The island in front of him was beautiful.  Oahu, the island that had Honolulu, and Sunset Beach.  Some awesome surf competition at pipeline as well.  Shawn stared at it for a moment and let a tear roll down his cheek.  He stepped back from the refrigerator and the magnet with his favourite Hawaiian getaway on it.  So many wonderful trips had been taken there.  His family loved the consistent weather patterns.  The always warm but not unbearably hot temperatures and the regular, short, rains.  The rain would hit so softly against you, not like the hard rains of home.  He loved the feeling of that soft rain and he had spent many hours out in it with his daughter enjoying every minute.

Shawn looked around his house and thought of all the memories shared with his family, with his wife, Casandra, and their outgoing daughter.  Casandra had talked him into staying in this house when they had their daughter.  She had convinced him, instead of moving they should stay and renovate a bit.  It would be fun to truly build the family home with their own hands.  So Shawn agreed, he would paint and repair and they would stay in this, their family home.  They would raise their daughter in it and they would grow old in it, at least that was Casandra’s pitch.

Two years after making the decision Shawn got a promotion at work and they decided to take a loan to redo the kitchen.   Shawn and Casandra stayed up late at night planning every inch of the new kitchen and deciding on what materials to use.  Shawn had turned a backyard garage into a near full-scale woodshop and would build everything for the kitchens from gable ends to boxes.  He had a local company do the doors but he would install the hardware himself.  They ran the budget over and over, and they debated so many options for the kitchen.  They agreed on so many things.  The interior drawers and boxes in birch and the solid Walnut for the cabinet fronts and doors.  They agreed on the small red wine rack inside of it and the tile backsplash.  They picked a light coloured granite and paid above budget because they both loved it so much. The picked a beautiful refrigerator and decided on the double oven built-in unit that they would almost never use to its full potential.

But the middle of the kitchen was at issue.  Shawn had dreamt of this beautiful island with a built-in beverage fridge and an overhead pot rack.  He wanted it to match the Walnut of the rest of the kitchen.  However his wife wanted a feature island that was much smaller.  Housing a sink, a food prep area counter and a dishwasher.  But cutting about two feet off of Shawn’s design.  She also had this ridiculous idea that doing the island in a different colour would make it awesome.  She would grind Shawn on it every day and they came to an impasse on it.  The rest of the Kitchen developed around it but they couldn’t order countertop granite until they decided on the island.  Finally Shawn relented and built it to spec of his wife, feeling like a contractor now, instead of a husband.  It took them over a year to complete and during that time they had lived around all the construction and kept a functional kitchen, but just barely functional.

They finished the project and celebrated with their third family trip to Hawaii.  His Daughter was now 4 years old and he was excited to move on from the construction and get back home to a normal life.  However when they got back Casandra did something he hadn’t expected.  She informed Shawn she was leaving and would be divorcing him as soon as it was legal to do so.  She had met another man and was happier with him.  She agreed they would share custody, alternating weeks, and Shawn was pleased with that.  The divorce dragged for a long time.  They fought over every detail, except their daughter who they had decided wasn’t to be used as a negotiating chip;  really the only civil part of it.  They tore each other apart, or more precisely their lawyers did.

But that was finally over, and Shawn now knew he would keep the house but had agreed to a paid settlement to his wife.  She moved in with her rich new boyfriend and took most everything that wasn’t nailed to the house, in order to pay out the settlement.  He was ok with that, they were reminders of the life he thought he would have then. He truly loved his home now.  The one he wanted to sell just a short number of years back, was now the one thing he wanted to hold on to most of all.  Well almost all of it.  He turned away from the refrigerator magnet and laughed to himself.  Their was that hideous island.  And with that thought he grabbed the sledge-hammer he brought in to the house and took care of the one thing he didn’t love about the house, the one thing that was all Casandra!