Authors: Robin Jones Gunn
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
published by Multnomah Books
© 1995, 1999 by Robin’s Ink, LLC
Cover design and images by Steve Gardner/His Image PixelWorks
Scripture quotations are from the
New International Version
©1973, 1984 by International Bible Society used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House
Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the
Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.
and its mountain colophon are registered trademarks of Random House Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission.
12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Wendy Lee Nentwig
a true friend
with whom I’ve shared dorm rooms and dreams,
prayers and tears, clothes and friends,
laughter, and my daughter’s spelling list.
And that was only the first decade
But the L
was not in the wind
After the wind there was an earthquake, but
was not in the earthquake
After the earthquake came a fire, but
was not in the fire
And after the fire came a gentle whisper
eri Moreno flipped her thick brown hair over her shoulder and peered through the cluster of Maui tourists gathered at the airport baggage claim. She had hoped to see Mark among the locals, but it was her sister’s voice that greeted her.
“Teri, over here!”
Anita ran toward her with a lei of white plumeria flowers strung over her arm. “You’re here!” Anita said breathlessly, giving Teri a hug. “I’m sorry we weren’t here to meet your flight. Here, these are for you.” She placed the fragrant flowered lei around Teri’s neck. “Dan’s parking the car. We got a late start. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Teri said, lifting the sweet flowers to her nose and drawing in the scent. A dozen memories of her previous summer on the island filled her mind. She looked past her sister and with a sheepish smile asked, “Mark wasn’t able to come?”
“No, he’ll meet us for dinner, though. You really look
great!” Anita said, giving Teri’s arm a squeeze. “Did you lose some weight?”
Aware that her slim sister’s glance had rested on Teri’s thighs, Teri said, “Not really.” A familiar uneasiness settled in. She had never been able to wear a size six pair of jeans like her older sister could—nor would Teri ever be able to.
“You look great, too,” Teri said. “I love your hair like that. I don’t think you’ve ever worn it that short. It’s cute.”
Anita fingered the ends of her sleek, dark hair that clung to the nape of her neck. “Do you like it? I had it cut a week ago. I’m still getting used to it, but I think I like it. Dan does.”
Just then Dan appeared. He was the same age as Anita, twenty-seven. But his dark, wavy hair and short, stocky build gave him the look of a high school wrestler.
“So how was your flight?” Dan said, giving Teri a hug and motioning with his head that they should follow him to the baggage claim area.
“Don’t think for a minute that your five weeks here will be uneventful,” Anita said. “We are going to have so much fun! I have all kinds of things planned for us.”
Teri wondered if Anita had included Mark in her plans. “That’s my suitcase,” Teri said.
Dan grabbed it for her and lifted it with ease. He had lots of experience with luggage since he worked as a bellhop at the Halekuali’i, one of the most expensive resorts on the west side of Maui. “Is this your only bag?”
“That’s it,” Teri said.
“Traveling light this time, I see. Looks like you learned all you need to bring to Maui is a bathing suit,” Dan said, leading them out to the parking lot.
“A bathing suit and every hard-earned penny I could
scrape up,” Teri added. She again drew in the sweet scent of the flowers around her neck as they stepped out from under the protected covering of the baggage claim area. A strong wind blew their hair and dried the perspiration from their shirts.
“Ah!” Teri greeted the island breeze with upturned chin and closed eyes. “It’s so wonderful to be back here. Do you know how many times I’ve dreamed of this very moment? Standing here, feeling this wind in my hair, and smelling the flowers.” She impulsively gave Anita a hug. “I can’t believe I’m here!”
“Why don’t you stay for good this time?” Anita asked.
“Don’t I wish,” Teri said.
“I’m serious. Why don’t you move here?”
“Well, one small matter is making a living on the island.”
“They always need teachers,” Dan said. “The pay isn’t great, but you could always do like the rest of us and wait tables on the weekends.”
“I don’t imagine the demand is high for Spanish teachers,” Teri said.
“We can always find out,” Dan replied. He unlocked the trunk of their white compact car and dropped her suitcase inside. It had been a rental car that he had bought from a friend for a low price because the right rear door was smashed in. They still hadn’t fixed the door. Teri noticed the rust inside the dented area, which hadn’t been there a year ago. She slid into the backseat through the one rear door that did work and made a mental note that, even though they both worked two jobs, they hadn’t been able to fix their car. How could she possibly afford to support herself in such an expensive location?
“I don’t know,” Teri said. “I have a comfortable life in Oregon. Maui is a great place for a vacation, but I don’t know if I could actually live here.”