My Kind of Town
Back in 74
Here he was, following the same route he'd taken on that fateful night 21 years ago, heading for the same destination. That night was so clear in Sheets Ah Sun's mind, it was as if he were living through it again.
"I was gonna tell the story, but on second thought," Sheets had said from the backseat, jamming the steel barrel of his brother Mits' HPD-issue .44 deeper into Bobo's neck, "why don't you tell it, Clarence."
Bobo knew he was in trouble. The only time the Ah Sun boys got called by their proper names was when they were in trouble.
"Eh, Sheets, take it easy," Mits said from behind the wheel of his Monte Carlo. "You pull the trigger now, you never know where the bullet going end up after it goes through his head."
"Clarence, tell my brother about that night seven years ago."
Seven years ago, Mits was thinking -- 1974 -- the last time Bobo was in Hawaii before landing the job as an entertainer aboard cruise ships. The year he loaned Bobo $2,000 to cover a gambling debt. The year Sheets married Grace and started the Honolulu Soap Co. The year those frickin' A's beat his beloved Dodgers in the World Series.
"Left here," Sheets said. "Clarence, start with Nick's."
It was a rather different version of events than the one Grace Kealoha had told Sheets through her tears on the eve of their wedding. She was pregnant, she sobbed, and the baby was Bobo's, he'd raped her, forced himself on her despite her protestations. She'd understand if Sheets wanted to walk away from their wedding.
"Easy, Cuz," Bobo said. "Here's the God's honest truth. I was at the Duke's, filling in. Grace and some friends was having a girls night out, celebrating, she's getting ready to marry you was why, as I recall. Finally it was just Grace and one other girl there at closing time. So I had a couple drinks with them. By that time they was both too drunk to drive, so I offered to take 'em home. Can't remember the other one's name, but she lived up back of Punchbowl."
"Flo," Sheets said, and in the rearview mirror saw Mits frown. Flo was his ex-wife.
"You say so. And after we dropped her off, we pulled off to the side, over by the cemetery there, and Grace talked and talked and talked, about the wedding, and you, and wanting kids. But she was giving signals, you know, female kine. I knew she wanted me. So I made the move."
"She fought you."
"They all do at first. It's just a feminine act, gotta be nice girls."
"You raped my fiancee, Clarence, now my wife. It's gonna cost you."
Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org