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Love Stories of Hawaii

Second Chance Love

The Anniversary
Dedicated to My Husband, Rob

Submitted by Teri

Madeline sat rigidly on the sand, her tension a sharp contrast to the playfulness of those around her. Maybe this trip wasn't such a good idea after all. What had she been expecting to find? Robert? She hadn't seen him for almost two years. Maybe she hoped for closure, tying up loose ends. Maybe it was just wistfulness that brought her here, sorrow at the turns her life had taken. Acknowledging this, she relaxed a little. Her mind went back three years to her first plans for an island vacation. She and Robert had been married 18 years when Madeline decided to plan something special for their 20th anniversary. Money had always been tight so she knew she had to start saving early. She and Robert had been happy most of the time. There were the usual communication problems, lots of hard work, too little time. They raised their son, Robby, a junior in high school. There were rocky spells but she felt they were a solid couple so she started saving secretly on their 18th anniversary. Then the unthinkable happened. Robby was killed in a car accident. They stumbled blindly through the next few months. Robert withdrew and maybe even turned to another woman. Madeline never knew for sure. She did know that by their 19th anniversary they felt like strangers. Grief had become a river between them and they stood on opposite sides. Madeline tried counseling and Robert went once or twice but it seemed easier to just drift apart. Two months later Robert accepted a job in the East and Madeline moved to the Northwest. Looking back she was still stunned at how quickly they destroyed what had taken 18 years to build. Both did well in their new positions. Madeline found it bitterly ironic that as a family they often struggled financially but now, as two emotionally bereft souls, 3000 miles apart, she and Robert had more than enough. Six months ago she resumed counseling and it was during a session that the idea of the trip first came up. Her therapist had doubts but Madeline was determined. She would go to Hawaii and she would go on their anniversary. So here she was on their 21st anniversary, alone, uncertain. She looked around - the beauty was almost overwhelming. They would have loved it here. Suddenly she felt a presence. Afraid to turn around, afraid to admit she could still create a desparate fantasy, she sat unmoving but the feeling persisted. Seconds became minutes. Finally, hesitantly, she turned and saw Robert, tears running down his face, his arms open to her. She flew into them. A flood of tears and kisses washed away the last three sad years. They weren't on opposite sides of the river anymore but joined in love, enveloped by the magic of Hawaii on their anniversary.

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