‘HITCHHIKE’ By Lorenzo DeStefano

A teenage boy in Honolulu hitchhikes even though his parents have forbidden it. He gets a ride with a big Hawaiian guy who offers to take him all the way to his body-surfing destination. Instead, he is taken to a remote part of the island and sexually assaulted by the driver, a situation he barely survives to tell about these many years later, for the very first time.
“My parents forbid me to hitchhike. I promised I never would and did it anyway, all the time. I stuck out my thumb. My destination, Sandy Beach, by far the best bodysurfing break on Oahu’s eastern coast. It wasn’t long before a beat-up old Plymouth pulled over. The driver was three hundred fifty pounds easy, with a kindly Hawaiian face and a forearm as thick as my thigh.
“How far you going?”
“Sandy’s,” I said, optimistically.
“I take you all da way. Jump in, cuz.”
The car smelled old, the kind of mildewy smell upholstery gets from years of being left open in the rain. Despite the fact that we had some fear of Hawaiians, we also had a lot of admiration, almost awe, towards these native people. To be in their good graces was to feel accepted.

He (I never did get his name) made a sharp left onto Lunalilo Home Road. Within a half mile the newly-built family homes and shopping centers of Hawaii Kai gave way to the keawe forests and substandard housing that was Kalama Valley in those days. My parents would definitely not be pleased. We pulled into the driveway of a shabby Quonset hut, one of many out here,
left over from WW 2.
“Come inside. You like one beer?”
What the hell, I thought. At least this will be interesting.”

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