My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Saturday, August 11, 2001

Footprints in the sand

>> Kahala Beach

Footprints in the sand told the story. Fawn Nakamura and Chuck Ryan's footprints ran parallel only in that they seemed to be going vaguely in the same direction. Anyone who came after them in the moonlight could see that.

But if you hadn't known better, you'd have thought you were seeing the tracks of two drunks who couldn't walk a straight line if their lives depended on it. But that wasn't it at all. Neither Fawn nor Ryan was sure where this was headed. No matter how lovely the afternoon-stretching-into-evening had been, with tea and cucumber sandwiches and scones at the Veranda, neither was sure how the other really felt. And so their footprints left two weaving lines as they came close enough to almost touch, and then veered apart, and then as if drawn by a magnet, close enough to touch.

But they didn't touch. Fawn, the 27-year-old virgin, had never even kissed a guy on the first date. She had her rules. Ryan, 51, a widower since last July 13 after 30 years of faithful marriage, was in over his head in the modern dating game.

Their footprints swerved apart, but quickly back together.



"So how do you like walking on the beach?"

The backs of their hands brushed, and it felt like electricity. Shocked, they swerved apart.

"Let's just say that the Chesapeake is nice, but it sure isn't Hawaii. And I sure hope this isn't the last time."

"Me too."

They swerved closer together, and again their hands brushed, and again it was electric, and this time fingers met and intertwined. Such a simple thing. And so right. They walked without words, holding hands. The moonlight, the sea, the sense of being in the perfect place at the perfect time with the perfect person. Ah, those are the words all right, but they don't come close to touching the orchestra of emotions and sensations resonating through their minds and hearts. But they're human, eternally drawn to words, and so even they had to try to put words to feelings.

"You make me feel secure," Fawn said softly. She had found an officer and a gentleman.

"You make me feel so wanted." Ryan blurted right back. After Mary was killed by a drunk driver, Ryan never expected to be wanted again.

The two sets of footprints still swerved, but now they ran perfectly parallel, together and headed in the same direction.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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