It was a hot day, not sticky hot, but just hot enough. You could say it was the perfect story book summer day in Hawaii. The light grey clouded sky let sun beams pass through them, and the soft winds blew the palm leaves from side to side. The clear blue-green waters rippled as the surf came in, jostling early afternoon swimmers around. Swarms of people, clad in their bummy beach attire, lay lazily along the beaches white sand. Cheyenne and Kayla stood on their lanai soaking in the beautiful day. From the lanai they had a view of the beach, where they watched beach goers enjoying the sand, surf, and sun. Just below in a grassy quad two young men were using the space for an intense afternoon workout. Cheyenne and Kayla looked longingly out at the beach and the boys, and decided to head down to the summer paradise.
After gearing up for the beach with their colorful swimsuits, IPods and sticky sunscreen, they left the cool conditioned condo to enter the warm air. As they passed through the lobby a local vendor had been set up selling brightly colored purses and flowers. The girls lollygagged around the vendor table “window shopping”, while the warm air whipped their dry, sun kissed hair around. The condo’s restaurant released the sugary scent of pineapple, macadamia nuts and fresh fish into the air, and the two girls indulged in the aroma. The girls left from under the magnificent tiled canopy, and the warm sun burned into their skin. Cheyenne could feel her already cherry red skin tingle from the hot sun. The plastic of cheap sandal soles smacked nosily on the heated pavement that wound around the property. Children splashed and played amongst themselves in the warm watered kiddy pool, and a red headed boy squirted Cheyenne with a water gun yelling “I’ve got you!” If not for the carefree, relaxed atmosphere, Cheyenne might have over reacted; instead she accepted the burst of cool water. Cheyenne’s only thought was how beautiful Hawaii truly was.
The two girls passed the outside Bar and Grill, where they longed for a sip of a sweet alcoholic Lava Flow, but knew they had six long and sad months still. The concrete sidewalk in front of the Bar and Grill was shaded with palm trees, and soon turned into a little dirt pathway that lead right down to the beach. As soon as Kayla and Cheyenne hit the pathway, they saw a huge crowd blocking their way to the beach. Everyone in the crowd wore the same pale, worried expression on their faces and their voices spoke in hushed tones. Looking out onto the beach the girls noticed that there were no swimmers in the water or sunbathers on the beach.
They wondered what was going on, and each girl had a story in their head. ‘Sharks,’ Cheyenne thought happily. They had been watching Shark Week earlier, and Cheyenne dreamed of seeing a shark. She wanted to swim with the beastly creatures, to feel their smooth skin, and get a good look at their pointy teeth. Just to feel a shark slide roughly across your legs in a sea of green-blue water would be the most amazing experience ever. Cheyenne held her breath in hopes that one of those amazing creatures was swimming in the water. Kayla on the other hand was hoping for a different kind of sea animal. A couple of days ago, while bobbing in the ocean waves, Kayla had had a run in with a Honu. In the state of Hawaii, the Honu is an endangered animal, so when one comes around everybody goes crazy. As Kayla stood on that little piece of grey concrete, she waited hopefully for the word of a Honu.
The girls continued to look onward to the beach, when they saw a group of people in red bathing suits hurrying towards a spot on the beach. They crowded around in a circle, and through the red synthetic suits, the girls saw a man lying in the sand. In the sand besides the man was a broken surfboard, still bright with color. The hopeful thoughts flooded from the girls’ minds, and they felt fear strike them. This man was obviously hurt in some way, and the Beach Patrol seemed to be rushing just to save his life. Just as this fact had finally sunk into Kayla’s head, she heard a wailing siren and saw flashes of red light come from somewhere close behind her. A man started yelling hurriedly at people, telling them to move out of the way, so a white Beach Patrol golf cart could get by. By this time the crowd had become rowdy. They started pushing each other around, wrestling for a better view. Children were being trampled on by adults, and some beach goers even had cameras out trying to capture the moment. Kayla and Cheyenne stood their ground while taking jabs in their sides from others in the crowd. It was total chaos on that little concrete strip, but on the beach all hell was breaking loose. The only thing you could see now were flashes of red bathing suits moving back and forth, reaching for different medical tools to use on the helpless man.
The crowd began to part once more, but this time on the opposite side of the girls. An older woman and young man emerged from the crowd. Both looked terrified and weak as the shuffled slowly down to the beach. The circle of red bathing suits parted to reveal the man, now lying limp and colorless on the beach. The woman and man stood their silently for a moment as the color drained from their faces. Then tears started to pour out of their eyes, and they violently sobbed, right there on the sunny white beach. An ominous feeling hung over the crowd of on lookers, and they were all left speech less at what they had just taken in. Many others started to cry with the man and woman, while others just left knowing that they couldn’t take in anymore. The two girls debated going back to room; they felt they didn’t belong there anymore. The girls chose to stay, because oddly enough, they wanted to see more. It was like seeing any other accident; it is so horrible that you can’t take your eyes off it.
The Beach Patrol lifted the man’s lifeless body onto a bright yellow stretcher to take it to the hospital. The crowd parted, allowing Beach Patrol and all the others through. As the body went by, a chilling feeling went straight through both the girls, giving each a little shudder. The Beach Patrol paraded through the property; past the now empty Bar and Grill, which still smelled sweet with alcohol, the quieted kiddie’s pool, and the bright, happy, decorated lobby. It was a beautiful, perfect, story book day in Hawaii.
The girls carried the chilled feeling from that afternoon with them the rest of that day. Each girl thought about their lives, and how lucky they were to have them. The girls cried together that night, sad tears, happy tears, and all kind of other tears. They cried for the man, his family, and the Beach Patrol, who surely felt the strain of not being able to save him. They cried for their lives, and they people and things that they had. They also cried for others that they had lost in the past.
The following morning was bright and sunny. The beach was filled with beach goers in colorful swimsuits; there was no sign of the trauma of the day before. The local newspaper reported on the man’s death, and the girls cut out the article to keep forever. Skeptical of the beach, the girls decided to hit the pool instead. As they sunbathed in the big, green plastic chairs, Cheyenne turned to her side facing her best friend and said “At least now we would be able to see the threastles.”