Just turn left out of the parking lot heading around the coastline toward the north shore, he said as my brow crinkled with anticipation and confusion.
Bryce, what’s going on? You sound giddy or something. Are you here? Did you fly over? The salty ocean drizzle was collecting on my windshield as I was trying to figure out his scheme. Our long distance relationship from Kauai to Salt Lake was well into its fourth month. We were growing closer than ever thanks to cell phones and unlimited minutes. It was well past 8pm meaning 12am his time. It had been weeks since we had seen each other and each of us were excited about my upcoming Labor Day trip back to Salt Lake for the weekend. What could he possibly be so excited to talk to me about tonight and this late? In only a way that a girl can, I spent the next 5 seconds completely analyzing the situation.
This man-of-my-dreams had been acting peculiar all day. Usually pretty accessible to talk and text with during the day, I now felt it strange how I couldn’t reach him all day until now after midnight his time?
Don’t worry baby, he said. No, I’m not there but I want you follow my directions because I have a big surprise for you. Surprise? Well, what girl wouldn’t get excited about that! Have you passed the lumberyard yet? How does the moon look on your side of the ocean? Looking to my right I saw how the spotty rain was clearing opening up the jet black night clouds like curtains to a nighttime performance of the full moon dancing.
Its just beautiful Bryce. I wish you could be here to see it. Yeah, me too, he said with somehow reflecting an extra smile in his voice. Now how close are you to the Kountry Kitchen Diner? As I told him I remembered us being there a month ago where we enjoyed a quiet breakfast looking out over the ocean talking about our love and future over pancakes with coconut syrup and a side of bacon. He continued to give me directions as I thought deeply about how much I loved this man and how wonderful he was to me. I had been waiting for 30 years to find someone like him. Then I completely ruled out the notion of him being there. Having little or no experience booking flights or battling TSA security screeners and the cost involved for the trip, I smiled as I thought how silly I was thinking that he had flown over to the island – especially since I was due to arrive in Salt Lake in less than a week anyhow.
Now, coming around the bend there you should see a guard rail.
I think so, I answered feeling more antsy than ever. Are you sure you’re not here? Seriously, where am I going?
Hang on, be patient sweetheart. Slow down because I Don’t want you to miss this. When you get to the break in the guard rail, turn into there, park and walk towards the ocean.
Okay, I’m really freaking out here! You want me to walk down where in the dark? I couldn’t possibly imagine what was going on. Had he got one of my buddies to arrange something down at this beach? Did he get someone from work to do something? How would he get any of their phone numbers? Maybe he buried something in the sand when he visited last time? My brain was on overload trying to guess the scenario before it unraveled before me. Seeing the break in the railing, I pulled into the sand next to a few palm trees. It was about 15 yards to the ocean, and there was no one at Kealia Beach at this time of day.
I got out of my car and started to walk toward the water. Tara, do you see the two very large palm trees near where you are?
Walk right through those and then look to your left. As he was instructing me I saw someone walking from far way moving toward me on the beach.
Bryce, who is that? That cant be you is it? As I continued to question I could not help but recognize the swagger of the guy walking toward me.
Hi baby, Bryce said to me on the phone. The moon had danced out into the night time stage casting what seemed like a spotlight on the spot where I was standing. I could now see Bryce beaming and walking toward me. His arms were full of flowers. As he stood in front of me, he placed a beautiful traditional lei around my neck and then one around his.
It is really you? I asked in utter amazement. His eyes were wet and sparkled as the stars shone in them as he placed a bouquet of flowers in my arms. My emotions by then had overcome me. This was it. I felt like I could float away in the ocean breeze. As Bryce knelt down in front of me and asked me to spend eternity with him as his wife, tears of shock and of exhilaration wet my face. It was just us. He was really here.
Salt Lake City, UT