Sunday, August 14, 2011

our story. chapter 3

Chapter 3.
Apples to Apples, Muriwai, Sports Night, First Date


Somehow before I showed up at Jason's house for game night I knew he had served his mission in the Wellington New Zealand mission.  That is the same mission that my brother served in.  I was thinking in my head that I could use that little factoid as a conversation starter when I encountered him at game night.  

Jason's house was pretty neat.  He had a huge deck with a backyard that looked more like Jurassic Park than a suburban family home in West Auckland.  Camille and I went exploring out in the backyard and eventually Jason made his way out there to see what the heck we were doing balancing on a giant beam across a stream.  

When we went inside I strategically stood by him and asked him about his mission.  We talked about that for a second and that was it.  

An hour later an Apples to Apples game was getting started in the lounge.  There was a huge group of prospective players.  Come on, we all know how game  night works in the world of young adults in a singles ward.  Everyone comes. Everyone is hoping to spark it up with someone.  Someone shouted out that we all needed to partner up to play.  With the fear of being the last one to find a partner at the forefront of my mind, I quickly blurted out, "Who wants to be my partner?"  To my surprise, the one guy that I was remotely interested in raised his hand and said. "I will."  


While everyone else did the mad dash to find a partner, I was settling in next to my partner.  In between turns we really got some good conversation in.  We pretty much participated  in the game only as a secondary activity.  Getting to know each other was much more fun.  I found it very easy to talk to Jason.  I didn't experience any of that awkward fake conversation that happens oh so much in singles ward functions.  I know his accent played a fair part in me being so interested, intrigued, etc...

The game went on and I can say with certainty, by the end of the game I was head over heels for the guy.  The game ended by both of saying that we should hang out sometime.  The request made by me for two reasons. 1.  To see more of New Zealand from a local's perspective.  2.  To spend more time with a cute guy that happened to have an accent and happened to be very nice.  

Jason got up and left the room abruptly as I started to walk out the door with the other BYU girls.     What happened next sealed the deal.  

He walked right up to me and wrote his phone number on a small piece of paper.  It was in immaculate handwriting with a swirly design.  This impressed me for 2 reasons.  1.  No guy had ever gone out of his way to make sure that I had a way of contacting him.  2.  He hand wrote it on paper the old school way.  

It's a small thing but I loved it.  That note is still in my journal.  

We started our BYU classes the next day and all day I couldn't stop thinking about him.  When would I call him? What would be my excuse for calling him?

That next Friday the singles ward hosted a campout at Muriwai beach.  Within the first hour that we arrived at the beach I found myself hiking up to a beautiful scenic lookout with Jason.  We stayed at that lookout talking for several hours.  Later that night we partnered up for several games and before you knew it, we were the only ones awake.  I remember that he showed me the stars in the sky.  It was unique because those southern hemisphere stars look different from anything I see above me in America.  There was nothing terribly romantic, just good conversation and two people getting along extremely well. 

 Sports night happened every Wednesday night for those attending the singles ward.  It was an excuse for single adults to mingle and meet people.  I was definitely going because they had volleyball and basketball pick up games and I was pretty confident Jason would be there too.  

Those next few weeks I would always try to strategically be around Jason.  I wanted to hang out with him and get to know him.  Jason jokes that I would walk by him and than all of a sudden turn my head and say, "Oh hi, I didn't see you there!"  Probably some truth there.  

I don't know why I fell for him so quick.  I just did.  He wasn't even trying to do anything special for me.  He was just being his normal friendly self.  

Eventually the gossip circle worked its powers and both Jason and I knew that we had a thing for each other. 

In normal life, Jason would have asked me on a date and we most likely would have hit it off and got on with our lives. However, I was a BYU girl, thus off-limits.  I signed a no-dating policy during the duration of my study abroad in New Zealand.   I am not a rule breaker.  I could not fathom sneaking off, lying, or doing anything that would have been in distaste with the honor code.  

Jason asked me on "a date."  So, I got permission.  I spoke with my professor and host mom, Carol.   Both knew exactly where I was going and gave their blessing. 

Our first date was wonderful.  Jason hadn't known me very long but by then he obviously took the hint on how I live and breathe Mexican food.  He took me to the Mexican Cafe, one of 3 Mexican restaurants in New Zealand.  I have nothing great to say about the food but I loved that he took me there.  It was a nice thing to do for an American girl far from home.  

On the way home from our date we still hadn't talked about the awkward subject of how we felt about each other.  I was sitting in the passenger seat thinking about 98 different scenarios of how I could bring it up.  I was hoping he would but knew it didn't look good.  

He randomly got off the Te Atatu exit and took me to a nice park that overlooks the beautiful Auckland city skyline (oh how I miss it).  We laid down on the grass and just gazed up at the clouds.  I rested my head on  his arm and knew that I had to take care of business.  

I took a deep breath and blurted out, "Now that we know what everyone else thinks, what do you think about me?"  Not the smoothest way to ask someone if they like you, but hey, I got the words out.  

He told me he did like me but that he really didn't want to do too much about it since I was a BYU girl.   Like me, he is not a rule breaker.  He also didn't want to fall for someone that would be flying back to America in just 3 short months.  We decided to spend as much time as we could together but to stay in big groups.  You know, playing it safe for the BYU reason and the long distance love reason.  

It worked, for about 2 weeks.  


Andrew & Elise said...

I'm starting to fall in love with your love story. Can't wait for Ch. 4

McKenna said...

Love it. Now scrolling up to read the next part!