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Dedicated to My own timeless love
Submitted by M.C
As the seatbelt sign lit up to announce the landing, Mary pressed herself back into her seat, closed her eyes, and tightened her grip on the armrests. Her seatbelt had been securely fastened since the moment they'd taken off. She didn't need any reminders that the plane was about to drop out of the sky and try to land on a speck in the middle of a vast ocean.
Thinking about that speck made Mary smile. It was hard to believe that a quarter of a century had passed since her last visit, since her last plane trip for that matter. Allowing her mind to drift, Mary rememberd the girl that she'd been then; young, away from home for the first time, and secretly hoping for the sort of vacation romance that the brochures promised.
Another smile crossed Mary's face as she remembered how lonely she'd felt stepping off the plane on her first visit to Hawaii and how quickly the people of the island had made the feeling disappear. Airport greeters, taxi drivers, even passersby, had welcomed her. The air itself had given her a warm hug and, before long, she'd felt more like she was coming home than leaving it behind.
Most of all, Mary remembered John. He was her island boy, with copper skin and thick black hair, a hero straight out of a drugstore novel. He'd found her alone on the beach and introduced himself by asking, "Have you seen the black sands of Punalu'u?" Then, he'd taken her by the hand and shown them to her.
John had been her personal guide, taking her to Mahana Bay's green beaches and the white ones at Hapuna. He'd tutored her through her first luau and shown her a Hawaii most tourists missed. It wasn't just the sights of the island he'd shown her either. He'd also shown her the romance, surprising her with a first kiss under swaying palms on a moonlit beach.
It had all been so long ago but the closer they got to landing, the stronger her memories became. Mary could almost hear the surf calling her name, believe that the flowers were sending up their fragrance to greet her, but could she, a woman past her prime, find the same romance she'd found as a girl? What if Hawaii had changed?
As the plane landed with a bounce, Mary gasped and a stong hand closed over hers. It's owner leaned over to say softly, "It's okay, Sweetheart. We're down. Happy Anniversary."
Mary smiled as she opened her eyes and looked at John. They'd both changed over the years but only on the outside. Their hearts and their souls hadn't changed and the same could be said for Hawaii. She knew it would be the same because it's heart and soul would always be its people and, though they were only now returning, Mary knew that she and John were two of those people.