Chapter 27. Kaikane
Less than a half-hour passed when the black limousine rolled around the corner.
Barbara could see the driver’s seat, the broad shoulders of Kaikane, the smile matched his build when he saw it was Barbara. A driver with enthusiasm for his clients.
Putting on his hat, as he got out, Kaikane looked professional and as pressed as if he came out of a dressing room.
‟Missus Barbara. Howzit? How’s Tom’s arm?” Kaikane had such a happy soul, that Barbara had to smile.
‟Oh, Kaikane, Tom is healing fast. The glass cut down through the bone, the doctors put on some hardware attached to his arm to help the bone heal.” Barbara looked down while she stepped up to the limousine while Kaikane held the door open.
Barbara put her hand out on the open door.
‟Kaikane, I want to ride up front with you.”
‟Missus Barbara, that’s not regular. All clients ride in the back.”
‟Kaikane, how long is the ride to the hospital?” She gave her best direct look at the Islander chauffeur. The effort nearly made her laugh. Kaikane was as friendly as Lettie and closer to her age.
‟Missus Barbara, it is all on the traffic, we will get there when we arrive, is all I can say.” In a philosophy that echoed his Hawai’ian spirit.
‟That’s alright, I would like to take the long way, if we can.” Barbara said.
“I would like to roll down the window and sit in front. Can we go around to west of the Golden Gate?” She asked.
‟’E’e,” His word sounded like he said ‟Aye” in his language. ‟For sure. T’wood ‘A‘ole pilikia Missus Barbara.”
Then he laughed softly as she got in the passenger seat without taking her eyes from him.
‟What does that mean?” The words bounced around in her brain and could not find a place to fit.
‟No problem.” Kaikane said as he closed the door.
Watching him as he walked around and then got into the driver’s seat. The limousine was not a large stretch, but it was roomy in the back. The front- not so much. It was cozy in her opinion. Just a standard seat. Somehow she had thought it might be more plush.
‟Kaikane, can I tell you something?”
‟’E’e. Of course Missus Barbara.”
‟First. Just call me Barbara, even Barb would work.”
‟I’m not sure I can do that, but I will try.” Kaikane was polite to a fault. A credit to Lettie’s training and his cultural heritage.
‟Fair enough.” Barbara smiled and then explained her entire month to the Hawaiian driver who made her feel comfortable with his smile and kind voice.
She found that he was a psych major at University of San Francisco, which was perfect for the dark-haired, smiling student.
‟Well, Missus…”She shot him a sideways look. ‟Ugh. Sorry, Barbara. My Kapuna Wahane said that the matters of the heart are the strength of a woman. Men of a certain age are best for fishing and building and making happy times.”
Kaikane laughed and Barbara swore he blushed.
They talked as he did a slow drive. He was six-months younger than she was, but he showed a wisdom that made her want to visit the islands of Hawaii.
Somewhere in his pidgin-surfer English and his wit, mixed with his grandmother- his Kapuna Wahane- Barbara knew that there was a path she could take in her life.
She just had to go home to Glenn and answer the question that her childhood sweetheart was going to ask.
Kaikane wheeled the limo around the point where the Golden Gate bridge’s foundation anchored it to the southern side. Connecting the orange-colored suspension bridge to the Marin Headlands where people lived and looked at San Francisco’s skyline out the windows of their homes.
“Kaikane, how long have you been on the mainland?” Barbara asked while looking out the window. “How does this area compare to your side of paradise?”
Kaikane laughed quietly as he paused at a stop-sign to let another car take its turn.
“I’ve been here for three years. A ways down the coast there is a place called Mavricks beach, has good surfing most of the time, but a few times of the year is world-class! I have competed all three years.”
“WOW! Have you won?”
“No.” Kaikane shrugged with a smile. “I can’t compete with some of the talent there. I have found I am afraid of Mavericks.”
“A surfer afraid to surf?” Barbara looked at him. “How does that work?”
“Some waves are higher than eight-story buildings, there have been two world-class pros that have died there.” Kaikane stopped smiling for the first time. “I can feel their mana that stays there. They have not gone on, they surf the waters there still.”
Barbara felt the need to paint. The things Kaikane kept talking about, mana, soul, spirit, breath was inspirational to her. For the first time, she knew that the Hawai’an was deeply spiritual.
In that moment, Barbara found that she had left mana in two places. Back home, where Glenn was and with Tom, where he lay in the hospital.
“Okay, Kaikane.” She said, coming out of her reverie of looking at the largest body of water in the world pass by as they drove south on Highway-1. “Take me back to the medical center. I’m ready to go back into that house of crazy people wearing white coats.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Kaikane smiled. “Sorry, Barbara.”
Turning left, Barbara saw the San Francisco zoo as they drove past.
“I will take Tom there when he gets discharged from the hospital.” She told Kaikane. “I have never been there, and I would bet it would be Tom’s first time as well.”
“That would be a good day. It is a large area, be prepared to spend a whole day there.” Kaikane said.
“Thank you for that warning. Note to self: comfortable shoes.”
She thought it might be fun to spend time with Tom at the zoo with a picnic of cheese and wine before she went back to her more mundane life.
After the hospital discharged him, she reminded herself, laughing.