“Galen shifted closer and softly dusted off my cheek with his thumb. My body jolted at the touch of his fingertips on my skin and I found myself placing my hand over his to stop him.
Without thinking, I gently parted my mouth and slowly licked my lips, taking his thumb into my mouth…”
“You don’t have faith in me, do you Katie?”
The hypnotic ocean and crystal blue skies whizzed past the car window as Galen and I sped down the highway to a destination unknown to me. His tone was shaded with concern as well as amusement.
“From the questions you were asking me earlier, it’s obvious that you don’t.”
In such close proximity to him in his car, I had no choice but to answer, which was no longer a bad thing. Somehow my habit of self-censoring before speaking my mind had ebbed away when I just didn’t care. With my diagnosis always at the far corner of my mind and the realization that I only had 12 to 24 months left had stripped me naked of my ridiculous idiosyncrasies.
And it felt good.
“Galen, I can’t say that I trust you. I don’t really know you. I mean, I feel like I do but I really don’t.”
He was quiet for a moment before he glanced over at me. When our eyes made four, I knew that he understood where I was coming from.
“I get it. A woman can never be too careful. I’ll just have to make sure that my actions keep speaking louder than words to gain your trust. But I was really referring to your faith in me.”
“Trust and faith are the same…”
“Uh, no. I respectfully beg to differ,” Galen said as he veered off the highway and maneuvered down a skinny side road. “For me, trust and faith are two different things. I totally understand that you don’t trust me. Trust is about placing confidence in another and it has to be earned. Trust is about having confidence and reliance on someone and you haven’t known me long enough for that. But faith…”
Galen glanced over at me again and by the look on my face, I think he realized that I was trying my best to follow his logic.
Where were we going that was taking us off the highway?
Photo credit: Foter.com
“If I loosely refer to Hebrews 11:1, faith is about believing in something or someone, even if proof doesn’t exist. It’s a noun. It’s something we have. It’s about your heart. But trust is different. Trust is a verb. It’s something we do. It’s about your head and the evidence that appeases your mind. For me, trust is faith in action.” *
I found myself holding my breath, trying to figure out if I was being taken to school, to church or a bit of both. Either way, it didn’t matter. It was too much food for thought to sink into my mind all at once. I had never thought of the two concepts on such a deep and thoughtful level.
“Only you can know if you “trust” me or if you have faith in me, Katie. And I have no problem with you taking the time to figure out which it is.”
I remained deathly quiet for a very long moment.
“I’ll be honest with you Galen. Your actions have been speaking louder than words. But from things that have happened in my past, I can’t help but be… suspicious.”
He nodded with understanding.
Trust and faith? I don’t think that I have either one of those in anyone, except Meghan and my son.
Before my diagnosis, I was resigned to the fact that my life was boring and humdrum. But it was only after that and during my mini-breakdown, that it had become painfully clear to me that I had not spent my life living.
I had spent most of adulthood simply existing for others.
It was a thought that made me want to cry each and every time that realization crossed my mind. I shook my head and refocused on our conversation.
“Well, you must have a little faith in me otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now. Right?”
I could feel that he was trying to lighten the mood.
“True.” I peered out the window and realized that we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. “Where are we going?”
“You’ll have to have faith in me.” Galen teased and tossed me a wink. I couldn’t help but smile whenever he did. Galen kept his eyes on the road until we made a stop next to a small colorful food truck where dozens of people were milling around.
Before I could open my mouth to ask where he was going, Galen sprinted out of the car and cut to the front of the line of people waiting to be served. From the way the portly man inside the truck greeted and fist-bumped him, it was obvious that they were friends. After Galen was handed a box and a tray with two coffees, the man waved to me. I automatically waved back.
What was Galen up to?
Galen carefully walked back the car, handed me the coffee tray to hold and then gently placed the box in the backseat.
“That’s Makaio, an old friend and all around sweet guy. He owns that food truck and the locals in these parts know that he has some of the best….oh…wait…you’ll see,” Galen said cryptically.
