The Dark Horse is Forever

For those of you who read my post called “Meeting Golden,” I promised to write about the time I crashed my friend’s week-long vacation in Hawaii.

Here it is!


We decided that she’d get a ten minute head start to smoke a cigarette. I didn’t mind, relishing in the extra time to snooze on the pull out couch.

We met during undergrad. We’d study Chaucer and Shakespeare together, always with Dr. Caldwell. In our final semester, Britany suggested we take creative writing. I agreed but insisted, “We’re gonna take intermediate, okay?” That was until intermediate wasn’t an option. That’s when we parted ways. Britany took the advanced class, and I joined in with the beginners.

Britany called right before graduation. One of her regulars had gifted her with a trip to Hawaii. The room was paid for; all she had to do was book a flight.

I half jokingly invited myself, and before I knew it, I was asking my husband if I could fly to Hawaii with a friend I didn’t know too well.

Don’t get me wrong, Britany and I talked regularly, but most of our conversations revolved around homework, how we had procrastinated again, and the kids we had tutored during the week. Our friendship only existed within the walls of our university. Things could get awkward in Oahu. A week is a long time to spend with just one person.

On our trip, Britany and I developed a system. She’d smoke and after approximately ten minutes, I’d take the elevator down and slide out the back door to meet Britany in the designated smoking area. Every time, I’d find Britany with a new friend. They would be swapping life stories like kids with trading cards. A lady gave us fresh banana bread, another advised us where to snorkel and which bus to catch.

But the most memorable encounter was when I observed Britany sitting on a bench with a Japanese couple. Britany and I were supposed to be on our way to sing karaoke. I had hoped once she saw me, she’d rise so we could leave. Instead, Britany invited me to sit down. The couple spoke little English, and for the past ten minutes, they had communicated using google translate. Together we lingered, bonding over cats and sharing bits of ourselves. After awhile, the four of us drifted to the karaoke bar.

There we sang in our own languages. Although, they did join in with Aerosmith’s “I don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” We clapped and cheered for one another, and between anthems we’d chat, speaking into the tablet’s microphone. It worked well, although there was one particular instance Britany and I looked down on the screen to read,

“The dark horse is forever”

We’d lose it, compose ourselves, and tell them to try again.
I wonder what secret messages we spoke into them.