I was in Honolulu, living on the money my father had left me in a trust when he passed away. Going to Hawai’i was a desperate attempt to be anywhere but London where the skies were always grey, and flying to the other side of the world where the sun was a permanent fixture seemed like a great solution.
In spite of having grown up in a society where you don’t talk to strangers unless you’re in a pub, where personal space is incredibly important and general correctness is valued above all else, it didn’t take long for me to feel right at home. I’ll admit that, at first, it was a bit of a culture shock. As it turns out, pale skin and red hair makes you stand out in a place like Hawai’i – in a good way. On the first day I was there, I walked down Kalakaua Avenue and got the attention of a local gentleman. He raised his hand, stopped next to me, looked straight into my eyes and said “you’re beautiful” before walking on. I was so perplexed that I was unable to react until he was out of sight.
And this was just a taste of what was to come.
One evening I was sitting on the Waikiki Beach, watching the sunset, when a man who looked like he was in his mid- to late 30s sat down next to me. He was no more than 5’8, had pitch black hair, sunglasses and was only wearing a pair of loose fitting jeans.
‘Amazing sunset, isn’t it?’
‘So it is,’ I confirmed, turned my head slightly and looked directly at him. When we got eye contact he revealed the brightest smile I’d ever seen.
‘What brings you here to the island in the sun?’
‘I needed a time-out, I guess.’
‘It’s safe to say that you’ve come to the right place for that.’
‘It’s amazing how quickly it gets dark once the sun starts to fade. It’s like turning off a switch and suddenly it’s pitch black.’
‘It’s the time of year too, it’s still winter here in January.’
‘You’re from here?’
‘Born and bred. I moved to the mainland for a few while but came back a few years ago. It’s a different life here. How long have you been?’
‘Two days. I already feel at home here. The heat, the people, the surroundings… and I’ve only seen Waikiki.’
‘Then you’ve seen nothing yet,’ he chuckled and lay back onto his elbows. He was toned and slender, his chest defined and hairless. My eyes travelled down his exposed torso and stopped by his jeans. While we’d been talking, the sun had disappeared into the horizon and he pushed his sunglasses up onto his head. His eyes were a dark velvety brown. I couldn’t figure out why I was so drawn to him, but there was something about his demeanour that triggered my interest.
And that smile. That smile that I couldn’t stop looking at.
‘What are your plans for the rest of the evening?’ he inquired. Before I could answer “nothing” he went on, ‘…because in three hours there’s a band playing at Keone’s on Lewers Street, just up the road. Walk up Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street is right there.’
‘OK, I’ll… come.’
He smiled once more at my unsubtle innuendo, took my hand in his and kissed it as he looked deep into my eyes. ‘Yes, you will,’ he stated, stood up and that was when I realised he actually had a white shirt with a light pattern with him. As soon as he’d put the shirt on, leaving it unbuttoned, he reached out his hand once more to help me up. His other hand went around the small of my back and pulled me slightly towards him. My chest was so close to his that I could feel his heartbeats against my t-shirt. He was exactly as tall as I was. His skin and hair smelled of the sun and the sea.
He finally let go of my right hand and slid it around my upper back, embracing me so that our bodies finally touched. As his mouth found mine, I let myself go and embraced him in the same way he already had me. The fact that I, the English rose, was in the arms of a total stranger on a beach in Hawaii was almost laughable. I didn’t even kiss on the first date, usually, and that was after an evening of wining and dining.
Yet here, with the sound of the ocean in my ear, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. He kept his hands on my back and ran his fingers through my hair with one hand. Eventually he kissed his way across my left cheek and down, resting his mouth in the crook of my neck and sighed into my ear.
I could feel his growing erection against my pelvis and an urge to strip him down right there washed over me like a tidal wave.
‘I’ll see you tonight,’ he whispered into my ear. ‘Don’t wear any panties.’
With those words, he kissed my hand once more and walked up towards Kalakaua Avenue. I just stood there, perplexed, and realised I didn’t even know his name.