Maui Girl

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

19 February 2007

Chapter Seven: The White Horse

Finally the long wait was over. The day dawned clear and beautiful and fragrant with flowers. Tony borrowed a beautiful white mare from the mill owners. You could hear the clip clop of the horse’s hooves as Tony rode the horse down the dirt road to Rose’s family’s house. Rose, peeking out from behind gauzy curtains, ran out the back kitchen door and over to her neighbor’s house.
Tony tied his horse to the post. Julia and Jose were sitting on the porch. He walked up the steps and sat beside them. He fumbled with his words and finally blurted out that he loved Rose and wanted to marry her. Both her parents said that it was up to Rose, but that he had their blessing. They both liked Tony so much. He was hard working and came from a good honest Portuguese family.
Tony searched for Rose and found her picking mangoes at her neighbor’s house.
“Rose,” he pleaded, “I’ve waited a long time to ask you this question. Will you marry me? Will you be the mother of my children? I love you very much and promise to take care of you for the rest of my life.”
Rose thought for awhile and smiled her sweet smile. Finally she answered,
“I know you love me and I know you are a good man. Yes, I will marry you and I promise to be faithful to you.”
In Rose’s heart she knew that she could never love him, but she knew she could be a faithful wife. She would do everything in her power to make Tony happy.
Rose’s brother Jose was getting married to the love of his life, Mary Alves. There were great plans for the wedding and Jose had asked Rose and Tony to be their witnesses at the church. This would be the first time that Rose and Tony appeared together as a couple in a public gathering of this kind. Their wedding would come next. But they did not want to overshadow the couple’s joyous celebration with news of their engagement. They decided to wait until after Jose and Mary’s wedding to tell everyone of their engagement.

16 February 2007

Chapter Seven: Rose Says Yes

Tony had waited day after day, month after month, hoping Rose would change her mind. The six months had seemed like six years. During that time, Tony had kept very busy at the mill, riding and breaking horses. The horses were trained to pull the rail carts with loads of sugar cane. It was back breaking work and kept his body occupied but not his mind.

Tony visited his sister Adelina and her new husband and his best friend Jôao. Adelina was pregnant and seemed sad. Tony knew his sister and loved her and worried silently. Adelina’s eyes would light up when she saw Tony coming to visit, but they quickly dulled and seemed lifeless moments later.

Jôao seemed his usually cocky exuberant self. Yet Tony wondered what his friend had done too make Adelina look so unhappy. Tony talked to them both about his plans to wait six months and then ask Rose to marry him. Jôao was not as encouraging as Tony would have liked him to be. Adelina was as sweet as ever and hoped that Tony would be successful with Rose and happy.

12 February 2007

Joao and Adelina's Wedding

Rose managed to get through the ceremony and the festivities without a tear. Tony stayed by her side all day conscientiously supplying her with food and punch, conversation, and a constant companionship. Ordinarily this would have annoyed Rose, but today, she was grateful for his attentive company.
It was a big festive wedding with all the Portuguese families in the area attending. The Silva’s’ were a popular family and well liked. Rose saw Gus among the ranch hands. He came over to her and Tony.
“Say, it is nice to see you two again. Thank you for all your help. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t run across you in the Iao Valley. Gus’s face glowed with health and happiness. “I keep busy and I like to think I’m useful to the Silva’s ranch. How have the two of you been? When are you both going to marry? We can always use another wedding around here.” Gus laughed and his teeth flashed in his tanned face.
As Rose blushed, Tony answered for them. “I’m working on it Gus. Keep your fingers crossed that I can persuade Rose!” The two men shook hands and exchanged jokes and news.

