A Day Like Today: Book Preview
This isn’t your typical love story, so if that is what you are looking for you might as well put the book down now. Actually, this is probably the furthest from a typical love story you can get. See, this is the unusual story of how I found my always, Jonathan Kealoha.
The details of how we met are not a crucial part of this story; however, you should know that even though he was halfway across the country he was pretty much the only person I could depend on to always be there. It started when I was going through some pretty rough times. In a desperate attempt to cheer myself up, I made a post on “Whisper”. (For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a site where you anonymously post secrets or struggles and people can message you with encouragement, still keeping the anonymity.) He was the first one to reply. Jonathan, or as I like to call him, Johnny, is still my best friend to this day. There is nothing that can separate the two of us. In all honesty, we were closer than just about any other couple I know, even though we were 1,961 miles apart. (And yes, I did know down to the mile exactly how far apart we were.)
Johnny and I had an instant connection; it was weird how fast the anonymity went away as we started talking. And whatever it was I was going through slipped my mind so quickly that if you asked me today I couldn’t even tell you what it was. We talked more and more every day, growing closer and closer. Soon he was calling me his, which I thought was the sweetest thing. Most people say that opposites attract, but that isn’t the case for us. We are into the same things: theater, music, art, and most of all, Disney! The funny thing is, just about everyone I know doubted us, but that only made us stronger. They said it was impossible to truly fall for someone that you had never met, but guess what? I fell for his mind, his soul, and what made him the person he is before I ever even fell for the touch of his skin.
One day we had this cute conversation about the first time we would meet being at Walt Disney World. I never figured it would happen that way, that is, until one day he brought it up again. We were talking about his new job and how it involves a lot of work and earlier hours than he was used to. I said, “Well babe, you knew this was how it was going to be.” I was waiting on a sarcastic reply when I received his text that said: “Hey if it gets us to Disney World, it is TOTALLY worth it!” And that just about brings us to the beginning of our story. It had been exactly six months since our little conversation about him trying to get us to Walt Disney World, and the day had finally come where I could meet my Johnny.
So what do you think?
Can you find long-distance online?
You know that blindness you have in the morning sometimes? That morning mine seemed to be ten times worse than normal. As I opened my eyes, trying to let them adjust to the light coming in through the window, I couldn’t help but squint. In the back of my mind I could hear the music of a familiar song. It sounded distant and far off almost like it was only in my head, but as my brain began to wake up I could make out the words. “…no request is too extreme, anything your heart desires will come to you…” Immediately I was awake, because I knew what that song meant. I had chosen the song for my alarm specifically because it was time for our little trip to Disney. When I grabbed my phone to turn the alarm off I noticed that it was already 9:15! Frantically I threw back the covers, rolled to my other side, and slid out of bed all in one quick motion. For a second, I felt like a spy out of a movie ninja rolling away from the bad guys. Oh, but how could I be late on today of all days? I was supposed to have been up thirty minutes ago, because I had to be at the airport by 11:00 to catch my 1:00 flight. Darn airport security takes too long for me to be late. His plane would be landing in Orlando at 11:00, so he would make it to Disney before me, which I didn’t think it was fair, but right then I just needed to get ready!
I ran to my closet grabbing the first t-shirt and pair of jeans I could find and headed towards the bathroom. As I passed the mirror, I thought to myself “Wow Kenz, this isn’t your best look!” Suddenly it hit me that this would be the first time I had met him: “Would it really be a good idea to look like a bum today?” I asked myself. I knew what he would say, “You always look beautiful babe, even as a bum” and then he would add a sly little wink at the end. Even though he would say that I looked beautiful I knew deep down he would probably be disappointed if I didn’t at least try to look nice.
