Alana had led a very unusual life. At sixty years old, there had been many strange and unexplainable events that to this day still puzzled her. But they all paled in comparison to the strange specter who would visit her on occasion.
Alana lived in a nice ranch house that her husband, Michael, had built for her over forty years ago. Together they had raised three wonderful children, and were now helping to raise eight grandchildren.
Michael had been a wonderful husband. They lived on their family ranch land, on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The land had been in the family for two generations. Michael had been a rancher for all of his entire adult life, and they still enjoyed living in the country, with pine trees and grass prairies, nestled against the immense slopes of Mauna Kea.
Alana was born and raised in Hawaii. Her mother, Kiyoko, was from Okinawa, Japan and had met her American father, Frank Dawson, during the war. They married and then returned to Pearl Harbor where he was based; and after his tour of duty ended, they moved to the Big Island, where he fulfilled his dream of raising horses.
Born soon after they moved to the ranch, her father had named her Alana, which was Hawaiian for
‘Awakening’. For with the birth of their first child, Frank believed he had finally awoken from the nightmarish horrors of World War II and had begun his life anew.
Alana had first met her husband when she was only seventeen years old. Being a local girl, she rarely ran into a ‘haole’, as American mainlanders never ventured far from the touristy beaches and volcanoes on the Big Island. Thus she was surprised to see a strange young man limping along the small dirt road towards her home.
She mounted her horse and rode out to warn the intruder that he was trespassing on private property. As she drew closer, she noticed he wasn’t much older than she was. She approached him cautiously, as she remained on her horse. He looked up at her and smiled, then toppled over unconscious.
Shocked, Alana had no idea what to do. She wasn’t exactly accustomed to boys passing out in front of her, so she left him on the ground and rode off to fetch her father.
When he woke up, the first thing he saw were the most beautiful dark eyes he had ever seen. It was the girl on the horse. He found himself lying in someone’s bedroom, having no idea where he was.
“You’re my angel!” he said groggily.
“No, she’s my daughter, haole. And you have no business being here.”
He looked over at the girl’s mother. “I’m sorry, I really am. I just didn’t know where else to go.”
“What brings you out here, boy?” said a man, who was probably the girl’s father.
“I … I was hiking with some friends and we got split up. So I thought I could just walk back to where we were staying. I didn’t know I’d end up out here in the middle of nowhere.”
“Where are you staying?” asked the man.
“That’s twenty five miles away! And it’s almost dark!” the father said.
“Yeah, I guess they don’t call this the Big Island for nothing, huh?” he said, grinning sheepishly.
“Fool haoles.” grumbled the mother on her way out of the room.
“What’s your name, boy? Where are you staying? I’ll call your parents and have them come pick you up.”
“Uh, Michael. Michael Swan. We’re staying at the Hilton.”
The father left the room without saying a word.
“Don’t mind them.” The girl said politely. “We’re just not used to strangers.”
Even her voice sounds angelic!
“What’s your name?”
“Thank you, Alana.”
She nodded politely.
“So … how long have I been out?”
“About two hours. You seemed exhausted.”
“Well, I had already been hiking since early this morning. I guess I was more tired than I thought.”
She nodded again and then left quietly.
Everybody’s leaving me! What the heck!?
He started to sit up, when her mother came in with a tray of food. She shook her head at him. “Eat first.”
He ate alone.
After he finished, her father came in. “I managed to got a hold of your parents. They were quite worried about you – they’d already called the police. They’ll be here soon.”
He started to say ‘thank you’, but the man immediately turned and walked out of the room.
Geez, where’s the Aloha spirit!?
Then Alana brought in some towels. “You can wash up in there.” she said pointing. Then she turned to leave.
“Wait! Don’t leave! Please?”
She stopped, and then turned towards him. She had long, straight, jet black hair which reached all the way to her waist. It was so black, it seemed almost blue. She was part Caucasian and part Asian. And she was quite simply the most beautiful girl Michael had ever seen. All he could think about, was that he might never see her again.
“Please! I … I don’t know what to say … but …”
“But what?” she asked.
“I don’t want to say goodbye!” It was all he could think of to say.
She looked at him for a moment. Then she did the most amazing thing. She smiled.
“Be right back.” she said as she left. She returned with a piece of paper, which she stuffed in his shirt pocket. Then without saying a word, she left.
Michael slowly and achingly got up and went to the washroom, and after he closed the door, he quickly pulled out the piece of paper. On it she had written the name of her school, and what time she got out.
*** *** ***
Now at sixty years old, Alana Swan was a much older woman. She had lived a good life, with a kind and loving husband.
But there had been many things about her life that didn’t seem quite right. Strange visions. Strange people. Strange dreams.
Among those strange dreams had been a recurring one. And it was this particular dream that had always frightened Alana; for she dreamed she was in a hospital bed, possibly her deathbed. Sometimes she would see a strange, lone woman sitting in the corner … too far away to make out her features. And try as she might, Alana could never get the woman to respond.
But the strangest thing of all, was the visitor. He would always appear the very next day after she had the dream.
Alana was sitting in her rocking chair on her porch, looking down the small dirt road heading out of the ranch. She was expecting to see her visitor again. For she had once again had the dream last night.