The sky was a beautiful blue. Its blue canopy hovered over me as I walked down the crowded street. The roads were filled with cars and the sidewalks, lined with plenty of Natives. It was the most beautiful place in the world! Palm trees swayed with the wind and the sun gave off its heated rays. Roxie pulled at her leash, tugging me deeper into the crowd. We followed many signs til we got to another four way stop.
I held the paper closer to my face to get a good look at the print; it was my new address, it was beginning to crumple a bit from all the handling. I shielded my eyes from the sun as I looked up at the sign before me. Its color had been dimmed from the over exposure to the sun. I smiled to myself before stepping down onto the crosswalk. I remember looking online for that one apartment, that perfect one. I had spent at least an hour just looking for one that had at least one bedroom and one bath. The results weren’t that great; five bedrooms and two baths. Who buys a place like that anyways? Through all the clicking and typing, I finally came up with one. It’s had small rooms that could easily fit in a large queen bed and another room for the office. The kitchen was a decent size for a two bedroom apartment; granite countertops, oven, fridge and sink. It seemed almost too perfect along with the deal I was getting.
I had called my college totally a head of time so I could squeeze in the classes for what I needed. The Waikiki Aquarium had called me few days after that, which I responded to as soon as I could. They had the perfect position for me too, a tech working with the veterinarians for a bit to gain my skill. The whole deal seemed pretty amazing, moving Hawaii and living in this beautiful paradise. So with all my planning ahead, I was able to be here, standing at the front desk of the Leasing Center, waiting to collect my key.
“Aloha, miss, how may I help you?” The young woman with a native accent said sweetly. She leaned over the desk to look at Roxie. “Cute dog you have there.”
“Oh! Thank you. I am looking for my apartment key.” I smiled at her as I pulled out a paper with all the details about my apartment.
“1229, is that correct?” She asked me as she slid her glasses into place.
“That sounds correct to me.” I said excitedly. I wanted to just leap and bound around the building. The woman went into the drawer at her waist and pulled out a silver key which she then gave to me.
“Enjoy your new apartment, Aloha!” She called to me as I waved to her on my way out.
I searched for the apartment for a long while, going up and down halls looking for the right numbers. 1229, 1229 I repeated to myself before finally stopping in front of my door. I pushed the key in and peeked into the room. It was completely breath taking! All the modern furniture all set up and ready for its new owner. I kneeled down once we were inside and unhooked Roxie from her chain that bound her. Her nose went straight to work; sniffing the sofas, then pulling her to the kitchen where she sniffed up the fridge’s crease. She seemed content with my choice and so did I!
There was a soft knock at the door. My feet seemed so light that I felt like I was just flying over to the door. With a quick twist and pull the door swung open.
“Aloha, your bags are here.” He motioned to the large pile of suitcases behind him. My eyes brightened and I beckoned him in.
“Just put them here, in the living room.” I smiled, helping him haul all the suitcases into the living room. “Thank you so much.” I said as he clapped softly and smiled at me.
“Pleasure was all mine, miss.” He dismissed himself.
I squealed to myself, my feet lifting off the ground in a repeat rhythm of ups and downs. I twisted in a small tight circle which I called my ‘happy dance’. Roxie padded around my feet, wanting to celebrate with me, this was going to be so exciting! For the rest of the night, I spent my time unpacking and getting to know my surroundings. Once unpacked, I sunk into the couch and just looked around. The walls were bright and the touch of art was put onto the walls and shelves. It was a really lovely thing to see. Roxie jumped onto the couch next me and laid her head on my lap; my hand automatically petting her soft fur. I stared into her eyes for a while before sighing.
“Want to go for a walk, little girl?” I smiled at her as I began to sit up, causing her to jump to the carpeted flooring. “Of course you want to go on a walk!” I laughed, holding up her pick leash. Then we both made our way to the door, letting the cool Hawaiian breeze cool our faces.
The sand sunk in between my toes as we walked along the shore line; the sun was resting its tired rays on the horizon. The colors were rippling towards us in small waves, rushing to the sand then gliding back to the ocean. The sight was so beautiful, but Roxie was too busy to even notice. She was too occupied in what the waves were doing. My flip flops dangled between my fingers; I swayed them back and forth. To my right the shops were still alive and open; their bright lights casting their reflection onto the damp sand. At times, the sound of surfers could be heard; they came trotting onto the beach, their hair wet and their bodies dripping. Some waved to me as Roxie and I crossed their path, their wet skin shining in the remains of the sun’s rays.
