Read Hawaiian Heartbreak Online
Authors: Libby Cole
Text copyright © 2015 Libby Cole
All Rights Reserved
never, ever, doubting me.
crammed into economy class was never fun. But after hours on a plane, Kayla had
a favourite part that never failed her. The moment you could first see your
destination starting to emerge from the blackness outside.
it was night time, because she could only afford a budget fare, and it was a
long way from her home in New Zealand. And sure, she had to peer over the man
next to her, who'd hogged the arm rest the whole way. But still, there it was.
The lights of Honolulu city, spread out beneath her like a fairy kingdom,
promising escape from work, friends, and crummy ex-boyfriends. As soon as the
wheels touched tarmac she jumped out of her seat, eager to be one of the first
out of the plane.
had always loved the idea of Hawaii. Palm trees, beaches, fruity cocktails, and
a warm breeze through her hair. Dan hadn't been so keen. He thought travelling
was a waste of time, a needless expense when you should be saving. For a house,
for future children, he never explained, but still he hoarded every cent.
so fixated on saving that they only ever went out when she paid. Nights on the
couch were fun, but not every time. Then he had the absolute nerve to cheat on
her. Well, fine. She could do better. Time to move on.
thoughts of Danny
she thought to herself, heaving her bag off the airport carousel.
This isn’t a sad, pity party holiday. This is the holiday you always wanted,
that he wouldn’t let you have. He doesn’t get to rent a space in your head and
come along for free.
flicked her long, dark hair out of her face as she waited for a shuttle. The
hostel's front desk would be shut soon, but Kayla had to take a moment to enjoy
her freedom after landing. Being trapped inside a plane had left her feeling
sticky and dirty, while hours of breathing recycled air made the fresh oxygen
outside taste even sweeter. The hostel was right by the beach. She could afford
a quick detour before checking in.
time she placed a first, cautious toe on the white sand of Waikiki Beach, it
was almost midnight. But Kayla didn't care. The waves crashed and rolled onto
the sand, which was firm under her bare feet. The air still held the day's
heat, but without any suffocating humidity.
abandoned her bag at the top of the beach, running down to the edge of the
water. The surf rolled up and over her toes, and she bent to splash the
saltwater onto her face. It was warm, like a salty bath. She smiled and hugged
herself, staring at the paradise around her. Yes, this would do nicely.
were talking nearby. Unfamiliar people, with unfamiliar accents. Kayla frowned,
her eyes still closed, head on her pillow. Who was that? And why did the day
already feel so warm, when she was sure it was early morning?
flash, Kayla remembered where she was, and her eyes sprang open in excitement.
Her first day in Hawaii! She stretched her limbs out long across the tiny
hostel bed, feeling a couple of joints pop into place.
had always been careful with her money, even before Danny's constant harping
about saving. But she was fresh out of college, and her marketing job didn't
pay enough for extravagant holidays. Still, she had a small room to herself,
and it was clean. That was all that mattered to her. So what if the bed was
hard and lumpy? It wasn’t like she planned to spend much time at the hostel.
There were adventures to be had.
didn’t take long to tug on a flowery sundress, and find the kitchen. Toast and
spreads were laid out for the guests' breakfast, the usual for a cheap and
cheerful hostel. But beside them lay a range of colourful, tropical fruits.
Papaya, lychee, three different types of pineapple. Kayla’s stomach rumbled at
the sight. Now that was more like it.
grabbed her haul of sweet, tangy fruit, and turned to face the room of long
trestle tables. Clusters of people were spread around the room, chatting easily
to each other. Her stomach gave a small clench of nerves. Kayla considered
herself outgoing once she got to know people, but was never very good at
breaking the ice when meeting someone new. Finally, she spotted an empty corner
at one of the long tables. She made a beeline for it and sat by herself, nibbling
nervously at her white pineapple.
long though. Several of the other hostel guests looked like seasoned
travellers, and clearly had no such qualms about introducing themselves. A
newcomer plonked himself down in front of Kayla. He had dark, tightly wound
curls in a messy mop that spilled over his deeply tanned forehead, and the
Hawaii tourist uniform of a loose singlet, shorts and sandals.
