Time Changes Everything
The next day, Steve woke up with so many questions running through his head. He’d hardly slept, spending the majority of the time tossing and turning. Around five thirty in the morning he gave up trying to get any sleep at all, so he got up and went for his morning run along the beach. Around six thirty, just as the sun was beginning to rise, Steve arrived back at his place. He took off his shirt and made his way into the water hoping a nice long swim would help clear up his mind since the run did nothing to help him.
By the time Steve got out of the shower and found something to eat, it was eight in the morning. He stood in the kitchen leaning against the counter with a coffee mug in his hands lost in thought. A dad, I was going to be a dad, he thought, and I had absolutely no idea, until last night. He was angry, angry at his mom for faking her death, angry at his father for not telling him anything, angry at Mia for not telling him sooner. If she hadn’t had all those beers last night he wouldn’t have had to take her home and she wouldn’t have told him anything. She probably would’ve still been unfairly hating him.
That’s how Danny found him five minutes later.
“Knock, knock,” said Danny as he stood at the kitchen entrance. “I knocked but apparently you’ve got better things to do than to open your door. What’s with the aneurysm face so early on such a beautiful Saturday morning?”
“What are you doing out of bed so early on such a beautiful Saturday morning,” mocked Steve as he turned to pour his cold coffee in the sink.
“Hey no need to get all, all…”
“All what Danny?” asked Steve sounding annoyed.
“Geesh what crawled up your ass this morning?”
“Sorry Danny, it’s just I had a really bad day yesterday,” apologized Steve.
“Didn’t we all? I was there remember?”
“Yeah, well you weren’t at Mia’s apartment last night,” he stated dryly.
“Why, what happened?” asked Danny suddenly very interested in the conversation.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said as he left the kitchen and made his way to the lanai, Danny quickly following him. Steve stood with his hands on his hips just staring at the horizon watching the waves in the distance until he remembered Danny was there. “So to what do I owe your lovely visit Danno?” he asked sarcastically.
Danny just watched his friend from aside. Something was up with him and he would make it a mission to figure it out, he thought. Then he heard Steve’s sarcastic remark and was slightly offended, “Geesh if I’m such a bother to you I’ll just leave you to your self pity party. The only reason I’m here is because you my friend invited me to go fishing with you, but since I see it’s not a good day I’ll just find my way out.”
Steve turned to see Danny slowly make his way back inside. Maybe this fishing trip will help me relax a bit; get my mind off things for a while, he thought, and I did invite Danny.
“Hey Danny, wait up,” he called after Danny as he followed his friend inside.
When he saw Danny skeptically turn around with his hands in his pockets and raised eyebrows, he finally took the time to take in what his friend was wearing, clothes, casual clothes, very different from Danny’s usual attire. He couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle as he noticed this.
“What? What’s so funny?” asked. Danny not impressed by Steve’s laugh.
“Sorry Danno, it’s just that it’s rare the occasion you’re actually out of your tie,” answered Steve with a smirk on his face. “But you’re right, I invited you fishing and we’re going fishing. Let me just grab my stuff.” Steve started making his way upstairs when he heard Danny,
“We don’t have to go. I understand if you’re not up to it.”
“Wait in the truck,” said Steve as he disappeared upstairs.
Mia woke up with a pounding headache and her eyes puffy from crying all night after Steve had left. She’d almost slept with him last night. What was I thinking, she thought, and to top it off she told him about the baby to which he said he knew nothing about. Mia still didn’t know whether to believe him or not and the more she thought about it, the worse her pain got. She slowly got out of bed in search of something to calm her headache. She found some Tylenol in her bathroom cabinet and quickly took two.
Two hours later, after a long warm bath, some fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and several glasses of water to calm her thirst, Mia was ready to start her day. She dressed in a casual yellow sundress, strapped white sandals, and a very light white sweater in case of a breeze. She had decided to leave her hair down letting it fall down to her mid back, instead of her usual bun or ponytail and just added some small waves to it. Mia grabbed her car keys, purse, and sunglasses and left her apartment. She drove towards the beach, parked her car in the nearest parking lot to the shops and decided to do some shopping. Mia wanted to forget about last night, at least for a while, and alcohol was obviously out of the question since she didn’t want a repeat of last night. So what better way to distract her self than shopping? She was only human and a woman to be exact. Wondering through the shops, she bought some jeans, shorts, T-shirts, and just some clothes in general for work. She noticed the work attire wasn’t strictly professional, except for Danny, it was more laid back and with this heat she was glad about it.
