“So are you excited about Hawaii?” My brother asked me.
“Yeah, but not for the reasons you think.” I answered.
When I arrived on the beach in Maui. I took the longest inhale I could ever remember taking. If heaven has a scent, it would be that of orchids and salted sea air. I exhaled slowly as I wanted to linger in the aroma for as long as I could.
Then, I saw him. The scene looked like a brochure. Jean-Michel was sitting Indian-style on a huge wicker mat surrounded by shells different shapes and colors. His locks were probably down to his waist now, but he had them tied up in a bun atop his head. His smile rivaled the sparkle in his eyes as he grabbed my hand to help me sit down next to him.
“You’re not going to publish anything we say here today are you?” he asked as he offered me a piece of mango from a Tupperware bowl.
I took a piece and smiled warmly, “Not without your permission.”
“Good.” He then took a shell and started scribbling crowns and birds in the wet sand.
“So you never stopped creating?” I asked him.
“Does anyone? We are always creating something. Goals, meals, excuses, our own hype even.”
“Did you create your own hype?”
He sighed and rubbed his bronzed cheeks leaving streaks of sand that crept into the creases of his smile.
“So you think my success was hype?” He asked wrinkling his nose at me.
“No. I was just piggybacking off your statement.”
“Great choice of words. I am having a luau later. Would you like to join me?”
“I can’t think of a reason not to. Who else will be there?”
“Us, Andy, and the pig.”
“Andy is here with you?”
“Why wouldn’t he be?”
“Well where is he?”
He took a fistful of sand and let it fall through his fingers. A breeze caught it and sprinkled some sand in the container with the mango. “He is so porcelain; he can’t enjoy the sun. He will join us at sundown.
I dared not ask where we would be. I’m sure he would tell me. Besides, I had so many other things I needed to know about soul mate with only twenty nine more days to ask.
“I am honored that you invited me here. So thank you.”
He popped a piece of sandy mango into his mouth and giggled as the nectar dripped down his chin, “How could I not. You’re story about my whereabouts intrigued me. Not too many people think about me anymore.”
Stunned, my mouth dropped open in a gasp, “You’re kidding me?! You are an artistic icon!!!”
“But my paintings aren’t what I am speaking about. From your letter, you wanted to get to know me.”
My heart pounded, “I do.”
He smiled, “You have mango juice on your chin.”
“Let me get that for you.”
Then he kissed me.
Photo credit www.timeoutchicago.com