My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, November 23, 2001

A past-tense deal

>> Ala Moana Beach Park

Wearing wrap-around shades and a Dodgers cap pulled down low, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka watched from behind a row of monkeypod trees. And what he saw made him crazy. Well, crazier.

His girlfriend Dr. Laurie Tang was sharing a park bench with HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes. Laurie threw her head back, laughed lightly, her long black hair swinging through dappled sunlight from bare shoulder to bare shoulder.

This sure didn't look like any police interrogation Donovan had ever seen. And he'd been in one just last night with Gomes. Today Gomes was barechested, wearing red surfer shorts. Laurie was still wearing the electric blue swimsuit from her earlier swim, with a towel wrapped around her waist.

"Thank you," Laurie said, "I've worked on it for years."

Gomes had just complimented Laurie on her swimming stroke -- "graceful and strong" -- and it made her blush. "Actually, I swam in college."



"You're Catholic?" That was always a plus with Gomes.

"Not a very good one."

"Really, who is other than The Pope?"

Laurie laughed softly again.

Gomes suddenly turned serious. "The reason I wanted to talk to you..."

"Donovan." It couldn't be avoided.

"I've heard you referred to as the senator's girlfriend. Would that be a fair description of the relationship?"

"We met during the campaign of 2000, at a meet-the-candidate tea. We've been together since."

Gomes saw now what the senator had seen that day. Laurie Tang was beautiful, intelligent, a successful doctor, charming and had a great smile. "You'd have made a great first lady."

His honesty, and insight, startled her. He may have been a hunk physically, but the Portagee cop had a sharp brain too. "Yes, that's what Donovan said."

She paused, looked at him with questioning eyes. "You spoke in the past tense -- that I would have made a great first lady."

"Slip of the tongue." Freudian slip. Gomes wanted Laurie to be the senator's ex-girlfriend. And then there was the drug problem that could make the senator's career a past-tense deal. Gomes was betting Laurie didn't know about the drugs. That's what Serena was for. "Has the senator been acting differently recently?"

"How would I know? Until he called late last night, I hadn't spoken to him in three days."

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

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