After two hours of shopping, Mia was starving, so she walked back to her car, put her bags in the trunk and made her way towards Kamekona’s shave ice/shrimp truck, remembering he’d told her about it the day they met at the hospital while Max was there.
“Hey beautiful,” he greeted with a toothy smile as he saw her approach.
“Hey yourself,” she answered with a bright smile in return.
“To what do I owe your lovely presence,” he flirted making Mia laugh.
“I’m starving,” she said as she found a table and took a seat, “I forgot how tiring shopping can be.”
“Ah, find anything interesting?”
“I just bought some clothes for work and a few gifts for some friends back in New York.”
“Nice,” he said. “So what can I get you?”
“Surprise me,” answered smiling up at him.
“That’s a very dangerous request,” she heard someone behind her say.
Mia turned to see Chin standing behind her and invited him to join her to which he gladly accepted.
Turning to Kamekona she said, “Just get me your best dish. You want anything Chin, my treat.”
“Sure, I think I’ll raise to the challenge and let Kamekona surprise us both,” he said smiling at him.
“Alright, be right back with your orders.”
When he left, Mia turned to face Chin and asked him how he was doing as she placed a hand on his.
Chin squeezed her hand and told her, “I’m okay, I’ll get through this.”
“I know we haven’t known each other long but I want you to know that if you ever need a friend I’m here for you. Doesn’t matter what time it is, I’ll be there for you,” she genuinely told him.
“Thank you Mia, I really appreciate it and the same goes for you,” he said with a smile.
Mia nodded and soon they were eating some really spicy shrimp concoction that Kamekona put together. Even though it was extremely spicy, whatever it was, it was really good. They ate in comfortable silence until a chirp from Mia’s cell phone signaling a text message interrupted it.
Meet me at the beach behind
your childhood home as soon as
Mia had no idea who could possibly have sent her that text, but she was about to find out.
“Hey Chin I have to go. Something just came up. Sorry about having to leave you here but here let me pay the bill before I go.”
“Everything alright?” he asked studying her closely.
“Yeah, just something I need to do,” she said looking into her purse to get her wallet.
“Don’t worry about the bill, I got it.”
“I invited you, the least I can do is pay.”
“Yeah, well maybe another time. Look at it as a welcome to Hawaii lunch for the new kid on the block,” he said smiling at her.
Mia laughed and after making sure he was positive about it, she agreed and quickly left.
“Beer?” asked Danny handing one over in Steve’s direction.
“Thanks,” said Steve as they sat down to wait for their fish.
“So do you want to talk about what has you so distracted, which let me tell you my friend, is a very rare thing in you. You’re always very alert to your surroundings,” observed Danny.
“No but you’re still going to make me talk about it,” grunted out Steve.
“I would never make you talk about anything if you didn’t want to,” defended Danny earning him a snort from Steve in reply as he sipped on his beer.
“Come on Danno, you know it’s killing you not knowing,” teased Steve.
After two minutes of silence, Danny gave up, causing Steve to laugh out loud. “Alright, alright I give, what happened with Mia last night?”
“I knew it Danny, it took you long to give in,” Steve said as his laughter died down.
“Yeah, yeah laugh all you want. Now are you going to tell me or are you going make me get it out of you?” asked Danny annoyed at Steve for laughing at him.
Steve became suddenly serious as he stared straight ahead at the water and told Danny, “I found out last night I’m a father.”
Danny spit out the beer he was sipping and choked on whatever was making its way down his throat.
“Hey Danno you alright?” asked Steve full of concern for his friend as he patted Danny on the back.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he wheezed waving him off. “Dude, next time you’re about to say something like that give a man a fair warning in advance.”
“Hey, you asked,” defended Steve.
“Yeah, whatever. So, what you and Mia have a kid together? Did you meet him? Or her? Man shouldn’t he be like eighteen or something since the last time you saw her you were sixteen? Damn Steve, if that was my daughter I would’ve hunted you down and killed you with my bare hands for knocking her up. Ever heard of protection?” ranted Danny.
“No I didn’t meet him or her because there is no child and yeah it would’ve been around eighteen,” stated a somber Steve.
Danny was confused by Steve’s statement. “What do you mean there’s no child?”
“There’s no child Danny,” choked out Steve as all the memories of last night came flooding back. “She lost it.”
