Story of Two Surfers
Author’s Note: This is the first story I’ve written in this type of genre. Please offer any constructive critique or comments that would be helpful.
Disclaimer: Song title “How Deep Is Your Love” and lyrics belong to Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, The Bee-Gees. Copyrighted 1977.
I woke up and the first sounds I could hear were the ocean waves outside of my window. The warm breezes wafting from the California air floated into my window. Was it just a few months past when I was braving the frozen tundra of Minnesota’s winter?
It was six months ago when my father first called the family meeting to make his big announcement that we were officially moving to California for his new job. It was definitely a radical move but my father was always the type to be as inclusive as possible whenever it involved all of us. It was only myself, my younger brother and my Mom besides my Dad. The Four Musketeers.
It was the first time I had ever seen the ocean apart from what you’d see in a movie. The white foam. The bluest water. You woke up and every day was a picture postcard. It was the beginning of the summer before my senior year of high school. If you had told me then that I would end up surfing, Me?, the ice hockey enthusiast, I wouldn’t of believed you. It became an unexpected summer of new beginnings for me. The memories of those days have always stayed with me.
It all began when I took my first trip to the beach.
“Mark, take your brother to the beach?” my Mom said. “Would you please?”
“Yeah, Mark, I wanna see the ocean.”
“Okay, okay. I will take you.”
Jake was 12. He was at the age where he was on the threshold of becoming a teenager but still a kid and internally even though I was older there was still part of that kid mentality left in me too. I was lean and athletic but not overly muscular with just enough to look nice. I had wavy brown hair and my eyes were blue.
We lived a few short blocks within walking distance of the nearest beach. Huntington. As soon as I had stepped on the sand I could feel the grainy texture getting between my toes and how warm it felt. It was a clear day where it appeared every day it was sunny and no rain. The days were gone where you had to deal with below freezing temperatures and a foot of snow outside your front door. Also, no more shoveling or icing your front sidewalk anymore.
One of the first things I noticed right away is how many people were in the water with their surfboards. I had seen all of the X Games episodes exploring all of the various surfing competitions around the world judging the best and awarding the winners but seeing it in person was a different experience altogether.
I could see the rise and fall of the waves as they hit the shore. I walked to the water’s edge and stuck my feet into the wet damp sand letting the water rush over my feet. I remember once whether it was something I had read or seen on TV about your footprints carrying out into the ocean.
From staring out at the endless horizon it was like I could see forever. It was nothing but a long stretch of blue with white foamy caps.
“Beautiful sight isn’t it?” a voice spoke to me.
I turned seeing a tall broad shouldered tan and blonde teenager who looked no more older than me, but maybe by a few years older than me, wearing a colorful pair of board shorts holding his surfboard by his side.
“I haven’t seen you here before.”
“I’m new. My family just moved here.”
“I wanna go exploring, Mark,” Jake exclaimed.
“You can but stay around here. Don’t go wandering off where I have to come looking for you.”
Jake ran off down the beach probably no doubt looking for seashells washed ashore.
“Sorry about that. We’ve never seen the ocean before.”
“No, I get it. To everyone who already lives here it’s so common place but to newbies it’s a whole new experience.”
He extended his hand and said, “I’m Rob.”
“Mark,” I said, shaking his hand.
“Do you know how to swim? Because if you are interested I could show you how to surf.”
“I really don’t have the kind of money to buy my own surfboard.”
“No matter. I have a couple. You can always borrow one of mine.”
The waves were starting to kick up again that made Rob take notice.
“I am going to go back. Let me know what you think.”
As he walked away looking at his back it had intrigued me because whether it was ice hockey or surfing I already knew that a key part of it was balance. Rob looked like any typical Californian I imagined. Muscular. Blonde. Blue eyed. However, also having the elusive six pack with the V shape in his hips that was very hard to come by as well the well defined V shape of his back.
Did I just check him out? No, why would I be looking at a guy to see how he measured up?
I followed my eyes to where he ran out and quickly with ease hopped up on his board and rode a beginning wave coming into the shore doing tricks. After seeing him and beginning to watch others it was intimidating, to say the least. I did take swimming lessons at the Y where I learned as a kid or did go out for the swim team and competed in a few events but this was a completely different environment.
When I was in the pool I had the control and could time my strokes, I had one of the best times for the 50 meter freestyle, whereas here you were faced with the raw nature of the water.
I looked out seeing Rob suddenly lose his balance on his board and fall under though he quickly popped his head out of the water and looked like he shrugged it off as normal.
Suddenly, I felt a tug at my arm and turned to see it was Jake who had sand all caked on his feet.
“You think Mom would let us come here every day?”
“I don’t know, Jake,” I said. “Maybe.”
“It’s really cool. Think I am going to start a seashell collection.”
“That’s a good idea. Something to show Mom.”
As I turned to leave with Jake heading back home I took a second look at the group of surfers riding the waves and Rob.
I purposefully woke up the next morning early staying quiet so as not to wake anyone up. Walking outside the only sounds I could hear were the birds chirping while everyone was still asleep in their beds or just starting their days. I took off on my bike wearing nothing but my board shorts and a pair of flip flops. I kept a beach towel flung over my shoulder making my way to the beach.
When I got there the sun had just peeked over the horizon in the east. It was the gray area between morning and night that gave the whole stretch of beach the feint light of dawn.
I looked down the beach seeing a figure kneeling over a surfboard rubbing it around in circles. As I continued approaching I could see it was Rob polishing his board.
“Hi,” I said.
“Mark, I didn’t expect to you see out here so early.”
“I thought by chance I come and see if you were here.”
“I am here most days. Some of the best waves are in the morning hours.”
“Were you still serious about teaching me?”
“Sure I was. Did you want to learn?”
“You are in luck because I happen to have another board.”
He ran back to his pickup truck pulling out another surfboard and handed it to me.
“Here you go. You can use this to practice.”
“Thanks,” I said smiling.
“First going to teach you how to stand.”
He laid my board down on the sand and said, “Step on it and keep your feet apart.”
I did as he instructed standing on the board parting my legs.
“Shoulders back, head up.”
He put his hands on my shoulders that gave me a feeling that shot down my spine like a rush of something I had never felt before.
“Rob!” a voice exclaimed.
I turned to see another surfer walking up dressed in a black wet suit. He had curly black hair and brown eyes looking at me with a measure of disdain.
“Who’s this?” he said. “You know this is our stretch of beach, Rob.”
