Rain clouds began to tear themselves away from the jagged peaks of the Koolau range and rays broke through the clouds and beat down on the muddy water of Pearl Bay. Bobby glanced toward them, but his mind was elsewhere. He paced back and forth along the isolated stretch of the narrow beach. Now and then he would kick at loose pebbles along the muddy grey shoreline. For the moment, Bobby was still in his private world, consisting of little more than a strip of mud flat along one small section of the bay. But his world was about to be invaded. Chris, his best friend since kindergarten, would be showing up any minute. And Bobby knew that before this afternoon ended, their two lives, so entwined these many years, would forever be changed.
Bobby clutched a smooth black stone in his fingers. He leaned into the light breeze, preparing to skip it across the harbour waters, but stopped abruptly, remembering that the gods did not like land removed from the island.
As the stone slipped from his fingers, his eyes followed the ripples that glided on and off the grey beach where he stood, then rose almost by habit to gaze once more at the Arizona Memorial stretching white and graceful, remembering painfully that this would be the last time that he would ever walk along this beautiful beach.
As his eyes watched the waves, and how they caressed the muddy shoreline, he began to think of the future. His thoughts were quickly disrupted.
"Hey bud, how's it going? What was so important that you had to talk to me about?" Chris asked.
"It's to hard. I can't go on with it."
"What? What can't you go on with?" Chris demanded urgently.
"It's just, that, that, this will be...