“I’m sorry man,” said Danny as he placed a hand on Steve’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. Danny was surprised at seeing this side of Steve, very raw and emotional. Couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like finding out you’re a father and then being told there’s no kid, but Danny was confused: how did Steve know this? After a few minutes of silence, he asked Steve, “How did you find out?”
“I just told you, I was at Mia’s place last night.”
“Yeah but how did you end up there if Mia hates you.”
Steve told him everything that happened last night, from their almost sleeping together to what his father did. Bringing back all those memories made Steve feel like crying it out but he didn’t want anyone seeing him so weak so he swallowed the lump in his throat. “So there you have it, what’s your take?” he asked Danny not really caring if he answered or not but knowing Danny, he always had a comment for everything.
“Man it’s all messed up. Can’t believe your dad would do something like that,” Danny told him as he tried to process everything Steve just told him. “Remember how I told you that something wasn’t right? Maybe this was it and that’s why Mia hates you. It’s understandable; I mean all these years she thought you didn’t care about the baby or about her. That maybe you just used her. But from what you tell me about it being out of character for your dad, I think there’s something missing. He must have had a very good reason for doing what he did,” reasoned Danny.
“Yeah, well who do we ask?” asked Steve. “My father’s dead.”
“He must have talked to someone about it, someone he trusted a lot.”
“Joe,” said Steve as he realized maybe Joe White knew something but now Joe was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared the moment Shelbourne opened the door and he remembered how Joe mentioned the other day in his office that Mia’s name sounded familiar. Joe told him he might have talked to him about her but to the best of Steve’s knowledge, he’d never even mentioned her name to anyone.
“Then we should try finding Joe and ask him some questions,” suggested Danny. After a small pause he asked Steve,”What about Catherine?”
“What about her?” asked Steve, snapping out of his trance.
“Well isn’t she your girlfriend? And you practically cheated on her by almost sleeping with your ex?”
“She’s not my girlfriend and to be honest, she was the last person on my mind last night.”
“Then what is she, friends with benefits? Sleeping buddy?”
“No, she’s, well..” Steve was at a loss of words earning him an ‘I told you so’ look from Danny.
“Hey I got something,” said Danny as he pulled up the fishing rod.
Steve quickly went to help Danny and as they were putting the fish away, Steve saw someone approaching in a smaller boat. “Hey look Danny, that guy looks like he needs help.”
What they both didn’t know was they were about to be left stranded in the middle of the ocean, the middle of nowhere.
Mia parked outside her childhood home about twenty minutes after leaving the beach. As she observed the house from outside, she took in the abandoned look. No one had kept up with the house, who would? The only people that had access to the inside were her and her mother, but her mother had disappeared a long time ago, the day of her accident to be more exact. Mia took a deep breath, let it out, grabbed her gun from the glove compartment and got out of the car. She didn’t know who had sent her the text so she wasn’t willing to take any chances. She slowly walked around the house with her gun ready and trying not to make any noise. As she came into view of the backyard she saw a lone figure standing close to the water so Mia slowly walked closer to the water and as she got closer she recognized the person standing there.
“Doris?” she asked in a confused voice as she put down her gun.
“Hey Mimi,” she answered as she turned around to face Mia, taking in the gun she had.
“What are you doing here? Didn’t Steve put you on a plane last night?”
“Yes but I couldn’t leave. I’m tired of running and I need your help.”
“My help? What do you need?”
“I need you to let me stay here, in your house,” Doris said pointing to the house behind Mia.
“Are you sure? I mean this house is practically abandoned. It’s probably a mess on the inside.”
“It’s the last place anyone would look for me. And don’t worry; I can help get it cleaned up. It’ll give me something to do.”
“What about Steve? He has to know you’re still in Hawaii. I mean, he just got you back,” stated Mia.
“He can’t know,” quickly stated Doris and at Mia’s confused face, she added, “at least not now. Just give me a few days.”
Mia was skeptical. Keeping this from Steve was wrong. They already had too many issues to resolve and if he found out he helped his mother hide he would be pissed at her, but Doris needed her and she would give her a few days. If Doris didn’t tell Steve, she would.
“Alright,” she agreed. “But if you don’t tell Steve soon then I will. Let me just get the keys. There should be a copy somewhere around here,” she said as they began walking towards the back porch.
She found they key under a loose floor board, unlocked the door, and made their way inside.