“Patrick, chill out. This is Mark. I met him yesterday and offered to show him how to surf. The beach belongs to everyone.”
“Just don’t get in my way,” he said, shooting a look at me.
Patrick ran back joining others who had just arrived.
I stayed quiet feeling like I was out of place for coming here.
“Don’t worry about him. He likes to put on a tough guy attitude all the time.”
“Maybe this isn’t for me,” I said getting off the board.
“That’s stupid. Surfing is the best. You stick with me long enough I can help you become just as good as Duke Kahanamoku.”
“He is like the father of modern surfing,” he said laughing.
Rob put a reassuring hand on my shoulder that no matter what made my pulse quicken a little.
Rob and I practiced on our boards showing me how to stand and jump up quickly before spending hours in the water trying little waves.
“Why don’t we dry off and can show you around? We could go to the Pier.”
“Yeah, we are still kind of settling in at home. We haven’t had a real chance to explore the neighborhood.”
“There is also a surfing museum if you want to check it out.”
“Surfing is really big around here is it?”
“Many people see it as just mere recreation or for sports and that is true but for others it’s also a way of life.”
Huntington Pier was a long white pier that jutted out into the water where several people walked by enjoying the day. At the end of the pier, a few fishermen were throwing their lines into the water hoping to catch something.
“So where are you from?”
“Minnesota!” he said wide eyed. “Then this must be a real shock for you?”
“Yeah,” I said laughing.
“I don’t think I've ever seen snow,” Rob said. “What is it like?”
“Feels like it’s winter for half the year then a few short weeks in April or May then the summer and come November the snow returns back again.”
“But you seem like such a natural with the water?”
“I was also on a swim team back at my old high school.”
“Really? You should try out in the fall for the team. I know the coach always is on the lookout for new swimmers. I was a team member for three years.”
The whole time running through my mind that the more I got to know the more I liked him. I wasn’t sure I was going to make any friends here because it was just a big move from Minnesota. I could tell that Rob didn’t have a bad bone in his whole body.
It had been a long first day and by the time I got home, it was dinner time.
“Are you just getting in?” my Mom questioned.
“Yeah, I was out with a friend I made from the beach.”
“Making friends already? You see I told you would make friends.”
“So who is your friend’s name?”
My father’s voice asked echoing walking into the kitchen.
“Rob, him and a group of others surf at the beach. He offered to give me lessons.”
“That is nice of him,” Mom said.
After dinner, I crashed in my room thinking about the day feeling split in two directions. I couldn’t believe how I felt when Rob had put his hands on my shoulders to help balance me. When I met him sometimes you just know that you will click with another person though I felt an even stronger connection with him. I didn’t know if it was just because I was happy to make a friend or was it about something else altogether.
Memorial Day was always big around our house and this year was no exception. Every year my Mom worked preparing the grill laying out all of her hamburgers and brats and when she was done we had a whole plate of burgers and dogs ready to eat.
As my Mom continued preparing the food the doorbell rang.
“Mark, could you get the door?”
I hopped up from watching TV on the couch and opened the door seeing Rob standing there obviously with his parents.
“Hi,” Rob’s father spoke. “You must be Mark. Your parents invited us over for the day.”
“Yeah, Robert, Anna, come in,” my father said ushering them in.
“This is our son, Rob Jr.”
“Junior?” I asked.
“We can all go back to the deck. My wife is still cooking the burgers on the grill.”
Once they were all away it gave me and Rob a few minutes to talk.
“I had no idea you were coming.”
“Me either. Your Dad and mine are co workers. Small world isn’t it?” he said smiling.
Needless to say, I was a little flustered but stayed cool, calm, and collected. We all sat out in the back on the deck hearing my Dad talk shop with Rob’s father. My father worked in an advertising agency.
“It’s good to have you on the team,” Rob’s father said. “We can use people like you.”
“Thanks for the welcome.”
“Huntington has some good high schools. I think your boys will like it here,” his mother said. “Do you boys already meet?”
“Yeah, Mom, we met on the beach the other day. I’ve been giving Mark surfing lessons.”
“He is so great in the water. Even entered a few surfing competitions.”
“Really?” I asked in surprise.
“Yeah, but I don’t like to brag about it.”
It was getting late so it was time to wind things down.
“Thank you for having us over,” Anna said.
Rob extended his hand to shake mine and once again the feel of his hand in mine gave me a surge. From the look on his face, I could almost tell he was feeling the same way though you couldn’t always judge a book by its cover.
Rob continued to help me with my surfing much to other peoples chagrin. We continued to talk hanging out together more seeing we had a lot of the same interests. Movies. Books. TV.
After two weeks of practicing I rode up as usual with my bike but he was nowhere to be seen. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around being greeted by one of the other surfers I had recognized.
“Mark?” he said.
I nodded yes.
“Rob wanted me to tell you to meet him at Mike’s Surf Shack.”
He pointed me the way which was a few short blocks from the beach. When I arrived it looked like a little hole in the wall store but inside was a whole wall of surfboards.
“Isn’t this place great?”
I turned around seeing Rob standing in front of me.
“It’s my uncle's shop,” he said. “Taught me everything I know about surfing.”
From the back room came an older man with graying hair. His face was tan and careworn from the years of sun at the beach.
“Is my nephew regaling you with stories?”
“Is the board ready?” Rob asked.
“Take a look,” he answered, bringing the board out standing it upright.
It was a navy shortboard with a long black stripe down the middle.
“What you think?” Rob questioned.
“Impressive board,” I replied.
Rob and his uncle took one look at each other and then together took another look at me. Rob held onto the surfboard presenting it to me.
“No, you mean?”
“It’s yours,” his uncle said.
“But I could never afford this.”
“Think of it as a gift,” Rob said.
“Rob has been telling me how good you are getting. Making boards has always been a hobby of mine. I had a customer ask to have a board for him made. Paid in advance but he never came by to pick it up.”
“I felt it was time you had your own board.”
His uncle fished out some quarters from his pocket.
“Rob, why don’t you go outside and get some pop from the machine?”
Rob walked outside as I started to look the board over.
“You’ve been spending a lot of time with my nephew?”
I looked up and said, “Yeah, he has been really great to me.”
“I can tell he feels close to you.”
It soon sounded like he was implying something more than I was catching on to; however, in all seriousness, I knew it was where I was too afraid to admit it to myself let alone anyone else. He exhibited a knowing looking for a moment.
