Three years later. . . a continuation of the short story I shared on our 22nd anniversary. Today marks our 25th wedding anniversary and we spent time going down memory lane. What better time to commit some of those memories to writing? As articulated previously, the following memories are based on true events but are subject to slightly romanticized hindsight.
I awoke the next morning and lay in bed thinking about what had transpired the evening before. I mentally kicked myself. What was wrong with me? What kind of girl turns down a perfectly wonderful offer to enter into a committed relationship with a man that she not only cared about and pined after for years, but that was fresh off a mission, sweet, and oh so good looking. He'd be snapped up soon enough, that was a surety, especially when he started school down at BYU-Hawaii in the next few weeks. I mean, any Mormon campus was a veritable hunting ground for eternal companionship, full of eligible RMs (returned missionaries) and girls who longed to enter into wedded bliss before they turned 20. And at BYU-Hawaii, the Polynesian boys had their pick of mainland girls, eager to date a brown-skinned islander and make beautiful hapa babies. They'd just LOVE Fosi, of that I was sure. And yet I couldn't give my heart when it wasn't ready to be given. Fosi deserved more than that, he was worth much more than what I could currently offer him.
And yet. . .just a few weeks before I didn't hesitate to propose my own little request to him on a moonlit beach at Punalu'u. Fosi had agreed to accompany me to BYUH on a Sunday evening while I dropped off my older brother and sister at the dorms after a weekend visit home. On our way back to town, I looked out over the dark ocean and the dancing path created by the light of the full moon. My heart was heavy and my mind was preoccupied with recent events.
"Delia, did you hear what I said?", Fosi asked from the passenger seat next to me.
"Sorry, my mind was somewhere else," I confessed.
"Are you thinking about him?". Was I that transparent?
I was being poor company, that much was clear. And suddenly, I needed to get out of the car. I made a quick left turn and parked under a coconut tree at Punalu'u Beach Park. The ocean was only about 20 steps away and I asked Fosi if he wouldn't mind kicking it with me for a little bit on the beach. He obliged and we settled down on the sand. We talked, about his mission, what he planned to study at school, the 'old' days hanging out with the crew before his mission and it was so nice to have my friend back.
"You didn't write very much," Fosi said. It wasn't an accusation, but I could sense just a tinge of disappointment. "But the letters I did get meant a lot to me."
Ouch. "I'm sorry, I don't know where my head's been these last couple of years."
"I know, you wrote me about him." He looked over at me and gave a little smile and leaned back on his elbows.
I wasn't ready to talk about it and at the same time I was dying to talk about it with him, to share everything, the heartbreak, the confusion, and worst of all, the feeling that I'd never be myself again. Like somehow I was broken. And so, I did. I mean, this was Fosi. We talked for what seemed like forever and as the night wore on, the wind off the ocean picked up and I wrapped my arms around myself, partially to fend off the chilly sea breeze and partially to hold myself together as I talked about things that made my insides ache.
"You're cold. I don't have a sweater. Would you mind if I did that for you?", he asked.
Ummm. . .was he asking what I thought he was asking? But before I could press for an answer, Fosi got up, positioned himself behind me, sat and wrapped his arms around me. I think I lost consciousness for just a few moments. When I came to, I remember feeling warm, safe and comfortable, like sitting there in his arms was something that happened every day. It felt like. . .home.
No words were said for a few minutes, we just sat there on that windy beach under a big white moon. I leaned back against him and I heard myself say, "Can I kiss you?".
Fosi sat upright, taken off guard. "Uh, what was that?".
"I really want to kiss you. You've been so wonderful and I just want to kiss you. Nothing more."
Inside I was screaming, "What are you doing?!? Are you sure you want this? You'll be leading him on. . .don't do this, Delia!". But the damage had been done. I closed my eyes and awaited his response. Thank goodness he couldn't see my face. But even though I couldn't see his expression, I could just feel him blushing. He dropped his arms. Oh boy, this could go really wrong.
"Um, I don't think we should be doing this, Delia. I mean, you're not ready and it's late and we should get home."
He was nervous! I had to admit that I found his hesitancy even more attractive and I turned to face him. We stared into each other's eyes for what seemed like the longest three seconds ever and I said,
"Fosi, I'm sorry but I'm going to kiss you now." And I did.
You know, some people say that they see fireworks or feel lightheaded or a fire burning within and so forth. But that kiss. THAT kiss under a coconut tree one night at Punalu'u Beach Park was simply. . .pure. I can't describe it any other way. It was soft (man, his lips were like super soft!) and sweet and unassuming and beautiful. To this day, that kiss is listed at the top of my all-time kiss list. Ok, not that I have an extensive list, but I'm digressing here. It was amazing! And it was perfect and I knew it was time to go. I mean, I think I just rocked his "just returned from a two-year mission" world and that either made me a hussy or a predator or maybe just a girl who wanted to kiss someone who she admired because she wanted to thank him for being there for her. Maybe it was a little bit of everything, lol. We headed home mainly in silence, not knowing what this meant or where it would lead. A few weeks later, he would ask me to be his girlfriend and with tears in my eyes I would say, "no".
All of these thoughts raced through my head as I lay there the morning after I turned him down. I had kissed him and hung out with him and spent all this time with him and then I spurned him. I was not a nice person. Maybe I could just stay in bed forever.
But no, it was time to get up and face things like a big girl. I had a lot of thinking and praying to do and I needed to talk to my girls. One thing I knew for sure, Fosi meant what he said, he wouldn't wait forever and if I was being honest with myself, there was more than a little piece of me that didn't want him to wait at all.
Now if I could only get my heart to align with my head, I'd be good to go.
TO BE CONTINUED. . .