17, The Roxbury Latin School
Written By: Logan Warshaw
June 17, 2015
Hakulani awoke on a beach. A beach unlike any he had seen before. The vibrant water in front of him was a deep, azure blue, although the color of the water changed as it went back into the distance. Looking past the blue water not far from his feet, Hakulani saw how it turned purple, and then to a piercing red, and then yellow, turning white as it faded off into the distance. His eyes grazed over the rest of the mystical scenery: a small island covered in palm trees sat not far from the beach he was sitting on, and a seemingly massive mountain towered in the distance with a white orb, presumably the sun, peeking out from behind it. The sunset seemed to mirror the water, as it too changed colors, almost like a rainbow.
Hakulani was sure that he was dreaming. He rubbed his eyes a few times, and then proceeded to hit himself. He walked towards the other shore of the sandbar, and bent down and splashed some water on his face. When this did not alter the state of dreaming he thought that he was in, Hakulani then bent down onto his knees and plunged his entire face in the water. The water felt warm, almost too warm. For some reason his reflexes weren’t causing him to come up for air, he simply breathed in and out while his face was under. He pulled his face back out and sat on his knees, mystified.
When he turned back around, two small rowboats sat perched on the shore near the spot he originally woke up on. An old man sat in one of the boats—an ancient looking man with black hair that flowed down to his ankles. He was dressed in all white.
“Where am I?” Hakulani asked. The man’s lips did not move; he simply stared at Hakulani.
“Who are you?” he said, but louder this time. Again, there was no response from the man. After a few seconds, the man reached out his arm and opened his hand, gesturing as if there was something that he should be given. Hakulani walked up to the man and continued to ask him questions; the man did not move his lips. He looked down at his hand, and then back up at Hakulani. Hakulani glanced around, looking for something that he could give the man, but there was nothing in sight. As he turned around, he nonchalantly put his hands into his pockets, and was startled to find that one of them contained four small but heavy coins. Looking back over at the man who still sat with his hand out, Hakulani decided that the only thing to do would be to give this man what he had just found. He walked over and placed the coins in the old man’s hand, who pocketed the coins and then gestured for Hakulani to enter the boat.
As the man began to row away, two small but brightly colored parrots came fluttering down next to the boat, and followed closely behind them.
“Where are we going?” Hakulani demanded, completely flabbergasted by the entire situation.
“We are going to see Him” the man replied.
“Who is ‘him,’ and who are you?”
“My name is Karon. ‘Him’ is who you will give you the choice.”
“What about me?”
“He will decide that.”
“Damn, this dream is just weird.”
“This is no dream, Hakulani.”
“What—How do you know my name?”
“You told me last time, Hakulani.”
Startled, Hakulani began to ask “What are you talking ab-” when the man turned to face the front of the boat. Tired of attempting conversation, Hakulani began to think. The last thing he remembered was being out on the fishing boat. He remembered the giant wave, and how the boat had capsized. He remembered how he had turned 70 just days ago. He remembered his beautiful wife, who had drowned just a year after their wedding, when their boat capsized. The year he had spent with his wife was the most wonderful year of his life, and he reminisced on their adventures and good times together. Oddly, he remembered nothing else. Pondering the fact that he had recently turned 70, he glanced down at his hands, and then felt his face. He felt just 20 years old, and looked it too.
Hakulani’s thoughts stopped when he heard a loud roar. As the boat continued to move, a waterfall came into sight. As they got closer, so did the waterfall; Hakulani was agog at its massiveness. When he turned his sight from the waterfall to what was in front of him, he thought his eyes had lied to him again. A green, mossy mountain sat just a ways up, with a tall hut perched at the top. When they arrived, the man nodded at Hakulani, and the boat vanished, dropping Hakulani into the water. When he swam to the surface, the man was gone too, nothing remained but the parrots who flew towards the mountain. Hakulani saw nothing else to do but to follow them.
Hakulani climbed and climbed, taking what seemed like days to get to the top. All the while, the parrots guided him on where to climb, until he reached the hut at the top. The door of the hut was glowing, and the white orb that was the sun sat right behind it, giving it an almost god-like aura. It seemed to beckon him, though he did not know why, and he walked over to it and stepped inside.
He looked around. A sudden feeling of déja-vu came about Hakulani. The hut was empty, except for a muscular man, also dressed all in white with long, flowing black hair. The man gestured to his left, where a shimmering hologram appeared. It showed various images -- his house, his town, his boat, everything that he saw on a daily basis during his life. Then the man gestured to his right, where another hologram appeared, but this time it showed nothing but stars.
Hakulani remembered now. He had been to this hut before, and he had pointed to his left. He had awoken with a man’s face above his, pumping his chest.
Fully regaining his thoughts, Hakulani thought of the 45 years that passed after his last visit to this hut. He thought of the days he spent out fishing, and the nights he spent sleeping alone in his cottage. He enjoyed these years, but there was little to no excitement. He never could find an interest in any woman, and spent everyday thinking of and missing his wife. He knew what he had to do. He looked up at the man, and this time, he pointed to his right. The man smiled, and nodded. Hakulani turned and walked out of the hut. He saw his wife, waiting for him right out side. He ran to her and hugged her, tears streming down their faces. They heard a sound and looked up, seeing the parrots begin to circle them. They stood, holding hands, as the parrots lifted them up into the sky, which had lost its color and was now a deep night sky. Hakulani looked at his wife, and then up at the stars, which they floated up towards. This time, he had made the right decision.