Excerpts from ENCHANTED, Book 2

Kuhio Beach, Honolulu, March 1968

“Trade Winds,” Theresa said, raking thick dark hair away from her face.

“Haoles,” Charlene said, in a sarcastically weary tone.

“What?” I said looking back and forth, uncertain of the reasons for their deprecating tone. “What about the trade winds? What’s a howly?”

“Trade winds blow all de time, pupule haole,” Charlene said, with an exuberant wave of her hands in an imaginary breeze.

Theresa hid a smile behind her slender fingers. “A white person is a haole, and the trade winds always blow across the island.” Her smile grew wider, her face made for laughter. “And Charlene has just called you a crazy white person.” I had to smile.

Las Vegas, Nevada, June, 1970

In desperation, I did it. I put my puny heart and soul into it, almost doing St. Vitus dances during my morning prayers, leaving the Catholic church each morning with the feeling I’d really given it my all. “Oh most holy apostle, St. Jude, etc., insert “Please intercede with my wife Theresa and show us the way to heal our marriage …”, I would read and pray following the brochure’s instructions.

But of course I’m not Catholic and it was undoubtedly way too much to ask a Saint to pay attention to me. I like to imagine he tried though, maybe asking his supervisor, “Ah, look I’ve got this guy down here and he’s following all the requirements. I mean he’s done his nine days and he’s been really creative with the part about his wife, ah, ah, wait a minute, got the name right here …. , Theresa, a good Catholic name. So maybe we should cut him a break. It’s been pretty rough year for him so far. No can do? Not been religious enough, or at all? Hasn’t really been at the prayer thing that long? All right, whatever you say. Let the bastard suffer, then.”

In the air over Oahu, Hawaii, October 1970

As the jet hurtled into the Hawaiian sky, I looked down at my two hands cupped reflexively in front of me. After all that I’d endured, I held that precious few hours we’d had last night like a little bird, delicate and quiet in my two hands. No sudden moves. Don’t hold this fragile moment too tight but don’t let it fly away either. Here it was, the story book ending. Maybe I was living a fairy tale. Maybe Theresa was like Snow White, maybe someone had given her a poisoned apple or pineapple, and the girl I loved had been frozen asleep while someone else had taken over her body. Maybe last night’s magic kiss  had awakened her and we were going to have that ever-after ending. Maybe, after I’d given up all hope, it could happen in real life. If I could just believe, I just had to hold this moment gently, lightly …,