“Anyway, use the board in good health.”
I knew in my mind there was always a part of me albeit small that had an attraction to other guys. Sexuality was a complicated issue for as just as many people that there was in the world there were probably other people in the same situation on a vast spectrum. Was there an in between and not an either or? I shook my head dismissing the notion. No need to dwell on it I thought.
I didn’t know how Rob felt at all but his uncle definitely suspected there was something more going on with his nephew.
Rob came walking back in with the sodas.
“So think you are ready for a test run?” he asked me.
“Sure,” I replied.
Rob and I both headed back to the beach temporarily loading my new surfboard into the back of his truck.
We got out into the water sitting on our boards feeling the rolling waves carry our surfboards where I could feel it down to my groin. I turned to Rob who smiled and laughed.
“Sometimes you can easily get stiff in the water.”
I felt kind of embarrassed by keeping quiet looking for the next wave that would come up.
“Honestly nothing to be embarrassed about,” he said. “It’s normal.”
Suddenly, a wave rose up and we hopped up on our boards riding. Practice made perfect. Rob easily made it to shore but I slipped and fell into the water. I sunk down attempting to swim to shore with my board but couldn’t. The waves began to push me further and further out as I tried to swim forward. I started to panic.
“Mark!” Rob shouted. “You are in a rip current. Swim sideways!”
I kept trying but the water kept pulling me under. I reached up with my arm getting my head up high enough to see the shore watching Rob jump into the water swimming out to me. He held on to me as I grabbed my board with my arm.
“Don’t worry, I got you.”
He continued to swim sideways across the rip current until we were both safely up on the beach.
“Are you alright?” Rob said, putting a towel around me.
“Yeah, I think so,” I said, coughing a bit.
“Rip currents can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.”
“At least I was able to save my new board.”
He put his hands on my shoulders rubbing the towel against me helping me to warm up.
“We should probably quit for today.”
“Rob?!” a female voice hollered from down the beach.
Rob quickly dropped his hand to his sides.
She was tall but curvy with medium length brunette hair flowing quickly embracing Rob and giving him a kiss on the cheek. She wore a one piece red bathing suit.
“Where you’ve been?”
“I’ve been here, just been busy.”
She turned her head seeing me standing there.
“I’m sorry, I’m Christy, Rob’s girlfriend.”
Girlfriend? Rob has a girlfriend?
“I’m Mark,” I said, shaking her hand.
“You two been surfing?”
“Yeah, Rob offered to give me some lessons.”
“He can be really a generous guy,” she said. “Did you know that he’s also one of the best swimmers USC has on their team?”
“He told me he used to be on the high school’s swim team.”
“Yeah, he got a full scholarship.”
“You can quit now, Christy.”
We both could see Christy’s face light up.
“I have a great idea. Since you are new why don’t we all go out? I have a friend who I could pair you up with Mark and the four of us can all go out together.”
I looked to Rob who appeared to show he was interested and looked to me for confirmation. Christy’s stared at me for a moment where I was unprepared for the impromptu invite.
“Sure, I’d like to come.”
“Great, let’s plan for tonight. Will come to your place and come pick you up.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Christy held Rob’s hand in hers which he slowly walked back down the beach with her. He glanced back at me with a half smile but not with the same enthusiasm he showed me before.
I walked in the door seeing my Mom running up to me and giving me a tight hug.
“Rob’s Mom had phoned me. She said that you were in stuck in a rip current and Rob had rescued you from the water.”
“Yeah, I just had a hard time swimming to shore,” I said. “I’m okay Mom.”
She looked me over checking to see that I was still in one piece.
“Thank goodness, it’s lucky your friend Rob was there to help you.”
“Yeah, his girlfriend invited me out to dinner with her, Rob and a friend of hers. Could I go?”
“Sure. I’ll give you some money to cover your tab.”
During that evening we sat around a table at a local casual restaurant. Burgers, finger appetizers, fries, and steaks fare. Christy brought her friend, Melinda, for me as a dinner companion.
“I heard from Rob you are from Minnesota?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“I could never stand the cold.”
Rob was pushing his mixed vegetables around on his plate looking down intently.
“Hey, what’s wrong Rob?” Melinda asked
Rob looked up at her smiling and said, “Nothing. Just was thinking about school.”
“Think I need to go use the washroom,” Christy said. “Melinda?”
“Yeah, I am right behind you.”
Once they left I glanced to see they were out of earshot distance.
“I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.”
“Yeah, Christy and I have been dating on and off over the last couple of months,” he said reluctantly.
“I had no idea.”
“It’s alright, you didn’t know.”
I began to feel like I was the third wheel. Was his uncle wrong? Was Rob for all intents and purposes just interested in other women? If it was something else was Christy aware of it? There were more questions and not enough answers.
Christy and Melinda came back where Rob and I were all smiles. I was pretending to go through the motions so as not to make nobody think anything was wrong.
After getting home stepping inside I could see my parents resting in the family room watching the late local news.
“Mark, did you have a good time?”
“Yeah, think I am tired. I am just going to go to bed.”
“Okay honey. Have a good night.”
I stripped down to my boxers and crawled into bed staring up at the ceiling. I felt sorry for Rob. I was sorry that he was stuck in a relationship that possibly he wasn’t happy to be in. It wasn’t fair for Christy because she was a nice girl and didn’t deserve unbeknownst to her that Rob maybe didn’t the same way she did about him.
I woke to the smell of pancakes and pork sausage wafting from the kitchen. I walked downstairs to see everyone else sitting and eating at the table.
“Good morning, sleepy head,” my Mom said in the middle of flipping pancakes on the griddle. “Come sit down.”
I slid in next to my brother and started eating.
“Dad, could you help with my science project?” Jake asked.
“Sure, I think I am through.”
Jake and my father both got up and walked out. I wanted to get the courage to ask my Mom a question so just came out with it.
“Mom, how do you know when someone is into you?”
“You mean like more than just a friend?”
“Did you meet a girl?”
What was I going to tell her? That I had possibly had feelings for another guy that went beyond friendship? She interpreted the look on my face that I didn’t want to say who it was.
“That’s okay. You don’t have to tell me who it is,” she said. “When you meet somebody sometimes you just know. It doesn’t always hit you right away or other times it’s like love at first sight.”
“Is that how it was with you and Dad?”
“More or less. Actually I met your father on a blind date set up by one of his girlfriends. He was nice and charming. At first I wasn’t sure but as we continued going out the more confident I became and the rest as they say is history. The best advice I can give you is listen to what your inner voice tells you. Go to where your heart leads.”
