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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, July 15, 2001


The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> Portlock

"Left here, then it's the third house on the left," Lily Ah Sun said. Her cousin Quinn braked the big truck, turned left. "Just park in the driveway."

But Quinn didn't seem to hear. Two doors down from Lily's home was the same faded gray sedan he'd seen following Lily onto the freeway this morning after he'd pulled over his long-lost cousin for speeding.

"Quinn, you just passed it."

"I know."

Something had come over him, Lily didn't know what, except that his eyes narrowed and he seemed to sit more erect. His voice was harder. It was almost like that show her brother Laird watched as a kid, "Transformers."

Quinn reached for his cell phone.

"Quinn, what's wrong?"

"That car."

Lily suddenly understood the transformation. He had just put on his cop face.

>> 2002 Wilder

Dr. Laurie Tang never used the pool at her condo. Too small for serious swimming. But tonight she mostly needed the water to cleanse mind and spirit. She'd had two critical cases at the Queen's ER. After her swim, she would return the calls from her mother and HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes. She would tell them she had no idea where her boyfriend had been for three days. Or why a young woman had crashed his car off the Keeaumoku Overpass. Or why her final words before slipping into a coma were "Save the baby."

>> Makiki Heights

If it wasn't such a shame, Sherlock Gomes thought, it would have been comical. After Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka explained that he had no idea how Serena Kawainui had gotten the crystal meth that was in her system when she crashed his car off the Keeaumoku Overpass, Gomes said, "That's good to know, Senator. So could you explain that little glass pipe over there?"

It was like a sucker punch; the senator doubled over. The pipe gave Gomes a moral dilemma. He was who he was because of one man, Vern Matsuda, his math teacher and wrestling coach at Leilehua High. This great shaper of lives was also the senator's father.

>> Queen's Medical Center

The walk from ER waiting room to the office of social worker Lin Matsuo was the longest of Grace Ah Sun's life. Her son Lance was here. Grace wanted to scream, "How is he? Tell me now!"

She did not notice the tall blond man with tears streaming down his cheeks, staring after her and Sheets. Greg had never met Lance's parents, but recognized them from a family portrait Lance carried in his wallet. Greg had been with Lance at the hate crimes bill rally at the Capitol when a skinhead attacked them. Lance fell and hit his head on a curb. Greg would wait for Lance's parents to come out, and he would introduce himself. And apologize. Lance was at the rally because Greg had made it clear that their continued relationship depended on Lance being there. The problem was, other than his sister Lily, Lance's family did not know he was gay.

>> Kahala Mandarin Oriental

Fawn Nakamura had never considered dating an older man, but from the moment she met Chuck Ryan earlier today, she never considered not being with him. That she was 27 and he was 51 were just statistics.

"How's your tea?" he said, leaning across the table with a little tea pot to refill her cup. "Not exactly Lipton's, is it?"

"It's lovely," Fawn said. She was not accustomed to a man pouring tea for her, but the way he served her, so natural and selfless, Fawn had an inkling of the way life could be. "Would I be correct in guessing that you served in the military?"

"You would," Ryan said. The second lie. The first was his business card, which announced he was "Chuck Ryan -- International Investments and Head-hunting --Baltimore." In fact, Lt. Col. Chuck Ryan, Navy intelligence, was still active duty.

His cell phone rang. "You're sure? OK, good deal, thanks." And he clicked off. Sheila Jackson in their D.C. office confirmed the suspect was in the air from Manila. Their contact Sandy would be picking him up. Sandy also confirmed that her cousin Rey, through whom instructions had been coming, was taking orders from someone else. They had a tail on Rey. Soon things would start to happen very fast.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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