Friday, April 10, 2015

Aloha, Baby (A Short Story Serial - The Big Finish!)

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

Here we are, at the final installment of Aloha, Baby. If you've been following along, MAHALO! and if you're just checking in for the first time, you can catch up by reading  Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 first. Or you can read the big finish, and wonder how we got here. (LOL!) At any rate, by the time you read this, I'll be on a plane to Honolulu for a little fun in the sun. Have fun with the story, and have a great week!

Our VRBO has a pool....hoping this guy is waiting....

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?

When we left Katie, Jack had just dropped her off after a most romantic ride home...

The next morning my head ached a little. The sky was partly cloudy, although the clouds would likely burn off and let the sun through by the afternoon. I said good morning to Hula Girl. When I passed by to open the lanai door, she winked at me. For a plastic doll she was kind of a smarty-pants.

I stepped out so I could watch the water and smell the plumeria. The traffic zipping along the highway hummed like a swarm of distant bees. My presence triggered a startled cough from Darla, who was out on her lanai in a purple and hot pink flowered bathing suit finishing her morning cigarette.

“Goodness, lady, you look like crap. I hope it was worth it.”

I was a little embarrassed. “Yeah.” I glanced down at my Swatch. It was ten thirty in the morning.

“Want some coffee?” Darla held up her cup.

“I would love some.”

Darla ducked into her apartment and, in a minute, she was back with a second mug. It tasted fine, clearing the fuzz off the back of my tongue and propping my eyes open. “Thanks,” I said, raising the mug as a toast to Darla.

“No problem. You have fun last night?”

I grinned, unable to find the right words.

“It’s about time.” Darla raised her mug, toasting my success. A muffled thump came from Meli’s room, and a minute later she stumbled into the bathroom.

“Look who’s livin’ large,” I called to her.

Darla laughed. “She’s a kicker, your roommate. I used to know her Auntie Esmie. We had some wild times, back in the old days.”

“Meli must have inherited her auntie’s genes.”

“She got her name. Esmerelda.”

“Ack, Darla, don’t tell her that.” Meli stepped out onto the lanai and dumped herself into our one plastic chair. She was wearing a man’s t-shirt and a flowered sarong skirt tied at the hip. “You have fun last night with Mr. Trouble?”

I felt my cheeks turn to flame. “Yeah.”

“Gonna see him again?” By now Darla was leaning over the lanai railing, anticipating my answer.


“Our work here is done, Darla.” Meli pushed herself up, gave Darla a high five, and went back into the apartment. She called over her shoulder as she left. “Let’s go out for breakfast.”

That sounded pretty good. A couple of over-easy eggs and some orange juice would be okay if I just had a salad for lunch. Meli would probably order eggs benedict, and normally I would weaken and help her finish what she couldn’t eat. Having Jack around was likely to be pretty motivating. As they say at Weight Watchers, nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. I got a fluttery feeling somewhere under my belly button. For sure, I’d be buying myself a couple new bras.

“You want to come with us, Darla?”

“Oh no. You girls go have fun. I’m glad you got out last night. For a sweet girl, you’re kind of distant, you know? I can tell you’re holding everything back.”

Sounded like someone you’d call Shave Ice. “I’ve heard that before.”

When the coffee was gone, I took a long shower. The red light on the answering machine was flashing when I got done. The message was from Jack, just checking in. He left phone numbers for his apartment and his car phone.

“I’ll call him back later,” I told Hula Girl.

Her skirt swished in the breeze as she laughed at me.

“What? It’s not like he’s really got ‘Trouble’ on his butt.”

“Who are you talking to?” Meli asked as she came out of the bathroom.

Hula Girl kept laughing.

“No one, Meli. Let’s go.”

Of course, by the time we got done waiting for the elevator and rode to the ground floor, I started freaking out. Maybe I should have returned Jack’s call before we left.

“What if he doesn’t call again?” I wailed at Meli. Guys could be so fickle.

She rolled her eyes and headed across the lobby, her flip-flops slapping on the tile floor. “He’ll call again.”

I followed her, wishing I had her confidence. She looked casually sophisticated with her flowered skirt tied on her hip, carrying a purse that should have looked too dressy, but didn’t. Beside her, my faded sundress was shabby. At least my hair looked kind of cute, done up in a messy bun, and I’d slapped on some tinted lip-gloss.

When we pushed through the double glass doors of the apartment’s main entrance, I wished I’d paid a little more attention to my appearance. A dark-colored Camaro pulled up in front of us. We stopped near the passenger door, and Meli glanced at me over top of her sunglasses. The tinted passenger window rolled down, and Jack leaned over from the driver’s seat.

“What’s up, chicas?”

“Morning.” I clipped Meli gently with my elbow because I knew she was about to start giggling.

“We’re going over to the Wisteria for breakfast and thought we’d see if you wanted to come. Since we were in the neighborhood.”

The restaurant he’d named was on the other side of town. Realizing there was no way they happened to be “in the neighborhood,” I started to grin. After a glance at Meli, I nodded. “Let’s go.”

“Get out of the car, Kalani.” Jack shoved his roommate’s shoulder.

Kalani was staring at Meli like she was a cobra and he was about to get bit. “You get out of the car. The girls can sit in back.”

“Get out.”

Kalani opened the passenger door, climbing out with an exaggerated sigh.

“Now be a gentleman and help her in.”

Kalani stuck a hand in Meli’s general direction and she gave him a look that said she’d slap him if he touched her. I bit my upper lip to keep from laughing out loud. They were going to be fun to watch.

When Kalani was in the back, I settled myself in the passenger seat and smiled over at Jack. He picked up my hand and kissed the back of it. The air around me started to glow, and I was pretty sure I could get used to the warm buzz that started in my heart and traveled south.

I had to clear my throat before I could speak. “Sorry I didn’t call you back. I was in the shower.”

“It’s alright, Cuddles.”

“Gah, are we going to have to listen to you get all mushy?” Meli bleated from behind us.

Jack and I started to laugh, and I let my hand rest causally on his thigh. As he put the car in gear, I heard Hula Girl tell me how much fun it was to fall in love.

Thanks again for reading!