“Thanks Mom,” I rose up and gave her a big hug.
“Well, you‘re welcome,” she said laughing.
I finished eating and changed grabbing my surfboard and walking to the beach this time. Fortunately, my surfboard wasn’t that heavy for me to lug so it was easy for me to carry on foot. I got to the beach and right away I started looking for Rob hoping he was there but he was nowhere to be seen. There were several beachgoers from either people sun tanning, other surfers, or families out with their kids spending a sunny day but no Rob.
Was he staying away knowing he’d likely see me being that Christy was back in the picture? The last thing I wanted was to cause any problems for him. I didn’t want to lose his friendship.
I decided to go back home and took my bike and went riding around the neighborhood. I rode down one street seeing a row of mini mansions that were easily in the six figures. I skirted to a stop seeing Rob’s truck parked in a driveway with his surfboard laying in the back. From the back of the house, I could hear music and several voices.
Do I try going up and talking to him? I rang his door only to be greeted by his Mom.
“Is Rob at home?”
“Yeah, come in. They are all out in back having a pool party.”
I walked into their house heading to the back seeing a big pool and a deck with a whole group of guys and girls. From the looks of it, the other guys were from his swim team and old high school friends.
“If you want you can go into our pool house and change. Rob has some more swim shorts.”
I acknowledged her and headed into the pool house with the shades drawn. After I was inside I found a chest of drawers opening it up seeing a stack of swim shorts. I took off my clothes just as I could hear someone coming inside seeing Rob walking right in.
“Whoa, I’m sorry,” he said, averting his eyes.
I froze in place when Rob took a second look at me.
“Oh Mark, I didn’t know you were in here.”
“Yeah, I came to see you and your Mom invited me in,” I said. “I didn’t see you on the beach and was riding my bike and saw your car in the driveway and figured it was where you lived.”
He continued to look straight at me not wanting to look over at the rest of me.
“Yeah, you are more than welcome to stay. It’s just Christy, some of her friends and some of my friends from the team.”
I could tell he looked uncomfortable. I know I was too.
“Come out when are ready.”
He quickly grabbed another six pack of something from the counter and left shutting the door behind him. I walked back out and sat on one of the chaise lounges attempting to just blend in watching everyone rough house in the pool. From the other side around the patio table, I saw Rob eating and drinking with his teammates talking and laughing like everything was perfectly normal.
I didn’t feel the least bit offended. I was the new kid and these were his friends. I understood if he was, whatever it was, he couldn’t let on to anyone else but that was only if he felt the way as I suspected.
“Mark, I see you sitting there,” Christy asked. “Why don’t you and Rob race?”
“Yeah!” Melinda exclaimed. “Rob?!”
Rob looked up glancing over at the pool finding me stepping into the water.
“You, Mark, Race. Now.”
“I haven’t really swum in a couple of months really,” I said quietly.
“No, it would be fun to watch.”
“Okay, if you insist,” Rob answered.
Rob hopped into the pool standing next to me.
“To the other side of the pool and back twice?”
“On your mark, get set, go,” Christy shouted waving her arm down.
I raced freestyle side by side with Rob down the length of the pool and back. I could hear the cheers coming from everyone egging Rob on. On the second lap, I slowed a little but not enough that anyone would notice that I was letting Rob win. Rob raced just ahead of me and made it to the front of the just shy of me finishing.
Christy jumped up on him and gave Rob a big kiss.
“That’s my boy.”
It was all I could do was to feign a smile just to keep up appearances.
Hours later everyone left where it was just myself, Christy, and Rob sitting together in the hot tub soaking.
“Everyone on the team seemed to like you,” Christy said. “I think you will fit in.”
“Thanks, means a lot.”
I didn’t care about school at the moment. The only thing I cared about is to hopefully get some alone time with Rob so we could at least talk more. I could feel Rob rub his foot on mine back and forth like he was reassuring me in a way.
“It’s late,” Christy said getting out dripping wet. “I should get going. Let you go clean up.”
She leaned in cupping his face giving him another deep kiss. Did I feel jealous? I did though slightly.
It left me and Rob alone in the tub feeling the warm bubbles rise to the top.
“So you want me to help you clean up?”
“Yeah, but first I wanted to tell you that I value our friendship. I wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of that.”
He put a hand on my leg rubbing it. I stayed very still letting his hand continue to rub the top of my right leg back and forth reaching up to almost my hip area.
“I know,” I said sitting forward.
The sound of the back door opening quickly made Rob retract his hand sitting back on his seat.
“Rob,” his Mom said walking out. “Could you help me clean up now?”
“Sure, Mom,” he said, turning his head to her.
He gave me another sorry look and rose out of the tub. I followed him out of it and went back to the pool house to dry off and changed back into my street clothes. Once I was done I walked back out through the front door where Rob stood by waiting for me.
“So surfing tomorrow?”
“Yeah, I will try and make it.”
He shut the door on me hearing it quickly but quietly. I could feel it in my gut that it was the first indication that he had a real interest in me that was more than just as a friend.
The 4th of July festivities were in full swing all around Huntington Beach. In the morning they held a parade which all of us went to. Floats. Marching Bands. Politicians waving to the crowds.
Every day prior I went to the beach hoping I would see Rob there again but he never showed up. I soon stopped going taking a break from surfing for a couple of days. I truly felt my mind needed the break and the distraction.
As the day rolled on we all went to my house greeting family members who came from out of town having a big burger and BBQ feast. When the sun started going down I had made plans to go to the pier finding out it was the best spot to see the fireworks going off but as soon as I got closer to the beach I could see one lifeguard tower sticking out by itself. I looked more closely where I could have sworn I saw Rob sitting on the side of the tower with his legs dangling over the side. I wanted to investigate so rode my bike out in the places where the sand was hard and more densely packed which made it easier to ride.
I got to the tower and sure enough there I saw Rob just sitting deep in contemplation.
He lifted his head and said, “Hey.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, only that me and Christy broke up.”
I walked up the ramp and sat down next to him.
Inside I felt something that this was an opportunity to explore more what was going on between us; although, on the other hand, I felt sorry for him.
“I thought you and her were good.”
“Yeah, but she came to me finally and spoke up feeling there was something wrong between us.”
“What you think happened?”
“I think she could tell that I wasn’t into her anymore,” he said. “That I cared more about somebody else.”
