“Something stolen?” Kalani puzzled. “The mo’o don’t often have many, if any, possessions…”
That response was unacceptable! The cashier wouldn’t have made something like that up! Okay, so I didn’t know her well enough to vouch for the honesty in her character, I didn’t even know her name, but I doubted that she would have invented a wild story for us! What would the point have been? To fool us and dissuade me from coming back for those purses I wanted to hold? She sounded pretty certain that this mo’o had something go missing!
Kalani’s face contorted as though she had a sudden flashback of knowledge on the subject, and she supposedly recalled, “Oh, she could have been referring to the makana makamae…”
“Yeah, that’s what she called it! What is that thing?” I pressed her.
“Kalani, can you come here for a minute?” Kaleo’s expression looked fairly angry and possibly even slightly frightened too!
After setting the bag of plant food down, Kalani acquiesced, “Of course, ipo!”
Prior to her scuttling off and avoiding this discussion, I grabbed her arm and told her, “Oh, no! I’m not gonna have two people leave me in suspense like that! Tell me what it is or… well… Oh! I’ll have the Bamboocha Bungalow sell those purses to someone else!”
Kalani discerned the determination I held on this topic from my brazen eyes, so she begrudgingly relented, “Alright, alright! A makana makamae is a sacred gift usually given to the recipient by the gods. Don’t ask me what the mo’o’s makana makamae was- it could be anything! Really, no one is even certain about the mo’o’s appearance, so how would anyone know what its gift is?”
I definitely had more questions, but both Kalani and Kaleo seemed impatient to chat about… whatever, so I loosened my grip on her. The pair of them went a considerable distance for a private discourse, which prompted me to spread the plant food around more quickly. I had a hunch that I touched a nerve with them, and I was dying to hear their reaction to this interaction! If this tidbit had been the motive for them trying to hide from me, then I reasoned that they must have harbored the identity of the person responsible for the disappearing lake! If I could just learn their name, I could confront them and find out where they hid this object! It would restore the vibrancy of this region to have their water source return, and it may have foiled whatever sinister plot Wade had up his sleeves! The Hekekias would directly benefit from the renaissance following the completion of this enigma, so why would they keep any knowledge of this event a secret? What consequence could have been worse than the financial ruin from their failed farm? My curiosity was rapt, and that sentiment only heightened the closer I got to them! Right when I started to get within inches of them though…
A loud bell rang from the front of their house! Everyone glanced around in confusion- even the Hekekias! Once we collected ourselves, Kaleo announced, “We have a visitor! Huh, it’s been so long that I forgot what that noise sounded like! We’ll be right back!”
“Is that my romeo?” Minna popped out of our cottage and glanced towards the anterior of the property with a fervid anticipation.
“Which romeo are you talking about” Laraleigh thought about it and then changed her tune, “Wait, what am I saying? It probably ain’t any of them! Go back and make sure my kids aren’t up to no good! We’ll call you if there’s a man for you.” Once Minna ducked back inside, Laraleigh gestured that she had no intention of doing that.
Aidan strolled over to me and quietly queried, “What did they say?”
I reported to him, “The mo’o had a sacred gift stolen from him. Or her or whatever!”
“That explains all of the strange assortments of stuff in the cave,” Aidan surmised. “Someone was tempting the moe to come back!”
“But it doesn’t explain why the Hekekias are sabotaging themselves by not coming forward about the incident!” I noted. “Or why that silhouetted man would bring those tokens in such a covert manner! What could possibly be so negative about restoring Lake Ana Wai?”
Before Aidan could reply, we heard the Hekekias returning, so we instantly turned our attention to the gardening and strove to portray ourselves as working all along. When they reached our vicinity, we gazed up, and Aidan petitioned them, “Who was it?”
Kaleo casually filled us in, “Eh, just some religious people. They’re leaving now. Did you wanna talk to them, or…?”
“Nah, I’m good!” Aidan politely declined.
“You guys get solicitors all the way out here?” Mom catechized them. That was such a pertinent facet to consider that I wished that I had brought it up! What were door-to-door travelers doing in such a remote location? And was it a mere coincidence that they just happened to arrive at such a crucial juncture in our investigation?
Kalani shrugged. “Some people are so desperate that they would…” She trailed off as she espied the haphazard fashion I had strewn the plant food, and then she neglected her previous sentence. “Were we having a bit of difficulty with this task?”
I fibbed, “I thought I did a fantastic job!”
Kalani stared at me in perplexion, and then she suggested, “How about I give you a few tips on how to improve your fantastic work?”
“That sounds great!” I chimed. It lightened my mood to know that I would get another opportunity to dig a little deeper into her chasm of lore on the background of this case, and my alleviated sentiments caused this nauseous sensation that I didn’t even realize that I had to dissipate slightly! I had no clue how utterly stressed I was until I got that tiny iota of welcomed news!
“Actually, I don’t think she’s well enough to continue working,” Kaleo apprised.
