WAKAIKI BEACH DECEMBER 1941
I was a WAC nurse stationed at Tripler Army Hospital. I went into Honolulu for cocktails with a couple of the other nurses that Saturday night. We went to the Ala Moana Hotel, the best gathering spot around. The other two nurses had dates, so they split off and I decided to stay for dinner. It was crowded, mostly military personnel, and I was sitting towards the back, right next to the beach. All the officers were sitting under the huge Banyan tree.
I saw a soldier walking along the beach. He looked so lonely and unhappy; my heart went out to him. When he walked back past where I was, I impulsively stepped out on the beach and called to him (I could see the silver bars on his soldiers), "Sir! If you are hungry there is an empty space where I'm sitting.
He looked doubtful, and started to walk on down the beach.
Feeling both embarrassed and excited, I called out to him, "Sir! It's okay! Come have dinner and listen to the music!"
He turned and looked at me – some mysterious sadness in his eyes... a premonition? But he stopped and walked to where I was standing.
"I'm Angie, sir. Please sit with me."
He walked over, and with a sad smile, said, "Hi, I'm Steven. I'm a pilot with the Marines."
We sat down and slowly started talking to each other. He seemed troubled, worried about something. He had a beautiful shy smile but there was a darkness over him. He was different from any man I'd ever seen: tall, the blackest hair, and a kind, gentle manner I'd never noticed in a man that was so obviously masculine!
After watching the show - the primitive drums pounding in our ears, we took a walk on the beach. He shyly took my hand and we sat down to watch the waves banging into the shore, over and over! Diamond head was a dark shadow and I felt a peace in my heart I'd never felt before.
We talked of our backgrounds; both of us wanting to desperately establish a connection. I spoke of my life growing up on a wheat farm west of Goodland, Kansas, and going to college at Kansas State. Stevie said mysterious words for a farm girl: the wonder of a place called Brooklyn, the magic of Coney Island; it seemed so strange to a girl from the hinterlands of Kansas!
We did kiss as he walked me back to the hotel; a shy kiss from a boy in a man's uniform! He gave me all the information about how to get hold of him; he asked me to dinner the next night.
For some reason I couldn't let him go... a power came over me – I did something I thought I could never do. I pulled myself close to him, hugging him tightly.
"Steve! Don't go yet. Please stay with me tonight."
His buddy had a room at the hotel but he had turned sick so Steven had the key. We wound up in his room, the first time for both of us; we were each excruciatingly shy! It was sweet; it shattered my life!
I slept little... love was new to me. I dreamed of a wonderful life in a world unknown to me. I tossed; I turned. I woke in the early dawn thinking of Stevie, of the dinner to come that night! Was I to find love? Steven had left early to return to duty.
I got out of bed as the sun rose over Diamond Head. I sat on the patio sipping the fresh orange juice! Life held such beauty! The sun was rising, a sun of such promise; a promise of the love I wanted; a promise of children and a small house I could call my own.
There was a sudden roaring; planes with ominous markings: a red sun, marked with death! From the north they came – they wheeled and turned west. They passed over the tourist area like angry wasps! I knew instinctively where they were headed: Pearl! A few minutes later I could see the smoke rising; the booming of the bombs and torpedoes reverberating, over and over. This was a day of infamy; a day of horror never known before.
DECEMBER 12, 1941
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Martin,
I met your son a couple of days ago. You know by now of the vicious attack on Hawaii... of how Steven so gallantly died defending our country!
I met Steven... he asked me to call him Stevie. He was a nice young man, so polite, so shy! I knew him but for a few hours: hours given as a gift by god to me.
He was a fine young man – you should be so proud!
Steven died as a hero – and my dreams died with him!
APRIL 17, 1942
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Martin,
I hate to bother you but I have no one to turn to. I won't beat around the bush: I'm pregnant with Steven's child. The Army is discharging me. My mom told me that my dad said not to come home! I don't know what to do... I'm at wits end!
Stevie told me what wonderful parents you are: full of life and love. I'm giving you my life and Steven's baby – please love me as you loved your son!
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Author's note: This was written as a 500 word flash story for a contest on Hawaii. I know it's short, but I enjoyed writing it. If there is interest I will rewrite this as a full-length story. DJ