My Kind of Town
>> Queen's Medical Center
A flaming heterosexual
It wasn't the painkillers that kept HPD officer Quinn Ah Sun's head spinning as Chief Lee Donohue thanked him for his bravery in the line of duty and expressed his relief at hearing that Quinn would be back on his feet soon. It was the discombobulating change in his cousin Lily, who earlier today had shared his hospital bed and whispered the three magic words, "I love you," but minutes ago when he called her home told her maid to tell Quinn he could "go straight to hell."
What happened to make Lily change so fast? Cousinly guilt? PMS? Multiple personalities?
Even when the chief left and turned things over to two guys from Internal Affairs, Lt. Dennis Nakasone and Detective Lopaka LaCroix, Quinn wasn't completely there. He'd never been so emotionally crushed since his mother left when he was 12 to become a professional gambler in Las Vegas.
So even as Nakasone and LaCroix pulled up chairs and turned on a tape recorder, Quinn's mind drifted, seeking a place, a thought, a moment of solace. And he kept returning to the words of the nurse who'd just been here.
He didn't even know her name, but she was warm and kind and reassuring. She qualified for the Florence Nightingale Award because, although she didn't know it, at that moment what Quinn needed was emotional nursing.
"If you need anything, just buzz me," the nurse had said. She touched his arm in a way that warmed the cold spot in his stomach. "Anything at all."
She'd added, "I'll be back when these gentlemen are through changing your dressing," and Quinn found himself looking forward to her touch and her care. After what Lily had done to him, some men might have given up on women, at least for a while. Not Quinn. He was a flaming heterosexual.
Buoyed by the thought of seeing the nameless nurse soon, Quinn forced himself to pay attention. It was SOP for IA to get involved any time an officer used a gun. They had to determine if the shooting was "justifiable." The next few minutes could determine his future as a police officer, the only career he'd ever wanted.
"You know the drill," Lt. Nakasone said. "We need to hear everything that happened."
"What happened to the guy?" Quinn said.
"Make die dead," Detective LaCroix said, using the Pidgin idiom.
"Heart attack," Nakasone added. "Partly it was the loss of blood from being shot, partly it was the crystal meth in his blood, partly it was the beating you gave him."
"Beating? I never touched the mutt!"
Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
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