I tugged Roxie’s leash as I lead her up onto the boardwalk. It was quite beautiful up here; you could see everything, the waves crashing into the beach, surfers coming out of the water. I leaned against the railing, staring at the scene before me. Roxie pushed her small head in between the rails, looking over into the water. Her curly tail waving back and forth; I giggled softly to myself.
“Isn’t just so beautiful?” a soft voice said from beside me. An Asian woman around my height was standing close to me. Her black hair was cut short and it cupped her face, her skin was a dark tan but her face was a perfect oval. She was quite beautiful compared to my American looks.
“Oh, yes…quite beautiful.” I smiled and looked back over to the Ocean.
“I come down onto the boardwalk every night to watch all the surfers come in.” She pointed a slender finger over to the surfers coming in still. I just nodded silently. “My son is down there somewhere.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw her smile.
“A son? How old are you?” I question, double taking on her young face.
“I’m thirty! How old did you think I was?” She giggled before turning slightly towards me to look at me.
“Oh I don’t know maybe early twenties or so…I was going to say that it’s too early to have a son!” I exclaimed, laughing to myself. She giggled at my comment then shook her head.
“No, no, of course not! I got married when I was about…” She trailed off, looking into the distant. “When I was about twenty four.” She laughed and then looked to me. “What about you married?” I just shook my head and then glanced at Roxie.
“No, it’s just me and my little girl here.” I motioned to Roxie who was still busy looking over at the water.
“Hey mom,” a male voice shouted from the other end of the boardwalk. “Hey mom, dad is wondering when you are coming back in.” I turned to looked at her. She gave me an apologetic look before smiling at her son.
“I’ll be right up, Sean.” Her eyes met mine “It was very nice meeting you; I hope that I meet you here again tonight.” She paused once more. “My husband and I run a diner up there, that restaurant, you are free to come up and visit anytime you wish!” She offered before making her way up the boardwalk. She was sweet, maybe I could become friends with her to have someone I know around here. I shrugged to myself then pulled on Roxie’s leash, telling her it was time to go home.
I finally started work, which made me relax a bit more knowing I was now gaining income. It wasn’t that hard of a job, in fact I enjoyed it. The hot sun was on me all day, burning my shoulders and making me want to run into the building for cover. For the first week, they ordered me to run desk work, and tours; which wasn’t so bad, except for the annoying tourist who began to complain about everything. I didn’t want to bother with them when they got snippy with me; I decided taking the end of the tour into the building was a better idea. It gave them a chance to cool down and enjoy the AC. Though at the end of the day when all the staff began to wrap everything up, I found myself wandering over to the Sea Turtle exhibit. I would sit down on the rock bench and just lean over to watch them dance through the still water. They were like flying, rippling masterpieces. Sighing, I would get back up and help everyone close up the Aquarium.
As evening would set in and settle down on the horizon, I would hook Roxie up and slip on my flip flops, then make my way down to the beach. It was like the first time, seeing the surfers come up; all wet and shiny, the shops and restaurants all lit up and still open for customers. Every time my feet would press into the cool, wet sand, shivers would sprint up my spine, making me shiver and smile. I began meeting Lori on the Boardwalk every night, we would talk about her restaurant and then she would ask me about my American life. Bantering back and forth would lead us to about near midnight. A few times, she tried to get me to come up to the diner but I told her I had worked the next day which made her apologize. I told her I would be up to see the diner soon though. Which did sound very nice at the time but it was just too late at night.
I started school in a few weeks; I was pretty interested in finding out what was in store for me. I had really started to blend into the crowd now, I felt like I was a part of this whole island in a way. I lost all my American eating habits, like take-out food from taco bell when making dinner would be too much of a time consumer. I began to eat fish for dinner, running to the market just for a fresh fish so I could eat it. All my habits were changing; even working was becoming a new thing for me since they moved me to Vet Tech now. School now was also going to be beginning, I just felt like everything was falling into place…well sorta.
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