My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Family feud

>> Queen's Medical Center

Having seen that her cousin Quinn -- who had been shot in the right thigh -- would be OK, Lily Ah Sun had one more stop to make. Another visit with her parents. Walking down the ICU hallway, Lily blushed again, thinking of how her Uncle Mits had walked into Quinn's room just as she was kissing her unconscious cousin's lips. Busted.

What was Uncle Mits doing with a young Thai wife? What happened to Auntie Flo? What else did Lily miss in the 21 years that the two sides of the Ah Sun clan had not spoken?

Lily knocked on her brother Lance's room door in the ICU, stepped inside, and what a sad sight, Lance unconscious on the bed, tubes and wires running into and out of his head. Their mother Grace sitting on a chair beside his bed, head bent in silent tears and prayer. Their father Sheets slouched in a chair at the foot of the bed.

"Hi again," she said.

"Where's Elizabeth?" Grace said. On her earlier visit, Lily had her maid's 6-year-old daughter with her.

"Rosalita was released from the ER. She's fine, and they're waiting for me downstairs."

"Thank God for that at least. And Quinn?"

"He stopped the guy who was attacking Rosalita, got shot and lost a lot of blood, but he'll be OK."

Grace saw something come over Lily when she spoke of her long-lost cousin -- call it mother's intuition -- and that something made her nervous. "What was Quinn doing at your home?"

"How long have you been seeing him?" Sheets added.

"What is this, the grand jury?" Lily said defensively. "We're both adults now, we can talk to anyone we want."

"But our side of the family does not speak with that side of the family," Sheets said firmly. "That's that."

Lily shook her head once, closed her eyes, remembered the feel of Quinn's lips on hers. And she looked her father in the eye. "It's too late already. In fact, when they let him out of here, he's coming to my house to recuperate."

"No!" Sheets thundered. "You can't!"

"Why?!" Lily shouted back. "What happened 21 years ago to make you and your brother quit speaking? What was so terrible that you tore a family apart?!"

"Lily," her mother intervened. "Now is not a good time for this."

"Why not?!"

They heard a knock on the door. A doctor entered, ending the conversation for the moment.

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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