Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 5, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #87


“You don’t even have to love me,” she pleaded. “I can just be here for you whenever you need someone to be with you or to just hang out?
You can have sex with me and I won’t hold you to anything, I know sex can get weird after but I won’t be weird about it. I can be whatever you need me to be but don’t make me go okay? I don’t have anything, or anyone or anywhere… please? Please just let me stay?”

On the one hand was I too nice to kick her out? On the other hand, did I know that letting her stay wasn’t going to work out the way she promised? She was definitely destitute of anywhere to exist, and I didn’t want to throw her out to the streets. The only thing is, I had no idea who she was. Her ghost showed up on the first night that I moved into this Kaimuki studio and she hasn’t left since. I named her, ‘Sally Bowles’ after the character from Cabaret, because she looked just like her, however, it was the never-ending begging night after night that wore on me. I finally called a Kahuna to come and cleanse my little twelve foot by fourteen-foot studio of her personality. When the aged Hawaiian man arrived and began his prayer which was coupled by a braided wand of ti leaf being dipped into his wooden bowl filled with water from a coconut and red salt, Sally’s ghost faded in. The Kahuna removed the ti leaf and began to sprinkle my studio in a counter-clockwise arc.

“Please, just let me stay?” Sally begged. “You don’t have to love me, I have enough to love for myself so it’s okay. Just let me be here, I can cook I can clean and I’ll be here for whatever you need. You can even hit me if you want when you’re mad, it will hurt but I’ll never leave. I’ll be here the next morning, just don’t throw me out. Let me stay, please?”

The prayer and the sprinkling of the water continued without interruption and simultaneously Sally’s ghost dissipated, “I’ll be anything you want, you can do anything to me, just don’t throw me out.”

She was gone and the remnants of her pleading also faded like a mist of rain in the sun.

The aged Hawaiian man was soaked in sweat as he began to place all of his items in the bag he brought with him. “Poor thing that girl, she only knew abuse when she was alive. Her value of herself was based on her body but she didn’t know how to be anything else away from that situation. I don’t know how she died, I don’t want to know.”

I gave him an envelope with some money in it, even though he politely refused I was respectful enough not to place it in his hands but in his pocket instead. I hugged him without thinking about formalities and thanked him deeply. Two days later, I was packed and more than ready to move. Before I stepped out I turned back and looked into the empty studio knowing that I could not even begin to imagine what Sally's life must have been like in this place. “Maybe this time you’ll be reborn into a better situation.”


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