January 1992 – Kaliki Arrives.
Paul owned a surf shop on the coast highway. It was your typical little shack of a store, something you would expect to see in 50’s and 60’s movies about the beach. Not much in the way of parking, seeing as it was facing the scenic route 101, but the majority of its customers came and went on foot.
The weathered building, with its whitewash, and various nets, broken surfboards, a lantern, rudder, buoys, and other assorted nautical items were attached to the walls around the main front window, where all of the surf and skate stickers were applied. Opened daily at 8 am, closing whenever whoever was closing, closed.
No one was really sure who owned it, and for how long, because Paul had gotten his first job there many years ago, and had never left, with somewhere in-between having purchased the shop from the white-haired tan man that must have been the prior owner.
For years, it had simply been a surf shop, but a few years back, maybe somewhere in the mid-eighties, it began selling skateboard decks, wheels, trucks, stickers, magazines, whatever the growing skater culture would ask about, whenever they came in asking why something wasn’t there.
Paul did his shaping back at home, in his backyard, which is how he met Sherri. His soon to be wife as he tells people when relating the story of how they met, came to the shop in ’88, looking into the possibility of owning a second board. She was still young, unemployed, and couldn’t afford a battery of sticks, so moving into trying to get her hands on a second board was a daunting task.
Paul tells people that she was exactly what he was looking for and that he traded the board, in exchange for a yes answer about being married. He said he was struck and stuck, when he saw her flowing blonde hair, looking stringy of course, seeing as she had recently gotten out of the water when she came over to see his shaping shack, later that day. Her seafoam green eyes, and perfectly proportioned frame, though she maintains she was far too skinny for her own good. Had him memorized, and hypnotized, and marriage was the only payment he would accept, even if it cost him a thousand boards.
Sherri said she instantly fell in love the messy man. Everything was surf, and everything was everywhere. Not messy in a repulsive way, just unorganized in a frustrating sorta way. His wardrobe never got much farther than shorts and tank tops, with the occasional t-shirts and jeans combo, and his slip on board shoes being the stylish step up from the daily flip-flops that he couldn’t keep the sand out of for some ungodly reason.
Gabrielle arrived a couple of years after their beautiful wedding at dog beach. Beautiful because of the large turnout. There were no invitations, just the where and when word of mouth that resulted in the mob of surfers and skaters in attendance, that Sherri could only describe as beautiful.
Gabrielle was born at the local hospital, a textbook example of the wife’s water breaking, the chaotic husband running around in circles to get her bag, the woman finally sitting down, waiting for the man to get with the program, and then Paul running out the door, getting in the car, and driving off without her, only to return to her in the driveway smiling, as if the entire scenario was being filmed for a sitcom episode.
The baby girl was the talk of the local area, with the locals doing much of the talking. She immediately found herself in a bassinet in the shop’s office within days. Of course, by this time, Sherri had already become a fixture at the shop, and it was only logical that Gabi joins them there.
The elementary school down the street from both their home, and the shop, soon became her daytime home, which then allowed Paul more time for surfing lessons, something that had slacked off the closer the birth came, and for a subsequent few years after.
Gabi had a mixture of blonde and mouse brown hair. The kind of natural highlights that the majority of women claim is impossible to be born with unless you are the one with them.
The beginning of what Sherri insisted must be a face full of freckles, were dotted sparsely on her nose, and two cute ones on her upper lip. Sherri insisted that her wardrobe consists of sundresses both the solid color and floral pattern type. Both bikini and wetsuits battled for second place in her closet, with the forced few pairs of sneakers sitting beside the door, that the school insisted she wears. There was no way Gabi would allow them to reside in the closet with her proud collection of various sandals and flip-flops.
Her one quirk was her incessant shyness. Something that kept her socially separate from most of the kids that attended from that school district. She always sat alone in the playground, over by the west fence, that basically was one of the best views of the ocean, bar none.
She only found value in the school because of its elaborate landscaping. The native plants, grasses, flowers, and bamboo made her feel like being at a beach resort. But while at school, everything she did was mechanical, robotic. She did what was needed to do, she did what was asked of her, no more, no less, though she was clearly capable of much much more. She had a one track mind, and that was to get back to the shop and find a way to get back to the beach.
Her mother thought it was great that she had such an affinity for the beach, but at the same time, it worried her that she had become so eccentric at such a young age. It seemed as if she had some sort of strange obsession, a magnetism towards the water in a worrisome sort of way.
The vessel that the Kaliki arrives in, to reside in, was basically always the same sort of build and character, and it was essentially the same time frame in landing, so working with the Kaliki was always pretty much a ritual Walani had become accustomed to. Granted, the looks of the vessel changed a bit here and there. The skin may change in shading, hair a bit lighter or darker, but as the Kaliki had seen, the spoiled lands has changed what was once routine.
It was the Walani that had no consistency in landing time and residing vessel. His variables were erratic and needed constant adaptation. The Kaliki always begins to affect the landing vessel at the earliest of age. It would explain why Gabi started to show an early affinity to the sands and sea. Whereas the Walani many times lay completely dormant until the arrival of the Kaliki, which is his awakening.
“Walani !?” He heard as he was kneeled over the water, looking at the face he saw as tired and having seen much. Standing in front of their home, she called out across the lake, “Walani !?” Across the jungle, “Walani” !? Towards the outer mists, she began to walk, before being stopped by a voice coming from the spatter vent across the water.
“Your wait will be longer than usual Kaliki.” The deep voice advised, as it appeared to be speaking in time with the popping gas and orangeish red lava bubbles flying, and landing with a steam puff and a sizzle at the water’s edge.
“But why Tua’a ? Does it have something to do with Walani? Why do I feel scared? Why do you speak only, but not give answers to my fears?” She said while stepping into the water, from its edge, hoping that coming closer would allow her to possibly hear something she might have, or would have missed.
“You will deny Walani, until the time comes that he no longer denies himself. If in his fear, and in his shame, he chooses the voice of the people over you, then both of you will have failed, and neither of you will never return to the corridors.” Ka’wani softly spoke as she stepped into the water behind Kaliki, placing her wet hands on Kaliki’s shoulders, startling her.
After regaining her stance, Kaliki turned to ask “But why must I wait? How long will be the wait?”
“Only the Walani can answer that,” Ka’wani said in passing as she walked away, to climb upon the black jagged rock from upon which the water fell.
“Then I will find him, and he will give me my answers. He has memories, I know he does. He always says he has forgotten as I have, but I know he is only comforting me. He will tell me what you have told him, he will not deny me…”
Those were her last words as she turned towards the mist, thinking that is where he must be. But he never would have left without saying goodbye, there must be something awaiting us both, that is to be revealed now, she thought as she stepped through the mist, asking him how long the wait would be, grabbing his hands, with a tear rolling down her face.
” How long will I have to wait? Why must I wait before going, mother?” Was the daily routine for Gabrielle the second she came through the door, asking Sherri when someone would be available to take her to the beach, and if not, could one of the locals that hung around outside go with her, as if they were as trustworthy as a sibling would be.
“Everyone from my class is going down there, I am always late.” Gabi stomped her foot in the continuance of her demands.
“Robert, Elizabeth, Michael, and Melissa will survive until you get there Gabrielle.”
“Besides, you kids spend far too much time with that homeless man.
There is something I just can’t explain about him. He is a nice guy and all, but he seems overly interested in you kids. What adult prefers the company of kids, over their peers” Sherri said with a grunt, having to turn her head towards Gabrielle in a downward slant, whilst putting something on a high shelf requiring the use of tiptoes to succeed.
“Far too much time with that homeless man…”