It was at that moment that he looked to me with water in his eyes.
He sniffled and nodded.
“Ever since I met you I felt it. I don’t know how or why I feel the way I do. It’s just is.”
“Honestly,” I answered. “I’ve felt the same way.”
He laughed wiping away his tears forming in his eyes.
“Yeah, I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about you. I just had a feeling.”
“So what does this make us?” he asked. “Definitely not straight. Bi? Gay?”
“I don’t know. Bromosexuals?”
“There is such a thing?”
“Yeah, I found it searching the internet.”
We heard the fireworks start that made us both look up seeing all the bright reds and blues bursting against the blackness of the night sky. I turned to Rob smiling that made him slowly lean his head sideways giving me a gentle kiss on the lips. It suddenly gave me a feeling that shot down my spine. I slowly reciprocated feeling his lips on mine and slid in giving him a hug resting my head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around me as we kept watching the fireworks together.
I woke up the next morning feeling a sense of elation. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. The worst case scenario would have been that it was all one sided and would have lost Rob completely but it didn’t happen. We mutually decided to keep it a secret between us because we had no idea how our family and friends would react to our new found relationship.
I called Rob up to see if he would be free to come over. Jake was still at our neighbor’s house having a sleepover and my parents weren’t coming back for hours having taken a weekend getaway trip.
He came over right away and we both jumped into the pool roughhousing pushing each other down.
He hugged me close and started to whisper in my ear.
“I know you let me win.”
I cringed and said, “Yeah, I did.”
“Well, I didn’t want to make you look bad in front of your friends.”
He dove down and grabbed at my swim shorts and pulled them down swiftly.
“You’ve never skinny dipped, have you?” he said when he came back up.
“No,” I said laughing.
He smiled pulling down his own shorts and threw them over at the side of the pool. We embraced locking our lips together as we waded into the deep end. He held me up and I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and neck. He gently kissed around my neck affectionately. Then he pulled away from me.
“Marco!” Rob said dunking down.
“Polo!” I yelled.
I dunk down seeing him go back up.
I jumped back up to the surface.
I sighed taking a breath holding onto the side of the pool with him. It was all of a sudden I heard noises coming from the kitchen.
“Mark, you out there?” my Mom called out.
I turned to see just myself in the pool looking for Rob who was nowhere in sight.
My Mom opened the patio door which made me focus my attention.
“Mark, how did things go this weekend?” she asked. “Any troubles?”
I could immediately feel Rob slowly tugging at my penis below the water. I could feel my heart beating a mile a minute. I had to really contain myself less my Mom suspected there was something wrong.
“Nope!” I exclaimed, “Nothing wrong.”
As soon as she left Rob came back up letting out a deep breath.
“Fortunately I can hold my breath underwater for a few minutes,” he whispered.
“That was close,” I said.
“Yeah, but it was fun,” he said, giving my penis another tug.
He gave me a rise that I could feel all through out my upper body that made me shudder slightly.
“You have to go.”
“Go out the back fence.”
He quickly gave me another peck and jumped out of the pool hightailing it out of the yard shutting the back gate behind him.
Rob and I took every opportunity finding legitimate reasons for being together. I explained to my parents that Rob was helping to train me if I were going to try and make it on to the high school’s swim team. We met under the pier, secluded parks, anywhere and everywhere where we could have the time alone to talk which eventually led to some making out. It was the best part for me.
It was another hot July day where Rob’s uncle decided to go for a day of sailing and invited Rob to come with but he also asked for me and he said he was fine with it.
His uncle owned a big white sailboat that had a medium sized cabin with its own bed. It was one of those days where you couldn’t see a speck of clouds seeing a sky of crisp blue. After we boarded we helped raised the sail letting it unfurl against the favorable winds that day.
By the time Rob and I stepped downstairs into the cabin right away we pulled each other shirts off and began kissing locking lips for minutes both falling back laying on the bed. It was an incredible feeling in that moment knowing that Rob felt the same way I did. I even found it hard to catch my breath.
“Opps, sorry,” his uncle said.
We both jerked our heads up in fear seeing him standing in the doorway looking at us sprawled out on the bed. I quickly grabbed my shirt sliding it back on. His uncle held up his hand in reassurance.
“Don’t need to change on my account.”
“We’re sorry, Uncle Mike,” Rob said.
“I’ve always had my suspicions but wasn’t sure.”
“Please don’t tell Mom and Dad.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I don’t know what my parents would say.”
“Boys, love is a gift in which ever form it is. If your parents find out it will not be from me.”
I fell back onto the bed relieved after he stepped back out. Rob slowly rubbed a hand across my stomach sensing how apprehensive I looked.
“My Uncle Mike has always been a cool guy.”
“We have made sneaking around a science,” I replied.
We stayed down in the cabin holding onto each other just talking more about ourselves. In our conversation, I found out that Rob had the same curious “leanings” as I did from a young age.
“We don’t let others define our relationship,” he explained. “We define it for ourselves.”
It was one of the best days I had here since moving to Huntington. We swam, in the ocean, did a little fishing, and laid out on the deck together. One perfect day. I was glad that his Uncle was so liberal minded in his thinking afraid that after being caught that it would be the end.
Days later Rob called saying he had planned a big surprise for me in the evening. I laid awake in my room until I knew that my parents and Jake were in their rooms for the night and fast asleep. When I knew it was safe I carefully walked out down the stairs heading out the front door seeing Rob in his same truck waiting patiently for me.
“So what have you planned?” I said after I hopped into his front passenger seat.
“You’ll see,” he said smiling.
He drove further down the street past the more populated areas to a deserted section of the beach. We both got out and I followed him for what seemed like another mile. In the darkness, I could see the shapes of the large boulders but between them, there was a small narrow path guiding my hand seeing that it was a small cove with a pup tent and a sleeping bag big enough for two people. Also, I could see off to the side a group of rocks in a circle.
“I hope you like it,” Rob said.
Rob kneeled down pulling out a candle lighter from his backpack soon creating a blazing fire inside the ring of stones.
“Aren’t we going to get into trouble for this?” I asked.
“No, one of the lifeguards is a friend of mine. He said it was alright as long as I was careful and put it out completely when I was done.”
He pulled out a CD stereo player setting it down on the sleeping bag and pressed play. He stood back up reaching his hand for me. From the stereo, I could hear what sounded like a 1970’s pop song.
“I never really learned how to dance,” I said sheepishly.
