Luau at the Moloka`i Shores: 5
"Open wide," Lucy giggled and popped a piece in my mouth.
It tasted salty. "Ono," I said.
We finished and it was time for sweets. There were no malasadas but we found the dessert table and gorged ourselves on guava cake, caramelized pineapple-on-a-stick, and slabs of haupia. We headed back to the stage just as Merv ignited the tiki torches. The Halawa Valley Boyz played a love song instrumental called "Ku'u Ipo Onaona." Dr. Lucky slow danced with Keiko. Albert went up with Puanani—he wrapped his arms around her waist and she rested her chin on his shoulder. Ben leaned against a coconut tree in back of the stage.
"Let's go for a walk," Lucy suggested.
"Lead the way," I said.
We strolled to the beach. It wasn't dark yet but the tiki torches were lit. A fishing boat moved through the channel with its cabin light on. A few lights flickered on the coast of Lanai. There was supposed to be a moon but it hadn't risen. We sat on a bench overlooking the water.
"My Dad says growing up means saying goodbye to your high school friends," Lucy said.
"He's wrong about that," I replied.
"Sure. Why would you wanna lose people you're close to?"
"Are we close, Jeff?"
Lucy crossed her legs. "Do you ever wonder where you'll be after Punahou?"
"Think we'll stay in touch?"
"Sure," I said scooching beside her.
She looked straight ahead at the channel.
"Something wrong?" I asked.
She turned to me. "What could possibly be wrong, Jeff?"
I tried kissing her but she turned away—my lips grazed her cheek.
"Don't," she said.
"Remember the carnival?"
"That was light years ago. You said so yourself."
Lucy looked me square in the eyes. "It's not the same anymore," she said, "at least not for me."
"Let's pretend we've just met and see what happens."
She got up and wandered to the edge of the grass. I joined her and we watched the waves lap at the shoreline. I draped my arm over her shoulder but she just stood there as if I was a ghost. She seemed as far away as Lanai.
"I'm going steady with someone," Lucy said.
I took my arm off her shoulder. "Who?"
"Arnold Lepine. He's a senior this year."
"Why would you date an old guy like that?"
Lucy sighed. She picked up a stone and tossed it in the water.
I heard footsteps behind us. I turned around and saw Ben standing on the bench.
"Peanut," he said, "time to hele."
"Gramma wants to go?" I asked.
"She's waiting in the Scout."
* * *
A half-moon balanced on the rim of Haleakala on our drive home. Yellow clouds hovered over the kiawe trees to the south. I thought about the old days on Moloka'i when the road was dirt and Gramma and Chipper used to ride it on horseback. Sometimes they rode with only the stars and the moon to guide them. Now Chipper lived in a shack at Hale Kia next to the dump.
The road turned north toward the Seven Sisters Mountains. The mountains were blue and black gorges ran through them. We veered east and our headlights lit up the white walls of Saint Joseph's Church. I felt cramped in the cab between Ben and Gramma because I had to spread my legs around the transmission box to fit in.
|© Copyright 2006 Kirby Wright & Trout.|
|This issue of Trout is sponsored in part by UNESCO.|