My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Hard to say

>> Honolulu Soap Co.

My brother's gay lover. It was a phrase that took some getting used to, sort of catching in the throat the first few times Lily Ah Sun tried to say it. My brother's gay lover.

And here he was on the phone, asking her to visit the last place on Earth she wanted to be.

"Oh, boy, Greg, I'm running late. Sorry I didn't call back."

In fact, she'd been avoiding it because Greg wanted to visit Lance at Queen's, where her cousin Quinn was also hospitalized. Problem was, only family was being allowed in and Greg was frantic to see his darling.

Lily wanted to stay at least 15 minutes' of weakness away from Quinn, but supposed Greg deserved at least a visit. Someone had to introduce Greg to her mother, after all. Lily was the only one in the family to whom Lance had dared introduce Greg. And better to visit now, while her father was still here at work. He'd absolutely choke on My Son's Gay Lover.

She'd just steel herself against the temptation to see Quinn. Lily was a successful businesswoman, strong and confident and intelligent. She could make herself stay away from Quinn. She thought.

>> Arizona Memorial

Commander Chuck Ryan, Navy intelligence officer, had notified the local office at Pearl, of course. But they were understaffed at the moment, and plenty busy just running down security clearances and following up on post-9/11 leads. The chief wasn't going to drop everything on account of some wild story about a Filipino terrorist told by a hotel maid. So Ryan and Washington were in this alone.

A Navy of two. They were quite a pair.

Ryan, an Irish guy from Maryland, was a Redskins fan. Washington, a black guy from Texas, was a Cowboys fan. Ryan had been to war with Marty a few times, and there was nobody he trusted more covering his 6. He'd never met a better man, although rooting for the Cowboys did show an abject lack of character that was hard to fathom.

Their plan was that once Martin was out of his car, he would not use the hands-free mike on his secure-line cell. While it was common enough to see people walking around with a cell phone plug in one ear, most folks wanted to get away cell phones on vacation. And it was even more common to see security personnel thus equipped. No sense calling attention.

Besides, they were banking on maintaining visual contact once Ryan was inside. There would be, at most, three or four minutes between the end of phone contact and the beginning of visual contact. How much trouble could happen in 3 or 4 minutes?

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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