The big day finally arrived. Kanani had just gotten the girls onto the school bus when she felt a wrenching pain across her belly. Oomph! She fumbled for her cell phone, and then called Kona. He was supposed to be at the Park performing.
The call went to his answering service. "Kona, this is me. I think I'm in labor. I'm going to call a cab and head to the hospital. Get there as soon as you can, okay? I love you."
She hung up the phone and then dialed the number for a local cab company. She just didn't tell the guy she was in labor. A cab ride was expensive enough, but an ambulance? Out of the question. She could feel the taxi driver's eyes on her often though. "Are you okay Lady?"
"Yeah, " she panted, while trying not to pant. "Yeah, I'm okay."
The driver was relieved to drop her off at the door. "Good luck Lady!" he called as he drove away.
Kanani slowly made her way to the hospital entrance, each step was sheer agony. Her head felt light, like she was going to pass out.
"Hey miss!" she heard a call from behind her. "I'm just coming into work. Let me help you!"
The nurse came up to her just as Kanani could feel herself blacking out. "Keep my baby safe!" she whispered before giving into the darkness that swirled around her.
Kona was a madman, honking at traffic, hollaring out his car's window, "Hurry up people!" Honk! Honk!
Kanani had left him a message on his phone over an hour ago. He hadn't heard it ring, and now he was frantically trying to get to his wife. Did he have to hit every red light? He weaved in and out of traffic before pulling into one of the parking spots at the Hospital.
He ran in. "Hi!" he said to one of the nurse's at the desk. "My name is Kona Kahekili, and my wife is here having a baby!"
"Slow down Sir." she instructed. "Now, what is your wife's name?"
"Spell that please."
Kona sighed impatiently. "K-a-n-a-n-i"
"Thank you. Last name?"
The nurse tapped the name into her computer. She frowned, and picked up the phone. "Hello, can I speak with Doctor Hirsch please?" Kona tapped his fingers impatiently on the counter. Rat a tat, rat a tat. "Doctor? I have a Mr. Kahekili here for a Kanani Kahekili." She looked at Kona. "Are you her husband and father of the baby?"
"Yes!" he snapped. "Now tell me where my wife is!"
"Yes Doctor, he is the husband and the father. Yes sir, I'll let him know." She hung up the phone. "Mr. Kahekili, the doctor will be right here with you. If you could please have a seat over there?" she pointed to some chairs sitting inside another room.
Kona was getting angry. "I don't want to sit over there! I don't want to see a doctor! I --want--to--see--my--wife!" He enunciated the last six words for emphasis.
"I'm sorry Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down and please have a seat. The doctor will be with you shortly."
Kona wanted to wring the woman's neck. "I---" he started to say, but was interrupted by the arrival of a doctor.
"Mr. Kahekili?" Kona nodded an affirmative. "Please, step into this room so that we can have some privacy. Kona growled but followed the doctor into the other room. The door shut behind them.
Kona had no idea how much could change in a lousy thirty minutes. Kona knew what he should be feeling. Loss. Pain. Hurt. Betrayal. Anger. So many emotions. But He felt shut down, numb. Yes, he decided, that was exactly how he was feeling. Numb. He only heard part of the Doctor's explanation. Once the words, "I'm sorry to tell you that your wife didn't make it..." left the Doctor's mouth, everything else faded.
His Kanani, was gone. Gone. He couldn't wrap his mind around it. He vaguely recalled the nurses bringing his children to him. Twins. Another girl, and a boy. A boy he thought he always wanted. He wanted his wife.
The boy, he named Anakale, Kale for short, just like Kanani had talked about. He remembered to place the boy into the crib.
The girl, Iolani, Lani for short, he just forgot about for a while. Until her crying reminded him that he still had not placed her into her crib.
He was on auto pilot. He fed the twins, diapered them, and placed them carefully back into their cribs. And then he just wandered the house, aimlessly.
He had the thought that maybe he should feed the bird and the turtle. So he went downstairs, only to find the bird had died of old age.
But that was just enough to help his feelings unfreeze just the tiniest of
bits. He feels his heart may burst from sheer pain. He allows himself to give into his feelings for just this little bit, and he breaks down sobbing.
"Oh Kanani" he moans. "Why didn't you take your medicine? Now you've left me alone, to raise our kids. We need you!" But of course she is not there to hear, let alone respond.
And worse yet---what would he tell his daughters? Keikei would be home first, so he would tell her first, but what? What could he say to soften the blow of their mother's death?
He looked at his watch. Keikei should be home soon. He went outside to wait for her. "Uh, Keikei?"
""Daddy!" she gave him a hug. "You're home early!"
He cleared his throat. And then he told her about her mother, in halting fits and stops, because sometimes his throat wouldn't let the words leave his mouth.
