My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Blessing or a spell?

>> Ala Moana Beach Park

"You saw that, right?" HPD Detective Gomes said.

"Saw what?" Dr. Laurie Tang replied, expressionless.

"Don't do this to me, Laurie!"

It was the first time he hadn't called her "Dr. Tang," and it caught both of them off guard.

She touched his arm, let her fingers rest there softly. Laurie was having a hard enough time with this goddess business. It must have been doubly difficult for such a creature of logic as Gomes to watch Jimmy Ahuna walk hand in hand across the water with a 6-foot-4, brown-skinned naked woman he called Ho'ola, goddess of life, and then just beyond the reef disappear from view. She lightly squeezed his arm. "I'm sorry. Of course I saw it. Sherlock."

It was the first time she hadn't called him "Detective."

Not for the first time today, they shared a glance, the honesty of the eyes.

"I mean, they just disappeared," Gomes said. "There was no splashing like they fell in the water." That, at least, would have made sense.

Laurie smiled at the way his detective mind worked. "Well, they were walking on water. Who knows what else Ho'ola can do?"

"Mm." Gomes considered this for a moment. "And that's the second time we've seen her do that, just vanish into air, or something."

Earlier, when Gomes had twisted open the hatch on the WWII-vintage Japanese mini-sub that had beached itself at the Diamond Head of the park, lifting Laurie out of the water in the last yards of her swim, they had looked inside the sub and seen Ho'ola kissing the head of the lone occupant, which turned out to be a skeleton. And then Ho'ola came up through the hatch past them and vanished.

Laurie glanced at her watch. "Yikes! I really do have to be going. I'm already late for work, and I'm not exactly dressed for the ER."

No, but Gomes admired the way she looked in that electric blue swimsuit, her towel wrapped low at the hip.

"Like I said, I'm cooking tonight."

"Good, I need to talk this out."

Later, walking back to her car, Laurie would wonder what on Earth had come over her. Because all of a sudden she stretched on tip-toes and kissed Gomes' cheek. She'd never done anything so forward before.

Gomes watched Laurie walking away and enjoyed the view. But what the hell had come over him? Needing to talk it out? What self-respecting guy needed to talk out anything? But he did need to talk with Laurie. Was it a blessing that Ho'ola had given him and Laurie, like Jimmy said, or a magic spell?

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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