My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Seeing teeth

>> Honolulu Soap Co.

Stepping out of her office, Lily Ah Sun saw her father in the hall, returning with a long face from the production chamber. It was where he always went to think. Or in this case, brood.

"I was just on my way to see you," she said airily, "about Laird's graduation."

The mention of his son's impending graduation from Stanford Business brought a smile to Sheets Ah Sun. It was the first time Lily had seen her father's teeth in two days.

Lily's smile was reassuring, because Sheets had been sure that she was mortally angry with him after he rejected her proposal to reorganize the Soap Co., and instead confided that he was naming Laird president immediately upon his graduation. But here she was, sounding excited about attending the ceremony. You had to give her credit for being smart. Lily had obviously thought about it, come to her senses and agreed that the best thing for the company and everyone concerned was for Laird to take over and start using that Stanford education to make them all some more money. Which had been Sheets' plan all along.

"I talked with Mom," she said, opening the door to her office, leading him inside, "and she's dead set against leaving Lance's bedside."

"I know," he said, plopping heavily into the white-leather couch against the wall. "I can't blame her. It's just too bad is all."

"So it's just you and me," she said brightly.

He nodded, smiled kind of ironically. Isn't that something, Sheets was thinking. Out of everybody in the family, the one who's going to Laird's graduation is Lily. "You and me."

"Actually though, Dad, I want to fly up a day early. I have a chance to meet with a potential new account." This would also get her half an ocean away from her cousin Quinn and the temptation to run back to him that had been growing in her since he'd called a few minutes ago. She could also meet with Laird and lobby for his support in taking over the Soap Co.

"Lily the marketer," he said with a smile and a nod. Maybe his relationship with her was different than with his two boys, even the gay one, but Sheets had to admit that Lily possessed a knack for doing business the old-fashioned way. She understood that it was half hard work and half people relationships, because the bottom line was that business -- like every other field of endeavor -- was people.

Funny, wasn't it? Out of the three kids Lily was most like him.

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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