I shivered. It felt like someone had shot up the room with an ice cannon.
She was maybe 5’7”, short black hair, Korean, a well-tailored, expensive-looking dark blue suit. Slacks, not a skirt. She used a lot of make-up, but it was so professionally applied it looked natural, as though she were wearing almost none at all. Thirtyish, she was drop-dead gorgeous.
“Who,” she asked, making me shiver again, “are you?”
“I, my name is Lanning?” It sounded like a question.
“No, Lanning, like planning without the P.”
She gave me a small, cool smile. “I bet you’ve said that a few times before. A very unusual name.”
Ever the brilliant conversationalist I managed, “I, well, yeah.”
She stiletto-heeled it over and stood on the opposite side of the bed.
“What I actually find important information, Lanning, when asking a question like that, is in what capacity are you here? You’re obviously not a physician,” she gave me a dismissive wave of her hand, “you don’t look like the police,” she scanned me up and down, “and you’ve no candy-striped apron.” That smile again, a twitch.
She was a lot to take in, like one of those extra-large pills you can’t swallow the first few tries. The ones you think you might choke on.
“Well?” she asked, her eyes growing large.
“Oh, I’m – ”
Just then Lieutenant Chan walked in with my coffee. We both turned. He always seemed like a very kind man, but he stopped and stared at her with a deadly hard look.
“Ah,” she said, “Mr. Chan, as always, it’s such a pleasure to see you.”
Chan put down the coffee and moved to the foot of the bed before speaking. “Miss Yu,” he said curtly.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, laughing and turning toward me. “Lanning, this is Mr. Chan, an old family friend.”
I looked at Chan, then at her. “Yes, I, I know him,” I said.
“Ah,” she said, “how lucky.”
Chan said, “So to what do we owe this honor, Miss Yu?”
It dawned on me. This woman was the Ivy League lawyer, Gi Yu, granddaughter of Kang Yu, daughter of the deceased Byung Yu, sister of the also deceased Jason Yu. This was the Yu clan’s heir to the 50th State’s Korean syndicate throne. Chan had mentioned that she was buying up Hawai’i. She looked like she thought she owned this room. Probably every room she entered.
“I heard, Mr. Chan, that a friend was here.”
I looked at Chan. If this relationship surprised him about our unknown man, I couldn’t tell.
“How sad,” he said. “And is this your friend?” he asked, nodding toward the man.
“I came to see,” said Gi Yu. “I inquired about him at the desk, and they didn’t have anyone here answering to that name. They mentioned there was a John Doe in ICU, so here I am.”
“Ah, so. And how,” Chan asked, “did you hear that your friend might be here?”
Gi Yu gave that tick of a smile. “A little bird told me.”
Chan’s face didn’t change. I knew he’d be burning to know who had recognized this man and then relayed the information to this woman. A doctor, a nurse, the ambulance people, people on the scene? Who might the informant be?
“So is this he?” Chan asked, that granite face.
Gi Yu looked down at the man. “Why yes, I believe this is my friend.”
“Perfect, Miss Yu. Who is he?”
“He’s my Uncle Beanpole.”
I ran through the few conversations I’d had with my mother and my sister about my dad. Had he ever had that nickname? It didn’t register.
I blurted out, “But what’s his real name?”
Gi Yu looked at me like I was a bug. “Again,” she sneered, “who are you in relationship to him?”
“I don’t know!” I said. “What the hell’s his name?”
Chan said quietly, “Miss Yu, please tell us his name?”
“Pleeeeease!” I begged.
She gave me a nod, as if she appreciated people groveling.
Dismissing Chan, she said, “Well, Planning without a P, my uncle’s name is Chong, Chong-soo Lee.”
The next thing I saw was the blackness of darkness.
* * * * *
Aloha #WriterMonday, I hope you are all well and safe. Please be careful as everything starts to open up. Proceed with great caution. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Please use it to inspire a piece of writing, long or shot, poetry or prose, a sentence, a paragraph, the first chapter of our novel, and then post that a piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )