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Love Stories of Hawaii

Second Chance Love

Pineapple Punch
Dedicated to Bill Lundin, my husband

Submitted by Barbara

The honeymoon suite was exquisite. The king-size bed was covered with white satin sheets. At its foot was a table piled high with tropical fruit in baskets and on plates. On the edge of the two-person whirlpool, a bottle of champagne chilled. Sunlight streamed through the windows and reflected off the fluted glasses. Boxes of chocolate truffles adorned the bedside table. From the balcony sprawled the beautiful island of Oahu. It would have been perfect - except for one thing. I was alone. Left at the altar, I was spending my honeymoon in Hawaii as a single woman. I rubbed my hazel eyes, red-rimmed from crying. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed for a two-week nap. But something precluded me from nuzzling up to the satin comforter. The island was calling. From the balcony windows, it was as if the sun danced across the turquoise water just for me. Downstairs at the bar, I settled into a cozy, out of the way table overlooking the water. The waitress came - bearing gifts - to take my order. "This is from the gentleman behind the bar," her blue eyes sparkled as she presented me with -of all things - a pineapple. I was miffed. Men had offered to buy me a drink or sent a shot to my table before, but produce? Never. "The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality," she said, sensing my confusion. I glanced at the tan, muscular bartender. Plopping an umbrella into the pink drink before him, he looked up at me. Winking, he mouthed, "Welcome." The Welcome Wagon did its job extremely well, I decided that evening over an intimate candlelit lobster dinner for two. The burning candles licked at the open sky and lent a soft, amber glow to my auburn curls. Music swam around us, and the warm island air embraced us like old friends. Dinner conversation was cliché at first. "A bartender for an exclusive Hawaiian must meet tons of women." Why, I wondered, had Koi chosen me? "It was something in your eyes, Lika," he affectionately used the Hawaiian - and much prettier - version of my name, Lisa. "I saw beyond the sadness into the soul of a strong, confident woman who I wanted to get to know much better. One who has touched my life just by having an iced tea in my bar." His deep brown eyes were intent and sincere. His words caressed my heart. Koi twirled my hair around his fingers, and I put the empty honeymoon suite and church altar behind me. With Koi by my side, I would start living life according to a new proverb: When life hands you lemons, make pineapple punch.

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