My Kind of Town
>> Queen's Medical Center
Whispers and kisses
Lily Ah Sun embraced Rosalita Resurreccion, who in the past year had become more than her maid; she was her friend. "I'm so sorry."
"Oh, I'm fine, mum," she said. "You know Filipinos -- we're pretty tough." Rosalita glanced at her daughter, arched her eyebrows -- to make that point with her especially. Inner strength and courage was a way of life for Rosalita, the way she was raised, as it was for most Filipinos. She would teach her daughter the same.
"Can we go home now?" the 6-year-old said, sounding tired.
"Not tonight. I can't sleep in that house tonight," Lily said. Not after that creep broke in and tried to rape Rosalita, until Lily's cousin Quinn intervened, and he got shot, but he shot the other guy, and there was blood all over her bedroom. "We'll deal with it tomorrow. So I called and got us rooms at the Royal Hawaiian."
"Yes, mum," Rosalita said. Tonight, for a change, she would have maid service.
"But first I have to see Quinn, OK."
"We'll be fine here," Rosalita said, feeling Elizabeth tugging her toward the keiki play room just off the ER waiting room.
Elizabeth was the happiest girl in the world now that her Mama was OK and with her again. "Tell Quinn hello," Elizabeth called.
Lily would try to remember. All she really wanted to say was thank you, and I love you.
>> A young nurse led Lily into Quinn's room. She checked the computer-screen read-outs from several monitors wired to Quinn, as well as an intravenous drip.
When the nurse closed the door behind her, Lily took Quinn's big hand in hers. The same hand that, just before they'd heard Rosalita's screaming, had been lifting her chin, their lips inches apart. Lily squeezed his hand lightly. Eyes still closed, Quinn weakly squeezed back.
"Oh, Quinn," Lily said softly and started to cry. "I'm so sorry. But I'm so grateful too. You saved Rosalita. If you hadn't been there, I don't know what we would have done."
Lily leaned closer, whispered in Quinn's ear: "I love you, Quinn Ah Sun. When they let you out of here, I'm taking you home. I'm going to take care of you."
She kissed his cheek, looked into his face, and the lips that had kissed her earlier in the moonlight at Maunalua Bay.
"I love you, Quinn," she whispered and kissed his lips. Again Lily felt Quinn lightly squeeze her hand.
"Oh my God!" she heard from behind. "Who are you?!"
Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
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