Something rustled a tree, “anyone there?” I shouted. A twig snapped, no response. “I said who’s there!” More insistently this time. Still no response. I figured it was just a wild boar, there are lots of those in Waimanu. There was another rustle, louder this time. I could sense there was something behind me. I thought wild boars come out at night I wondered to myself. “Heya!” I snapped around to find two blue eyes staring into mine. He had wavy light brown hair, sunburned cheeks and freckles all over his face. He shifted his eyes away, “Is it usually this dark in Waimanu?” he asked as he smiled up at the clouds.
I shook my head, “What brings you here?” I asked without showing any expression.
“I heard Waimanu’s the hardest hike on the Island,” he replied.
“You’re right” I agreed, “It’s a difficult hike. And that’s why I have to go. Right now.”
“Sorry I didn’t get your name, mine’s Justin” he said.
“It’s Kayla,” I replied. Taking a deep breath I turned around and looked at the boundless trail ahead.
To hike in the rain is not an easy task, and the rain was coming down as if the sky was one big waterfall. “Kayla!” Justin shouted from what seemed like miles away. “Kayla!” his voice echoed all around me. My stomach eased from the thought of not being the only one on the trail.
“Justin!” I called back.
“Hey! You remembered my name!” he laughed. His voice made it impossible for me to leave him, I would feel like I was leaving a puppy in the pouring rain. As he approached me he said, “I never noticed how scary you look up close.”
“Shut up!” I exclaimed with a shocked look on my face.
“I’m just joking, you have pretty eyes and a nice smile, and no one could be scared of you.”
“That’s more like it,” I smiled.
“Come on, we have to get to the helipad. It’s too rainy to finish the hike now slow poke.”
To reach the helipad, consequently, they hiked up a staggering hill. They moved quietly through the thick jungle like animals stalking their prey. Once they reached the helipad, they only needed to look at each other once to know something was off. In the distance Kayla heard a helicopter chopping through the sky like thunder rolling in the valley. The sky looked angry, a storm was brewing. Suddenly, Justin patted all over his neck, “My necklace! It fell off!” he fretted.
“Don’t worry about it!” She yelled back.
“That necklace means everything to me. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I have to find it! I’m sure it fell off nearby.” Meanwhile Justin ran back onto the trail I shouted, “Go as fast as you can!” He looked back at me with a smile and a big thumbs up. He better find that dumb necklace I thought to myself as the helicopter started its landing.
Shortly the helicopter landed and two men jumped out of it. “Are you the only one on the trail?” Is anyone hurt? Where is your friend?” Will he be back soon? We don’t have much time.” They told me a tropical storm was about to hit the island as they forced me into the helicopter. I begged them to wait longer, but five minutes went by and then five more. Why isn’t he back yet I thought to myself. Then they climbed back into the helicopter with me, shut the doors and adjusted their headsets. Tears welled up in my green eyes and ran down my cheeks, begging wasn’t helping. I wanted to see Justin come out of the trail but he never did. Shrieking didn’t help save him. They told me they would send another helicopter to go back but their voices were unsure.
Later that month Kayla returned to the valley and finished her hike. At the bottom of the Valley she strolled along a beautiful beach with water as blue as the sky. As she walked along the shore something flickered in the light and caught her eye. A shell necklace bobbed in the ocean. Taking a closer look, Kayla noticed two small letters carved into it, a k and a j.