Lauren Richards
2 min readJun 23, 2021


May 12, 2021

Day 0

“You’re from Nashville? Are you an artist?”

“I’m a writer.” I replied. “That’s why I’m here. To figure out what I want to do with my writing.”

“That’s a pretty big expectation to put on a little rock.”

“You’re right. I’m also here to heal and relax. I think I should focus on that.”

I had just arrived on Kauai and was in my Lyft talking to my driver, Robert.

When I requested the Lyft I noticed the driver, Robert, a kind-looking older gentleman, had a KIA SUV. I smiled. It reminded me of my dad who also has a KIA and drives for Uber. I felt like it was a little sign from the island that everything would be OK.

As we pulled up to my Airbnb, Robert pulled out his card and said “I know we didn’t get a lot of time to chat and I couldn’t tell ya much about the island. Call me if you need a ride, or even if you have any questions about Kauai.”

“Thank you so much, Robert.”

He smiled. “Call me Bob.”

(Bob turned out to be a huge creeper but that’s a story for another day).

I expressed my deep gratitude (all of the car rentals on the island were sold out). I took a deep breath, opened the gate and walked up to the little Airbnb meant to be my home for the next ten days.

I typed the code in the door and bounced up the stairs that opened to the living room and kitchen. Tightly packed, yet somehow light and airy. My room was at the top of the stairs, next to a bookshelf full of Hawaii themed books.

The sign on the door said:

E Komo Mai (Welcome)



I turned the key with the little surfboard hanging from it, and walked in. I looked around. Clean and orderly, just like the pictures. And much more spacious than I expected. It was perfect.

“Wait,” I remembered. “She gave me the ocean-facing room.”

I lunged toward the window, pulled up the blinds and nearly shrieked. There it was. The ocean. Kauai. Everything I’ve been waiting for and every obstacle I had to overcome to get here flashed in front of me.

I collapsed on my bed and started crying.

The accident, the injuries, the trauma, the booze, the fear, the worry, the work, the letting other people down… it had seeped in over time and I collected it all.

I let the tears fall as I knew they would.

I came here to heal. And this was only the beginning.



Lauren Richards