Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

02 October 2006

Chapter Two: Beach Picnic

Rose blushed with embarrassment and turned away, busying herself with her knitting. She pointedly ignored the two boys, as Joe invited them to join the family for lunch.
The boys sat down with alacrity, near where Rose was working. When she realized how close they were, she jumped up and sat near her mother on the other side of the tent. Her face burned with anger and humiliation as she thought about how forward and rude the boys behaved.
By now everyone was hungry so they all enjoyed the cornmeal squares, fluffy white bread, lapis, and mangoes washed down with fresh goat’s milk.
“Where do you boys live? Asked Julia inquisitively.
“I live in Makawao on the cattle ranch, said João. My father raises cattle.”
“I live in Puunene in Camp B. My father is in his last year of his 3 year contract,” answered Tony. “We both went to the Christian Brother’s school in Wailuku. That is how we got to know each other and become good friends.”
There was lots of laughing and talking after the meal was over. The boys started a game of tag in the sand, while the girls packed away the lunch. As Rose stood up to carry the hamper to the wagon, Tony stopped her and said, “Let me carry it for you. Can’t we be friends? We were just teasing you.”
“I can carry this myself. It is not very heavy at all. Thank you anyway.” She walked away with her body erect and her head held high, never even bothering to answer the second part of his question.
João tried a different method. He ran and picked a lovely red hibiscus from a nearby bush. He bowed and offered it to her with a flourish as she came back from the wagon for another load.
“Here’s a peace offering to wear in your beautiful long hair, he said.
Although Rose was only 14, she was a budding beauty, tall, fair and graceful, her long auburn hair a crown of glory. She said,
“No thanks, I am not interested in your flower or you! I wish you boys would both leave me alone. It is embarrassing. Go away!”
Sadly he walked away to join Tony and her brothers. They all helped load the wagon. Waving goodbye to their new friends, Manuel and Joe called, “adeus” (God be with you) and headed the wagons home. As soon as the passengers rounded the bend in the road and were well out of hearing, the teasing began.
“What is better than one boyfriend?” asked Lydia and Flora.
“Two boyfriends.!” chorused the family.
Manuel said, “Tony and João told me that Rose is the prettiest girl they’ve ever seen.”
Joe added, “Well both Tony and João told me they’re in love!”
As everyone was laughing at this news, Rose begged, “Please change the subject. I don’t like those boys at all!”
Thus the eternal triangle budded and blossomed.

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