Christmastime December 2015, Christian Choy steps out into the balmy terminal of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport off Hawaiian Air, Flight 008. It is his first time in Hawaii since 1994… when he was just a toddler.
Christian took a deep breath once he entered the terminal. He looked around and took the view of being home all in. It has been 21 years since he has been in Hawaii. He felt a sense of excitement and anticipation for what he was there for.
Christian had returned to Hawaii to play the sport he loved all his life at a division 1 collegiate level. When he was little he was a talented swimmer who spend a lot of hours training at the pools. When he first entered high school he quickly made a name for himself. He dedicated himself to training long hours in the pool and pushed to become greater that he was before.
Once his high school career ended colleges were flooding him with offers. He had offers from all over the states, but there was only one he could pick. While he was deciding his eye was locked on Hawaii, he didn't know why but he picked Hawaii to go to. Something about the islands drew him in to go there.
"21 years", Christian said to himself, "21 years since me and my mom left to start a new life in the mainland, she told me it was for the better but I begged to differ".
Christian's mom, Claudia moved to the mainland for a better life. When Christian got older Claudia thought it was only fair why they had to move to the mainland. When Christian heard why they moved he teared up. Emotion of anger and happiness filled him up. He was happy to know that his dad was able to be strong and send his own son and wife someplace to know that they would be able to have a happy life. He was grateful for him.
"Maybe that's why I chose this place", Christian said to himself. Maybe he wanted to meet the man that was able to make himself the way that he was today, but he knew that because he was separated from his dad, he was this successful today.
After Christian stopped tumbling in his thoughts he decided it was time to go o the campus, so he called a taxi to get there. Once he arrived Christian stepped out of the taxi, his eyes gazing upon the campus. He was in awe while examining the place where he was going to stay for the next years to come.
When Christian arrived at his dorm, he was greeted by his new roommate, a kind of tall and slim guy named Zack who was also on the swim team. Christian felt at ease knowing he had someone who had the same interest in him, they both were talking and getting to know each other while they unpacked their things.
The next day, Christian had his first practice with his new team. Like most people on their first day, he was nervous, but also excited to be alongside his new teammates. When Christian walked up to the pool he was greeted by his teammates who were already warming up in the water.
When the coach introduced him Christian felt like belonged with the team. The team accepted him and soon befriended Christian. Christian formed close friendships with his teammates, and they bonded over the sport they love.
Over the next few months, Christian settled into the new environment while spending countless hours in the pool and gym. The coach loved Christians's dedication and patience he knew that he made the right decision in offering him, and he sees a lot of potential in him.
After months of hard work it was finally the day. Christians first swim meet, "Don't be nervous bro, its your first meet don't worry", Zack said to Christian, "I know it's just natural to me I guess". They both walk and meet up with the rest of team.
"Alright guys we've been working for this", said Coach Dan. The team started to clap and everyone started to get hyped up. Christian stepped up to his diving board, nervously adjusting his goggles while waiting for the gun to sound.
He was feeling the pressure for his first collegiate meet. He knows that he has worked hard, but the butterflies in his stomach, it was messing with him. Christian calmed himself down and visualized his strokes. Once the pistol was shot Christian dived into the water.
The first lap he took was a little rough from the butterflies in his stomach but with every stroke, Christian felt as if the butterflies were going away. Once Christian hit the second lap excitement and adrenaline started to take over, he was pushing himself as hard as he could and as a result, he dusted the swimmers around him.
When Christian touched the wall he looked up and was amazed. He set a personal best time, Christian was in shock because he didn't have the best start, but he felt a sense of pride and relief to know that all of his hard work paid off.
After the race, Christian was getting surrounded by his teammates, cheering and congratulating him. He knew that coming to Hawaii was the best decision he could have made, and he couldn't wait to see how far he can go with his team.
Since that first meeting, Christian had never looked back. Christian was getting noticed by all of Hawaii for what he is accomplishing. A lot of famous swimmers even went to Hawaii just to see Christian Choy and left knowing that they are seeing a future star in the making.
Christian's mom came to one of his events to see how far her son had come. After his meet he went to check up on her, he had seen her talking to a long Haired Japanese middle-aged man. Once they were done talking Christian walked up to her and asked who that was.
"That was just a friend that I was catching up with", she said. Christian shrugged it off because he wanted to catch up with her too. Christian and his mom enjoyed their time together, and Claudia was staying in Hawaii to catch a couple more of his meets.
After every one of Christian's meets he would always see his mom talking to that same man, and every time he would ask her about it she always gave her the same answer. Christian started to get suspicious and after one of his meets, instead of going straight to his mom he tried to hide behind people to hear what they were saying.
"But he's your son" Claudia said, "I know but if I meet him I don't know how he would react. I don't wanna have a bad affect on him, considering he's doing so good right now". Christian appeared from behind a group of swimmers and said hi to his mom and the man she was talking to.
They looked startled when they saw him and the man nervously left them. Christian asked who that was again and she gave him the same answer, "I heard what you guys were saying. Is that my dad?". He said in a firm serious tone, Claudia knew she couldn't lie her way out of this conversation and told him the truth.
After Claudia finally told Christian the truth he had a sigh of relief. Once he landed in Hawaii he wanted to meet his dad, he didn't care that he was watching him from the side he was always going to try his best.
Christian asked his mom if he can see him after his next meet, she nodded in agreement. Once the next meet started Christian came in first again, but instead of celebrating with his teammates he rushed over to his mom to see if she was talking with his dad. Then he saw them.
This time the man didn't walk away instead he greeted him. "I'm Ken your father", he said to Christian. "I know", he replied back. Christian gave him a hug and they talked for the rest of they day.
Claudia felt as if the void that Ken was being enveloped finally stopped, she was seeing him as the happiest father ever. Their family was finally complete again, no more running or hiding.