My Kind of Town
>> Queen's Medical Center
The end of the day
Quinn Ah Sun was somewhere between sleep and the neverland induced by painkillers. But gradually, he began to be aware of himself, the movement of the mind, the feel of sheets under him and then the sound of vaguely familiar voices some distance away. He forced his eyes to open -- it took some effort -- but what he saw was foreign. As if through gauze he saw himself in a hospital bed, an IV drip in his arm, heavy bandages on his right thigh.
Quinn saw his father rising from a chair.
"Welcome back," Mits Ah Sun said, a tear starting in the corner of his eye. "How you feel?"
"Fnchnmnf," Quinn replied, his throat too dry to speak, his brain still drugged.
"Wanphen," his father said, "go get a nurse, please."
His father's new wife bowed slightly, smiled, and left the room.
"I heard what happened," his father said. "I'm proud of you."
And then Quinn remembered. Lily, his long-lost cousin. It was at Lily's house. They'd been in the garden, heard a scream. Quinn ran inside, his Glock 9mm drawn, and interrupted a guy who was trying to rape Lily's maid Rosalita. The mutt got off a shot with his .22, and it caught Quinn in the leg. But Quinn got off a shot too and hit the guy in a place that would make impossible for him to rape anyone ever again. And then when the maid's little daughter Elizabeth ran into the room, it distracted Quinn, who was already light-headed from losing so much blood, and the mutt dove through a window, and Quinn pursued, and passed out on Lily's lawn.
And then another wave of memory. Quinn recalled pulling over a woman for speeding this morning, and the look they shared. Recalled the mutual knowing that this was exactly what each had always wanted. Recalled glancing at her driver's license and the shock that followed when he realized it was his long-lost cousin.
Yet another wave of memory. Lily called him for a ride home because she'd gotten drunk. Recalled stopping at Maunalua Bay. Recalled fighting the temptation that drew them closer and closer together. Recalled the kiss that lingered, and the passioned gropes. Recalled the guilt that followed. Recalled the passion lingering when Quinn took her home, and that they were in the garden, about to share another kiss when the screaming started.
Lily -- where was she now? And as soon as Quinn could get his mouth to work, he was going to ask his father why he and his brother had kept the cousins apart for 21 years.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org