My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

The gay brother

>> Kalanianaole Highway

Sitting in the passenger seat of the rental van that waited at the red light across from Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church, Muhammed Resurreccion was quite pleased with himself. Wilhemina Orlando was driving and in the seat behind him was his late cousin Jesus' widow Rosalita Resurreccion and her 6-year-old daughter Elizabeth. The last thing in the world he looked like was a terrorist.

"I've always wanted to see the Arizona Memorial," Muhammed said, turning to face Rosalita and Elizabeth. "It's a very important place for all Filipinos. Do you know why, Elizabeth?"

"No, sir," the petite little girl said.

Muhammed smiled again. His niece was so precious. And that's what made her the perfect one to convey the message he wanted to give to America on behalf of his people. She was the last one they'd suspect.

"Pearl Harbor is so important to Filipinos because if the Japanese didn't attack Pearl Harbor and force the Americans into the war, the Philippines might still be a Japanese colony."

"Oh," the little girl nodded.

"By the way," Muhammed said as the light turned green and Wilhemina accelerated through the intersection, "where can we buy some flowers? I want to bring some to the memorial."

"Right here," Rosalita said, pointing to the Foodland-Aina Haina store.

>> Honolulu Soap Co.

Lily Ah Sun was plotting ways to take over the family company before her father made her younger brother Laird president when the phone, carved in the shape of a shama thrush, chirped.

She answered and nearly dropped the phone. "Laird, what a surprise!"

They'd never been particularly close. Lily, the elder by three years, and Laird lived under the same roof, but also in different worlds. And in some ways by different rules established by their father. Daughters were supposed to work as clerks or secretaries and find a husband to pay the bills, while sons were supposed to go to college and become successful. In a couple of days, Laird would graduate from Stanford Business, an opportunity that was never available to Lily.

"Dad just called and told me about Lance." Their younger brother, who lay in a coma at Queen's.

"Oh, God, it's so sad."

"Is it true it happened at a hate crimes bills rally?"

Lily heard the question that Laird had not asked. "Yes, he's gay. He confided in me a few weeks ago. The rally was supposed to be his big coming out."

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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