My Kind of Town
>> Queen's Medical Center
It was only a few yards from the ER waiting room to the office of social worker Lin Matsuo, but it was the longest walk of Grace Ah Sun's life. Her son, her baby, Lance was here at the ER. Grace wanted to scream, What happened? How is he? Tell me now! But she was still in semi-shock, and followed quietly behind Mrs. Matsuo. Her only comfort was the hand of her husband, Sheets, and the memory of their making love just ... what? ... barely over an hour ago. It seemed a lifetime ago. Maybe her son's life.
Grace was so absorbed in her own pain she did not notice the color of the walls or the carpet. And she did not notice the tall blond man with tears streaming down his cheeks, staring after her and Sheets.
Greg had never met Lance's parents, but recognized them the moment they entered the waiting room. Lance had shown him a family portrait he carried in his wallet. Greg had been with Lance at the hate crimes bill rally at the Capitol when a skinhead attacked them, and Lance fell and hit his head on a concrete curb with the sound of a splattering pumpkin. And Greg had been at the ER ever since. But they wouldn't tell him anything. He wasn't family. So he would wait for Lance's parents to come out, and then he would introduce himself. And apologize. The only reason that Lance was at the rally was because Greg made it very clear that their continued relationship depended on Lance's participation in the rally. The problem was, other than his big sister Lily, Lance's family did not know he was gay.
"Here we go, Mr. and Mrs. Ah Sun," Mrs. Matsuo said, opening a door. "Please have a seat."
Quinn Ah Sun was raised Buddhist and did not believe in coincidences. So what was this same piece-of-bleep gray car that he'd seen following his cousin Lily onto the H-1 this morning doing parked two doors down from her home? Lily was sitting right here in his truck and he didn't want to alarm her, but Quinn wanted an answer. He speed-dialed a number on his cell phone.
"Eh, Gwen," he said, wincing, when that particular HPD dispatcher answered his call. Damn. Why did it have to be Gwen, who had a severe case of the hots for him. If he was a woman, Quinn could have sued for sexual harassment, she came on so strong. "I called in a license number check this morning but never heard anything -- FCC 396. Whaddaya got?"
Quinn blushed, Lily saw, at the reply.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org