My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, October 5, 2001

Spinning wheels

>> Queen's Medical Center

Sitting in the ICU, waiting for their son Lance to come out of a coma, Grace Ah Sun knew that her husband Sheets was worrying about their daughter Lily having reunited with her cousin Quinn and her angry vow to find out what had really caused Sheets and his brother Mits, Quinn's father, to quit speaking 21 years ago.

What Grace didn't know is that something was bothering her husband even more than that. She didn't know that Sheets practically got sick to his stomach when he heard the news on the radio this morning that a new Board of Water Supply well in Waimanalo had been found to be contaminated from a nearby and previously unknown illegal chemical dump site. And she didn't know that five minutes later Sheets' phone at the Honolulu Soap Co. rang once, then twice, then once, the code the brothers had devised years ago. Grace believed that Sheets and Mits Ah Sun really had not communicated in 21 years.

And so she said, "Lily said your brother and his new wife are here too, seeing Quinn. It couldn't hurt to go say hi."


"I wonder whatever happened to Flo?" The former Florence Toguchi, Mits' first wife.

Sheets knew. Flo was in Las Vegas. Left her family to become a professional gambler. What a way to live, counting on the fall of the cards and the dice and the turn of roulette and slot wheels to survive.

But come to think of it, Sheets made a huge gamble on that night. Now, 21 years later, it turned out the wheels were still spinning. Where would they stop?

>> Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Lovely as the view was from their beachside table at the Mai Tai Bar, the just-past-full moon shining on the ocean, and as tasty as their pupus were, this was not where Lily Ah Sun, her maid Rosalita Resurreccion and her daughter Elizabeth were supposed to be. They were supposed to be home. But Lily didn't know when she could ever sleep in her room again, not after the creep who broke into the house tried to rape Rosalita there, and not after Lily's cousin Quinn interrupted the attack, was shot in the thigh, and shot the creep. Blood was everywhere.

One of her first calls tomorrow would be to an interior redecorator. But even after the work was done, and everything was replaced, in her heart Lily knew the only way she could sleep there would be with Quinn. Maybe he was her cousin, but she was in love. When Quinn got out of the hospital, he was coming home with her. That's where she was supposed to be. At home. With Quinn.

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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