10 February 2007

Chapter Seven: Virginia Soothes Rose

The corn-husk mattress on the other side of the room started to rustle. Virginia must be waking up. “Have you been awake all night Rose? What is the matter? Are you Ill?” She asked worriedly.
“No, I’m fine.” Rose answered listlessly turning toward the moonlit window.
“You know Rose, we all thought it would be you marrying João. It was a surprise for us all when we heard the announcement in church that he was marrying Adelina. Is that what is bothering you?”
“Yes.” Was the only word Rose could utter as her throat constricted with tears.
Unaware of her sisters searing pain, Virginia continued, “Forget him. He is not worth a backward glance. He’s so callous and unfeeling and a terrible flirt. He would only break your heart again and again as he became enamored by one new face after another. You are so good and kind and beautiful. Everyone loves you. They can’t help it. You’re fun to be around. You make people feel good just being with you. You deserve so much better than João. I think Tony is ten times the man that João is.”
“Please Virginia, let’s not talk about it. I could never love Tony. I don’t know how I can get through this wedding day.
At these words, Virginia got out of her bed and went over to Rose. She put her arms around her and hugged her tightly as Rose’s tears streamed down her face. “All right rose, we won’t talk about this again. But I want you to know I love you. We are all family. There isn’t anything in the world I wouldn’t do for you to ease your pain. Please don’t cry.”
“I’ll get you some warm milk and a cool cloth for your face.” Virginia said as she bustled out of the room quickly.
Rose felt drained but a lot better that morning after Virginia had soothed her with her home remedies and love. The flood of tears were gone. Her eyes were still a little red, and over bright, and her face was pale, but she held her head high as the family rode to the wedding in their wagon.

05 February 2007

Faithful Tony, Faithless Joao

Rose thought of Tony! Faithful Tony! He was handsome and strong and capable and honest. Everyone like Tony and she did too, but she did not love him. He lacked that certain something, the chemistry to excite her. Tony said he loved her and he certainly was patient with her lack of feeling for him.
It would have been so much better for Rose if she loved Tony instead of João. Then she would never feel this terrible pain in her heart. Why or why couldn’t she have fallen in love with Tony?
Only last week João had come over and asked her mother if he could talk to Rose. When they were alone, João said, “Rose, Lets run away? We can go to Oahu and I’ll buy land there. I won’t marry Adelina, I’ll marry you.”
Those words would have been so welcome a month earlier, but now it was too late. Adelina was Rose’s dear friend. She had confided to her that she was pregnant.
“Please don’t tell anyone!” she begged. Even though I was unwilling partner to João, no one would believe me, and I would be disowned. My brother Tony would probably kill João if he ever found out.”
Rose kept Adelina’s secret and hadn’t told a soul. She had told no one until João came that day to beg her to run away with him. Then Rose’s hurt and bitterness poured out.
“Never will I marry someone as traitorous as you! I know that Adelina is pregnant. Her baby will need a father.”
João hung his head and for the first time she saw this big strong man cry. He wept great tears of sorrow and shame as he just held her in his arms. Rose’s dark eyes were dry and bitter as she stood stiffly in his embrace. Her life was over. What did she have to live for now?

02 February 2007

Chapter Seven: Kokomo

The rough flour sack mattress, stuffed with corn husks, made a crunching sound as Rose tossed and turned in her bed. Her eyes were dark pools of pain and the moon casting its pale light upon her made them shine like stars. Her thick coopery brown hair was plaited in a single braid making her look like a forlorn waif.
So much had happened in the past year since the Gomes family had moved to their small farm in Kokomo. Rose had lost her heart to João. He had grown so tall and handsome and charming. He attracted girls to him like bees to honey. It was just part of his nature. But no matter how many girls clustered around him at weddings and fiestas and family gatherings, João would always single Rose out and make her feel special by saving a special place by his side by his side and treating her like the unique individual that she really was.
He told her he loved her so many times that Rose finally believed him. He even believed it himself. He was s exciting to be with and he made her laugh. He was her whole world and she lived for the times she would see him again.
Now that was all ended! Today João Silva was marrying Adelina, Tony’s sister! Rose couldn’t believe it was really happening. She hurt so much inside that the pain was almost more than she could bear. How could she face the day? Yet how could she avoid the wedding without hurting Tony’s family.
Tony’s father a widow, had remarried Gloria who was a captain’s widow and was rather well to do. Adelina was Rose’s good friend and Tony’s father was good friends with her parents Joseph and Julia Gomes.