Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't.
Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do."
Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her.
Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around.
"Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her.
Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person.
"Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating.
"Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be?
"Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..."
Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed.
"For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?"
Christy shook her head, unable to find any words.
"Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?"
She shook her head again.
"You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised.
"No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!"
"They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling."
Christy had never heard him talk like this before.
Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God."
The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips.
"Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever."
Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible.
Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp.
Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding.
Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart.
In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever."
"Forever," Christy whispered back.
Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.