“Come on, it’s easy,” he said, taking a hold of my hand pulling myself to him.
“I know your eyes in the morning sun. I feel you touch me in the pouring rain. And the moment you wander away from me. I wanna feel you in my arms again.”
“What song is this?” I questioned as we held onto each other close slowly dancing.
“My parents always listened to this when I was younger and grew up with it until I liked it too,” he said, “It’s called How Deep is Your Love by The Bee-Gees.”
“Cause we’re living in a world of fools breaking us down when they all should let us be. We belong to you and me.”
After the song ended we plopped together on the sand curled up together looking up at the clear night sky seeing all the stars shining brightly far out from the glare of the town lights. I realized that this would be the first time ever we were together overnight which I thought would actually make me more anxious but surprisingly I felt fine.
It was getting late so we slowly took off each other clothes and laid on our sides on top of the bag with his arm laying over my side.
“You think you will stay with swimming?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Rob said. “You?”
“Maybe just another year. My brain can’t think that far ahead.”
I paused thinking and said, “Hey, maybe you could become the next Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte? You never know.”
Rob let out a small laugh poking my side with his hand.
“No, think surfing will always be my first love. Swimming has always been just a fun competitive hobby for me.”
He started to slowly rub my back giving me a massage.
“I want to try something with you. Would you be interested?”
“Okay, slide yourself into the bag.”
I did so and Rob slid in laying gently on top of me already telling that both of our penises were fully erect. Penis to penis. Chest to chest. He zipped the bag shut around us feeling his full weight on me. It was out of some natural reaction that made my whole body freeze up going completely stiff.
“Do you trust me?”
He looked down at me slowly rubbing his groin up and down on mine making my eyes grow wide.
“It’s alright,” he whispered into my ear. “Just relax.”
I rubbed both of my hands down his smooth back feeling the warmth building up between us. Rob nestled his head into my neck gently kissing it as he continued to slide slowly.
“I always wanted to try this but never had the courage to try this until now.”
“I’m leaking precum.”
“That’s good,” he said, nodding to me.
I hugged him closer letting out a moan.
“Is it normal to feel light headed?” I said catching my breath.
“Think so, must mean we are doing it right.”
He leaned in kissing me again looking down at me with our eyes locked on each other enjoying how it all made us feel. In the pit of my stomach, I started feeling it build up like a big wave about to crash to the shore. I let out another guttural-like moan.
“Yes Mark!” he exclaimed sliding faster.
“God, don’t stop.”
Rob let out a loud moan that had me rock with him in unison. I started to cry feeling fresh tears roll down my face as I rested my head against his tan shoulder.
“I’m cumming!” I yelled.
“Here it comes!”
We both erupted at the same time feeling our wet warm ejaculates mix and spread out over both of our groin areas. We sighed together and smiled letting everything dry. He turned over on his back resting my head on his chest hugging each other soon falling asleep. It was my last thought before drifting off in Rob’s arms that in my life I had never felt more safe, loved, and protected.
I woke up the next morning seeing Rob awake outside the tent having put out whatever embers were left from our little bonfire from the night before.
“Did you sleep good?” he asked.
“Yeah, really well.”
I got out of the tent searching for my clothes to put back on.
“I should get home.”
“Yeah, I will drive you.”
Rob and I were smiling all the way back to my house where he chose to discreetly park at the end of my block.
“See you later?” I said, raising my eyebrows.
He leaned in cupping my face giving me a kiss almost touching our tongues together. I walked into the house seeing my Mom in the front hallway dressed in her morning clothes.
“Where you’ve been?”
“Woke up early. Decided I wanted to go on an early morning run.”
“Okay. That’s nice,” she said smiling.
I hated lying to my Mom but I already knew what the alternative would be. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with seeing the look of disappointment in her eyes that the great son she raised wasn’t completely straight.
Rob and I were racking our brains figuring out how we could spend another night together until my Dad made an announcement that he and my Mom and Rob’s parents were all going away together. It just so happened that one of the ad agencies' big accounts needed my father and Rob’s professional expertise at some fancy resort hotel; however, didn’t want to leave their wives at home so they all mutually decided to turn it into a working vacation. It was the perfect opportunity.
“While we are away keep tabs on Jake, will you?”
“Don’t worry about a thing,” I said. “Have a good time.”
As soon as I could hear the car driving away I ran upstairs and grabbed an overnight pack back from under the bed. I started packing up some things that I had left out when Jake came into my room.
“Where are you going?” Jake said. “Mom said you were supposed to watch me this weekend.”
“I know but I have plans.”
“What kind of plans?”
“None of your business.”
“I’ll make you a deal,” I said. “I will let you play all of my video games while I am gone if you promise not to say anything to Mom and Dad.”
I stuck out my hand and said, “We got a deal?”
I could see Jake thinking it over in his head before he shook my hand.
“Okay, fair enough.”
“Thanks. I will owe you.”
I rode over on my bike slugging my backpack over my shoulder.
When I rang the doorbell Rob opened the door welcoming me inside.
“My parents just left five minutes ago,” he said. “We got the whole house to ourselves.”
I dropped my backpack and we both headed out to the pool stripping naked next to him. Rob ran towards the pool shouting “Cannonball” taking a knee wrapped plunge into the deep end. I soon dove in after him swimming under the water beginning to wrestle with him.
Rob came for air and gasped taking a breather.
“How did you get out of babysitting your little brother?”
“Promised him he could get into all of my video games if he swore not to say anything to my parents about being away and he went for it.”
“I thought so.”
We did spend some time in the water friendly competing working on our different swim strokes.
“By the time tryouts start at school you will be more than ready. They’d be a fool not to add you.”
“But you are just saying that.”
“No, I really mean it,” he said nodding his head. “I have every confidence in you.”
He cupped my face in his hands and gave me a big kiss.
“How about a nice warm shower in the pool house?”
“Yeah, think we both smell like chlorine.”
Inside the pool house, his parents had a full bathroom with a big walk in shower. Rob turned on the water to just the right temperature that wasn’t too hot or too cold. We both got in sharing a bottle of body wash between us.
“Nothing beats a warm shower after swimming,” he said.
We helped each other out getting everywhere from our fronts to our backs and shoulders. The feel of our hands on each other’s bodies made us both feel invigorated. We stood under the shower holding onto each other kissing gently. In one moment he let up looking at me wondering.
“What is it?”
“I was curious,” Rob said. “How far you willing to go with me?”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s something I would have to show you.”