When I got back to my closet I spotted the outfit I was going to wear right off the bat. He had helped me pick it out one day. I had circled the mall for hours and still had not found an outfit for the party that I was going to later that night. It was supposed to be a dressier party, but honestly, I hadn’t given a flying flip, because I hadn’t even wanted to go. Finally, I just gave up. I sat down on a bench and called Johnny. When I told Johnny how much trouble I was having he decided to Skype me to help. I listed the many stores that we had in the mall, and he got super excited when I mentioned that we had a Rue 21. As I stepped into the store, he spotted it. The outfit was super cute, but it was not something I would usually attempt to wear. Still because he wanted me to, I decided to try it on. It took me 45 minutes to find all the pieces to the outfit, because they were spread out across the store. As I walked into the dressing room I just knew it wasn’t going to look good on me. Not only was I not skinny and tall like all the girls he knew, but I was used to dressing a little bit more “theater nerd-esque”. He was used to helping pick out clothes for all his skinny California friends, and I was definitely not one of them. Reluctantly, I slid into the outfit and I heard him mumble “Oh come on!” and sigh, because I had laid the phone where he could not see me undress. I giggled and rolled my eyes, “You’re an idiot.” When I looked in the mirror I was surprised at how good the outfit actually looked on me. I almost didn’t recognize myself in the mirror wearing a pair of dark stone wash (almost black), high-waisted, three buttoned, ripped skinny jeans that hit just above the belly button, a low cut burgundy V-neck that was fitted at the waist and flowy at the bottom, and a black leather jacket that had two little “diamonds” on each side of the collar. I am curvy which caused the high-waisted jeans to accentuate my hips in a way that made me look smaller down through the leg. The shirt was just low enough that it didn’t show too much but it teased you with just a hint of my cleavage. And the jacket gave me this edgy look, which along with my gauges, now a size 2, and my pierced nose was actually quite attractive. I never let him see the outfit on me though. In fact, I didn’t even buy it that day. I went back two days later and decided that I could use it for a special occasion. And somehow, it never got worn.
“…no request is too extreme, anything your heart desires will come to you…”
Once again, I slipped into the outfit, and I had to do this silly little dance to get the jeans on. They were a little bit tighter through the butt than when I had bought them, but looking in the mirror I found that to my surprise it looked even better on me than it had then. I just looked at myself in the mirror for what seemed like an hour, admiring what I saw. I had never been self-confident, but this outfit transformed me into a whole new person, that for some reason made me feel gorgeous. I wondered what Johnny would think. Would he even recognize me? I really hoped he would remember my outfit. That would probably make my day, just to see the look on his face when he realized I actually bought it. I can still hear the disappointment in his voice when I told him I would not be purchasing the outfit. His voice sounded almost like a little boys, and it dripped with sadness as he complained about me not even letting him see it on me. Finally I broke from my trance with the thought that I still need to straighten my hair, which naturally had “beach waves”, and hurried into the bathroom so I could complete my outfit.
I was just finishing brushing my teeth when I heard my phone begin to ring. “Live High” originally sung by Jason Mraz but currently being sung by Johnny, let me know that it was him. “Shit, please don’t tell me I am late!” I snatched up my phone, seeing that it was only 10:10, I should’ve still had almost an hour. “Hello?” I said questioningly. “Hey! Our plane landed early, I was just wondering if you were at the airport yet.” His soft and yet gravelly voice ringing out through the phone and making me melt, just as it always has. “I am just about to leave. I didn’t hear my alarm this morning.” I say as I put the finishing touches on my makeup. I was rushing so much that I almost fell grabbing my keys and trying to scramble out the door. He must’ve heard me stumble because he laughed and said, “It’s fine babe. Just slow down and be careful. I will see you soon.” With that, he hung up.
“Shit, please don’t tell me I am late!”
The drive to the airport took about 15 minutes longer than it should have because the person in front of me was literally driving 35 mph in a 55 mph zone. “Of course I would get behind the slowest driver in our state when I was in a rush,” I mumbled to myself. I was getting a bit nervous, I would be meeting my boyfriend for the first time in about four hours. How crazy is that?
