The Reunion: Part 4

Part 4

In the time before I came to realize the truth behind the delusion, I went to church. I went to Sunday Services, Sunday School, Youth Activities, and outdoor camping retreats to help strengthen the young people's connection to God and to each other and to God. One of the many Youth Activities I went to were Date Night. This was a specially designated night where young couples would be treated to good wholesome activities in order to ensure that the young people were engaging in good, healthy relationships and were not having mindless sex.

The Date Night activities were the activities I dreaded the most, because I could not participate in them. Throughout my Junior High School and High School experience, I did not go out on one date. Not one. No dates, no dances, no football games, no secret getaways to a secluded parking lot in order to discuss scripture, nothing. It wasn't untill College that I started dating, and those experiences were not good in even the most lurid of contexts.

The problem with not participating in the church sponsored Date Night was that all of the friends I had at the time went to the same church I did. In fact, most everyone at school went to the same church I did. And, despite clear direction from elder officials that doing to was destructive to the soul, gossip would spread fast of my non-participation. The rumors of why I did not participate in these Date Night activities were as speculative as they were wrong. None of the people spreading the rumors bothered to ask me if they were true or false or indifferent. Not only that, none of the people who even heard the rumors asked me about their validity. That is, untill these rumors got back to The Bishop.

The Bishop was, and still is, a nice guy. He is concerned about the wellbeing of the people in his Ward in a way that is genuine as substantive. Need help with the yard, call The Bishop. Need help hanging a TV, call The Bishop. Need someone to help you with the troubles you're having at work, call The Bishop. Need someone to help you pack up your house when you've just been foreclosed on, call The Bishop. However, I had never sought the help of The Bishop because I had never seen myself as in a time of need, but there were a lot of times The Bishop called me to help with someone who needed help. So, when The Bishop called me into his office, I thought that we were going to go to work helping someone in the neighborhood. That is not why he called me in.

The Bishop showed let me into his office and told me to take a seat. The Bishop then closed the door. This was unusual because The Bishop usually only closed his door either when he was not in his office or when he was having a serious discussion with someone. The Bishop started the discussion with an inviting tone in his voice.

"Josiah, I think there is something we need to discuss."

"Okay. What's up?" Yes, my real first name is Josiah. Let's not get hung up on that and move on.

"I overheard Ben and a couple of his friends talking." Ben is one of The Bishop's sons.

"You were snooping around?"

"No, I was doing yardwork while they were talking on the deck. The sounds seems to carry far back there."

At this point I was thinking to myself "Why do I need to know this?", so I just responded with a, "Hmm."

"They were talking about the Date Night activity coming up and who they were bringing to it. They talked about several of the people who were currently an item, then they talked about you, Josiah."

"Okay." I was not okay with the turn in this conversation.

"So you know Ben's friend James?"


"Well, James made a comment about you that the whole group found rather amusing."

"Okay, what was it?"

"James said that you'd probably be spending the night of our church sponsored Date Night cruising in parking lots for anonymous sex."

This shocked me. Not just because someone was saying that about me, but because I didn't know at the time that you could cruise certain parking lots for anonymous sex. My reaction was heated. "What!"

"Calm down, Josiah." I did calm down, at least I was intending to calm down long enough untill I saw Ben again. The Bishop continued. "Now, I know that you don't do those sorts of things, nor do I know why anyone would say that kind of thing about you. I thought and I prayed for a reason, and this morning one came to me."

"What is it?"

"Josiah, you've never participated in the Date Night activities, have you?"

"No, no I haven't."

"Why is that?"

"I've never had a date to take to these activities."

"Why is that?"

I didn't understand what The Bishop meant by that question. "I don't understand what you mean?"

"Why is it that you've never had a date to take to these activities?"
It felt like took me a long time to come up with an answer to that question. I knew that I had to come up with a deep response, not a comical one or something of shallow significance. As I pondered this question, the question grew larger in my mind. The question became this: Why is it that I've never had a date at all? Finally, I felt had to give some sort of response.

"I don't know. I guess I've never really thought of it before."

The Bishop looked disappointed but continued to press forward. "What do you mean?"

"I've never really thought of who I would want to date. What kind of person I find attractive. What kind of woman I want to make a future with. I've never really thought of that."

The disappointed look on The Bishop's face left him as, I believe, he got at least part of the answer he wanted. "Josiah, I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself."

"How so?"

"I believe that you're thinking that the girl, the first girl you date, should be the woman you marry. While some couples have that kind of experience, most don't. There were several fine, upstanding women I dated in High School and College before I met my wife. Even then, we didn't have to relationship we have now. A loving relationship is something you have to built upon and cultivate every day. However, Josiah,"


"You can't begin to cultivate that relationship untill you get it started. So Josiah, I want you to make a goal for yourself."

"What is that?"

"Bring someone to the Date Night activity. Anyone. I want you to make an attempt to at least get something started. Is that okay, Josiah?"

I was still a little bit down from the big question The Bishop had asked me earlier, but his message was beginning to sink in. "Okay."

"Good. Now, go have a nice rest of the night."

I left The Bishop's office and began to walk home. However, instead of taking my usual route, I began to walk around the neighborhood, in order to give myself a chance to think. To think over what kind of person I wanted to cultivate a romantic relationship with. There were many things I thought about. Personality, age, religion, body type, hair style, voice, many many things, but all brought me no closer to a solution. Then, as I was walking, I stopped, thinking that walking was preventing me from thinking. I closed my eyes, trying to clear my head. It's rather hard for me to clear my head with tears welling up in the corners of my eyes. I wiped the tears out of my eyes, then looked at the house I had stopped in front of. At that moment, I got the answer to my question. I knew the kind of person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was standing in front of the house of Holland Wheatear.


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