Sonny Ray finished putting the last few bags in the trunk of his car. He knew it would be a minute before the girls would be ready to get on the road. After putting on his headphones he put on some Hawaiian music, and stretched out on the couch. It had been awhile since he had made his once in a decade pilgrimage to the big island.
Life always seemed to get in the way.
Nikko tapped her husband on the shoulder. Sonny Ray opened his eyes. He pulled out one earphone.
“What is it baby?” She stood quietly. Sonny Ray sat up and slid to one side. He patted a couch cushion. Nikko sat down with a distressed look on her face. “I wanted to tell you this before, but with your dad dying, I, uh,” Nikko hesitated. “What’s going on?” Sonny Ray took off his other headphone and sat up a little straighter. Her look became his. “Someone called our house the morning after you left Las Vegas.”
“Did you find out who this someone was?” Sonny Ray asked. “I did smarty pants. So anyway,
a man called and said he was a relative, and that it was important that he speak to you.”
“Okay, okay. Hold up a minute.”
Sonny Ray began a process of elimination. Soon his face began to resemble a dog with his head sticking out the window trying to read a rolodex going down the highway at eighty miles an hour. “Okay. He is a man. How old did he sound to you?”
“I would say your dad’s age, no, I take that back. He actually sounded a little bit older, but I’m not really sure,” Nikko said. “He said he was a relative. Was he black, white, puerto rican, or what?”
“Can I finish please Sonny Ray?”
Sonny Ray lowered his head.
“I’m sorry go ahead my love.”
“He said he was your uncle.
He said his name was Cyrus Willetto; and he said he would be going to visit a family friend in Antelope Springs.
He left a number on our message machine, and yes I wrote down the number,” Nikko said as she handed the yellow sticky note to her husband. “Antelope Springs, as in Antelope Springs, Arizona?”
Sonny Ray’s mind began to churn.
Nikko nodded in the affirmative.
“Did you happen to see what area code and number he was calling from?” “You know what, the first time he called it came across as a private number. I only answered because I thought it was you. But the second call had an 808 area code.”
“That’s crazy. As far as I know my dad’s family is all from the east coast. So he called from Hawaii.” Sonny Ray was officially stressing. “Well maybe he is on vacation, and wanted to reconnect,
I don’t know,” Nikko said equally unsure.
“Babe how do you feel about a detour before we head back to Vegas?”
Nikko smiled. She picked up her phone off the nightstand. “What you doing?” Sonny Ray asked. “Calling my boss. I figure three to five more days ought to do. That okay with you big poppy?” Her husband nodded. “I just buried my father. Why the hell not. Let’s go then.” After Sonny Ray checked out, he and his family got on the ten west, bound for Antelope Springs. Sonny Ray had no idea how much his life was about to change.