An Evening Stroll

I’m done putting this off because of school or whatever other reasons I can come up with, namely motivation, so without further ado here it is. Enjoy it in all its brief glory! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE up above to the right somewhere. That’s what good bloggers are supposed to tell you to do I guess. Plus you’ll get cool little updates when I post stuff. Yay updates!

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Again if you HAVE NOT read the first post I’d suggest you start HERE and not where you are currently. 

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Spring ‘12

Kalista and I didn’t stay long in my apartment. We had decided to go for a walk around campus. The night was lukewarm and the star clustered sky crisp and clear. All was calm and an air of hush serenity drenched the atmosphere in a strange kind of warmth.

“So what do you think so far?” I asked her as we walked down concrete avenues and passed in and out of circles of lamppost light.

A choral of crickets chirped in the night and reality almost felt magical.

“I love it,” she smiled. “What about you?” she nudged.

“It’s amazing,” I responded. “This truly is the Lord’s school. You can feel His Spirit everywhere you go.”

You should know, before you start asking yourself why I keep going back and forth on my feelings about the university that I was torn. On the one hand I loved the atmosphere and the good I could feel in the air around me, and on the other I hated the culture, the emphasis on dating and marriage, the Utah zealotry that hid just beneath the surface. It was a hard place to be in. Not to mention that it’s probably not smart to tell a bunch of LDS people the reason you don’t like something is because it’s LDS… Probably not gonna go over very well I’d imagine.

“Yeah. I’ve never been anywhere like this,” she added pensively.

It’s funny how you can be engaged in a conversation and at the same time be caught up in a second dialogue in your mind. I thought about how it was that I met this amazing young woman. I don’t use the term amazing lightly when describing Kalista. I mean it. Of all the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard she truly lives up to the word in its entirety. But I’ll leave you to discover that for yourself.

That being said we met at a sushi bar in Spokane during Monday night karaoke. A mutual friend had pulled me aside and told me that I should ask her on a date. So I did just that. We went to the mall with another couple and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon to people. It was painfully obvious how new I was to being home…Who does that for a date?

Then, as we strolled along, a thought snuck in. At first it terrified me to the core, but it had manifested itself and now my consciousness had to mull it over. Maybe I could fall in love with a girl, I just had to find the right one. I had been in love once before…

I quickly dismissed the notion. No, I wasn’t going to let myself get hurt like that again. No, I wasn’t going to repeat what happened between Jaimie and I.

“How are your roommates?” she asked as we made our way into the central quad, a large circular plaza nestled between the McKay Library, the Manwaring Center and the Smith building.

“They’re good. One’s a little off, he’s got this thing with orange peels, he’s leaving them around the house.”

“What? Why?” she giggled.

“He thinks they smell good,” I responded with raised eyebrows.

“Oh my,” she said bringing her hand to her lips as she chuckled.

“So how’s your family?” I asked.

Her face became more serious now and the smile faded into a thin, thoughtful line. I swear at the mention of her family some of her shine seemed to dim.

“They’re…there,” her voice lost its cheery tone.

“Are they ok with you being here?” We stopped and I turned to look at her.

“I don’t think so,” she said slowly her voice faded off as she avoided eye contact.

There was a moment of tense silence as I stood there wondering if I should say something or if listening was the better option.

“They won’t talk to me. They think I’m a lost cause because I’m Mormon now. My mom said she didn’t want to talk to me until I got some sense in my head.”

I couldn’t say I understood her feelings. My parents had never ostracized me. They went through a phase of not knowing how to interact with me which caused frustration but that was it.

She smiled weakly in an attempt to show that she was really ok. “They’ll come around though. They just don’t understand what it means to be Mormon. They think I’m in a cult,” she turned and continued to walk.

“They will. Mine did,” I assured as I followed her lead.

Kalista wasn’t Jaimie. It was easy enough to see. What had happened between Jamie and I had been an extreme case. So maybe it was time I let go of that part of the past and tried to move on. I mean if there were any girl I’d be willing to try again with it’d be Kal. Of course I didn’t think it’d work. My mind was pretty good at reminding me that, “Hey, Keith you’re GAY,” but if I had managed to fall in love with someone as terrible as Jaimie then maybe this could happen. Maybe there was hope for me yet.

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Comments
One Response to “An Evening Stroll”
  1. Cliff says:

    Your writing is very well done. I have enjoyed reading thus far-despite the contents of the story that might hurt because I face similar difficulties. It hurts in a good way. Keep on trucking, boyo.

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