Going back to his stateroom he decided to get dressed in civvies for tonight’s dinner date so he went through his things to pick out just the right outfit, satisfied he went over to his bureau and opened the top draw and pulled out a small box and opened it and as he did he looked at to what the box contained. It was not an engagement ring at least not yet but that time will come soon enough instead the box contained an 18k gold pendant locket complete with necklace. It was identical to the one that Jack had picked out for Sarah and inside of the locket were photos of the both of them taken the day they went to that scenic overlook. Jack did the same with his locket. Admiral Rearson really hoped that Karen would like it as it cost a bit of his paycheck but to him it didn’t really matter how much it cost just so long as Karen liked it.
Placing the box with the locket on top of the Bureau Admiral Rearson stripped and decided to take a hot shower before he dressed. But before he went into the shower he phoned his Chief of Staff that he was going to leave the ship in about an hour in order to go into town, to be safe he told him where he will be if he was needed and would contact him if there was a change in plans, and to take any messages of importance. His Chief of Staff was not too happy to hear this but what was he to do as he was just a captain.
There was one custom that Admiral Rearson always did after taking a hot shower and that was to place a chair in the shower stall, turn the water to the hottest temperature he could stand and allowing it to steam before sitting down on the chair. To him this was his way of shutting out the world allowing him to think without anyone disturbing him. It was not uncommon for him to stay in the shower this way for hours on end and he often did so whenever he had the opportunity.
This afternoon he decided it would be one of those times so he showered quickly before grabbing one his wooden chairs and placing it in the shower. Once in he turned the hot water dial a little at a time until he got the desired temperature then turned the dial just a bit more. Soon the stall was filled with steam and the Admiral was sitting on his wooden chair with his eyes closed allowing his mind to open up so he can think clearly and focus his thoughts. Right now his mind focused on just 2 things, first and foremost was Karen which surprised him as he normally is mission oriented and this only showed the admiral just how important Karen was to him. One day he would share this shower secret with Karen and would invite her to join him so she could experience the feeling for herself.
Naturally the second thing that he focused on was the upcoming op and all of the possible tangibles that may come up and will he succeed in it. As he sat there he tried to consider all of the variables but there were just too many to consider. For the first time in his career doubt began to settle into his mind and he knew the reason almost immediately it was because of Karen. She was not at fault in this equation she was totally innocent in all of this but with her coming into his life so suddenly and unexpectedly that it seemed that his judgment was being impaired. Was this how it felt to be in love, never ever having been truly in love it was a totally new experience for him but it was something that he welcomed into his life.
While Admiral was absorbed in thoughts over on the Minneapolis his brother Jack was concentrating on the upcoming change of command ceremony which was tomorrow. Unofficially he was no longer captain as the day to day operations have already been turned over to the new captain of the ship, a Captain Adams former captain of the destroyer Belmont. For Captain Adams it was more of a promotion than a change of command as he is now in charge of a much larger and more powerful ship and it would take time for him to learn what the ship was capable of. One of the first things he would learn is that he was no longer in command of an ocean going greyhound.
Jack Rearson in the meantime in his cabin multitasking. He already had his orders in hand and was in the process of packing his gear while at the same time trying to compose some sort of speech when he addresses the crew at the change of command ceremony. But what was most on his mind was what his leaving was doing to Sarah, he knew that it would be hard on her especially since their relationship was just starting but he also knew that his absence from her would not be long as he was informed once the Hawaii was commissioned into the fleet it would stationed out of Pearl. And just as his brother had looked at the locket that he was going to give to Karen he was looking at the same identical locket he was going to present to Sarah. Both he and his brother thought of this the last time that they were ashore and not finding what they had wanted at the base exchange they went into one of the most well known jewelry stores in Honolulu.
They looked at dozens of jewelry pieces from rings, to bracelets and ear rings and they quickly dismissed each but not entirely as one they told each other that they each would return to the store to purchase and engagement rings for the girls. The sales woman noticing their dilemma and after asking a few questions show them what she considered to be appropriate gifts for each of the girls. She went into the back room and brought out a tray of assorted pendants and necklaces describing each one in turn but the brothers didn’t seem to be interested in any of them and was about to leave the store when the sales woman stopped them before they left the store.
