My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Blame it on money

>> Queen's Medical Center

That was a first, HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes thought, exiting the ER. First time I was ever questioning someone and they had a miscarriage. But it had just happened to Serena Kawainui, who earlier today crashed Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka's Town Car off the Keeaumoku Overpass.

It might sound cruel, but this young life was better off ending. Serena was a meth head, smoked pakalolo, tooted some coke and drank way too much. Which meant that the fragile life inside her had already been poisoned by those substances.

What a way to start a life. What a way to end it.

Gomes crossed himself, said a silent prayer for the miscarried life and asked forgiveness for thinking the death of a fetus could ever be a good thing. But, Holy Mary Mother of God, Sherlock Gomes couldn't see this one any other way.

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

Lily remembered the feel of Quinn's lips on hers. "It's too late, Dad. In fact, when they let him out of here, Quinn is 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.

Dr. Hassan Fahrakeem had seen it before. Sometimes an emergency brings a family closer together. Other times, like this one apparently, it frayed pre-existing stresses and fissures. Too bad.

>> In a room just down the hall, Mits Ah Sun was undergoing a line of questioning from his young Thai wife similar to the one his brother Sheets faced from Lily.

"Why you no tell me you have brother?" Wanphen asked, hurt that her husband had kept such a secret. The way she was raised, on a rice farm near Phitsanulok, family was everything.

"Something happened a long time ago," he said.

"What can be so bad?"

Lots of things, Mits thought. But he stuck to the diversionary story they'd agreed upon 21 years ago. "Money. A disagreement over money."

This Wanphen could understand. Her mother was Chinese. She was raised to appreciate money. "Ah, too bad then."

Unfortunately, the story about money that had sufficed when Lily and Quinn were young no longer mattered to them. And that could be disastrous.

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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