I'm Adam. You new here? I don't think I've seen you before.” His eyes appraised
her, not-so-subtly. “I'm sure I'd remember you.”
smiled hesitantly. “Yeah I came in late last night. First time in Hawaii. You?”
man, it's my first time here too. Been here about a month now though, it's
amazing! I work at the hostel part-time so I can spin out my travels for as
long as possible. I'm at the beach every spare second I get. You surf?”
shook her head. “No. I'd love to try, but I'm not very co-ordinated.”
eyes lit up. “We should head out some time! I've only just learned myself, so I
remember all the rookie mistakes. I can totally help you. Sometimes you see
turtles out there, or even dolphins. The water's so clear, and really warm. You
wouldn’t need a wetsuit or anything, just a bikini…”
gaze slid down to her chest, before coming back to her face with a hopeful
smile. Kayla’s eyebrows shot up a fraction, but secretly, his eagerness was
flattering. It was nice to know she hadn’t totally lost her appeal. He looked
young, but not too much younger than her. Who said she had to become a nun in
order to heal a broken heart? It wasn't like she'd be bringing him back home to
meet the parents.
Kayla smiled at him. “That'd be great. I'm booked on a tour today though, so I
can't do it straight away.”
worries!” He chirped, clearly happy to have avoided a flat-out refusal. “Just
let me know. I'm usually around. Either here or Waikiki.”
his chair back, giving her another once-over glance in what he probably thought
was a subtle way, before ambling away and leaving Kayla to down the rest of her
milky tea. Well, that was quick. She'd been worried travelling by herself would
be lonely, but it looked like she already had one friend. So what if that
friend seemed to want to get into her pants? She wasn't totally against the
idea. Kayla glanced at her watch. Crap! She'd have to get going, or she'd miss
up her sunglasses, she walked the short distance to the beach, and soon spotted
the green minivan. If you didn't notice the bright red
Surf’s Up Tours
on the side, you'd soon spot it because of the aimless groups of tourists milling
around it. She rolled her eyes behind the safety of her dark glasses. Well, she
was a tourist too. No harm in embracing it for the first day.
approached, the minivan doors opened with a hiss, so she joined the others
piling inside. Taking in the rest of the group, Kayla was struck by the
realisation that she might have made one fatal mistake in coming to Hawaii to escape
heartbreak. Honolulu was clearly full of smitten honeymooners. Which was fine,
but couldn't they keep their hands off each other, just for a bit? Ugh.
here we go!” A tall, tanned man with light brown hair bounced up the bus
stairs, quickly claiming everyone's attention. An open Hawaiian shirt revealed
a muscled body, with a smattering of body hair bleached blonde by the sun. His
teeth gleamed white out of his slightly weather-beaten face as he smiled to the
group, clearly in full performance mode.
I'm Jay! I'm going to be your guide for today. This here is Steve, he's your
driver, and we want to make sure you have a good time today because we are just
one big ohana. That means we’re family, we’re going to look out for each other,
and have a great time together. You all ready to have fun?!”
of tourists whooped and hollered, and Kayla fought the urge to roll her eyes
Slick patter, sure, but just point me in the direction of turtle
beach and let me at it
, she thought.
got a cooler up the front here, plenty of beverages to go around. If you just
want a coke, that's cool, but we've also got beer, cider, and wine. Don't be
shy about indulging; I'm not your Mom!”
tourists whooped appreciatively again, and this time Kayla cracked a smile too.
Even a bus load of honeymooners could be endured if she had a glass of white
wine in hand. This was going to work out just fine.
roared into life, and Jay launched into the typical tour operator speech,
complete with plenty of fun facts. Oahu meant the gathering place, it wasn’t
the biggest island in Hawaii but it was the most populated, the famous Waikiki
beach used to be a playground for Hawaiian royalty…
her interest, Kayla found herself distracted by the scenery whizzing past as
the minivan sped along. Endless pristine beaches flicked by as she stared out
of the window. Every now and then, the view of the ocean was interrupted by
houses. Some of them were enormous beachfront mansions, others more humble, but
all of them were clearly built to make the most of the white sand and sparkling
road twisted inland, and the beaches gave way to acres of pineapple
plantations. The soil was unexpectedly red here, and the rows of prickly
pineapple plants seemed to stretch for miles. She wondered idly just how
painful they would be to harvest.
by yourself, then?” A smooth, masculine voice broke into her reverie. She
turned and almost bumped noses with Jay, the tour guide, making her stomach
She gasped in surprise.
sorry!” He quickly backed off. “I didn't mean to startle you. Or get in your
face. Although, maybe it would serve you right for paying so little attention
to me earlier. I’ll have you know, my version of the history of Oahu is
riveting.” He grinned disarmingly, and she returned the smile, feeling herself
warm to him.
it's fine, I was just lost in thought. What's the deal with the pineapple?