Keikei stared at him for a good long moment. He could see the rush of thoughts playing around in her head, but she didn't say a word. Then he thought he saw the barest of reactions in her eyes, but then it too was gone. And she was still calm. Calm as if he had just told her that they were having Spaghetti for dinner. "I'm sorry about your heart Daddy." She finally said. Then she paused for a moment. "Daddy?"
"I want to be called Kei now." and she walked into the house, as if she hadn't a care in the world.
Kona worried about her too calm reaction, but he still had two other girls to tell. They would be home soon from their afternoon activities at the School. He decided to take a quick shower, to help get his head together. His girls would need him to be strong. He also wanted to pretend for just a moment longer that Kanani was sitting in the nursery rocking her babies to sleep, not on ice in a hospital facility waiting for burial.
Not surprisingly, his shower decided to break. What more could wrong in one day? But then he decided he'd better not pursue that thought very far, because he didn't want to find out. He changed into some dirty work clothes to repair the shower, before he remembered Kanani was not there to get after him. She wouldn't care any more if he wore work clothes or his church clothes to fix things around the house.
He kept the clothes on, as yet another reminder of how normal his life no longer would be. Kanani was gone. Half of him had been ripped away.
He had just finished up fixing the shower when he heard Keilani's and Poulani's excited chatter in the kitchen. He steeled himself for one more conversation. But he had to tell them before Keikei did.
They reacted more the way he expected them too. The way he had expected Keikei too. They sobbed and cried, and if it was possible, he grieved even more, seeing the pain his daughters were going through. He wished he could have spared them this. He wished Kanani had listened, had at least taken her medicine like she said she would.
Kei is not sad, or hurt. She did what she was supposed to. Her mom chose to leave anyway. It was unfair, and it made Kei mad. No, it made her furious. How could she leave? Wasn't Kei good enough for her to stay for?
Well, if she wasn't good enough, then she could be the other.
She refuses to cry, and instead feels the need to flee. She begins to run away. Keilani sees her and tries to follow. "Keikei!"
"I'm not Keikei anymore!" Kei yelled angrily at her sister. "I'm Kei!"
But Kei didn't wait. She's never going to wait for anyone ever again. She vows to trust no one but herself, she is the only one she can count on.
She grabs her bike and races off into the night, trying to out race any pain that she won't acknowledge feeling. She decides she likes the darkness, and the full moon that casts shadows across the town. the darkness is comforting, and easy to hide in.
Kei now takes a perverse delight in embarrassing people. She likes to walk up to perfect strangers and yell, "Hey! You're the thief that stole my Dad's tv!" Then they would blush and stammer, and trip all over themselves trying to assure her that she had the wrong thief.
She loved to set Booby traps for all the dumbies that fell for the same gag, over and over.
One of her particular favorites was to set the sinks in the public bathrooms to spray all over people if they tried to wash their hands.
The thought of all those people walking out, soaked, because of her, gave her a thrill.
She told Keilani that monsters were real, and they did live under
Keilani's bed. They were just waiting for a full moon before they would
come out and eat Keilani. Keilani shrieked and had had nightmares for
weeks. Kei got a good scolding and a grounding from that one, but it
didn't stop her.
The emptiness inside Kei was all consuming, and she kept expecting
each new trick or trap to help fill it up, but it didn't work. She simply wasn't being bad enough, she would tell herself. She would do better.
She would sit outside by herself with her
notebook for hours and jot down her ideas for world dominion----
and money. She hated being poor.
Poulani tries to talk to her sister. "Kei, what's wrong? This isn't like you!"
But Kei would only laugh at her. "There's nothing wrong with me, Stupid. You maybe."
Kona can't cope with his oldest daughter's rebellious ways. Kanani
would have known what to do, but he is clueless on how to help
Kei. His few conversations with Kei always end in failure. He
doesn't know how to reach this hurting daughter of his. The other two he
understands much better, but Kei had always been closer to her mother.
There were many days and nights when Kona would go searching for Kei, only to find she had run off again.
He would sigh and trudge back into the house to retrieve his cell
phone. "Officer? Yeah, she took off again. Thanks, I appreciate it."
An hour or so later a police officer would show up with his unrepentant
daughter, she wouldn't look or speak to Kona but would storm off into her
room. "Thanks Officer. I just don't know what to do with her."
"Give it time, Kona. She'll come around."
Kona hoped so. He sat in the rocking chair with Kale and stared off into space. He missed his wife.
I know, I know, Kanani died. :( Unfortunate for her, she needed to. I needed a good reason for why Kei, who is a bright happy, A+ student that loves to help around the house and bake cupcakes for her Daddy, why that girl would suddenly start misbehaving. Why she would want to be the Empress of Evil. lol
# kids: 2
Gen. Goal: Property Mogul
Misc. Fun: Half Siblings
I am still working on Kona's handiness skill. :)
Next: Chapter 5: First Love