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In sixth grade, I?d witnessed the Killahaole Day fight between Ben and Ricky?s gang. They?d trapped him on the gravel road behind the thrift shop. The shop was closed. At first it didn?t seem serious—just a group of Catholic boys in white button-downs and khaki pants going through a ritual that would amount to nothing more than name calling and idle threats. Ricky pushed Ben. Ben pushed Ricky back. A boy named Freitas and his friend Mits began pelting Ben with gravel. The sun was below the roof of the convent and only a few cars were in the parking lot. A Hawaiian kid we all called “Da Destroya” walked out from behind the thrift shop.

His sleeves were rolled over his biceps and he was wielding a Louisville Slugger.

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