Dedicated to Christy
Submitted by Ron Etue
It was years ago, but I can still see it as clearly as yesterday. I was in Hawaii on business and riding the Waikiki trolley to take in a view of the city. The young woman opposite me stood briefly to rearrange her bags just as the trolley swerved. Christy, as I later learned her name, was thrown onto my lap. It was such a ridiculously corny situation, but it had made all the difference. It was so embarrasing that I was forced into gallantry and her into conversation. By the time we got off the trolley, I knew where she was staying. That weekend Hawaii’s exquisite beauty and countless wonders created a special bond between us as we explored them together.
It was only a year later that we were married.
And then there we were on another trolley eight years later, this time in San Francisco, both of us remembering that first day. I had been gazing at you when you got a peculiar look on your face and asked “What if you had been just a minute later that day and had caught a different trolley? We wouldn’t have met. What would you have done then?”
“Remained a bachelor, of course. Besides, Hawaii would have found some other way for us to meet.”
“I’m serious,” she pouted, “what might have happened to us?”
“Well,” I started, searching for an answer that would suffice, when it hit me – “Remember Josh’s wedding ‘luau’ in California, and how he sent us both invitations separately, not knowing we were dating? We both still would have gone, and then I still would have spilled my plate on you, and we would have met that way!”
“Don’t be silly, you only spilled it on me because we went together. If we weren’t dating you would have spilled it on whoever it was you WERE dating.”
“No, I’m pretty sure I would have aimed for you” I replied.
“So you were aiming for me?”
“Not that time, I didn’t need to then. But I would have, I know it.”
“But you didn’t do anything of the kind on the trolley that day…”
“I didn’t have a plate, remember.”
Again the pout – “Ron, I’m trying to be serious. What if you hadn’t been on the trolley that day, or I hadn’t fallen?”
“What if pigs flew? What if the sky was green? It’s not the ‘what ifs’ that concern me. There are millions of ‘what ifs’, and I’m absolutely sure that in most of them Hawaii brings us together, as it should be. But we don’t need the ‘what ifs’, the real is enough. And what’s real is that Hawaii brought you to me, and I’ve still got you right here in my arms. That simple fact comforts me more than you’ll ever know.”
The trolley clattered on, drawing us near our destination, and I remembered something. “Do you know what I used to worry about when we were dating?” I asked. “What if she were to say no…” But the gentle look in her eyes at that moment reassured me that our special moment in Hawaii could never have had any other ending.