Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 24, 2017

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2017! #69

Doctor Tanaka

I remember a few years back having to go to the emergency room because I was having heart palpitations. In the end, it turned out to be acid reflux, but the young female Doctor wanted to check me into the hospital and keep me over the weekend for observations. We mentioned to her that we were headed for a weekend trip to Kauai, and she made an off-hand remark as to how hard-headed men can be. Without a second thought, I just blurted out, "Your father was the same way."

She looked genuinely surprised and said, "Oh, did you know him?"

"No, not personally," I replied, and it was only then I saw the look on my wife's face, but it was too late.

"Then why would you say something like that if you didn't know my father?" The Doctor was perturbed, but I how could I lie to her? Especially if she was the person who was treating me? So I was honest.

"He's standing right next to you, he just said it himself, not me. He's a bull of a man, gray crew cut style hair and a real samurai expression on his face. He's wearing his Harry Kojima shirt and his favorite pair of fishing shorts. He's a no-bullshit kinda guy. he just told me he's the same way; he's hard-headed." I didn't have to wait long for a response, the Doctor made a funny, twisted kind of face and walked out of the E.R. One of the nurses came in and cleared me to go and so we prepared to leave. Just then, the Doctor burst back into the room, almost hitting my wife and me with the double doors. She was upset but not in an angry way, tears streamed down her cheeks, and her eyes were red.

"Why is my father here? What does he want?" The Doctor asked more as a way of gaining clarification.

I looked at her father's ghost and shrugged my shoulders as a way to let him know that it was up to him if he wanted me to relay the message or not? He nodded and a cracked a small smile. "He says close your eyes and think about the first time he brought you to Hakubundo book store and got you your first pencil case and bubble gum scented erasers."

"Nobody knows that! How did you know that?" She was genuinely shocked by someone who was a highly educated Doctor.

"I told you, he's telling me this, but please, he says close your eyes and think about it." In my mind I'm telling her father's ghost that he's right, she just as hard-headed as he is, he just chuckles and agrees. She closes her eyes and the color in her face changes, she relaxed now, and she's remembering. I give her a minute or two, and soon she starts to say, "He got me my.…," but I finish her sentence. "….your favorite Fusen Gum."

"That's right! Oh, my god, that's right, how did you know?" Her eyes were still closed while she asked these questions, and her tears wouldn't stop. My wife and I were a bit choked up as well, and so I answered, "He says open your eyes now."

Following what her father had asked me, the excellent Doctor opened her eyes and saw her father's ghost standing in front of her. He materialized long enough to say, "Daddy is so proud of you, Karen! Daddy loves you yeah? You understand?" After that, he faded away like a puff smoke. The Doctor looked at us and gave us a very quiet 'Thank you.'

"Thank my addiction to fast food; otherwise, I wouldn't have ended up here," my wife smacked me on the arm and apologized to the Doctor. She dragged me out of the emergency room and back to our car." This thing isn't turned off, it's on all the time, but stuff happens when it's ready to happen, not because we want it to," I told my wife.

"Yes," she says. "But sometimes you have to hold back; otherwise, you'll keep freaking people out!"

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