“Okay, well, thanks for the coffee,” I said as he slipped back into the driver’s seat, started the car and we drove off. “Which one is…”
“Yours is the one on the right. Four sugars, two creams.”
I raised my eyebrows at him.
“How do you know that I like my sugar with coffee?”
“It’s how you ordered it the other day. And I’m very observant,” Galen laughed. “But you’ll have to wait a few minutes before you drink it, okay.”
I was more interested in the box in the back seat than asking why I couldn’t drink the coffee right away.
“And…you’ll have to wait to know what’s in the box,” Galen preempted me.
Since Galen had said that he would tell me about how he ended up in Maui when he took me for malasadas, I could only assume that they were some kind of dessert and that was what was in the box. I had no choice but to be patient.
We drove for a few more minutes before Galen turned off at a stop off point off the highway with an exquisite view of the sun shining brightly down onto the blue green ocean.
Photo credit: Foter.com
We got out of the car and Galen grabbed a blanket from his trunk. He spread it on the ground in front of the car, took the coffee tray away and motioned for me sit. Then he handed me the coffees, skirted back to the car for the box and sat down next to me.
“What are we doing here?”
“I’m going to teach you the best way to eat a malasada.”
Galen popped open the lid of the box to expose a hot half-dozen array of sugary goodness. They looked like doughnuts dusted over with confectioner’ sugar.
Photo credit: lesleyk via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
“Yes and no. Malasadas are more like beignets than doughnuts. These treats have no holes and are filling with gooey goodness so I bought a few different ones for you to sample. This one has custard, this one has chocolate and this one here is my favorite. It has haupia, the same type of coconut dessert you had earlier today at our plate lunch.”
Galen was almost like a little boy as he explained from where they originated, how malasadas came to Hawaii – all information I would unlikely remember later.
“They look delicious. But why do you have to show me how to eat them?”
Galen took his coffee, popped the cover off, took a malasada and dipped it into his cup.
“This is the best way to eat one. You dip it once into your coffee and then take a bite. But you don’t dip it twice because it’ll get too soggy and fall into the bottom of your coffee cup. And as my son used to say when we used to do this, “That’s just gross Dad.””
Galen chuckled to himself. This time when he spoke about his son, his eyes twinkled with joy as opposed to sadness.
“Oh,” I said, trying to be cautious. “The two of you used to do this together?”
My curiosity spiked as I picked up a malasada and watched Galen nod.
“Yes, we’d do this all the time at this very spot when he would come to visit. He loved to come here because it’s such a great spot to watch the sunset. I would have coffee and he would do the same with hot chocolate. To be honest, he’s the one who taught me this way to eat them. Go ahead and try it. I promise that you’ll love it.”
I popped the top off of my own coffee and copied what Galen had done. I groaned with pleasure the moment the haupia filling oozed past my lips and onto my tongue. Then a grin spread across my face as I tried not to let the confectioner’s sugar sprinkle all over my lap.
“Oh my God. This is amazing!”
Before I knew it, I had devoured my entire malasada and was hungrily eyeing a chocolate one that was whispering my name from the box.
“I told you so! Wait, you’ve got some sugar on your cheek.”
Galen shifted closer and softly dusted off my cheek with his thumb. My body jolted at the touch of his fingertips on my skin and I found myself placing my hand over his to stop him.
Galen’s eyes searched mine for a clue and when I said nothing, he ran his thumb along my lips.
“You’ve got some sugar all over your lips too.”
Without thinking, I gently parted my mouth and slowly licked my lips, taking his thumb into my mouth.
Galen inhaled sharply, closed his eyes for a moment and tilted his head closer to mine so that our foreheads touched. When he reopened his blue eyes, the look that he gave me said it all – intensely.
“What are you doing Katie?”
Galen’s voice was quiet and questioning.
What was I doing?
I felt myself leaning into him, my lips just inches away from his.
I was a dying woman who could now do whatever she wanted.
“This is me having faith in you Galen,” I told him as our lips touched.
Continuation – N is for “Na’au”
©2017 Marquessa Matthews.
*reference based on this article found online
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