Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.” Many nights while sitting alone in the dark, my mind went back to that saying. My parents did not raise me to understand love. How would a girl like me ever have hopes of finding this elusive feeling when I didn’t even know what I was looking for? Imagine being a child and running to your mother in fear of the dark only to be taken back to your room without reassurance. Studies show that the lack of love in a newborn can lead to death. If that’s so, why am I still alive?
“Wake up, Los Angeles. It’s a sunny Saturday morning, and the weatherman says it’ll be hot out there.”
The alarm forced the blond to roll over, slamming the small box into the floor, and over her eyes back up. Gypsy wasn’t ready for the day, nor was her body. A long night sent her to bed at 4 am, but making plans with a few surfing partners wasn’t something she was willing to miss. The surfing community in Hunting beach was tight-knit, and the only people she could call family. Two months into living in her newly purchased home, she had more family than she could ever imagine. This was the life she always wanted but was it? You can have a million faces around you and still be lonely. There were no phone calls home to brag about making it on her own, and even her time with her brother was limited. Gypsy always feared William finding out about what her father had done, and the shame she felt for allowing it to happen for years. Her brother was older than she, and he was gone from the house when Spencer began his five-year reign of terror on his youngest child. If he would have known, would life have been different? Gypsy lived in the fantasy world that her brother would have saved her from the obsessions of her father. Sometimes life gives you lemons, and sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, a fairytale begins.
The banging on the door forced her to her feet. Slipping on her bikini as she walked out to meet four of her best friends, the moment the door opened, they planted kisses to her head and pushed through to search for food. That was her family right there. Some of them runaways, others from affluent homes. All willing to take in some kid who had no one to call her own.
“Gypsy, hurry up. Waves are breaking,” they all said.
“Stuff your faces and let me get my board. I brought home some leftover,” she said, but unable to finish before she heard the container open.
“Steak?” calling out. “Next time, get some fries. Damn, this shit was expensive.”
Her laughter could light a thousand starless skies, or so they told her in the past. Her food was their food, and she always made sure only to eat half a meal. You feed your family before yourself.
Five minutes later, with her wetsuit on, standing in the living room, Gypsy had to stop for a moment and thank the gods above for the gift of friends.
All five ran from the house, the screen door slamming behind them, the moment their feet hit the sand they were home. A home doesn’t need walls or windows, but it does require people. These were her people!
The first time you hit the water, the waves crashing around your body, it’s what they consider a baptism—their form of church.
In a line formation, they paddled out to wait for the perfect wave. That one ride that will take you to heaven or hell, but either way, you wait for it to build. About 100 yards offshore, sitting on her board, life would forever change for Gypsy. She didn’t realize it yet.
“Yo, anyone been to the new shop down the beach?” Wes asked. He was the older of the group. He was probably in his late twenties and had the most seniority of them all.
“I hear some Island dude bought the place,” said Zen. No, that wasn’t his real name, but he was the most chill of the group. Never a harsh word, and always has a smile on his face for everyone.
Gypsy listened, taking in all the facts. She didn’t like strangers invading their group, but if this dude was from the Islands, he was family already. Surfers stick together. Little did she know in a few short hours, her life would turn upside down, and she would never be the same girl again. Standing on the shore, watching them was the man who would teach her about life, love, and family. She didn’t know it yet.
An hour later, taking the last wave alone, she came face to face with her future. “Aloha,” he called out, watching Gypsy as she carried her board from the surf, pushing it down in the wet sand to stand.
She stood there looking at the man, her stomach twisting in knots, and realized one thing. She loved this man and didn’t even know him yet.
“I’m Kaine. You must be the Gypsy they all spoke about the Kaikaina?” he said.
Her hands pushing back strands of blond hair from her face, smiling, “Yeah, that would be me. Your newest pain in the ass. Welcome to my world.” Little did she know her future would be forever rewritten the moment he said hello. God gives the best people to those that need them the most. This love story of Kaine and Gypsy would be the greatest one ever told.