Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 1, 2016

"After The Storm"

Mahope O Ka Manawa ‘Ino

Boy sat at his desk staring thoughtfully into the nothingness, while Rita set down a plate of ‘o’io salad, poi and pua’a kalua. His favorite brand of peach tea sat in a large beer glass that took up most of the space on his mouse pad, but what could he do? There was no space for it anywhere else. Rita sat opposite him and was neatly unfolding her napkin and meticulously placing a fork, knife and spoon to the side. She then opened her can of Diet soda and slowly poured the contents into her favorite tall glass from an Italian restaurant which was owned by a Vietnamese family. Now holding the fork in her right hand and the knife in her left, she let out a deep sigh before she indulged in her bowl of boneless chicken and brown rice.

“It’s rude to space out when someone is in the same room,” Rita said.

“I thought that I could mentor her and bring her along when she was older,” Boy mused, but painfully so.

“There’s nothing you could have done Hanson, if you were in her place you would have done the very same thing. The outcome is the outcome,,” Rita reassured him.

“No one could have foreseen the circumstances, I guess. We were thrust into this much, much sooner than we expected,” Boy agreed.

“Then why torture yourself over it?” Rita asked.

“Because I could have done something, I should have had the foresight...” Boy was at a loss for words at that point.

“You can’t save everyone; although you do a very good job of trying. We in this office may have the ability to control particular kinds of situations but we are not the seers of fate; that’s not up to us,”
Rita said. “We couldn’t control her fate either and that is something you are going to have to accept.”

Boy put his head down and thought deeply about Rita’s words of counsel while he rubbed his temples.

“Concern yourself with the people that you’re responsible for in this office,” Rita smiled. “We need you,”


Although her death was tragic, Boy felt that she deserved much more than dying anonymous and known only to barely a few people.  He paid for her plot and her headstone, he arranged for her flowers and her services. He hired a small group of musicians to play her favorite music live. Boy, Ivan, Tiny and Kealoha, the doorman at the office were the pallbearers who escorted her to her final resting place. It was 1:32 in the afternoon when her earthly remains were committed to the dirt from whence she and her ancestors came.

Rather than there being an invocation at the grave, there was a lone guitar player who offered a song for those in attendance. A brief history of her life was mentioned by Boy to the musician who unknowingly performed her favorite song at the moment when the casket was lowered in to the waiting grave.

“She’s been afraid to go out, she’s afraid of the knock on the door,
 there’s always a shade of a doubt, she can never be sure, who comes to call
 Maybe the friend of a friend of a friend, anyone at all, anything but nothing again
 It used to be her town, it used to be her town too...”


A short time later the plaque that graced her grave was etched with mokihana and laua’e in honor of her roots from Kaua’i. The plaque itself read,



“Everything okay boss?” Kealoha asked.

“Yes,” Boy answered. “Bring the car around please,”

“Yes, boss,” Kealoha replied.

“Oh and Kealoha?” Boy called after the doorman.

“Yes boss?” The bull of a man answered.

“Thank you for coming to help on such short notice, I appreciate it,” Boy nodded.

“Thank you for considering me, boss. It means a lot,” Kealoha bowed.

There was something about the Ko’olau mountains in the early afternoon that gave Boy a sense of reminiscent comfort. It reminded him of the drives back from the mango groves in Hau’ula, many many years ago when he was first being taught Lua by his parents. Life and it’s busy pace was what waited on the other side of those mountains. However, in the place where the winds were constant and the rains were welcoming; Boy Napualawa was at home.


  1. Death unknown???? I can't wait to hear more!

    1. You have to go back and read the 100 Ghost Stories so this makes sense to you

  2. Death unknown???? I can't wait to hear more!