XXVI. HOLLY TAKES A CAB.
KRIS'S NEW BRIDE DISAPPEARS WITH HIS TAXI
AS HE SEARCHES FRANTICALLY, SHE CRUISES BLITHELY ALONG
But She Means Well, And Everything always Turns Out For The Best, Right?
(Part Twenty-Six; Part One is HERE.)
Holly woke up in Kris's arms. She gently extricated herself and went into the bathroom. She peed and took a nice big dump. Then she jumped in the shower. A girl could get used to having a bathroom around all the time, she thought. She'd had more showers in five days than she normally got in five weeks of living on the street. And a toilet that worked!
Holly finished showering and toweled off. She brushed her teeth and combed her hair. She was starting to feel human again. She tiptoed through the bedroom and into the living room, closing the door on her snoring husband of just a few hours. He was OK, so far.
Holly dug through her storage boxes and bags from K-Mart, finding clean underwear, a new pair of jeans, a pink T-shirt and pink sneakers. Now I'm just a girl, just a regular girl, not a ho, she thought. She even sang a little song to herself. She felt almost happy. She'd almost forgotten about crack cocaine, after five days straight.
Holly checked the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets: Not much in the way of food. She opened a solitary can of soda she found in the vegetable crisper of the fridge, and ate a few stale crackers that remained in a package in the cabinets. We need to go shopping, she thought. I need to go shopping, she corrected herself. I'm a housewife, now. She looked around at Kris's messy apartment. I can fix this, she thought.
Then she remembered the car. They'd banged it up pretty good last night. She had promised to fix it. She wondered if the old Japanese guy that her friend Tia had moved in with would trade her something to fix the cab. He had a body shop in Kakaako, and they lived up stairs. She could go ask.
Holly snuck in to the bedroom and picked up Kris's trousers. She hunted in the pockets till she found his keys. She took them, and a twenty dollar bill, for gas and food. She would be back soon. Better make that two twenties, for shopping. She wasn't sure how much stuff cost, since she'd been shoplifting most of her food since she'd left home. She was going to be good, from now on, no more stealing. Better make that three twenties. They were married now, so it was OK, right? She put Kris's trousers back, gave him a little kiss, and slipped out.
Holly went through her boxes again, picking out her few bits of nice jewelery, things her mother had given her that she never wore. She had been saving them for a rainy day. She hated to part with them, but she had to get Kris's cab fixed so he could go back to work. Otherwise, they'd both be homeless. She took her jewelry and stashed the bags and boxes in the corner of the living room behind Kris's big funky chair.
Holly looked around once and then went outside, locking the door behind her. She went downstairs and checked out Kris's cab. It wasn't too bad. Just broken plastic on the left front and right rear signal lights. Shouldn't be too hard to fix, Holly thought, hoping her jewelry would cover it. She got in and started the car. It was the biggest car she'd ever driven. She would have to be careful. She adjusted the seat and the mirrors, and pulled out of the carport under Kris's building.
Holly drove carefully down to the Ala Wai and took that to Kalakaua, turning left onto Kapiolani by the Rocky Horror Cafe. There were taxis parked in their parking lot. Holly wondered if they were from Kris's company. She cruised on by and turned off Kapiolani onto Cooke Street, and then into Kawaiahao Street, where Tia and Hoshi lived. She crept along the narrow street until she found the body shop they lived above, pulling into the driveway.
Hoshi came out of the shop and checked out the car. Then he saw who was driving it and laughed. "You! Wot you doin' wit dis kine car? Too big for you, I t'ink. It's one taxi, too! You one taxi-driver, now! Hah-hah-ha-ha!"
"Yup! I'm a cabbie! Eh, can fix dis?"
"Oh, I don't know. Get money?"
"Get jewelry. Bettah dan money." Holly got out of the car and walked around to where Hoshi was standing, digging in her pockets for the jewelry she hoped to pay with.
"Not to me!"
"Eh, to me, den!" bellowed his "lady," Tia, a six-foot, two-hundred pound Hawaiian mahu in tight lime-green capri pants, a bright purple blouse, lots of big gold jewelry and gigantic gold-lame heels, who had suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs on the outside of the body shop. "Eh, dat you, Holly! Oh, look at you! You look so nice! Wot you doin'? Come, come, up heah, we get girl talk. Eh, Hoshi-san, you fix da cah fah me, can?"
"Can," the little old Japanese man said obediently, and set to it.
"OK, den, Holly, come, come, come!"
Holly went up the stairs and they went into the tiny kitchen upstairs.
"Tea? You like kau kau? Get fried rice from lunch. You hungry?"
Holly smiled and nodded her assent. It was almost like a real home, here with her former Chinatown mentor. "Yes, please, Miss Tia. So good to see you!" She started crying.
"Eh, no cry, you gonna make me cry, I so happy for see you! Tell me everyt'ing!"
"Well..." Holly began, pausing to think of all the wonderful things that had happened to her in the last five days. "It started like this, Auntie..."
[ PART TWENTY-SEVEN TOMORROW copyright 2008 Cosa Nostradamus.]
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