HI&CA: The New Hawaiian Boy

Jonah, an old name I haven’t spoken about in a while, but now, it was brought up so frequently. But he wasn’t the old Jonah I knew. He was different. No more smiles on his pictures, not even in his texts. You looked anywhere, this kid hardly smiled. But I remember that first day we spoke, he was all smiles. I didn’t want to bug him about what happened to him. I stuck to what my objective was. I asked plenty of questions about Hawaii. I probably sounded like an annoying tourist to him. The next day, I texted him, and the day after that, and the day after that.

I started to notice, that even thought he didn’t smile, he somehow managed to make me smile. That old happiness returned. I wasn’t sure if I was giving back the same feeling. Since the guy I was with at the time only argued with me, we were hanging by a thread. And now all my attention was Jonah. I started getting curious, I wanted to dig deeper than just bland questions about Hawaii. I found an  old travel book about Hawaii. I looked at the maps, skimmed about every island. I pin pointed where Jonah was, I read about Maui endless times, I asked him about legends, that were briefly mentioned in the book. He wouldn’t let me in. It wasn’t necessarily hostile, but he wouldn’t budge.

It took time, it was like comforting an animal that was defensive and ready to strike, I had to show that I meant no harm. I told him a Mexican legend. In return, he told me a Hawaiian one. He was very protective over it, because I was an outsider, he thought I wouldn’t accept it the way he does. I’m not a tourist, in fact, I love discovering other cultures, I’m slightly obsessed with the Native American culture.

Very slowly, he began to open up. Even an occasional smile. I would get super hyped knowing that I was able to make him smile, since now they were rare, they had more value to it. Jonah would say he was spoiling me based on how many smiles I would get out of him. We starting staying up late, like realllly late. And texting starting to not be good enough, we starting calling each other, spending hours on the phone. Laughing together, or at each other, since the way we spoke was so different than what we’re used to hearing. It was addicting, I couldn’t help it; it started to be an everyday thing.

I didn’t notice how close we were getting until one day he didn’t really text me, and I was worrying like an over controlling parent on prom night. What was I getting into? I had no idea, but i kept digging deeper.

I was tired of staring at pictures of him on Facebook, I wanted to see him. I asked him to make a Skype. I could easily tell it wasn’t his thing, but I kept bugging him to, I mean asking. Finally, he made one, just for me (lovely isn’t it?). Oh gosh, I’m getting super nervous how I was with phone calls a few years back. Shoot. He said he’s on, maybe I shouldn’t have done this. Oh my glob. I couldn’t step back now, I stood my ground, and got on. I was a nervous wreck, I couldn”t even look at him in the eyes. I felt like such a weenie. I didn’t think that seeing him with movement would make such a difference. Maybe it was the fact that he could see me. I don’t know but I felt so awkward, I felt like I failed.

Oh wait, now I recall why I was a hot mess. Because a few nights before that. I know that I broke up with the dude I was with. I depended heavily on Jonah to lift my spirits, although I never mentioned it. He was my motivation to strive to all that I can (that’s another story). But one night, over the phone, I couldn’t hold it in again, I had feelings for him, stronger than the last time. However, I held my tongue, I didn’t want a relationship since I was just getting out of one, but I felt such a strong urge to tell him how I feel. I was beating myself up, holding my words back, biting my lip, I eventually blurted it out, assuming that it’ll be the same as last time. I just figured, let it out, you’re just going to mess it up again. Idiot, why can’t you show some self restraint? I started breaking down, crying. But something different happened this time.

He told me something that went like this, hey Tomiko, you know this little bird told me that he likes you too? Wait, what? He likes me. He likes me too! It’s different this time! I was so happy, even though I probably looked disgusting, it was such a relief.

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