XXVII. THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN
KRIS GIVES UP ON HOLLY
NOW HE JUST WANTS HIS CAB BACK
Calling The Cops In Honolulu Can Backfire
(Part Twenty-Seven; Part One is HERE.)
Tad rolled through the Pali Wong's Drugs parking lot and came out on the Pali Highway. He turned back down Kukui Street, and then up Nuuanu Avenue to Vineyard Boulevard, around to Maunakea Street, and all the way down to Nimitz. There was almost twenty dollars on the meter, all Kris had given Tad. But he owed Kris for a few favors, so he went up River Street to King St, turned left on Bethel and came back across Beretania to River, and back again on Pauahi. Having cruised every street in Chinatown, he stopped. "Where to, now, Kris?"
"I don't know. Back to my house, I guess. If she's not there, I'll have to call the cops," Kris said.
"OK. Nimitz or the freeway?"
"Nimitz, to Ala Moana to Kalakaua to..."
"--I know the way, Kris. Your house on Lemon Road?"
"Yeah." Kris was feeling pretty bad. Afraid he'd never see his cab again, at least in one piece. Afraid he'd lose his job, his apartment, what little life he had left. Angry at Holly for stealing his cab. Worried that she might be hurt or in trouble. Worried that she might be back on crack cocaine, out hooking, or dead somewhere. Sorry that he might never see her again. Regretful that the life he might have had with her was over already. Sad that he might now lose everything, and be utterly alone, empty and hopeless. Despairing that nothing could stop this from happening. And hungry. Really really hungry. He hadn't eaten since yesterday.
"Tad, could you swing through Jack-In-The-Crack. I never ate anything today."
"Closest one now is Cooke & Kapiolani, I guess. Kinda out of the way. Sorry."
"No problem. You're paying me, right?"
"Right." They headed for Jack-In-The-Crack and crawled through the drive-through. The girl on the speaker had difficulty understanding their order. It was just two of the cheapo fast-food outlet's most common items. But her English wasn't too good, and the mikes & speakers were lousy. And some idiot at the back of the line kept blowing his horn. She did get their order right, by some minor miracle. Tad handed the stuff over to Kris and they started back to Waikiki.
Kris eyeballed all the bars and strip joints, tattoo & massage parlours, parking lots and convenience stores on the way back. No sign of Holly, who had actually been just a block away from the Jack-In-The-Crack they'd just left, for several hours, getting Kris's car fixed. Kris kept staring out the window, scanning the streets of Waikiki with a cab driver's eye, looking for his lost love, all the way back to his house. His cab wasn't there.
"What now, Kris?"
"I guess I gotta call the cops. I'm responsible for that sh*t-box. Wait here, I wanna check upstairs. Maybe she's there."
"Hey, I gotta get back to work, man."
"Take a break, eat one of those Crack-Burgers. --One! The other one's mine. Here's my last twenty."
"Keep it. You'll owe me, if you survive."
"Yeah, thanks." Kris ran upstairs and checked his apartment. No note, nothing. No sign of Holly, except her sheets on his mattress. He couldn't believe he'd slept with that beautiful girl in his arms, right there, just a few hours ago. They'd never even had sex. And now she was gone. He went back downstairs again. Tad was munching his lunch. Kris started in on his. "Call 911."
"No. Just do it. It's been at least eight hours now. I gotta do something. She could be hurt."
"Or maybe she just ripped you off."
"Yeah, maybe. Call." Tad called the cops, gave their location, and waited for a cruiser to come. They sat in Tad's big old beat-up BMW, eating greasy fast food and loving it.
The cops came screaming in about fifteen minutes later, lights and sirens blazing, blocking the driveway of Kris's apartment building. They jumped out of their cars with their guns out, pointing them at Kris and Tad. Tad and Kris sat very still in the cab, with their hands visible on the dashboard. The cops yanked them out of the car, threw them on the ground and handcuffed them, roughing them up in the process. No words were exchanged until the police had yanked the two cab drivers upright and searched them. Then Tad said, "We're the victims, not the criminals. This is my cab. His cab was stolen. He just wants to report it."
"All you f**king cab drivers are criminals. Let's see if you get any warrants outstanding," a tiny little Japanese lieutenant snarled at them. He had one of his big Samoan rookies call in Kris & Tad's ID's. There was only an old traffic warrant out for Kris. He'd forgotten to go to court on a speeding ticket, two years ago. The cops prepared to arrest him.
"Come on, I called you guys to report a real crime. Somebody stole my cab. I'm standing in my own driveway trying to report a crime. You gonna arrest me for that?"
"Book 'em, Danno."
"Wait a minute, wait a minute. The girl who stole my cab, her Dad is a cop. Her name is Holly. I don't know her last name."
"Holly the Ho? She try kill her Dad, Captain Cooke? Yeah, we know her? So, you know where she is right now?"
"No, that's why I called you."
Kris tried, and he waited, standing in his own driveway in handcuffs.
[ PART TWENTY-EIGHT TOMORROW copyright 2008 Cosa Nostradamus.]
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