Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 25, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #6


The elder Filipino lady crossed the street from Sacred Hearts to the McDonald's with a great degree of strange difficulty. She would arrive halfway towards her destination and freeze on the spot until the traffic light turned green and frustrated drivers would beep their horns at her.
With no concern for her own safety, she would turn around and hobble back to her point of origin. People in the McDonald's restaurant would gasp or shriek until someone would finally run out to the street to help her but she'd always be gone. Maybe she just gave it up and decided to take a shopping jaunt to Times Supermarket or Long's? That's what one would hope of course.

On a very late night when the work that I do renders me numb to the temptations of sleep, I found myself parked at the McDonald's gazing across the street at the now darkened all-girls Catholic school. I told ghost stories there one year and experienced a strange claustrophobic energy that made me want to stop mid-sentence and run away, but that's another story. The fast-food restaurant was surprisingly crowded at this late hour. Equally surprising was how quickly I received my food after placing my order. I got it as a take-out and walked my number one meal in a paper bag with a large coke to the bus shack just outside the parking lot of the golden arches. Traffic was sparse and the night was relatively quiet, the overnight rain which momentarily soaks the streets had not yet arrived but I loved just sitting there and soaking it all in. Not many people know this but I have an order in which I eat my Mac D's; fries, burger, coke.

I finished my last few fries and glanced up to see the old Filipino woman hobbling across the street toward where I sat. She performed her hopeless routine several times and within that time span, I managed to finish my convenient meal. Just then one of the swing managers from within the golden arches who must have seen the old woman's dilemma comes running down the sidewalk. I can already tell what she's going to do but I wait until she steps into the crosswalk; then I speak up, "Don't bother."

She turns and looks at me like I'd just told her to go to hell but I tell her again, "Listen to what I'm saying, don't bother helping her."

"Whatcoo mean? She's an old lady! You want her to get run over and die?" The swing manager looks like she's about to hit me but I have to wake her up.

"She's already dead. She was killed six years ago right in the spot where she freezes; speeding car, never saw her, she never felt it. As far as she knows, she's still crossing the street but she freezes right there and turns around and starts all over again. She can't ever get to this side because she never made it to this side." I give the swing manager just a little more information that I'm sure she's not ready for. "She's on her last go-round, just stand there and watch. You'll see."

The old Filipino woman hobbles toward us and it takes her a while but when she finally gets to the spot in the crosswalk where she freezes, and she disappears. The swing shift manager screams in such a way that I can tell her personal and professional life will fall apart after tonight.  She won't be long for her job and she'll probably need some treatment or therapy thereafter.

At least we can hope.

I like these late nights out on the town in the Kaimuki/Waialae area where as late as it gets the streets are still teeming with life, and ghosts.

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