“My stomach flipped and I suddenly felt like I was standing at the top of Black Rock again, ready to jump. And I was going to go for it…”
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I was more likely to encounter a unicorn than a perfect man so something had to be desperately wrong with Galen.
I just hadn’t seen it yet or it was just a matter of time before he showed his true colors.
Galen was too good to be true.
Well-balanced, articulate, thoughtful and conversational all combined into the body of one good-looking man who wasn’t tripping over his feet to make me a conquest?
No. Freaking. Way.
I couldn’t believe in an almost perfect man when I didn’t even believe in the concept of a “decent” man. Fifteen years of my ex-husband and a handful of online dating disasters since the divorce supported my well-proven theory.
Maybe he has a wife, a harem of girlfriends on rotation around town, or maybe he simply preys on women traveling solo to add a little spice to his island flavor…
We had spent the past days enjoying each other’s company and having thought provoking discussions about Hawaii, life and current events. But we hadn’t really spoken about the details of our pasts. It was bizarre to feel like I knew him deeply as a human being without knowing the basics about him. Our connection seemed to be centered on the moment – not on the past or the future.
I need to find out the basics about him.
Galen and I sat on a seaside lanai at a bustling popular grill not too far from Whaler’s Village. He had insisted that I experience a Hawaiian “mixed plate” for lunch and I was more than game to add it to my evergreen list of experiences. When our mai tai’s arrived with our orders, I was pleasantly surprised at how quaint my plate looked.
Photo credit: jshyun via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
“A plate lunch always includes one scoop of macaroni, two scoops of white rice, a small side like the haupia you have there and an entrée,” Galen explained as I poked my fork at the contents of my dish. I had taken his suggestion to try the kalua pork laulau wrapped in a taro leaf and he had ordered the seafood.
After a futile attempt at daintily unfolding my taro leaf, I quickly gave up and dug in. I couldn’t help but lick my lips at just how crazy good my food was.
“Do you like it?”
“This is wonderful! I love it. How is your food?”
I watched as he grabbed a shrimp from his entrée and began to delicately peel off its shell to expose its pink nakedness.
Photo credit: ooitschristina via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
“I often order this plate and it’s always great. The food here is homemade goodness.”
My food might have been delicious enough to distract me but nothing could deter me from finding out what I was aching to know.
“Galen…” I started cautiously. “You never told me about why or how you decided to leave the “rat race” you mentioned the other day at Banyan Tree Park.”
Galen cocked his head to the side as if he was trying to remember what he had said.
“Oh, that’s right. I promised to tell you about that over a dinner. But this is lunch so technically…”
His eyes crinkled at the corners whenever he teased but this time around, I frowned. I needed him to take my question seriously.
“Don’t worry. I won’t get all technical on you,” he joked. “You’ll have to forgive me on that. It’s just that I’ve gotten so accustomed to living in the present that I rarely look back at the past.”
Galen took a sip of his mai tai, popped another shrimp into his mouth and then put down his fork to give me the full attention of his sexy blue eyes.
“What do you want to know Katie?”
Was Galen giving me carte blanche to ask whatever I wanted?
My stomach flipped and I suddenly felt like I was standing at the top of Black Rock again, ready to jump. And I was going to go for it.
“Are you married?”
“No,” he guffawed. “If I was, I would not be spending all this time with you.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
Galen couldn’t contain his surprise.
“Uh, isn’t that basically the same question?”
“Actually, no.” I shook my head. “For a woman, that question doesn’t necessarily exclude the other.”
“Okay. Since I’m not a woman, I’ll have to take your word for it. The answer is no, I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Have you ever been married?”
When Galen took a sip of his drink and rolled his eyes, I worried that I was making myself look like an insecure fool.
“I got divorced ages ago. This is starting to feel like an inquisition…but I did say that you could ask me anything you wanted so ask away!”
And so I did.
If he was divorced, either something was wrong with him or his ex-spouse must have been crazy to let him go.
“Do you have any children?”
Suddenly, his handsome face clouded over with sadness. I noticed his chest heave with a deep breath and then he closed his eyes for a long moment.
“No, not anymore. I had a son but he passed away.”
I didn’t know what to say and found myself apologizing.
“I’m sorry…” I whispered.
“No,” Galen reached out and touched my hand. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. My son is in a much better place than this crazy fast-paced world.”
Afraid to ask anymore questions, I pretended to focus on my plate. I pushed my food around nervously, creating a tiny mountain with my macaroni. I was about to do the same with my rice when he placed his hand over mine, forcing me to stop playing like a child with my food and to get my attention.
“Do you really want to know how I ended up in Maui? Why I decided to leave the rat race of New York behind me?”
Of course I desperately wanted to know.
“I’ll tell you everything. But let’s wait until I take you for malasadas later today. Okay?”
I nodded, letting curiosity overtake my thoughts, not leaving my mind any room to wonder what malasadas even were.
Continuation: M is for “Malasadas”
All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.
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