Home > The Seashell of 'Ohana

The Seashell of 'Ohana
Author: Mary Ting


Table of Contents



 Chapter One — Lucky Day

 Chapter Two — Welcome Home

 Chapter Three — Four Years

 Chapter Four — Carousel Gallery

 Chapter Five — Saturday at Lee’s

 Chapter Six — Ping-Pong

 Chapter Seven — Safe at Home

 Chapter Eight — ‘Ohana

 Chapter Nine — Hanalei

 Chapter Ten — Back to Work

 Chapter Eleven — Apology

 Chapter Twelve — Sick Day

 Chapter Thirteen — The Interview

 Chapter Fourteen — After School

 Chapter Fifteen — Alone With My Thoughts

 Chapter Sixteen — Ian’s House

 Chapter Seventeen — Under the Moonlight

 Chapter Eighteen — Bucket List

 Chapter Nineteen — Home Sweet Home

 Chapter Twenty — Shopping

 Chapter Twenty-One — Zip-Lining

 Chapter Twenty-Two — Liam

 Chapter Twenty-Three — Horseback

 Chapter Twenty-Four — Engagement

 Chapter Twenty-Five — After

 Chapter Twenty-Six — Charity

 Chapter Twenty-Seven — Declaration

 Chapter Twenty-Eight — Revelation

 Chapter Twenty-Nine — Florida

 Chapter Thirty — Confession

 Chapter Thirty-One — The Letter

 Chapter Thirty-Two — A New Beginning

 Chapter Thirty-Three — Two Weeks Later

 About the Author



Chapter One — Lucky Day



 The wheels on our shopping cart squeaked across the tile floor, drawing annoyed glances from other shoppers. Of all the carts, we got this one.

 Tyler didn’t seem to mind the persistent squeak, so I left it alone. My son walked ahead, pushing the cart without me. A young woman at a cash register smiled at him as he passed.

 The slightly frayed hem of his pants brushed the top of his ankles. He needed a new pair of jeans. When had he outgrown them?

 “Ty, not too fast.” I speed-walked behind him, my arms outstretched, ready to take the reins.

 Tyler glared over his shoulder, squinting his brown eyes at me with an obvious “don’t tell me what to do” look.

 He’d turned eight recently and had been testing boundaries by talking back to me, asking to play video games before he did his homework, or staying up later during the school nights.

 Being a single mom was hard enough, but it wore my patience thin when he fought me at every step. I narrowed my eyes at him, even though he had turned back and couldn’t see me. At least he had slowed down.

 Next to a paper towel sale display, a woman pulled her toddler to the side. She lowered her gaze to the wheels on our cart and frowned at the noise. She had enough room, but you couldn’t be too careful with toddlers. I would have done the same.

 “Sorry.” I offered an affable smile with a wave.

 My black flats slapped with the rhythm of his steps. I wasn’t an overbearing parent, but Tyler had rammed our cart into a grumpy old woman last week.

 We didn’t need another accident.

 Thank God the old woman hadn’t been injured. But even after Tyler had apologized, she’d flipped us off. Tyler had had the shock of his life, then I’d had the shock of mine when my son let out a belly laugh and pointed at her. The laugh had been so loud that it had seized everyone’s attention. I had been mortified, beyond humiliated, but at the same time, an inappropriate giggle had bubbled up my throat.

 I’d grabbed my son and the cart and booked it out of the vegetable section before the old lady could throw more profanity at us. I hoped I didn’t run into her today, or any other day, for that matter.

 All the cashiers knew us, as I had shopped at this grocery store at least once a week for the past four years—our little community market in Poipu, Kauai. After my husband passed away, Tyler and I moved to Kauai to heal.

 Squeak, squeak, squeak.

 Tyler veered the cart to the bread aisle. He slowed to squeeze past a middle-aged man who had his cart smack in the middle of the lane. I had a routine, and Tyler knew exactly where to go.

 “Do we need hamburger buns, Mom?”

 “No, not today. Follow me.” I adjusted my purse strap over my shoulder and strode past the canned vegetables and soups, repeating my short list under my breath. Cereal. Eggs. Yogurt. Butter lettuce.

 I had written down what I needed but had forgotten to bring the list, having left it inside the cup holder in my minivan. Ugh! I should text it to myself next time. No matter, I only needed four things.

 Cereal. Eggs. Yogurt. Butter lettuce. More than once, I’d gone to the market and walked out without the item I’d intended to buy in the first place.

 “This way, Ty.” I turned into the cereal aisle but halted, distracted by the scent of something sweet.

 Fresh leis made with pink and purple orchids and plumeria hung on a small rack at the floral section. Big balloons read “Happy Birthday” and “I love you,” alongside bouquets of various flowers. Steve used to buy me flowers.

 Plumeria was one of my local favorites, and I loved how they smelled like ripe peaches. I had some in a water bowl in my house that I had picked from the tree in my front yard. I smiled, imagining the flowers Steve would bring home if he’d lived.

 My reverie dissolved when a pale woman twirled the revolving shelves with Kauai magnets near the flower section. A guy with heavy black glasses showed her a Kauai T-shirt he’d grabbed from the near shelf. They must be tourists.

 “Mom, can I buy this one?” Tyler handed me a box, his eyes gleaming.

 I examined the ingredients on the back. Organic. Low fat. Low sugar. Hardly any sodium. Even had calcium and fiber. Good. But Tyler liked the chocolate flavor, and this was vanilla. I saw why he wanted it when I flipped it to the front.

 The cereal bits were shaped like skulls and pirate hats. His favorite video game used to be Unicorns versus Skeletons, but he had outgrown it and advanced to Buccaneers versus Skeletons. A small plastic figure of one of the characters came inside the box.

 I leveled my eyes to his. “Are you going to eat it?”

 When my younger sister Kate was little, she used to beg our mother to buy certain cereals just for the toy. My mother had always given in, and of course, Kate had never finished the box. As I contemplated buying it, I wondered if I would eat the cereal.

 “Aye, Captain. I promise.” Tyler slung his arm like a pirate and placed a hand over his heart on his T-shirt.

 “Are you sure?” I lowered my eyebrows. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it if he didn’t. A promise was a promise—a word he shouldn’t use lightly to get his way.

 Tyler pinched his eyebrows together and paused as if in thought. He grabbed the box, shelved it, and took out a smaller one of the same kind.

 “This one is on sale, and it comes with the same toy,” he said. “If I don’t finish it, then you can take it out of my allowance.”

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