This is how the conversation as he could remember went.
“Let’s go Bob I can’t see anything that stands out that I think that the girls would really like”
“I agree Jack perhaps we should try another store. Sorry Miss nothing personal but you don’t seem to have what we’re looking for”
“Excuse me gentlemen but I just remembered a shipment that we had received a few days ago that I haven’t had time to go through yet would the both of you mind waiting just a bit while I do and perhaps I’ll find what you’re both looking for”
“Alright Miss but no more than 15 minutes, there are other stores that we can go to”
“Please just wait I think that I might have want you both want”
“As we said just 15 minutes”
Going into the back room she opened the stores safe and took out several boxes and out of them she put all but 2 back. She remembered the story that the men had told about how they met and fell in love with twin sisters and what made their story rather unique was the fact that they were brothers. Looking down into the boxes she said these would be perfect as they were 2 of a kind. She was gone all of 10 minutes by the time she returned.
Placing the boxes on top of the counter she called them over.
“Gentlemen will you please come over to the counter I have in front of me what I think is the most appropriate gifts that you can give to those young ladies”
“Are they some sort of locket” asked Jack
“Yes they are, they’re made out of 18k gold as well as the chain. And as with all lockets you can open them up to place a couple of photo’s on each. Both are identical and I only have 2 of them. Since your young ladies are twins what better way to show how you feel about them than by giving each of them one of these”
“What do you think Bob?”
After looking closely at one and opening it he was quick to say “Jack they’re perfect, we can put some of the photos that we took at the scenic overlook in them. In one we’ll put photos of you and Sarah and the other photos of me and Karen but I would like one thing to add to them, I would like to have something engraved on the back of them don’t you agree Jack”
“I think that’s a great idea but It has to be simple but unique to each one”
“You’re right of course it would be one thing to give them identical lockets it would be another to have the same saying”
“Jack I have an idea, do you remember how dad used to end his letters when he wrote to mom?”
“Vaguely it’s been a long time since I saw one”
“Well I remember. He used to write All of My Love, All of My life and I think this would be appropriate for these lockets for the girls. On the one for Karen I can have inscribed “All of My Love Robert” and the one for Sarah we can inscribed “All of My Life Jack” what do you think?”
“I like it Bob and I think when we explain the sentimental quote to each of them well I’m at a loss of words as to what they say or even how they may react but one thing I’m certain of and that is both of them will love their lockets”
“Couldn’t agree more Jack” “Miss we’ll take them but we were wondering if we can get an engraving put on the back of each of them, is this a service that your store provides?
“Yes we do but it will take at least a day for the engraver to engrave what you both want”
“Alright then on one of them please engrave “All Of My Love Robert” and the other “All Of My Life Jack”
“If you don’t mind me saying this to the both of you I think that your young ladies would love those quotes”
“Thanks now how much do we owe you?”
“Well for both lockets including the engraving that will be $200”
“A bit steep don’t you think Miss”
“Jack do you really care how much they cost?, your giving the woman that you love a token of that love one that she more than cherish the rest of her life and I wouldn’t mind paying more if I had to”
“You’re right of course Bob I don’t know what I was thinking. Miss when can we pick them up?”
“Tomorrow at around 1PM is that alright with the both of you?”
“Shouldn’t be a problem, either of us will pick them up”
After handing the saleswoman the $200 they got the Admiral Rearson took the receipt and placed it in his wallet and as they both left the store they smiled at each other knowing what was on each other’s mind.
April 21rd, 1942
Lulani Restaurant, Honolulu
Lulani Restaurant, Honolulu
It was about 5:30 in the evening when Robert Rearson arrived at the restaurant but he wanted to get there early so as to make sure he got a nice quiet table for the both of them. Normally a reservation was required but he talked the hostess into letting him in. When he told her what he had planned that evening she knew just the place, it was a nice quiet booth in the back corner pretty much away from everything. It was perfect he thought as he looked at it and its location soon he was seated and ordered a Tequila Sunrise his favorite drink and while waiting for it to arrive he took out the box containing the locket from his jacket pocket, opened it and placed it on the table in front staring at totally oblivious to what was happening around him
“That’s beautiful” said the waitress as she walked up to his table and placed his drink in front of him “Is that for the young lady that you’re waiting for?”