“After the other night I think we both feel pretty comfortable with whatever may come.”
“Yeah, I agree.”
He spit out some water from his throat and slowly kneeled down in front of me standing. He reached up with his hand wrapping his wet soapy hand around my penis stroking it. The water from the shower cascaded on top of both of us rinsing away any soap I had on mine.
“Don’t move,” he said, staring at my erect penis.” Close your eyes.”
I closed my eyes immediately feeling Rob’s lips sliding down my head past my cut ridge area. I let out a big gasp bracing my hand against the shower wall. He gently went down further feeling the warm insides of his mouth envelop my penis slowly beginning to slide his head forward and back up in a rhythmic motion. I could hear him deep breathing thru his nose as he continued going down and back up again. Soon my legs started to buckle but Rob quickly held my butt up with both hands to support me. It was the most surreal experience in my life. He let his mouth slip back out.
“How did that feel?” he said looking up at me.
“Unbelievable,” I replied. “Felt like I was almost about to cum again.”
“Try it, but stop short of making me cum. I don’t want to get it all over you.”
Rob stood up with his feet apart. I was extremely nervous kneeling down but I knew it was okay to be scared. Brave new world. Etc. I stroked him feeling him become harder in my hand. It was another reason why Rob and I fit so well together because we were both around the same size being not too big or too small. I looked at it dead on hesitating.
“Don’t worry, just take your time.”
Slowly parting my lips I took in Rob’s head closing my eyes that made him let out a deep sigh as I moved my way down his shaft sucking more and more of it in. His penis felt big in my mouth. I moved slightly faster attempting to match the same rhythm Rob showed to me. He reached down with his hand stroking his fingers thru my damp hair.
“Be careful,” he said. “You are going to make me shoot.”
I stopped short of making him cum standing back up.
“That really felt different.”
“I know. Felt different for me too but special.”
“Yeah,” I said, leaning in to give him a bear hug.
“Let’s dry off and climb into my bed.”
We stepped out of the shower together helping each other dry off. Then Rob took my hand in his slowly guiding me into his room towards his bed that was open. I climbed in on one side while he climbed in on the other scooting to the middle of his king size bed. We both hugged holding onto each other feeling our breath on each other’s faces.
It was unexpected but felt that at some point it would come. The three words.
“I love you, Mark.”
He looked at me seeing the trepidation in his eyes likely fearing that he went too far.
“I love you too,” I said smiling.
We spent the rest of the night talking, watching movies on Netflix, and eventually falling asleep next to each other. Fortunately, by the time I got back home the next afternoon, Jake was safe and sound in his room. Both Rob and mine’s respective parents came back from a pleasant trip and Jake kept his word.
They say that time flies when you are having fun because before I realized it it was August. Rob and I planned another day of surfing floating side by side waiting for the next big wave to approach. We both could see Patrick paddling over.
“You still teaching your boyfriend how to surf?” he asked laughing.
Rob’s face turned into one of quiet anger tightening his fist looking like he was ready for a fight.
“Whoa! Did I strike a nerve?” Patrick said. “Anyway I just came over to tell you that the big Wave Rider competition is coming up again. You entering?”
“I might,” Rob said. “Just to see your face when I win would be priceless.”
“Yeah, I won’t hold my breath.”
Patrick paddled away leaving the other direction away from us. He turned his face to me to see how I was doing.
“You think he really knows?” I asked.
“No, he’s just bull shitting again like he always does though he was right about one thing.”
“We are each other’s boyfriends,” he said smiling warmly.
The Wave Rider surfing competition held yearly was seen as the highlight of the whole summer where all of the best surfers in Huntington Beach came out. Top Prize? One thousand dollars and a golden trophy. From what I learned it was all a series of heats where two surfers went head to head performing their tricks in the water where every trick had a point value and whoever could stay on top garnering the most points was declared the winner.
The following week leading up to the contest Rob practiced tirelessly in the water perfecting his techniques. I knew I could never match the other surfers but Rob had the real talent to go up against and beat everyone else.
Then the day had finally arrived. In the morning Rob stood amongst a field of eleven other surfers all vying. It looked like half of the town all came out to see the show. Rob’s parents looked on awaiting his first heats in the water. He and I both stood off to the side seeing other pairs of surfers enter the water before him. From around his neck, he lifted a small medallion off.
“Matt, I want to give you something,” he said.
“What is it?”
“This,” Rob said, sliding the medallion over my head and onto my neck. “is my St. Christopher Medal. He is the patron saint of surfing.”
I held it up examining it surprised by the generous gift. We glanced around seeing the bevy of people standing around cringing our faces; however, the look his in eyes back to me gave me all I needed on how he felt. He gave me a smile.
“You can keep it safe and give it to me when I get back.”
I watched one by one as the other surfers were eliminated based on their lower point values. In the last round, all that was left was Rob and by fate Patrick. Patrick went first doing fairly well. Then Rob swam out for his turn right away commanding the waves. He caught a big wave barreling through it with grace turning his board to the left and right. Rob only needed a few more points to pass Patrick and he would win.
Without warning another big wave came just as he was about to ready his stance lifting his board up quickly overtaking him seeing the water rush over him. I stared in shock and astonishment immediately finding that something was wrong right away due to the growing concern everyone else exhibited. He was not surfacing. His surfboard was floating away.
The lifeguards acted fast hurtling into the water swimming as fast as they could bringing him up carefully laying him on top of a board. I ran trying to make my way through the crowd but I was blocked by the sea of onlookers. The roar and the lights of an ambulance sped down the beach barely being able to see him lifted into the back of the truck. I felt I was beside myself seeing it driving away fast.
Racing home on my bike I ran inside seeing my Mom sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee reading the day’s newspaper.
“Mom, I have to go to the hospital!”
“Mark?” she asked curiously. “Why?”
“Rob had a surfing accident,” I said, tearing up. “He got taken away in an ambulance.”
She agreed to take me going straight to the emergency room.
“I need to ask about someone that was just brought in.”
“What’s the name?” the nurse asked. “Are you a family member?”
“Rob Turner and no I’m not related.”
“Then I’m sorry I can’t let you back to see him.”
I slammed my hand against the top of the counter.
“Mark, I’m sure someone will come out and tell you something,” she said reassuringly.
“Mom, I want to stay here.”
“I understand. Rob is a friend of yours.”
