Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 16, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #45



" I asked him why he never hit on me or tried anything," Tabby looked out of the office window while her father sat there and did his best to listen.

"Why would you ask him something like that?" Boy was taken aback by how bold and forward his daughter had become.

"Because I wanted to know," Tabby replied. "When guys aren't trying to hit on me they are at the very least saying stupid things. Pope never did not I had to know."

"Did you already have feelings for him when you asked him that question?" Boy had most of the situation figured out but he wanted to hear it from Tabby. She didn't answer right away, instead, she put her head down and cried. She looked up after a second and nodded.

"He didn't know what to say initially; I don't think he expected it," Tabby dabbed her cheeks with the balled up kleenex in her hands. She looked at it and tossed in the wastebasket. Removing the next three sheets of the sheer paper she brought it up to her nose and blew into it.



" I thought I'd done something to offend her so I apologized if I had somehow mistakenly given her that impression." Pope's eyes were filled with a genuine concern as he recounted the events of that awkward evening.

"That's what she said," Boy nodded in agreement.

"Okay good," Pope let out a sigh relief knowing that he had confirmation. "She said it was exactly because I didn't try anything that she was asking. I told her that I didn't see her that way. I considered her a friend and that was all. Then she asked me what I would say if she told me that she had fallen in love with me? I told her I was old enough to be her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all rolled up into one. Her reply was that age was just a number. I told her that at her age it is probably just a number but for someone like myself age is a set of numbers that tell me how many years I have left until my time is up. She said as long as we loved each other it shouldn't matter but in the overall scheme of things, it does matter. That's what I told her. Now there's a part of that conversation where she was going to begin to talk about our future together and how she'd take care of me in the twilight years of my life but I didn't let it come to that. I told her plain and simple that I didn't feel the same way about her and that we were never going to be anything more than friends. I felt it was the best way to not encourage anything. I tried to leave after that but she came after me and insisted that I hear her out". 



"There was no hug or anything, he left," Tabby said. "I stood there stunned and then suddenly I was angry for some reason and I was going to make sure that he heard me out so I could change his mind. I followed him and begged and pleaded for him to hear me out and so he told me to follow him to Kapiolani Park where we could talk in front of the entrance to the shell. I got there about the same time and he parked in the area between the bandstand and the bathrooms. I parked in front of the shell and saw him coming so I figured I'd get out of the car and meet him halfway. He was just passing the bathrooms when he stopped for a second and clutched his chest..........he took in two deep breaths like he was trying to get some air and then he collapsed..................heart attack.......he died..." Tabby put her head up against the bottom of the window sill and her body heaved and shuddered with grief. Boy walked over to her and put his arms around her. "It's my fault dad.....I made him meet me and he died."

"There's nothing I can do or say to make you believe or feel that what happened is not your fault. You're going to have to come to that realization yourself. All I can do is be here and be your father." Boy could only hope his words could help her.



" My mind was made up but I figured that at the very least I owed her the courtesy. We agreed to meet at the entrance to Shell at Kapiolani Park. I remember walking a little past the bathrooms and I saw her coming toward me and then............well it must be old age creeping up on me. Everything is hazy after that. I can't quite remember the rest." Pope rubbed his forehead and apologized to Boy. At that point, Kealoha drove into the very same parking lot and slowly approached the spot where Pope joined them for a ride.

"Listen," Boy straightened his coat out and positioned himself to face Pope. "You've done me a great service by talking to me and certainly you've put my mind at ease. I'm a man who always repays his debts."

"You don't owe me anything sir, I'm just glad I could help clear up any misunderstandings," Pope protested.

"I'm afraid you're too late. I've already taken the liberty of paying you what I owe." The Imperial Crown idled as it double parked behind two Toyota Tacomas and one Cadillac. Boy pointed to a woman standing just off to the side of the bathroom near a park bench that was positioned under a monkeypod tree. Kealoha rolled the back window down for Pope so he could get a better look.

"Charlene," Pope whispered in amazement and confusion at the same time. "That's my wife Charlene! is that possible?"

"Don't keep her waiting Pope," Kealoha had already come around the car to hold the door open for him. Pope sat there thoroughly confused and could not comprehend the situation. Boy got out of the vehicle on his side and walked over to join the man as they took a brief walk to meet Charlene. "Have you figured it out yet?"

"No, I'm not sure what's going on? How can Charlene be here when she's been dead for......." Pope stopped in his tracks and looked at Boy with eyes wide open. He said nothing but he nodded to himself until tears began to stain his cheeks. " I never got to hear Tabby out did I?"

"You do get to see your wife," Boy smiled but only slightly.

"That I do," Pope replied as he walked off to join his Charlene. "I owe you one."



In the dream, it was a usual morning as it always is on the campus of the University Of Hawai'i. Tabby was early for her religion class and she sat patiently and waited for the instructor to appear. Right about now is when a few of her regular classmates are supposed to filter in including her study group but no one showed up yet. Just as that thought crossed her mind, Pope walked in but he wasn't dressed in his regular tank top and slippers. He wore a mauve colored button down long sleeved shirt with a black tie that had purple flecks in it. Leather suspenders held up a grey pair of pleated slacks and on his feet, he wore black shoes. This was completely out of character for the man she had an affection for. Without even a glance in her direction, Pope made a beeline to the chalkboard and picked up a large chunk of blue chalk and began to write out something on the blackboard. The letters were blurry at first. It wasn't until Pope was done and he stepped away from the chalkboard that Tabby was able to read what was there.



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