“Thank you and yes it is”
“Is she your daughter?”
“I’m afraid not”
“Have none but she is perhaps at the moment the most important woman in my life”
“Yes and if everything goes well and this damn war doesn’t get me killed perhaps my future wife”
“Well I don’t know you but from what I can see she going be one very lucky lady and I wish you the both of luck”
“You’re very welcome and by the way my name is Brooke”
“Nice meeting you Brooke and thank you once again”
“Don’t mention it and I hope that one day I’ll meet someone nice and as charming as you………….?”
“Robert, my name is Robert and the young lady who I’m waiting for her name is Karen and I’m sure that you will meet your special someone after all you are obviously very attractive and would be the perfect catch for any man, perhaps even one of the servicemen already here who knows”
With a bright warm smile on her face all the waitress could say was “Thank you Robert for being so kind and nice and when you and your date place your order I’ll bring it out right away”
“You’re welcome Brooke and if I may ask just how old are you?”
“Oh just curious” actually he knew of a young Lieutenant on his staff that thought would be a perfect match for her. He’ll have to arrange things when the task force returned.
Just then Karen walked into the restaurant and was brought to their table. But he noticed her in time and put away the jewelry box away in time and as she passed the waitress Brooke she received a smile from her. As she arrived at their table Robert Rearson stood up and greeted her with a warm and gentle embrace and tender kiss.
“Hi darling how are you? I’m glad that you could make our dinner date”
“I’m alright sweetheart and being here with you right now is a surprise to me considering that there is liberty allowed right now”
“Really why would say that?”
“Can’t tell you why there is no but I suspect that somehow you already know but I can tell you one thing and that I was allowed to come here”
“Allowed, I don’t understand?”
“You will in a minute”
Just then before he could finish Brooke walked up and handed each of them their menus and asked if they wanted to order something to drink.
“Hi Robert is this your date Karen?”
“Yes Brooke, Karen this is Brooke our waitress. While I was waiting for you we had somewhat of a chat”
“Not to worry Karen it was totally innocent Robert was passing time until you arrived”
“I’m not worried Brooke”
“Thanks, can I bring the 2 of your some drinks”
“I’ll have another Tequila Sunrise Brooke”
“And you Karen?”
“Make mine a Manhattan”
“It will be just a minute for those drinks in the meantime look the menus over and when you’re ready to order let me know”
“Alright Karen” Brooke replied
“So what’s up with this waitress darling I’ll get to that in a minute but first I need to tell you something. It seems that our relationship is no longer a secret at least according to Admiral Halsey”
“Really, but how?”
“Don’t rightly know as he never divulged that to me but he did let something slip, said it was possibly because of my rank”
“Your rank, what has that got to do with it?”
“Don’t really know but at this point it doesn’t really matter does it? In a way I’m kind of relieved”
“Guess your right Bobby, after all our relationship would have come out sooner or later but do you know if Sarah’s relationship with Jack is also no longer a secret”
“More than likely”
“Here you are Karen your Manhattan, and Robert your Tequila Sunrise. Now are you both ready to order?”
“Yes Brooke, we’ll start out with 2 garden salads. On mine I’ll have Italian dressing”
“And you Karen?”
“I’ll have Ranch thank you”
“We’ll both have the Mahi-Mahi with the steamed vegetables and fried rice”
“We’ll let you know Brooke ok”
“Alright Karen, we’ll be right back with your orders once they’re done”
No sooner then she left Karen was quick to say “Now what about Brooke Robert?”
“Like I said it’s totally innocent so I hope that you’re not jealous?”
“I’m not but is there a reason that I should be?”
“No there isn’t but I’ll explain about Brooke after dinner can it wait that long?”