There's so much of it.”
well, the locals love their pineapples, especially the sweet white ones. Just
you wait. We finish the tour at the Dole Plantation, and you can get yourself a
nice pair of pineapple earrings. Or pineapple soft serve. Or pineapple
chocolate. Or pineapple Christmas tree ornaments. Everything pineapple! You can
never have enough pineapple!”
giggled despite herself. “So is that your big life plan then? Make your money
in tours and invest it all into pineapple?”
face grew very grave. “Oh, no. You would never take on Dole. Terrible things
happen to people who try. They run these islands.” He glanced around in mock
fear, and lowered his voice. “Don't even joke. You never know who is a Dole
giggled again. “OK, fine. No pineapple revolution. Does that mean you’re
planning to spend your life carting honeymooners around the best beaches in
Hawaii? Are you some sort of hopeless romantic who would do anything to spend
all day around true love?”
pulled a face and lowered his voice again. “Yeah, it's pretty sickening.
Hawaii's romantic, I get it, but I think 70% of the people here on any given
day are honeymooners. Yesterday though, talk about a change of pace. We had a
woman celebrating her divorce! I had to keep an eye on her. She was
up for a good time.”
it a bit... you know... awkward, with all the honeymooners?”
not! The whole group ended up really bonding, everyone just wanted her to have
fun. She wasn't bitter or anything. Just out to experience single life a second
smiled. “Well, you're a pretty good host. I'm sure you managed to make her feel
welcome, like you are with me.”
comment sparked him back into work mode. Kayla felt a twinge of disappointment
as Jay seemed to remember himself, and his work face slipped back into place.
am! Now tell me, what were you drinking? Pinot gris? Let me get you another.
We're almost at Pipeline!”
dashed back up the bus, and Kayla eyed his back, careful to keep her face
neutral in case he turned around suddenly. He was so different in regular
conversation. Less of the annoying perkiness. Part of her itched to keep
pulling back his mask, just to see if she could.
stops later, Kayla finally stepped off the bus and on to Laniakea Beach. This
was it. This was what she'd been waiting for. The famous spot where the white
sand beaches had a major point of difference: they were crawling with enormous
green sea turtles.
strolled closer to the water, Kayla saw everything she’d read online was true.
Two large turtles lay sunning themselves on the beach. She could spot several
others, bobbing about in the clear water, their heads popping up for air
occasionally. Everywhere she looked, one of the majestic creatures was there,
usually with a hopeful tourist nearby, trying to inch even closer for a
right, guys!” Jay waved the group together, gathering them in front of him in a
shady spot of the beach.
have two hours here. It's the biggest stop on the tour. Here are your snorkels,
basically just pull the straps until it's tight. If you need help getting it to
fit, call me over. Pick out a pair of fins to help you swim faster, it’ll give
you a chance of keeping up with the turtles.
turtles won’t come to you, try calling them by their native name, honu. They
won’t care, but you might get a kick out of it. If you get bored of swimming
with the turtles, just lie on the beach next to some.
answer to the most common question I get: these turtles will not hurt you. They
don't bite. They don't charge. They don't do anything else you're wondering
about. Your biggest worry is bumping into one, but don't worry, they're more
graceful in the water than we are. They'll avoid you. Just be respectful, give
them their space, and have a great time!”
reached for a snorkel mask, barely able to contain her excitement. She loved
nature, but was usually only able to see it behind the bars of a zoo. In one
quick move, she pulled her sundress over her head, leaving only the bikini she
was wearing underneath. Once she was closer to the water, she yanked on the
snorkel, slipped on her fins, and started to wade in. As soon as it was deep
enough, she dived beneath the waves without hesitation.
water pummelling her skin felt deliciously refreshing. It was warm, but still
just cool enough to give light relief from the tropical, baking heat of the
beach. This side of the island was famous for its surf, but the water at Laniakea
was just calm enough to still be crystal clear. She kicked out to where the
waves were breaking. She'd scouted the best spots from the beach and seen the
most turtles there.
this small distance from the shore felt like a new world. It was quieter, the
chatter of other tourists still on the beach starting to fade into the
distance. Kayla turned her head to see if anyone from her tour was close by,
and nearly squealed in excitement. There, just out of arm's reach, was a
turned its head lazily, seeming to watch her in return, then carried on
swimming, overtaking her. She wanted to reach out for it, but remembered what
Jay had said about being respectful of the shy animals. She pulled her hand
back, and floated in the water, holding as still as possible.