Friday, February 20, 2015

Aloha, Baby (A short story in several sections.)

Blue eyes, dimples, & a hot surfer's body means trouble, right? There's only one way for Katie to find out...

A couple years ago I wrote a short story for an anthology put out by Still Moments Publishing. They've since gone out of business and I've got the rights back. I love this story, and to celebrate my own upcoming Aloha Adventure, I'm going to post a section every Friday between now and the time I leave for my vacation. I'll link all the posts together and when it's all done I'll make it available as a download. So, without further ado, Aloha, Baby...

Losing seventy pounds was sure something to celebrate, but at the same time it created problems Katie never expected to deal with. Like, what to do when the hot-bodied surfer, Jack, turned out to be the DJ at her roommate's favorite dance club. Katie was positive he had ‘Trouble’ stamped on his butt. Didn't he?

Part one

I curled my toes into the hot sand at Makapu’u Beach, planning my escape from Meli. She was tiny, but persistent, like a kid with the perfect birthday gift in her sights. And she had it in her head that when the sun went down, we were going dancing. As if she’d actually get me, Katie Maloney, on the dance floor. It was…unlikely. Meli was my roommate, though, which made her hard to avoid.

I glanced at the black plastic Swatch watch on my wrist. The brand had been so trendy when I bought it in nineteen-eighty-eight that I couldn’t see how butt-ugly it was. Four years later it remained reliably waterproof and accurate, so I still wore it.

Since there was half an hour before I had to leave, I tugged my fins back on and jogged out towards the water, lifting my knees high to clear the sand. I headed in the direction of Rabbit Island, a huge rock formation jutting out several hundred yards from shore. 

When I got past where the waves were breaking, I drifted on my back, sculling my hands so I could tip my head up and watch the whole beach without being seen. The smell of the briny water almost washed out my cocoa-butter suntan oil. 

Three men sat on a pile of rocks near the surf. One was a grizzled old guy whose hair was a solid matt of dreadlocks hanging down his back. He was always there when I came down to the beach. For all I knew, he lived on that pile of rocks. 

The other two guys were surfers who only showed when the waves were right. Kalani was a local boy whose long black hair had bleached to gold at the ends. He’d tip his chin and raise his eyebrows to acknowledge Meli if she was around. He ignored me, but then I was used to men ignoring me. It wasn’t a problem. 

His buddy Jack was friendlier. He was about twenty-five with shaggy brown hair and the posture of an ex-Marine. One day, while they were waiting for the swell to pick up, Jack plopped his board down in the sand next to me and started talking. 

“It’s pretty flat out there.” His killer, pale blue eyes stood out in his tanned face. Deep dimples cut grooves down his cheeks. 

I blushed because not only was he trying to talk to me, but I was paranoid he’d said “fat” instead of “flat”. I shifted my weight just enough so I could check him out without being obvious about it. Deciding he’d said flat, I gathered my wits to answer. “It’s probably breaking out towards Waimanalo.” 

“Yeah, but the pretty girls are over here.” 

I opened my mouth and closed it. Any hope for a snappy comeback faded when I glanced at him again. His smile was incredibly distracting, and I just knew he had Trouble stamped on his butt. The cute ones always did. I was saved when a set of two-foot waves came in, big enough to draw him out onto the water. 

That was our one and only conversation, and it was so minor I hadn’t even told Meli about it. After that, every time I saw Jack, I secretly hoped he’d talk to me again. But not now. Anticipating a night on the town was enough.

The water was cool, not cold, and it gave me a liquid hug as I watched the beach. I loved to body surf. Even when I had to stretch a size twenty swimsuit to make it fit, I’d come down to the beach and catch some waves. Working nights in a hospital ICU meant I could come to the beach almost every day. Since joining Weight Watchers, I’d added hiking Diamond Head to my exercise plan and I’d even joined a gym. Body surfing was more than exercise though. It was my therapy, a way to blow off steam that didn’t involve calories.

With a few quick kicks my fins brought me back towards shore, closer to where the waves were cresting. From there it would be easy to stroke into a wave although they were slow in coming, giving me time to look around. Makapu’u Beach was surrounded by a horseshoe of ragged volcanic rock, just past Koko Head Crater on the island of Oahu. It was known as a bodysurfing beach because of its tough current. The guys who rode these waves on surfboards had to know what they were doing. 

Jack and Kalani came down the beach, side by side, their boards tucked under their arms. When they were ankle-deep, they stopped and stared across the water, checking which way the current was pulling before getting out into it. After a few minutes, they flopped onto their boards and paddled past me. Kalani stared straight ahead while Jack flashed me a dimpled grin, which stopped my heart for a beat or two. 

Pretending I wasn’t flustered, I pinched back a smile and kicked into a wave, riding it towards the beach and ducking out just before it crashed so I wouldn’t get caught up in the tangle of sand and foam. I came up shaking my head, partly to get the water out of my ears and partly because I wasn’t sure what to make of Mr. Trouble-on-his-butt. He had almost acted…interested.

Stroking back out, I could feel my shoulders getting warm. Could be a problem. The strappy dress Meli wanted me to wear tonight would look funny if I had sunburned racing stripes. I let her help me pick out my clothes because I wasn’t used to my new body yet. I’d lost seventy pounds in the last year and had gone from a steady wardrobe of muumuus and drawstring baggie things to a size eight. Size eight. I mouthed the words, trying to make them seem real.

I bobbed over the top of the waves as they broke past me. Jack caught a wave and rode it, his form perfect. The sun highlighted the muscular definition of his chest. He neatly flipped back out of the way as the wave curled down toward the sand and bobbed back up again next to his board. He glanced towards me, which made me flip my gaze in the other direction so he wouldn’t catch me staring. My cheeks got as warm as my shoulders. A handsome surfer dude was the last guy I wanted to mess with.

Three waves later the big black Swatch said it was time to go, so I let the next one bring me all the way onto the sand. Going out to Waikiki sounded painful, but not as painful as dealing with Meli if I pissed her off. I squeezed the water from my hair and gathered my things. Damn, it was going to take a major overhaul for me to look halfway decent.

Check back next week for part 2. Mahalo...

Jump HERE for part 2.


  1. What a fun excerpt!! Looking forward to next week. Have a great time in Hawaii - don't feel bad that I'll still be frozen solid here in the tundra of New England, LOL!

    Seriously, when do you leave? I've never been to Hawaii and would love to go.

  2. Thanks sweetie! I posted this with you in mind.
    Am headed to Honolulu the 2nd week in April. A couple of friends are turning 50, and that's where they want to celebrate. I'm only staying 4 nights, but haven't been there in 15 years, so I'm REALLY looking forward to it.

  3. Liv, cute story. I liked.

    Can I come to Honolulu with you? It's a whopping 10 below right not here and I sure could use a warm up.

  4. Excellent idea, Liv. What a great way to gear up for Hawaii. After reading this, I'm in the mood for a little sun, sand, and turquoise water, too. Looking forward to the next installment. :)

  5. Yep, Cathrina, it's people like you I'm posting this story for. Because BRRR!!

    And thanks for checking it out, Deborah. I know you love the islands too, and hopefully it'll be a fun mini-vacation for you.

  6. Love it, Liv! You had me smiling all the way through. I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

  7. Thanks for checking it out, Sharon!

  8. While contemporary romance isn't my usual thing, you have some nice writing going on here, Liv. Looking forward to the next installment :)

  9. Thanks Mike! You may discover a soft spot for romance that you never knew existed. :)