I stood at the airport for exactly 30 minutes and 20 seconds in shock. I ran the previous days events over and over in my mind.
I got off the plane. I grabbed what I thought was my luggage. My carry on bag was gone with my phone and computer in it. I went to the hotel. They didn’t have my reservation. I booked at the hostel. I rode a cruiser bike around town, spent most of my cash and tried to pretend everything wasn’t total shit then crashed at the hostel. Then Julian came into the room and told me my bags had been located at the Hilo airport and I took the bus here. Leaving behind the bag that wasn’t mine.
I was trying to find out what I’d done that could have caused such destruction.
Other than grabbing a bag that wasn’t mine and leaving it at the hostel. I’d done the undeniably worst thing ever. Taking an unknown bag. But. It was mine. Or at least looked exactly like mine.
It wasn’t though. And I left it behind at the hostel. And there was a bomb in it.
Now I was standing at Hilo with my exact checked bag, brightly colored clothes, swimsuits, and deodorant in it, and also my carry on bag. Everything accounted for, nothing missing.
And yet, I’d left a bag behind that caused death and destruction.
At exactly 30 minutes and 21 seconds I came to the conclusion I needed to go to the police.
I hauled all my bags to the corner of the taxi area and summoned a Lyft to take me to the nearest police station.
It was a small inconspicuous place with a fleet of two cars and an angry front desk attendant who seemed disinterested in my concern for having unknown involvement in the bombing on the Kona side.
She directed me to one of the two open folding chairs to her left and I sat down to wait and speak with an officer.
When Lieutenant Katie walked in she looked right to me then to the angry desk girl and said,
“What the hell is she doing here?”
I stood up sharply and started to introduce myself but Katie shushed me.
“You know we’ve got the back room with coffee and water for people, why would you leave her up here?”
Angry desk attendant rolled her eyes and said,
“Dunno, I knew you were gonna be here soon.”
Katie or Lieutenant, it’s probably more appropriate I call her that (But I’ll stick with Katie), ushered me back to her small cubicle and pulled up another folding chair for me.
“You want some coffee?”
I shook my head. I really wanted to be done with all of this and also make all of it disappear. Coffee wasn’t going to help that.
“Ok, tell me why you’re here.”
I launched into my entire saga from the Kona airport leading up to opening my phone and finding out the bag I took from the airport led to the most recent breaking news on Big island.
Katie was silent for entirely too long. She sat across from me and took a deep breath in. Then exhaled with at least a few more in and out breaths before she spoke.
“Shit, you’re in something here.”
I was waiting for her to arrest me, take me into custody, or at least hold me in the station until she had more info, but she didn’t.
“So what’s next. Do you have plans on this side of the island?”
“Uhmmm, yes. I’m doing a 3 day retreat here. Then I have 2 days to myself before I go back to the Kona side.”
She paused for a moment.
“Ok, as long as you aren’t going anywhere. I need to connect with the police on that side and I’m sure they’ll want to talk with you and hear your story too. I need your contact info and I’ll be in touch when I know more.”
“Yeah, there isn’t much else to say right now. I mean, we WILL need to talk with you but as long as you aren’t leaving the island today I’ll be in touch when we have more.”
She half stood up from her chair and I followed her lead, knowing she was going to walk me out of the station.
As I pushed the door open to leave she followed with,
“Keep your eyes open. Whatever is happening doesn’t seem like a coincidence.”
Now, eerily I felt the same and couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching me.
He was watching. Standing behind the large Kukui tree across the street from the station.
But this was something he hadn’t planned I would do. I’d gone to the police and it would complicate everything moving forward.