I wanted to blurt that Rob was more of a friend to me but didn’t have the courage to say it. Hours later I felt a hand on my shoulder waking me up from my nap seeing Uncle Mike. I quickly got up wanting to ask how he was.
“He’s upstairs in a room,” he said holding his hand up. “He’s still unconscious but stable for right now.”
He took me upstairs to his floor receiving the same refusal from a nurse at one of the desks adjacent to his room.
“I’m the patients' uncle. I can vouch for him.”
Down the hall, we walked up to his room opening the door to see him lying in bed with black and blue bruises on his face. The day nurse had just been finishing her vitals check.
“I’ll leave you alone with him,” Mike said as he walked back out.
I scooted a chair up next to his bed reaching my hand up to brush his blonde hair to the side.
“I still have your medallion,” I said holding it up. “I never took it off.”
I got up gently sliding in next to him in bed laying my head on his chest feeling it slowly rise and fall with every breath taking his arm wrapping it around my side. I had lost track of time opening my eyes seeing it was nighttime outside of his window never hearing that Rob’s parents or that my Mom was right outside in the hallway. I climbed out of his bed and leaned in giving him a kiss; however, when I lifted my head back up I could see them all standing at the threshold staring on in disbelief.
“What the hell is going on here?” Rob’s father demanded.
“What are you doing with our son?” his Mom questioned raising her voice.
“Mark?!” my Mom said. “Explain yourself!”
I stood speechless not knowing what to say.
“You are coming with me!” my Mom said, forcefully guiding me out of the room. “We are going home!”
My Mom made her apologies to Rob’s parents walking out of the room which they accepted. We made it to the parking garage and sat together in the car before she spoke again.
“What on Earth were you doing?”
“I’m sorry Mom,” I said quietly. “I didn’t want you to find out this way.”
“How long has this been going on for?”
“More than a month.”
“What does this mean?” she asked. “Are you gay or something?”
“Something, I don’t know.”
She sighed and said, “His parents were livid.”
“I’m sorry for lying,” I said, choking up. “I hated lying to you but I didn’t know how you’d react.”
“Do you love him?”
“And he feels the same way about you?”
She drove me home not saying another word. I knew it would be a hard thing to process for her let alone telling my father. As soon as I got home I went to my room and stayed there where I couldn’t eat or sleep. I eventually fell asleep still wearing Rob’s medal waking up still in the same clothes I wore the day before looking out my window. The summer sky had gone away turning into a dark, cold, and gray day finding it was raining outside in a heavy downpour. I stayed holed up in my room for the following day. At one point I could hear a knock on my door listening to my Mom’s voice.
“Mark, are you alright?” she asked. “Are you hungry at all? Burgers on the grill.”
I stayed silent turning over on my side covering myself with a blanket. I just wanted to shut out the world. Then after three days of nothing I heard the phone ring. There was another knock on the door. It was my Mom.
“Mark, that was Rob’s parents,” she said through the door. “They say that Rob is awake and asking for you.”
I jumped opening the door and said, “Really?”
“Yeah,” she replied. “I can take you there.”
After freshening up my Mom took me back to the hospital up to his room. His parents stood by waiting in the lounge area seeing us walk up.
“How is he?” I asked.
“He’s better,” his Mom said. “He definitely won’t be surfing anytime soon but he’s on the mend.”
I hesitated walking to his room frozen in place.
“It’s okay, you can see him,” his father said grudgingly.
I got the sense that even though they maybe didn’t understand our relationship they accepted it being that Rob has asked for me right away. I had made him happy and he did the same for me in return. My Mom continued to converse with Rob’s parents attempting to make sense of everything.
Rob was laying comfortably awake watching another surfing event somewhere in Hawaii. When he saw me walk in his eyes lit up.
“Mark!” Rob said. “Look at me. I’m awake!”
“You really had me scared,” I said, taking a hold of his hand.
“It’s all good,” he said, grasping my hand back. “I was just asleep for a while. Only a few bruised ribs. Will need rest and recovery for a couple of weeks and I will be good as new.”
We stayed silent waiting for the other one to talk knowing one of us had to talk about the elephant in the room.
“My parents told me what happened when they came into my room to find you here.”
“Yeah, I surmised. I’m sorry.”
I looked down at the floor feeling I had failed him.
“No,” Rob replied, shaking his head. “ Don’t be sorry. It was a shock to my parents but I know they will get over it. It was probably time anyway. How did your Mom react?”
“The same way.”
“Come here,” Rob said smiling.
I leaned in where he gave me a kiss cupping my face in his hand.
He spent another good couple of days cooped up recovering and when Rob was ready enough to go home from the hospital I was there by his side along with his parents helping with his things. His parents saw that I was now a big part of his life and started to fully accept me even where I spent some evenings at his house just for hanging out.
As for my Mom and Dad and Jake, once Rob was good enough to leave the house for the first time since his accident, he came over to our house sitting down with myself and them talking about how much he cared for me and that how we never really meant to deceive our parents.
“Matt, we love you no matter what,” my Mom said.
She gave me a big hug that made me feel relieved. Rob had already given his parents the same talk which they understood why we had chosen to remain silent but tried as the best they could to stay open minded.
Rob and I were some of the lucky ones whereas you heard stories of others who were disowned by their families or kicked out of their homes for not being the ideal son or daughter their parents always hoped they would be.
It still took an extra week or two before Rob fully recovered at home. The summer was winding down feeling the temperature drop into the 60’s but in California, it was always a perpetual summer the whole year. We took a walk on the beach holding hands not caring if anyone saw us. We were proud of the relationship we built.
It was like a full circle moment for us coming back to about the same spot where we met months ago for the first time.
Did we stay together? I started my senior of high school making it onto the varsity swim team and was awarded a letter while Rob went back to U.S.C. successfully competing in their swim program but no matter what, between studying and sports, we still made time for each other and time to surf.
Rob subsequently graduated from college and actually went back to coach the high school’s swim team with some part time teaching for those who had an interest in surfing. I knew I didn’t want to go my father’s route entering into the business world by instead breaking into the publishing field by becoming a best selling writer. I felt that my experiences as a young adult telling Rob and mine’s story would be worth telling and I was right. From there the rest of my career took off like gang busters.
Today as I looked back on that one eventful summer I contemplated sitting on a pile of rocks with Rob next to me watching the next generation of young surfers tread the Pacific Ocean.
“Thinking back?” Rob asked.
“They were the best,” I said smiling. “You still love me?”
“Always and Forever.”
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