Pearl harbors past part 2
Who is Daniel Burks? There was no picture of him so I’m guessing they didn’t even know.
I’m outside just staring at this cafe and I can tell it’s older. The style, the structure, and everything about it. The air smells sweeter and more fresh.
Some people would find this exciting to leap through time. But I’m more horrified than anything else. I look at my hands to see if there are age spots or any sign of aging. But it looks the same. The same youthful hand I saw this morning holding my coffee in my New York apartment.
Now I’m in Hawaii in December 3rd 1941. Right before Pearl Harbor. RIGHT BEFORE PEARL HARBOR?!
I put both my hands to my face in disbelief. I really didn’t think this through. I could’ve skipped town and moved to Mexico. Or to Europe. I never have been to Europe and I don’t know if I ever will now. What will happen when I leap back? How old will I be? What will I tell me mother who will look younger than me? I might leap back dead.
Too many thought I forgot why I was here in the first place. Maybe the less time I spend here the less I will age. I have to take what I can get.
I walk to the front door of the cafe and when I walk in the smell of syrup and warm sweets travel to my nose. I see the servers wearing uniforms of the time and the booths are settled against the wall. There’s more people than I thought. I didn’t see any cars outside. I walk up to the sitting bar and up to one of the servers.
“Hello” I saw with a smile scared to say anything wrong for the time.
The young lady with sweet green eyes looks up to me.
“Hello sir. What can I get for you?” She says smiling.
How am I supposed to say I’m looking for a man I never met? If I don’t say Daniel Burks out loud soon I’ll forget the name all together.
“Ummm.” I look down to my hands wrapped around each other leaning on the counter.
She chuckles a bit.
“Well let me know when you are ready to order. I won’t be far” she goes to walk down the island.
“Wait!” I say urgently. Stopping her in her tracks.
She stares at me a bit frightened.
“I’m sorry, I’m just a bit in a hurry you see and I was supposed to meet a friend here that I never met before.” I said smoothly.
“A friend you never met before?” She asks with a queer look on her face.
“Yea you see we were… pen pals! and we both came to the area recently. His name is Daniel Burks. Is there any Daniels in here?” I said stuttering.
“Daniel Burks?” She asks.
“The Daniel Burks I know is a local and he’s right over there.” She points to a Hawaiian man in a large rain jacket that can patches all over it.”
“Oh.” I say. Not expecting that at all looking right at him.
“Is something wrong?” She asks me.
“No, no maybe I’m looking for a different Mr. Burks… what does he do maybe I miss read his last letter, I don’t want to talk to him like I didn’t know him. That would be a little odd”
The girl laughs at me.
“I doubt that there is another Daniel Burks around here. He’s the best fisherman in town. He can catch anything. He brings us our fresh fish every morning. All he does is work.”
I try to think for a second.
“Ohh. You know what. That is him. I’m sorry I wanted to get into the fishing business but I didn’t know he was from here.” I said uncertain.
She looks at me uncertain particularly with her mouth open. No words are exchanged for a few seconds.
“Uh-huh” she says walking away.
I let out a big sigh and turn to the mysterious Daniel Burks and I know exactly what to do. But it might be a stretch, but a stretch is enough.
I am right in front of the man eating his breakfast.
“Hi Mr Burks?” He looks up at me
“Yes, do I know you?” He answers with a deep voice.
“No, I heard about you in town. May I sit?” I ask him.
He wipes his mouth with his napkin and leans back in the booth with his hand out inviting me to sit.
“So what did you hear about me? Are you a cop or something am I in trouble?” He asks calmly.
“I’m the farthest from a cop” I laugh.
“So what is it then?” He asks again.
“Well you are a well known fisherman around here and you see I’m new to town and really need a job.” I look at him while he gets the extra food out of his teeth.
“I’m not hiring.” He says as he looks right back down to his food.
“You don’t have to pay me. I’ll work for free for awhile till I know what I’m doing and maybe do something on my own.” I ask desperately.
He puts his silverware down rough.
“Here’s the thing kid. I have a lot going on right now with… work and I can’t be responsible for a kid. Being on the boat isn’t too easy and I can’t have you getting hurt on the job. I can’t afford hospital bills” he says looking me in the eyes.
“I’ll be a big help. If I get hurt I’ll cover it. Just test me out. If I’m not good just let me go.”
“Desperate huh?” He smiles. “Well I do need someone to watch the bot at night. Would you be willing to do that?”
They trust people this much in the 40s? How?
“Deal.” I put my hand out for a shake.
He reaches his out and shakes mine. Thought my hand was going to split in half but I hide my pain.
“Meet me at the harbors 21st dock at 7pm. My boats name is aloha. I get done for the day at that time. You’ll watch the boat and make sure my equipment does get taken. If you don’t steal and of my stuff then we will be on good terms. If you even walk around my boat I will know. Understand?” He says firmly.
“Crystal clear.” I smile.
That’s more time here.
“Do you have a car by chance how I can get back in town?”
“Kid I don’t know where you are from but the people around here take the bus. There’s a bus every two hours. I walk. But up to you.” He drops some coins on the table for his meal.
“See yea kid” he says while walking away and out the door quickly.
I take a deep breath and close my eyes leaning into the booth more and sinking deeper into it.
“I heard your conversation you know.” The young lady with green eyes comes to the table picking up the coins from the table putting them into the pockets of her apron.
“What did you hear?” I ask.
“You didn’t have to lie to be because you were embarrassed. You’re new and need work.” She says.
“I wasn’t l-“ I can’t say that. “Im sorry, I hate being the new guy in town.” I smile sitting up straight.
Her smile slides more to the left side of her face as she stands there still looking at me.
“I could tell you weren’t from around here from your clothes.” She points to my modern jacket and shoes while she picks up the dirty plate.
Shit. I have to fix that.
“Yes, I’m very new” I laugh covering myself with my jacket.
“What’s your name mister?” She waits for a response with the plates in her hands.
“My name is Vince, Vince Lox.” I gave her my real name. Not like anyone would know who I am.
“Nice to meet you Mr Lox. I’m Holly. “ she blushes.
Is she blushing because of me?
“Are you staying in town or on the banks?” She asks.
I guess on the banks? On the boat now.
“On the banks.” I reply.
“Well if you ever find yourself in town after 3pm come find me on Dandelion st. Number 204. I have friends and people you could meet if you don’t want to be a fisherman.”
I don’t say anything because I’ve never been talked to like a girl like this. So straight forward and kind. I usually get told to fuck off.
I don’t say anything for a minute and she gets nervous.
“Not saying being a fisherman is bad! It’s honest and humble work.” She smiles and before she could slip away anymore I surprisingly answered.
“I’ll be there.”
She sighs with her shoulders fast.
“When?” She asks with her smiling favoring the left.
“Today. Has to be today” because I’ll be gone by tomorrow. I need to find out why I needed to find Daniel Burks.
“Okay.” She starts to walk away backwards. “Okay” she gone.
Too much has happened in the last 30 minutes than I would have liked. Damn.
To be continued…
About the Creator
my grandfather told me growing up that everything has a story. Every building, person to a grain of sand. I have been writing ever since.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Thank you for part 2!!!! Such a great concept that you executed so well! I love that you used the characters inner monologue and speech to push the story forward! Well done! You did such a great job developing Vince into a believable and relatable character! When is part 3 coming?