Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 18, 2018

The Son Giving Life

Leiana dragged Ola's lifeless broken body along the salt-encrusted red mud just outside the gates of the refinery which was across the street from the cafe'. It was a dried up canal when it wasn't filled with water coming in from Kawaihae bay.
She could hear the gentle tide lapping up against the concrete arches which held up a pathway where foot traffic and vehicles crossed. There was a second pathway after the first which then led out to the ocean. That's where she needed to go; to the water. That's where she needed to bring Ola's body. It was a Herculean effort to get under both overpasses of the small bridges because the mud became more like silt the further she traveled and it began to suck her feet down and hold them in place, but finally, by sheer willpower, she was at the water's edge. The burden of Ola's weight was lessened as Leiana found herself chest deep in the dark water and her son floated into her embrace with little effort as if he were a mere infant.

"Please!" She pleaded into the dark night sky. "Please, I beg you! It's been so long.....I've forgotten all chants, all the incantations! I don't have the things.......I don't have....please...don't let my son's death be for nothing! Please if you're still there........if you hear me.....please take my son.......and give him life! Bring him back......somehow...bring him back! Let him live...I just found him...I just held him for the first time in over a lifetime...please."

Leiana held Ola's body in the gesture of an offering and gently pushed him away from her. His body floated just less than a foot from her and in the glow of the ambient firelight from the accident up the road, she saw two large sharks emerge from the water covering Ola's body with theirs as they brought him down into the dark depths of Kawaihae Bay.

"Mahalo!" Leiana cried. They heard her, she had not been abandoned after all. They'd been watching and listening to her the entire time.  "Thank you....."

The following morning at daybreak, Leiana's pale lifeless body was found just at the edge of the road across the street from the cafe. She died as a result of massive internal bleeding, but on her face was a smile, a beautiful smile of content and happiness. It wasn't a big smile, but it was a smile none the less.


4 Years Later


Bernice Mahi met her husband Andrew at a Barbershop at the Wai'anae shopping center. Andrew was having a difficult time getting his little boy into the barber's chair as he decided at the last minute that he didn't want a haircut. Andrew's scoldings weren't working either so Bernice stepped in and gave the little boy an orange lollipop.

"What's your name?" Bernice asked the little boy while simultaneously giving herself an orange lollipop.

"Kalahikiola," the boy answered softly. "You can call me 'Ola.'

For the next few minutes, Bernice and Ola talked about everything and nothing and became fast friends. Once the lollipops were done, Bernice propped up the little boy in her barber's chair and began to cut his hair without any protest from the little boy. Andrew was pleased but somewhat embarrassed. It turned out that it was father and son Saturday and the both of them had come for a haircut and so Bernice obliged Andrew. Through their conversation, Bernice found out that Andrew was a single father and that the boy's mother moved away suddenly and was never seen or heard from again.  By the end of the haircut, Andrew and Bernice exchanged phone numbers and began dating soon after. Ola took to Bernice without a problem which pleased Andrew greatly. It wasn't long before they were married but it wouldn't be until ten years later that Andrew and Bernice would have their own child, a little girl they named 'Kaiona.'

Initially, Andrew was against a Hawaiian name for his daughter but Bernice insisted that the baby be named after her great-grandmother who came to her in a dream and told Bernice her child would be her namesake.


Bernice laughed at herself while she washed the dishes and gazed out the window into the backyard. "Of all things," she thought. "Why would I suddenly remember that?"

For a second she thought it was Andrew standing in the backyard wearing nothing but a pair of shorts but as she looked closer she suddenly realized it was a naked man standing there. The sight was startling and she screamed out her husband's name. "ANDREW!!!! ANDREW!!!" He came running from the back room into the kitchen and found his wife jumping up and down in hysterics while pointing out the kitchen window. He saw it himself; it had to be some crazed drugged out crack head standing in his backyard with no clothes on. Without hesitation, Andrew grabbed a meat cleaver and ran out to the meet the stranger face to face with Bernice right behind him. Andrew expected the worst but once he arrived in his backyard, he and his wife stopped dead in their tracks. There standing naked in their backyard soaking wet as if he had just emerged from the ocean was the stranger, but it wasn't a stranger.

It was Ola.

No comments:

Post a Comment