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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, November 30, 2001


Your wahine

>> Ala Moana Beach Park

A ray of sunshine filtered through the leaves and glinted off Dr. Laurie Tang's watch -- the chronograph she wore when she swam. She knew she was making good time during her swim earlier, but when the WWII-vintage Japanese mini-sub surfaced under her, lifting her out of the water, then beached itself at the Diamond head end of the park, in all the excitement she forgot to hit the stop button.

"Omigosh!" she said tapping her watch, jumping up from the park bench she shared with HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes. "I'm due at work right now. Can I borrow your phone."

"Sure." Gomes handed her his cell as he rose.

While Laurie called the Queen's ER, Gomes turned to Jimmy Ahuna, the old gentleman who had appeared out of nowhere moments ago and given the only explanation that made any sense in explaining the big, brown, naked woman Gomes and Laurie had seen inside the sub when he twisted open the hatch. And then the woman disappeared, and nobody else saw her except Gomes and Laurie. And Jimmy, he said. But the idea of being touched by a goddess made the ultra-logical Gomes uncomfortable.

"Like I said, bruddah, I no can help that. And you cannot help that she blessed you and your wahine."

The words stunned Gomes. She wasn't his wahine. She was the girlfriend of Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, the senator's personal candidate for first lady in 2002. But Gomes wanted her, he knew that.

Laurie overheard the words and they caught her off-guard. "Your wahine." It made her blush. And wish.

"You're lucky," Jimmy continued. "Me, I waited my whole life to see Ho'ola. My tutu told me when I was still small-time keiki I'd see her, but years go by, you say, ah, wasn't nothing, just old people talking, legends and myth only. But today, I saw her! She spoke to me, said my name. She blessed me too!"

Gomes lived in the real world, and liked it. This goddess business was a little hard to take. And yet he knew what they'd seen.

"I'm sorry to interrupt," Laurie said, handed the phone back to Gomes, "but I do need to get to work."

"But we're not through with my questions." The tough detective again.

Later, Laurie wouldn't know what came over her, wouldn't have any logical explanation at all, because she'd never done anything so bold before. It wasn't her style. But there she was, blurting "We could talk over dinner tonight. I'm cooking."

It was not, Gomes noted, a question.




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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