From the time I got out of my car at the airport all the way up until the plane landed in Orlando was pretty much a blur thanks to the nerves and excitement that were flowing through me, but the second I grabbed my bags from the luggage pickup, I was 100% alert. I knew there would be a shuttle waiting to take me to Disney, so I kept my eyes peeled for the person with a Disney World Resort sign. I rounded the corner and there it was. I dropped my bags in the luggage compartment and hurried to my seat, excitement completely taking over.
The drive from the airport to Disney wasn’t long at all. Whether it was because of how ecstatic I was or because the drive was really not that long, I don’t know. This huge smile crept across my face as the “Welcome to Disney World” sign came into view. It was an enormous arch that spread across four lanes of traffic and pictures of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy (a.k.a. the “Fab Five”) were arranged across it. The ride through Disney World was the longest part of the trip, and before I could even make it all the way to the resort, I would have to switch to a monorail.
“Of course I would get behind the slowest driver in our state when I was in a rush,”
When I exited the monorail at the Polynesian Resort, I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath, as a warm Florida breeze blew across my face. I must’ve been standing there for longer than I thought because the person behind me cleared their throat as if asking me to get out of their way. I stepped aside until they passed, and headed to the check-in desk to get my Magic Band for the rest of the trip. As I approached the counter, the young man, who looked to be in his early twenties with golden brown hair and remarkable blue eyes, grinned widely and exclaimed: “You must be Ms. Skelton!” I was a bit shocked, but then he proceeded, “I am Manny! Mr. Kealoha gave me a very sweet and very accurate description of you, with specific instructions to send your bags to your room and make sure you receive this note.” He handed me my magic band and a letter written on a postcard of Cinderella’s castle. I chuckled a little, it was just like Johnny to want to make this a surprise somehow. The note read:
My love, I hope that your flight gave you time to rest because now it’s time to start filling our “Adventure Book” and take a magic carpet ride through the happiest place on Earth. I can’t wait to see my princess come “walking right down the middle of Main Street USA” and make my dreams come true. I am so glad I can be a part of your world. You’re the Belle of the ball, and for the first time in forever, I will be right here. Your carriage awaits!
I knew I was blushing just by the look Manny was giving me. “I hope it’s okay for me to say this, but Mr. Kealoha seems to love you very much. How long have you two been together?” This caught me off guard, we had both been waiting to drop the “L-word” until we had met. “We’ve been together for six months now.” I paused, then added, “Do you want to know a secret?” He nodded and leaned in close. I looked around as if to make sure no one was watching and whispered: “We haven’t even met yet.” Manny pulled back with a look of surprise. “Seriously? You’re kidding, right?” I just shook my head. And to my surprise, instead of a disapproving look he smirked and declared “Man, I gotta get me some of that love. That is some powerful magic right there!” I giggled, waved, and strode out the doors.
Just as soon as I stepped outside, an older man with a big gray beard wearing a Disney transportation uniform waved me over and guided me onto a monorail headed to the Magic Kingdom. “Mr. Kealoha instructed me to inform you that he will be waiting for you in front of the royal palace.” I could feel the excitement bubbling up inside me as the monorail lurched forward. In no longer than five minutes, I would finally see Johnny.
"You’re the Belle of the ball"
Stepping off the monorail and into the Main Street train station, I could feel my knees start to shake. Why was I so nervous? It was just Johnny. It wasn’t as crowded as it had been the many other times I had been here, which made me happy. It would make it a heck of a lot easier to find Johnny. First I had to go through the baggage check and the Magic Band station then I would be just a few hundred steps from my Johnny. I could see Cinderella’s castle rising above the park at the end of Main Street, it was so regal and beautiful that it took my breath away every time, (this was my fifth time to visit Disney World). As I headed down the stairs and began walking down Main Street, I was almost sprinting. I couldn’t wait to see him. The buildings on the street were replicas of the old store-fronts of the 1900’s. The creativity of Walt Disney never ceased to amaze me. This time though, unlike every other time I had walked this street, I did not stop to admire the buildings. The one thing I wanted to see right now was waiting for me at the end of this street.
