My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, July 2, 2001

The thrill is gone

>> Pali Highway -- town-bound

They drove to the Queen's ER in silence, Grace and Sheets Ah Sun keeping their own thoughts, Sheets keeping the Cadillac's gas pedal as close to the floor as he dared. Grace praying that Lance, her baby, was alright. They hadn't told her anything on the phone. Not knowing was the worst. It multiplied a mother's darkest fears. And Sheets wondering what the hell his inexplicable son had gotten himself into, praying it did not interfere with his eldest son's graduation from Stanford Business. They were supposed to leave in two days.

>> Makiki Heights

They heard the bolt being unlocked. HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes stepped back from the door. Star-Bulletin photographer Johnny B. Goo took aim. Writer Cruz MacKenzie turned on his pocket tape recorder. The door opened, and there was Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, still disheveled, still with red eyes. But now he was "on." Not the raging drunken meth head Cruz and Johnny B encountered minutes earlier. Now he was the senator again, the dazzling one who smiled his way into voters' hearts and special-interest budgets.

"What can I do for you?"

The cop opened his wallet, flashed the badge. "Hello, senator. Detective Sherlock Gomes, HPD. I'd like to ask you a few questions concerning a Serena Kawainui."

The senatorial veneer vanished.

Flash. Johnny B fired. Flash. Flash.

"Why don't we discuss this inside," the senator said, struggling to find composure. Sherlock Gomes followed him inside, closed the door. "Unless he gets cuffed, you got what we need," Cruz said.

"But that seems a distinct possibility," Johnny B said. "I'm hanging."

While Cruz phoned the city desk, Johnny B downloaded the images from his digital camera to his Palm Pilot and wirelessed them on to the photo desk.

>> Maunalua Bay

There was no thrill this time as Quinn's big hands encircled Lily's waist and lifted her up and into his big truck. Instead there was the memory of their kiss, their one and only, a memory that would always thrill her. But now there was only a strange blend of shame, unquenched desire and sadness. She had just kissed the man of her dreams, and she must never do so again because he was her first cousin. One day they would be married to other people, Lily thought. They would see each other at family gatherings. And every time she would remember this night and wonder what if ...

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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