My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Watchu wanna bet?

>> Portlock

The faded gray sedan with tinted windows turned up Poipu Drive.

"Where is this creep going?" said Seth. "This ain't his neighborhood. Couldn't be."

"All I know is it's tougher to blend in off the highway," said Tai, his cousin, in the driver's seat. He lingered longer at the stop sign than was required by law.

"He's casing, brah," Willie said from the back. "Watchu wanna bet it's the babe in the teal Beamer he's been tailing?"

Tai nodded, grunted. "I no like betchu."

>> Honolulu International Airport

It was so ironic, Lt. Col. Chuck Ryan thought as he pulled out of the Hertz lot. He'd survived two wars, various "conflicts" and God knows how many "ops." He'd walked through minefields, dodged grenades, lived through a chopper crash and being shot twice. Then Mary gets killed in a crosswalk while walking their Great Dane, Lord Nelson.

That's a lot of grieving for one man, losing the best wife in the world and the best dog in the world in the same moment. He'd loved them both so much, for such different reasons, but really for the same reason; they loved him back. The loss wracked every corner of his heart. That was a year ago, and he still ached. The best thing for his daughter Jillie had been to marry that Brit last summer and move to England for a new life. And even though he would become a grandpa in a few months, all of a sudden Ryan was really quite alone in life.

He'd been tempted but faithful to Mary throughout their 28 years of marriage. But he'd always been good at making friends. Chuck never met a stranger in his life, Mary liked to say. Well, hadn't the Irish invented schmoozing? Probably flirting too. And now Ryan was making up for lost time.

Combining pleasure and business was just one of his goals for this trip to Hawaii.

>> Portlock

In the gray sedan, Mickey was anxious to get started. In fact, he could have done this any time. But he was excited about seeing the babe Lily who drove the teal Beamer. He'd been tailing her since he saw her jogging along Lunalilo Home Road -- her lavender sweats clinging to her -- and from a distance followed her home. Tonight she would be coming home to him.

When Luna said they needed help ripping off doors in a new subdivision, he was tempted. Most people don't realize what a good market there is for stolen doors. "Nah, I gotta thing I gotta do tonight," Mickey said.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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