Wailana Coffee House Visits

A few hours after the fireworks were pau, I carted in the pool towels and closed up the hot dog (tamanegi-ga-shitai-desu-ka) stand. I rushed past the hotel penguins, let my hair down, and skipped-walked-jogged to Wailana Coffee House. My first job. And my first boyfriend. Squeezing in a romantic coffee date before he dropped me home and before my parents started paging me. It was a great summer.
*            *            *
We darted in just before the rain started. Coffee after an awkward dinner. Trying to strike up a conversation with someone who had unknowingly inspired me to start reading the New York Times and The Economist, not so I could learn about the world, but so I could learn more about him. Was it a date? Was I falling back in love with him? I wanted to. But, it must have just been the heat from the coffee.

*            *            *
Giggling, the three of us collapsed in a booth, took off our heels, and cracked our toes under the table while the waiter poured us coffee. There were some cuties on the salsa dance floor, we agreed. The waiter heard us and cracked a smile as he walked back to the counter. After we convinced ourselves that it was indeed too late to find another club, my friends sang happy birthday to me and we walked out. But not before I wrote my name and number on the tab. It was a bold, regrettable move.

*            *            *
That bastard took that place away from me. So what if he stopped working there shortly after we started dating. Every time I had to go by that corner—Ena and Ala Moana—I thought of him. I thought of my tiny wrists pinned against the wall. I thought of the sound of pavement. I thought of saying please, please, please, please.
*            *            *
In ten years, I’ve never returned to Wailana. But, I saw in a recent Hawai‘i Five-O episode that the interior is remodeled now. Shiny, new, bright. Different. I miss the good memories that lived there. That still live there. They’ve never gone to bed. After all, Wailana Coffee House is open twenty-four hours a day.

Talk story

  1. Hinaea says:

    I enjoyed this piece and look forward to hearing more!

Leave one comment for Wailana Coffee House Visits

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to its use of cookies.