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A Simple Aloha is All it Takes
Dedicated to Lopaka
Submitted by Petra
"Aloha" is all she said in that first instant message on-line. All she wanted to know was how the Giant Dipper roller coaster was faring during the huge storms in Santa Cruz that year. She never knew she would be talking to the love of her life and he would change her world.
"Aloha back at you," he responded. She smiled at the words on the screen and knew a conversation had begun. All it took was a simple "aloha."
They met at the same time, but on two different days, two different months. She was in Wahiawa, Hawaii. He was in Santa Cruz, California. The time difference made it February 28th in Hawaii and March 1st in California. On leap years they celebrate in the middle.
They spoke via computer for two weeks before hearing each other's voices on the phone. The sound of love and life in his voice confirmed that she wanted to meet this man in person. Two weeks later he arrived at Honolulu airport where she greeted him with a maile lei. They were meant to be together - forever - they knew it without a doubt.
A decision had to be made. One of them had to move if they were to be together. She loved Hawaii. She was a student of the Hawaiian language and wanted to teach it. She never thought she'd leave her beloved Hawaii nei. He loved Hawaii too. He had visited before and enjoyed the beautiful surf and sights. This trip was different, though. He saw Hawaii through her eyes. She showed him a Hawaii that tourists rarely see. She introduced him to Bishop Museum, KCCN, Zippy's and how to really eat poi. He fell in love with the woman and the Hawaiian in her.
He wanted to stay but his work was important. Her work was available on the mainland too. "A short eight years," he said, "and we will return." His work as a Firefighter needed to be completed. Her heart ached at the thought of leaving her family and friends, but joy grew as she realized that she had eight years to spread aloha in a new place. She would be an ambassador and share her love of Hawaii. She could teach other's about Israel Kamakawiwo`ole and how much he and his music were loved. She could impress new friends with her excellent talent for cooking Hawaiian food. And she could still order Zippy's chili on-line. She would be okay.
Time has gone by, but only half the eight years. Even as their love grows, so does their desire to return to the `aina (land) that brought them together - even for a short time. A little aloha is all they need.