I walk by the side of the road in my best white mu’umu’u, my hair wild. I am waiting for someone to notice me out of the corner of their eye, someone who doesn’t know the rule.
You wen remember for make teri chicken musubi, right? No like get da white lady on us this morning.
Yeah, no worries, no get pork in this car.
I have walked this lonely stretch between Kona and Hilo for as long as people have driven their cars, their horses, their carts, along this path at night. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, my former homes, slope away from me to the stars.
You stay speeding. Slow down. You going hit somebody.
I no like drive Saddle Road at night. We should have left Hilo early.
You wanted for eat Ken’s so now we gotta drive in da dark.
I am not sure I like this form but I wear it all the same.
Mom, wea da white lady go wen it no stay night time?
She go back Kilauea. Wea you think she going go?
Why she leave dea in the first place?
Tita, I don’t know. Even your great great tutuwahine wen remember da white lady.
I miss the days filled with stories of my loves, my jealousy, my rage. Now, I am just a ghost of myself, always walking the road they have made for me.
Melissa Llanes Brownlee (she/her), a native Hawaiian writer, living in Japan, has work published or forthcoming in Booth, Pleiades, The Citron Review, Waxwing, Milk Candy Review, Claw & Blossom, (mac)ro(mic), Necessary Fiction, HAD, The Birdseed, NFFR, jmww, Superstition Review and Best Small Fictions 2021. Hard Skin, her short story collection, will be coming soon from Juventud Press. She tweets @lumchanmfa and talks story at www.melissallanesbrownlee.com.