The possibility of losing this shot at progress gave me a sinking reaction in my stomach! Or maybe it was the nausea resurfacing… I attempted to suppress the urge and convey an apt fitness to do the menial activity needed to be done in order to get close to my source of history on this conundrum by standing up straight, nonchalantly leaning against a tree, and commenting, “I feel totally fine! I can do this!” The impulse to vomit only grew stronger, so I took a deep breath and insisted, “Yup, completely fine!” It got to a crux where I couldn’t deny the inevitable, so I confidently assured them, “At least I will be in a minute! Excuse me!” I dashed between the plants and rushed to the homestead!
From the corner of my eye, I could see how startled Minna and the kids became at my sudden appearance, but I didn’t have a second to spare on accounting for my behavior! As I hastily ascended the staircase, Minna wondered, “A man did come for me, didn’t he? Who is it?”
I ignored her as I made a beeline for the bathroom, and I pulled Mason out in the middle of him brushing his teeth prior to me slamming the door shut! As I began retching, I was amazed that I managed to hold off this action until I parked in this spot! The abode’s entrance opened up, and I heard Aidan asking Mason, “Is she alright?”
Mason gave the latrine a nervous gander, and then he notified Aidan, “Well, she’s still alive…”
Aidan ran to the second story, and when he observed Mason there, he probed, “Why are you doing this again? Didn’t you already do that before you logged on to your school computer?”
“I did, but during our break, Jackson quadruple dared me to eat a clove of garlic! I can’t turn down a quadruple dare!” Mason asserted.
“Yes, you can! You can always say no to doing something stupid!” Aidan chided him. “Get back to your class! It’s not like anyone can smell your breath from here!”
Aidan walked into the restroom as I flushed the contents of the toilet down, and he asked me, “How are you feeling?”
I sardonically answered, “I’m beginning to sympathize with the scoundrel who took the mo’o’s gift and destroyed the farm! Only I’m pissed at him or her for not finishing the job and left Lani Noni still standing! If they had just burned the place to smithereens, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”
“Remind me not to leave you alone with anything flammable!” Aidan joked. Kind of.
“I don’t get it!” I exclaimed as I slid into a sitting position. “Kaleo and Kalani are going through all this trouble to save this dump, but they’re not doing anything to punish the person who turned it into garbage! It’s like they’re trying to do everything to salvage it but that!”
Aidan sat down beside me and remarked, “You’ve had witnesses who seemingly don’t act in their own self interest before. The Hekekias are no different than them! They’re obviously scared of something that would occur if they reveal too much.”
I argued, “Their orchard is on the brink of total ruin and they’re edging near total loss of income- what other consequence could they fear?”
“I dunno, but we can find out from them after we crack this mystery wide open and release the truth to the world!” Aidan proclaimed.
“We could search the city my doctor is in before my appointment,” I proposed. “But it’s an hour away from here, what could they possibly tell us about the issue?”
Aidan mulled it over for a moment. “Hmm… Well, we know that someone took the moe’s gift, but we don’t know where they took it to! Maybe they brought it to that fishing village because of… some reason!”
I considered that concept briefly. “It’s possible, but Kai Lawai’a is right by the ocean- you’d think that a water guardian could easily go retrieve it there!”
‘I don’t know! I don’t know how the water guardian system works- I can’t even say the word correctly!” Aidan exasperatedly sighed.
“Sounds like a valid question to bring up with the townsfolk on Wednesday,” I denoted. “Unless we can get the Hekekias to fess up before then. Ugh! I was starting to feel better ‘til I thought about doing agricultural stuff again! Not that there’s anything wrong with individuals who want to go into this department, I just don’t belong here! I wanna go home! I would even take the most boring assignment at the department over all this pointless drama!”
Aidan differed, “I wouldn’t say it’s pointless! There’s a purpose behind everything that goes on in your life!” I ogled at him in disbelief, and he retracted his statement a smidgen, “I don’t have the foggiest notion of what the purpose of this tedious adventure is, but there’s gotta be one!”
I inhaled deeply, and then I esteemed, “Okay. I think I can stomach the rest of my shift now. Let’s go!”
“Actually, Kaleo said that you should take the rest of the day off to be sure you’re not worsening yourself,” Aidan let me know.
“What a load of crap! He doesn’t care about my wellbeing- he’s trying to keep us from getting close to the truth!” I objected. At least I did until something registered to me… “You can go back though!”
Aidan seemed hesitant on that proposition. “But what if I’m away from you and then you take a turn for the worse?”
I contended, “You’re not gonna be that far from me! I was able to run up here without barfing, it’s not far! Besides, the rugrats may be mischievous, but I’m positive they wouldn’t let me keel over! Not even Kinsey! She may have an unnatural affinity for death, but so far she hasn’t done anything to cause it in anyone!”
My humor made me chuckle, but then it saddened me to get put into a circumstance where I had to so helplessly depend on others to do what I wanted to get done. Aidan gave me a supportive squeeze, and then he avowed, “I’ll come back with loads of vital clues for us!”
“You had better!” I stated. Aidan smirked and then kissed the crown of my scalp.
“Um… Why are you guys hanging out near the toilet?” Willow studied us with her head cocked in addlement.
Neither of us had a quick explanation, so Aidan shot back, “Don’t you ever knock when someone’s in here?” Willow gestured that she wasn’t sure. Aidan and I got up, and then Aidan promised, “The evening will provide the right results, I swear!” As I watched him walk out the door, I inwardly questioned whether or not that was an oath that he could keep!