My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

In love again

>> Portlock

From the kitchen doorway, Mickey watched the Filipino maid check sheets on the line outside, her back to him. She suddenly turned and walked toward the house. Mickey grabbed the largest of half a dozen knife handles sticking from a wood block on the counter. The woman pulled open the sliding screen door, stepped inside. Mickey squeezed the knife handle, scripting a new plan on the fly.

>> Kailua

Grace Ah Sun had seen some strange days in her years at the Capitol, but nothing like today. Her boss out of touch for three days, missing crucial meetings about the emergency session. His car crashing with a young woman inside alone. Then a mini-riot during the hate crimes bill rally. Grace was so happy to cross the Pali and return to the predictable comforts of home, happier yet to see her husband Sheets' Cadillac in the garage.

Opening the door she called, "Hello, Daddy."

"Eh, Momma," she heard from down the hall, and found Sheets in their bedroom staring into their closet, an open suitcase on the bed. She smiled.

"You can't wait, can you?" For their son Laird's gradation from Stanford Business in a couple of days.

His wife knew him so well, Sheets thought. Seeing the way she smiled at him, and understood him, he saw the love and devotion that had never wavered in 28 years together, and why he had done that thing 21 years ago for her honor. He saw again but in a new way what a beautiful woman she was.

"It's going to be a big day for our son," he said, his voice cracking.

Only Grace had ever seen him show so much emotion, and only on rare occasions. She took his hand, squeezed it. Sheets looked up, their eyes met, and in that moment he fell in love all over again. They were an "old married couple, long time already," comfortable with one another, many years past the point where sex was part of their lives. Grace would think later that she couldn't recall the last time Sheets had really wanted her. But at the moment he was taking her in his arms, kissing her cheek, her neck, her lips, whispering "Oh, Grace ... I need you so much ..." And taking her by the hand to the bed, flinging the suitcase aside, kissing her again, unbuttoning her blouse.

Sheets had a fleeting thought about the phone message from someone at Queen's that Grace needed to return. But it could wait. At the moment he wanted only to love his wife. And that's all she wanted too.

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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