I opened my eyes. The light blinded me. I knew I was in Queen’s. I had a horrible feeling. Something had happened to me, and I’d passed out. Now I was on an operating table. A doctor, masked, came into view. He asked for a scalpel. All of sudden, I felt a sharp pain. He was cutting into me, but the anesthetic wasn’t working. I tried to call out, but I couldn’t get my mouth to work. The pain was excruciating. Suddenly I cried out.
“Whoa, Lanning.” It was Lieutenant Chan’s voice. “I opened my eyes. The intensity of the overhead fluorescent lights made me wince. I was in a waiting room. I been lying on a couch.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I’m, yeah. How long have I been out?”
“Where is she, Gi Yu?”
“Gone. Hold on, I’ll get you coffee.”
With high probability, my father was lying there. And praise be to who or what, I was Gi Yu’s cousin.
The Lieutenant returned, on the way to becoming my personal coffee bearer.
“So David,” I said, “not only is that gangster with near certainty my father, but Gi Yu’s my cousin. Even better, I think that makes Kang Yu my grandfather.”
“Well, I think that depends, Lanning. First of all, we have to be sure she’s identified this man correctly. Second, we have to know if she isn’t in a relationship with him where’s he’s just a kind of calabash uncle, rather than a blood relation. I mean, my dad’s partner for instance, Wilbur Apana, I call him Uncle Snuffy. He’s my godfather.”
I sipped on my coffee, shaking my head through all of this. I said, “And if she was right in her IDing of him, and if he is her blood uncle?”
“Yeah, well, then Kang Yu is very possibly your grandfather, Lanning, and you are, potentially, heir to the whole Korean syndicate operation here. It’s as simple as that. Except – ”
“Christ!” I cut in. “That is the most insane thing I can imagine,” I said. “Jason Yu my cousin, Byung Yu my uncle. And,” I tried to plow through the information, “I guess that would make that man in there Byung Yu’s brother? Wait, is that right?”
“No, no, no, not necessarily, let me finish,” said Chan. “He’s got a different last name. I mean there could be other reasons for that, but if it’s his real last name, not just, say, an alias, then he’d be more likely Byung Yu’s brother-in-law, related to his first wife.”
“His first wife? How many did he have?”
Lieutenant Chan rotated the coffee cup in his hand. Finally, “Two. He had two wives.” His voice sounded odd.
“So, he could be the brother of the second wife?”
Chan looked up at me. “No, Lanning, she’s, ah, she’s Japanese.” The look was terribly sad.
“Oh, okay. That’s good then, right? I mean that would make it so I’m not a blood relation to Kang or Byung, right?”
“What?” He still seemed to be thinking about Byung’s second wife being Japanese.
“I say, if that were the case, I wouldn’t be a blood relation to the Yus. Just related by marriage to Gi and her dad.”
“Yes, yes, that’s correct,” he said.
Now, I thought, “there’s something to hope for. “I’m going back in there,” I said.
I stood up. “You coming?”
Bringing up Byung Yu’s second wife seemed to sap all of the Lieutenant’s energy. “No, no, you go ahead.”
When I entered the room, I was surprised to see the Lieutenant’s partner, Detective Stillman, sitting in a chair. He stood, came to shake my hand.
“Mr. Lee,” he said, “you feeling okay?”
“Yes, yes, I’m good. You’re here now?”
“Yes, I’ll be taking over the watch tonight from Lieutenant Chan.”
“The situation’s changed now. If this man, your father – ”
“Probably my father,” I interrupted him. “Not definitely.”
“Okay, if this man is related to Gi Yu and the Yu syndicate, then the shooting takes on a different dimension. That shooter or any number of people might try to harm your — him again. From now on, we’re going to be here around the clock.”
“Wow, that’s, well wow.”
I went over to the bedside. The man, with high probability my damn father, was sleeping peacefully. I pictured myself teaching an English class, all decked out in black. Packing heat. On the up side, I’d never have a student complain about a grade again.
* * * * *
Aloha #WriterTuesday, I hope all is well wherever you are. Even though places are opening up, be very safe and take good care. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of any kind writing, a few words or many, and post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it. I’ve been making that offer for over a year now, and only one person has ever left a response. Come on, everybody has a sentence or two in them : )