“I suppose Robert”
10 minutes later Brooke arrived with their meals and while the Admiral ate pretty much the whole thing Karen just picked at hers clearly she was upset and this didn’t go unnoticed.
“Alright Karen I know that look so I surrender” reaching into his pocket he pulled out the small jewelry box and first showing then giving to Karen “please open it and I’ll explain alright”
As she took it from the admirals hands and before she opened it she looked at the Admirals face especially his eyes he looked very sincere to her so she opened and no sooner than she did her own facial expression turned into one wonder and delight”
“Darling this is beautiful but………….”
“Go on take it out and open it sweetheart”
“Alright” and she did
“Don’t you remember where and when those photos were taken?”
“Yes they were taken on our first picnic at that overlook”
“That’s right, now turn it over”
And she did and read what was inscribed
“All of My Love Robert”
“That’s right sweetheart and I mean every word of it but that’s only half of it. Let me explain whenever my father wrote my mother when he was overseas he ended the letter in a unique and special way that my mother would always remember and keep to heart when thinking of my dad. The full quote went like this “All of My Love, All of My Life so what you have on the back of your locket is like I said only the 1st half. The 2nd half “All of My Life” is engraved on the back of an identical locket that Jack will give to Sarah tomorrow. They are identical in every way just like you and Sarah are and if you bring the 2 lockets together you will see the same quote that my father ended his letters with. Now as far as Brooke is concern she saw it and said it was very beautiful and that the woman that I was going to give it to was a very lucky woman because it would show just how much I loved her and by giving you this locket only cements that feeling”
Karen was speechless and began crying she could never forgive herself for thinking and feeling the way that she did. Sitting right near her was the man who loved her deeply, enough to give her a very beautiful and sentimental gift, a man that she gave her virginity to and the man she so desperately wanted to spend the rest of her life with and she hurt him. So with tears still in her eyes she jumped out of her seat, jumped into his lap, put her arms around his neck and still sobbing kissed him long and hard. When she stopped she just one thing “I’m so sorry for thinking what I was thinking will you forgive me” his response was just as simple
“Karen sweetheart there is no reason for me to forgive you had I been in your position I would have felt the same exact way” then reaching for the locket he continued “this is only a trinket, what I feel in my heart for you is the real thing”
Once again she drew herself close to him until their lips kissed and it would be several minutes before they would stop.
Karen then handed the locket to the Admiral, turned around and said “Darling will you put it on me” and he did then he pulled her close to him and held her tightly.
Throughout this they seemed oblivious to what was happening around them. First the patrons just stared and started talking amongst each other and as the moment went on they began to smile, cheer and then clapped their hands. Soon the manager of the restaurant along with Brooke came over to the table and in a surprise said that meal and desert if they wanted it was on the house. Admiral Rearson graciously accepted but gave Brooke a substantial tip of $10. But before they both left she went up to Brooke and apologized for her behavior, Brooke understood and was kind enough to understand.
As they left the restaurant Karen turned and faced the Admiral and said “darling do you think that we can get a room at the Royal Hawaiian?”
“I’m sure that we could” and off they went to spend the rest of the night in each other’s arms.
In the morning the while his young girlfriend slept he went over and looked out towards the vast Pacific. As he looked out he began to reflect on his 2 previous relationships that failed. One was due to his stupidity and the other was because the woman that he loved, proposed to and but was his wife in all but name had cheated on him by having an affair with another man for well over a year. Both incidents had scarred him deeply and not forced but somehow compelled him to avoid any further relationships as he was sure that they would end up the same.
Turning from the ocean view onto the view of his beautiful Karen who’s exquisite body was fully exposed to not only him but to the element’s he feared that as the war continued this fate would be replicated in the years to come. But as he looked down on her he decided to share his previous experiences with to let her know just how much she meant to him.
Gathering his strength he slowly walked to the side of the bed and sat down beside her, taking his right hand he tossed Karen’s hair aside and began to move this hand down her body very gently and lightly which aroused Karen. She opened her eyes and looked at him and threw him down to her kissing him gently on his lips. Their was no reaction to this kissed so she pulled away and looked at him somewhat puzzled as to why he didn’t seem to enjoy her kiss.
