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Love Stories of Hawaii


One can hope
Dedicated to The romantic somewhere inside Russ

Submitted by Michele

Sitting in a basement classroom of the business building I grip my speech notes with damp hands, looking over them for what must be the hundredth time. I hate speaking in front of people, my skin starts to flush from my chest right up to my forehead, my stomach starts to turn, & my tongue seems to be cemented to the roof of my mouth. I know public speaking in necessary if I want to own my own business, but knowing & doing are two completely different things. The professor asks for volunteers, a few minutes pass & finally a guy sitting in the back of the class gets up. At the front of the room he starts his speech with no notes. His words shortly have everyone in the class relaxed & laughing so hard our cheeks hurt. I let out a breath & know that I will do fine. That was the first glimpse I had of the man I would soon come to love.

About 1 1/2 years latter we are preparing to celebrate our one year anniversary, & he is sent to a seminar. I prepare to celebrate our first anniversary, alone, by purchasing a pizza & watching my favorite romance movie ‘French Kiss'. As I come in the door from a long day at work & a night class, there he is. The soft glow of candles flickering & the scent of my favorite flowers lightly caress my senses. He has a jazz cd playing & two glasses of wine poured. He once again makes a speech that makes me grin from ear to ear, although this time tears are slowly rolling down my checks.

The spring 2006 semester brought a difficult schedule. With paid vacation time we decide to take a vacation to Hawaii, once exams are over. After the long flight, we settle into our rooms & go directly to sleep. The next morning we rise with the sun & enjoy a fruit breakfast on the veranda. We decide to take a walk along the beach before too many tourists arrive. Sitting, watching the gentle waves embrace the warming sands, Russ points to something floating in the water I can't see. He gets up & walks out into the water & tries to discreetly pull a bottle from his pants. He walks over & hands the bottle down, grinning. "Looks like there's something in it, can you get it out?" I take the bottle with a dubious look on my face & start shaking it vigorously until the paper gets closer to the neck & I can pull it out with my fingertips. I unroll the piece of paper and find a diamond ring taped to the inside. There are no words written on the paper & he says nothing. I slide the ring onto my finger & once again am grinning from ear to ear. He sits down & puts his arms around me, both of us knowing that no words are necessary.

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