The Chow Yoo Chu restaurant was indeed a magnificent building, elaborate in its classical Chinese style. A pink palace complete with moon-gate entry, and multiple waterfalls pouring into a huge carp-filled pond, it sat a one-story structure at the edge of a vertically evolving Waikīkī. Chan wondered how long this fabulous eatery might survive.
Chan asked one of the employees if Nina were in. She was. He was directed to the kitchen. Entering, he marveled at the size of the place, how many cooks were busy preparing all varieties of dishes.
“You’ve detected me out?” said Nina, appearing at his side.
“Oh, oh,” said Chan, flustered by the semi-sneak attack, “yeah, I called.”
“So I heard,” she said, hugging him and brushing her lips against his cheek.
Chan’s knees wobbled. “Have you got a second to talk. I need a little more information.”
Nina ushered him out of the kitchen and over to the bar area where it was quiet.
“What do you need to know?”
“Do you have any living grandparents?”
“Why, no, I don’t. Why do you ask?”
“Just routine stuff,” said Chan. “Any uncles, aunts, cousins?”
“Loads,” said Nina. I think my family might be nearly as large as yours.”
Chan laughed out loud, but groaned inwardly. His father had thirteen brothers and sisters. All of them were still alive, and so were his forty-some cousins, not to mention all of their children.
“I know it’ll be a pain,” Chan said, “but could you please put together a list, along with any contact info, phone numbers, addresses, that you know.”
Nina looked perplexed. “All of them? You think they might be involved?”
Chan nodded apologetically. “It’s not that I think any of them might have had a hand in this, it really is just routine.”
Nina said, “Well, if it’s gotta be done, then it’s gotta be done. It might take me a few days, but I’ll do the best I can. Do you want the ones who don’t live on O‘ahu as well? Neighbor islands? Farther away? I’m sure like yours, mine are spread all over the globe.”
Again Chan confirmed that all the information she could give him would be helpful.
“Okay, David, I’ll call you.”
The words stabbed at Chan. “Thanks, Nina, I’d appreciate it.”
Then, “Last night was fun,” she said.
This surprised Chan. “Really? You had fun?” How do you have fun, he thought, on the night your entire immediate family is murdered, even if you say you’re estranged from them. The tears. Then no-tears. Like a faucet. Something odd about that.
“Oh yes,” said Nina. “Sorry I had to break it up.”
The phone call. Chan wondered if he should casually ask about it. But didn’t. Not casually.
“No need to apologize. I know that call was important. We all get those calls that need immediate attention. Like that one. I could tell . . . So you had to go somewhere . . . right? Right . . . ”
She looked at him with an expression that said, “You’re rambling, Dave.”
Part of it was him heating up, the adrenaline ramping up a little. She’d had fun. Were things looking good for another date after all?
“Sorry,” Chan said, “I didn’t get much sleep last night. This case. We don’t see multiple homicides in such high numbers too often.”
“So you wanna know what the phone call was about.”
Chan did a double-take. “Well, I, if you want to tell me, please do.”
“I know this won’t go over too well,” Nina said, matter-of-factly. “It was my husband.”
* * * * *
Happy #WriterThursday. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of writing, short or long, any kind of style, and then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or simply leave it as a comment below. I would love to read it : )