“Darling what’s wrong? You seemed troubled and somewhat distant. Did I do anything wrong last night”
“No sweetheart it’s not you but I do have things to tell you”.
“What is it”
“ I wish to tell you of my last 2 failed relationships and the fear that it may happened again Karen”
“Alright I’m listening”
“Some years ago I was visiting another country while on leave and chanced upon a very beautiful young woman near your age. We began to talk and soon we became good friends but before I left we exchanged addresses so we could write to each other and for the following 6 months as we wrote to each other the bond between us grew stronger to the point that I proposed to her by mail. To my surprise she excepted and during the course of our relationship I began to send her gifts, things that she needed. Unknown to me one of my relatives had found out about this relationship and disapproved of it. On my next leave I went to see her again and for next week or so everything was great as we spent as much as we could together. Then a few days before my leave would expire and I had to leave we went out to dinner but unknown to me she had invited her cousin along. I didn’t want hurt by saying that she wasn’t invited I went along. Next thing you after dinner was complete she brought out some letters written to my fiancee and started to interrogate me. I became very defensive about it and stormed out of the restaurant somewhat hurt and felt betrayed by my family. Needless to say because of this interference by my family she broke up with me and I left her and her country completely heartbroken and for awhile tried to reconcile with her but without success. Every attempt to get her attention was either ignored by het or were thwarted by her family”
“How horrible Robert, how could she do such a thing to you”.
“But there’s more sweetheart. A month later I was introduced by someone from the same country but a different city to another young beautiful girl and like the first we began to write to each other in the beginning as friends. And like the previous relationships our friendship grew into one in which we were very serious with each other. About 6 months later I somehow felt myself in a similar position and once again proposed to this new girl keeping our relationship a secret this time leaving no clues whatsoever. Like with the first she proposed and everything was great for the next 6 months. Because of my naval duties it was hard for me to get away to visit with her and she began to take it out on me telling me that I didn’t visit or send for her to come to the states. Then all of a sudden her writings to me ended abruptly and lasted for a period of 9 weeks. Concerned I tried my best to get in contact with her but like the first I had no luck. Then one day I chanced upon some photo’s of her in a social magazine. In the photo’s she was not alone but was in the company of another man and they seemed to well intimate with other. It took me some while to understand the meaning of these photo’s then I noticed the dates at which some of these photo’s were taken, they went back more then a year. You don’t know the feeling that dwelt up inside me, I was enraged to the point that I feared I would do something violent. It took me several hours to calm my self down. Here like the first was my fiancee having an affair with another man by cheating on while all the time stating just how much she loved me in her letters and couldn’t wait to be with me. But what hurt me the most was while she was engaged to me and seeing this man at the same time she had the audacity to ask me to send her things that she both needed and wanted and like a fool I sent them”
“Oh my God darling to experience 2 such relationships back to back must have been terrifying how did you cope”
“It was easy Karen and for awhile I was tempted to go back to see her and tell her what I thought of the $!%!% but more then that I wanted to beat the hell out of her new boyfriend but if I did this would reflect badly both on me and the Navy. So I let it go and resolved it to experience”.
“But why bring this up to me now Darling. Are you afraid that will reoccur in our relationship?”
“The thought has crossed my mind more then once sweetheart, I was questioning my ability to keep relationships with the women that I was in love with as it seemed for a while that I was batting zero”.
“Darling you don’t have worry about us. I love you to much to even consider doing what they did to you and besides as long as we’re using baseball terms you not only hit a home run with me but also a grandslam”.
“This is nice of you to say Karen but it’s going to be a long war”.
“I don’t give a damn how the war is going to last Robert, I will never leave you for another man and Sarah will never leave Jack and you have my word on Darling. You believe me darling don’t you”.
Grabbing her into his arms he brought her close to him and held her tightly then he pulled her away from him and kissed for along time before responding “I believe you sweetheart will my heart and soul”. Then he laid her down on the bed and began to make love to her.