Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 26, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #66


I turned 19 today, and I am not sure what to think or feel. I mean I'm 19, and my whole life has been about school, now school is out, so what do I do? Do I go to college and do more school or do I party all night? 
Decisions. Three years ago I figured out that I needed a car, I noticed that a neighbor of mine who lives down the street had a for sale sign on his 73 Plymouth Sattelite. It was going for a steep $1,500, but I just happened to have $2,000 sitting in the bank. I guess it paid to put a little bit of cash away every paycheck. Not bad for a kid who bags groceries on the weeknights and mops the floors for his karate sensei on the weekends. I must take back my opening statement, I do know what to think. I think I have to not forget that I'm meeting a friend later this evening.

It's a beautiful scenic drive up and around Tantalus until you get to the lookout, Marta English was already there waiting. She drove a little thing called a 'Chevette.' She couldn't complain because her parents bought her the car and paid for everything. All she had to do was finish college with a degree in business, what a frickin' deal! She brought all the fixings for the sandwiches; all I had to do was bring the drinks. It was all RC Cola sitting in a small cooler filled with ice. She spread out a blanket on the back of my trunk, and she made sandwiches. Marta needed everything on hers, mayo, lettuce, cheese, and the meat. Then she needed to cut it up in four squares before she ate it. So particular this girl but she always thought of everything. On the roof behind us, she put up her mini ghetto blaster while her earth, wind, and fire cassette played softly,

" I thirst but never quench, I know the consequence
  feeling as I do....we're in a spinning top, where tell me
  will it stop, and what am I to say...."

I liked her simple fashion style, rolling stones shirt, casual zip-up sweater, jeans, and a pair of Adidas 'Miler' running shoes.  It was my freshman year, I stood behind her in the lunch line, and she turned to say hello to a friend of hers and accidentally elbowed me in the ribs. Instead of apologizing, she called me an idiot for standing too close, I replied by telling her to pay attention with her eyes and not her mouth. I guess she got the humor in that statement, and we've been friends ever since. Now she's polishing off her second sandwich and already making a third.

"You know I like you, right?" She mumbled through her mouth, filled with sandwiches and chips.

"I know," I replied after gulping the can of my cola.

"Well, are you going to do something about it?" It's that same look she always gives me with her eyes bulging out.

"Like what?" Seriously, I didn't really know what I was supposed to do, she told me she liked me, and I've known that for a while. 

"Like me back? Make love to me here right on the trunk of your car or in your back seat or take me home; yours or mine and make love to me! Or tell me we're just friends, and we'll just sit here eating sandwiches and listen to this music that only reminds me of how much I like you!" I had to tell her to calm down, she was going to get more upset and choke on her sandwich.

"Will you calm down and stop yelling? Geeze, you don't have to get worked up!" She sat there chewing her food with such aggression that I was sure she was going to punch me. "I can't believe you're acting this way, isn't it enough that I wanted to hang out with you on my birthday? Now you want to yell at me?"

"Are you a homo or something? Is that it? You can tell me, you know?"  I'm sure if I laughed at her, she'd be mad, I completely understand her frustration because of my lack of reciprocation.

"I'm not Gay," I sighed.

"Then what? I'm a woman who is ripe for the picking, and I want you to pick me," she leaned in to kiss me, and then she let out a scream. "What the fuck was that? What the....what happened? My head just passed right through yours!"

"Marta, you're the only one who's been eating this whole time, you didn't notice that?" There was a pause there as if she were trying to put everything together.

"You're not eating, so what? I don't get it," I hated seeing her this way, hurt and confused.

"This is why I haven't been able to return your feelings, the best I've been able to do is come up here every year on my birthday," I held my hand out to her to prove my point. "Touch my hand Marta, just touch it, and you'll see what I mean."

She reached out, and her palm went right through mine, "Oh my fucking god! She screamed. "You're a ghost? But....when did you die? I've known you for so long.....I of all people would have known! How can you be dead? How? You''re really a ghost?"

"Yeah," I replied. "I'm sorry, Marta, I would have loved to love you."

The gravity of the situation changed her posture, her grief was quiet, and it more than likely had an effect on her self-esteem. The sound of the ghetto-blaster faded away as did the blanket and the sandwiches. Then the Chevette. Last to go was Marta, who could only cry mournfully. 

"I love you, Marta, I hope you find your way back," I really hoped she does, I think she deserves a second chance around.

Three years ago, Marta waited for me up at the Tantalous lookout, where we were going to hang out for my birthday. I was late getting off of work at the market. When I got there, I saw Marta's car, but there was no Marta. All they found was a grocery bag filled with bread, cheese, salami, and a bottle of mayonnaise. Even her ghetto-blaster was there, it was just the owner of the Chevette who couldn't be found. A week later her body was discovered off a beaten path below the lookout, someone shot her in the head and raped her after she was dead. The following year I came to the lookout to remember her, and there she was sitting in her car, waiting. She was there the next year too, and the one after that. So, I spend my birthdays with Marta English answering questions about love that can't be answered, keeping conversations alive about things that were only relevant three years ago. I turned 19 today, and I'm not sure about what to think or feel; it's been all about school for so long, but it's also been about Marta English. Every year I tell her that I'm the ghost, not her. I believe it helps her in some way, at least I hope it does. 

1 comment: