Chapter 5: The End of all Things (which is the beginning of everything)
Copyright© 2015 by Jake Rivers
Time passed, as it tends to do. Work fell into a familiarity that was comfortable. The boss was happy, the customer was happy, I was getting regular raises and some quite nice bonuses. I kept up the running, but no more organized races, particularly no more marathons.
More and more I would drive over to somewhere around Waikiki or the zoo and park, then run around and into the Diamond Head crater. I would always finish up with a somewhat short swim in the water out from the Ala Moana Hotel. It wasn't so much to cool off—the water was always comfortably warm. But when I came out of the water wet, into the summer wind, it did feel refreshing, even a bit cool.
On this particular day mostly looking down at the sand with a good deal of fatigue, I saw something incongruous; or, as it turned out to be, very congruent. It was just a flash, no, two flashes, of bikinis of different sizes. Of course, my immediate reaction was ... Angie! I stopped and took a long look. Yeah, maybe Angie, same hair, may a trifle (a very small trifle) thicker, with a matching toddler type girl in a matching bikini. But then there was the obvious inconsistency, Angie didn't have any children.
I stood there in a fog of my own making, certainly not caused by the warm air of the ocean. God knows how long I might have stood there were it not for the Angie wannabe standing up and intruding into my personal space.
With a calmness I could never have mustered, she said, "Jerry, how are you? You're looking great!"
"Unh ... Angie?" I was noted far and wide as a smooth talker.
"Yes, I'm Angie. Was that a question?"
"Yeah, Jerry, and I'm pretty sure you are Jerry. Please let me know if in fact you are not Jerry."
Gathering myself, I responded, somewhat glibly if I do say so, "Yes of course, I'm Jerry. Jerry Kinsolving. Damn Angie is it really you?"
With a good deal of patience she said, "Yes, and this cute little child is Angela Marie."
Wisely, I replied, "Ummm, that's a girl. Uh, is that your daughter?"
A deep sigh, "Jerry, this beautiful creature is my daughter ... and yours. Could you pick me up in front of the hotel in half an hour? I'll explain everything then."
Finally something I could understand—action.
I was parked in front of the Ala Moana in five minutes. My mind was in what my grandma used to call a tizzy. It was clearly Angie. If the visual evidence hadn't been enough her voice was distinctive. But what was this little girl, this Angela Marie? Did she really say this was my daughter? Wow.
In due course she came down, I helped them in the car, and asked her, "Where to?"
"Well, I hope you have a place to stay. It's too expensive to keep staying in the hotel."
It was quiet during the drive and I came to believe that the cute thing in the back seat might really be mine. I got hung up on the how. Well, of course I knew how, but not the details. Angie was very quiet as I drove; my impression was that she was regretting being in Hawaii. As we neared my house, she said, "Are you still in the same place?"
"Yeah, Angie, I bought it."
I pulled in and as we got out Angie gave me the girl child to carry in. She was a cute little thing. I noticed that her ears were exactly like my Aunt Mary's had been, and with the intensely curly hair of my mom ... not to mention my baby blue eyes (eat your heart out Frank!) Maybe she was mine. And if so, what in the hell was going on?
Angie took the toddler into my bedroom and came back a few minutes later. "Jerry, can I have a beer?"
I grabbed us both a cold one.