When the street came to an end, I began to search the crowd. I couldn’t see Johnny. The older gentleman had told me he would be waiting for me by the royal palace, here it was but there was no sign of him. I was trying to figure out where in the world he could be when I remembered his love for scavenger hunts and clues, so I pulled out the note thinking it might have a clue hidden in it. I reread the note for about the 50th time and when I got to the end and read “Your carriage awaits”. I remembered something: the carriage from the remake of Cinderella was on display at the front gates of the castle. I headed that direction, but when I reached the carriage, there was still no sign of Johnny. “He has got to be around here somewhere,” I thought. I turned my back to the carriage to scan the crowd one more time, and suddenly someone slid their arms around me and covered my eyes. I immediately knew who it was. Then he whispered, “Got ya!” I am 1000 percent sure that we looked ridiculous standing there like that, especially since I was grinning like a goofball, but I kind of loved it. It was something I had imagined him doing a thousand times. I wanted to see him though and so without thinking it through, I licked his hand hoping he would let me go. Instead, he turns me around (still covering my eyes) and kisses my forehead. “You don’t know how long I have waited to do that,” he said, his voice flooded with excitement. I had never heard his voice sound so concentrated or loving, almost like he had seen an angel. Slowly I reached up and grabbed his hands, which were still covering my eyes, and slid them off my face.
" I was grinning like a goofball"
He was so handsome, as always, but I was still stunned. His big, chocolate brown eyes were looking at me so lovingly like he was really seeing me for the first time. Oh, and his smile… I could live on his smile alone, but that day, it was so much better. When he smiles, his lip curls up ever so slightly on the left side and he has the cutest laugh lines that connect his mouth to his nose. When he smiled at me that day, it was so big that it made his eyes squint and his nose crinkle. The cutest thing though, and it’s something probably only I would notice: when he smiles he gets this sparkle in his eye, like a diamond sparkling in a chocolatey sea, and that little sparkle made me fall for him over again every time. Today, he had his raven colored hair swooped to the left in this perfect little curl. And because he was not only Hawaiian but also white Hispanic and Filipino, he had a gorgeous skin. The sun was hitting the side of his face just right so that it made his skin look silky. Not only that but it made his hair stand out in a way that was abnormal, but oh so attractive. On top of all that, he was wearing one of my favorite outfits on him: a pink and green plaid button down, with his favorite straight legged khakis, and a pair of tan Sperry’s. I couldn’t help but stare at him and smile. It was a smile, unlike any other time I had smiled. And I am sure to all of the other people around us, I looked like a complete and absolute lunatic, but I loved seeing him. It made me intensely happy. It was almost like I could feel the happiness trickling out of me.
The best part of all this was seeing Johnny’s face light up in astonishment. I knew immediately that he recognized the outfit. “Is that what I think it is?” he asked with a sly smirk. Suddenly overcome with shyness, I bit my lip and looked to the ground. He grabbed my chin and lifted my head so our eyes were perfectly in line, “I don’t even have the words to tell you how good this looks on you, babe. It's, well, amazing!” His face showed it all. That was exactly the reaction I was hoping to get, but for some reason, I couldn’t take the compliment. “No, it really doesn’t. I tried really hard to look good for you today, I’m sorry that I don’t.” The words had come out of my mouth before I even knew what I was saying. Where was this coming from? Just earlier I had been looking at myself the same way he was looking at me now.
Johnny knew just what to say to cheer me up though. “Look at me. You are gorgeous in anything you wear, and even when you’re not wearing anything. Oh, but this outfit makes you, even more, breath taking then you normally are!” I couldn’t help but smile as he once again wrapped his arms around me in a hug. He squeezed me so tight I almost couldn’t breathe, but it was hands down the best hug I had ever had simply because it came from him. I never wanted to let go.