Our First Mandate

By: Chris Coyne

“Let’s NOT do the dinner and a movie thing.  I really want to get to know you.  Let’s go on a hike!  How about kite surfing? Have you ever tried that?”

I do not know what I was thinking!  Me –hiking or kite surfing?  I loved going to the beach to get a tan but I never got in the water.  I usually read a book while wearing my sunglasses so I could check out the surfers; that is about as outdoorsy as I got.  I was so worried about going hiking I wanted to cancel but I could not do it. Jon called me the night before.  The weather was amazing so he suggested I pick him up from his office in Santa Monica and head to the beach.

The next morning I picked him up, and to my dismay he had a friend/coworker with him.  She was awesome but was this a date?  Maybe I was confused but he looked so excited to see me.  He did not stop smiling at me the entire ride up PCH.  We found a parking spot and I could see the huge kites!! Oh my god!!!  Was I going to kite surf or watch the hot surfers?  I watched the kite surfers!  It was awesome.  Jon and I walked down the beach and we chatted while his coworker read a book.  I am sure she was checking out the surfers too!

In just a few hours I found out so much about Jon.  He was an extremely positive person.  He loved his family and he was really close to his three little brothers.  He came from an interesting background.  His parents raised him as a Mormon.  He had served a two-year mission in Japan, spoke fluent Japanese, and graduated magna cum something in molecular biology from Brigham Young University.  His family was the most important thing in his life.    At the time I did not know much about “the church” or what it meant to be Mormon, but I was raised by very religious Catholic-Protestant parents.  Jon did not consider himself gay but he was questioning.  I was sure his friend came along to make sure I did not try to convert him.

We hung out on the beach for the rest of the day.  I was almost sure Jon was not interested in me.  It was getting late and we had our fill of fun in the sun.  We dropped his coworker off at her car and we ended up back at beach.  The sun had set and we walked back down to the water.  We sat down on the cool sand and I found out he really liked me…

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