My Kind of Town
The Honolulu Soap Co.:
>> Queen's Medical CenterOutside the door to her brother Lance's room, Lily Ah Sun heard angry voices on the other side of the door, knocked twice. "OK, Sweetie, here we go," she said to her maid Rosalita Resurreccion's 6-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Lily pushed open the door and saw her parents glaring at each other.
"Good, you got my message," her father said, glad to change the subject before his wife exploded.
Lily frowned, remembered - the message she really hadn't heard because it came as she was running through her home, trying to keep Elizabeth from running to her Mama in the bedroom where they'd already heard three gunshots. Later, they'd been in such a rush to get Rosalita to the hospital, she'd left without checking the message. "Right," Lily said.
Beyond her parents, Lily saw her brother Lance lying unconscious on a bed with tubes and wires running into and out of his head.
"Oh my god!" Lily went to the bedside, hugged her mother.
"Thank you for coming," Grace Ah Sun whispered in her daughter's ear as they hugged, "but why is Elizabeth with you? This is no place for a child."
"Or anybody else," Lily said, standing up. "Rosalita is in the ER."
"A kitchen accident?" Grace said.
"No, this creep broke into the house and attacked her. And he would have got away with it, except that a friend of mine interrupted the attack."
"Thank God!" Grace said.
"Actually, you know his parents."
"My cousin Quinn."
The name, Lily saw, hit her parents like a punch to the gut - Quinn! - the nephew they hadn't seen in 21 years because of the feud between Sheets and his brother Mits, Quinn's father.
>> PortlockEvidence specialists from HPD's Scientific Investigation Section were just finishing up in Lily's bedroom - first taking photos, then blood samples, taking fingerprints, bagging the .22 pistol and the 12-inch butcher knife, digging out a couple of 9mm slugs from the wall - when a bright light flashed through the open window.
Johnny B. Goo poked his head and his camera through the window. "Hey folks."
"Eh," said ev-spec Bones Ewing. Johnny B was an old hand at crime scenes.
Leaning through the window, he got a good angle on the gore and Bones digging out the last slug from the wall - the photo that likely would appear in the next day's Star-Bulletin.
"I hope the owner knows a good interior designer," Johnny B said.
"And a kahuna," HPD Officer Mona Waiale'ale said, "to cleanse the bad spirits."
"Mm." Johnny B only believed in what he could photograph, and he'd never yet seen a photo of a spirit.
>> Queen's Medical CenterIt wasn't the first time that two members of the same family were admitted to the ER in the same day in separate incidents. Severe trauma to the back of the head had Lance Ah Sun in a coma. A bullet to the right thigh and a massive loss of blood had his cousin Quinn Ah Sun just coming out of surgery. ER social worker Lin Matsuo glanced up from the two files. "The good news for Quinn is that, according to the doctors," she told Lily, "because he was in such good physical condition, he'll be fine after some rehab."
"Thank God," Lily sighed. She felt Elizabeth squeeze her hand. The little girl liked Quinn when she met him earlier tonight. That seemed like a lifetime ago, before the screaming and the shooting shattered her idyllic home.
"Mama!" Elizabeth squealed, dropped Lily's hand and ran to Rosalita Resurreccion, who was walking out of the ER, bandages on her cheek and temple. Elizabeth hugged Rosalita, buried her face in her mother's neck.
The mother and child connection, Lily mused. She'd never felt the urge to experience it - not until today's reunion with Quinn after 21 years apart. Problem was, they're first cousins.
>> Makiki HeightsSen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka left a message at the Kailua home of his secretary, Grace Ah Sun, explaining that he was heading to the Mainland for a few days.
Then he dialed the number for his girlfriend, Dr. Laurie Tang. He had some serious 'splaining to do. The detective who'd been here earlier, Gomes, said the crash had been all over the news. And Laurie was a news junkie. Well, Donovan could spin Serena crashing his car off the Keeaumoku Overpass - he had a female admirer who went wacko and stole his car. As long as Laurie didn't know that Serena was pregnant with his child, no problem.
>> Queen's Medical Center"So the friends you used to work with at the strip club," said HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes, "the 'old friends' you referred to - they supplied the drugs that you used with the senator?"
"That's beside the point," Serena Kawainui said and grimaced at another sharp pain in her abdomen, the fourth one in the past couple of minutes.
Gomes waited for the moment to pass. He just had a couple more questions and he'd be done. "You OK?"
"Yeah, look at me, half my face covered in bandages, a broken arm, never been better," she said facetiously. "Listen, detective, I'm not saying nothin' about nobody, OK? This is all about me and Donovan. And the baby."
She gasped loudly and clutched at her stomach. "Call a nurse! Please! I don't wanna lose it!" And then she screamed. A moment later, two nurses burst through the door.
"Help me!" Serena cried as she felt the new life inside her beginning to spill away.
>> A young nurse led Lily into Quinn's room. She checked the 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 her's. 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. And when they let you out of here, I'm taking you home with me. 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.
"Oh my God!" she heard from behind. "Who are you?"
A woman stood in the doorway with poofy hair, mega makeup, about 10 pounds of Hawaiian heirloom bracelets on each wrist and a V-neck sweater that was losing cleavage by the second.
"No," Lily said, standing her ground, claiming Quinn as her own. "Who are you?"
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 email@example.com