that you don't have such a wonderful relationship in your life, but ultimately, it's your choice. And it doesn't affect me, seeing as you're such a great person anyways."
"Well... thanks," was her response. If Joe wasn't very much mistaken, he thought he could see a bit of shy surprise in her eyes at his declaration.
"Are you... not used to people accepting you for being an atheist?" he asked cautiously, feeling rather sad at even the idea. He couldn't imagine anyone rejecting Angela. He somehow conveniently forgot that he himself had struggled briefly over her lack of religion less than half a minute earlier.
"Um..." Angela glanced around the lunchroom before turning back to Joe with a smile that seemed a bit sad, resigned. "It's not as bad as it used to be. I have a few friends now who don't have a problem with it. It was worse in elementary school, ya know? I made the mistake of telling some girls and they... well, they decided to make it their mission to convert me so that I wouldn't burn in hell for all eternity!" Angela made funny faces as she spoke and chuckled a bit, clearly trying to keep the mood light. "After that I kept quiet about my beliefs until one day I realized that... I didn't even like the friends that I had. They were all the preppy, Christian, popular girl types and I didn't want to be part of them. So I told them the truth and ditched the group. But I have some new friends now, so it's fine."
"I'm sorry," he said honestly. Joe reached over and grabbed her hand, giving it a friendly squeeze. Angela's bright smile broke through her sadness and he found himself thinking how extraordinarily beautiful she was when she smiled that way.
Suddenly a loud bell rang out, popping the bubble of solitude that had been surrounding the two. The rest of the kids all began to get up, shoving in chairs, rushing out the doors, making tons of noise.
"Anyways," concluded Angela as she rose, "I hope you sing for them. None of us can control who we fall for, and you shouldn't judge others for it, even if ya are Teen Jesus." Here she winked and clicked her tongue teasingly. "Love is love, ya know. It should be celebrated, not condemned."
Slinging her backpack over one shoulder, Angela strode out of the room, not even sparing a glance for Joe. Joe on the other hand couldn't keep his eyes off the spunky young girl as she strutted away, her blue hair swishing gently back and forth.
You're absolutely right, Angela, he thought gratefully, picking up his own backpack, You can't help who you fall for. Love... is love.
Calmly heading to his next class, Joe was already eagerly planning out the song in his head. He would make the song a spectacular and romantic spectacle: just the way that love should be celebrated, no matter whose love it was.