Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 2, 2018

The Stranger: One More Time

"I woke last night to the sound of thunder, 
how far off I sat and wondered..."

Boy Napualawa's office was unlike any business office you've ever seen. The exterior didn't look like anything spectacular. In fact, if someone was lost and asking for directions to a specific location, this building would have been the one which you'd describe as being next to the place that the lost tourist was in search of.
It was never the actual location that anyone was looking for. That's why Boy chose it as his office. When I called he was open to sitting down and having a conversation, I know how busy he is, so I was grateful that he had a moment to fit me in. Right now, I have to tell you that out of respect for Boy I won't describe the interior of his office to you except to say that it is a beautiful mixture of ancient Hawaiian stonework and modern-day architecture. As well, it's chocked full of mana.
The hour was ten when I entered his office, we were not alone. His two uncles sat with him as did his aunt.

"No need to be bothered, my uncles and my aunt sit with me in all transactions. It's a family tradition." Boy explained as he took his seat. "Everything we say here stays in this office."

I didn't have a problem with that, Boy was always a stand-up guy, and I knew he was someone you could trust in a tight spot. However, to earn his trust was a hard task before he allowed you into his circle.

"There's somebody I'm worried about, she's been a perfect friend all these years, and we have an understanding because......because of her father. He used to be in my line of work but not to the extent where I put a little extra flourish on the top if you know what I mean?" Boy nodded, he understood, and that relaxed me even more. "Sometimes...well...a lot of times I have to decompress, and so she owns a bar where I go to."

"Is there some sort of romantic involvement?" Boy asked while he looked at me with that sideways glance.

"No," I said, shaking my head, "all we've ever been is friends. I'm more like a father figure to her since I'm older."

"So, therefore, the worry is....?" I sensed that Boy already knew the answer to the question he just asked but that he was being polite and wanted me to say it.

"The worry is that someone.....might see me walking into her place and that someone might be a person in my world who is out for revenge. You know how that goes? If they can't get to me, they'll get to the person closest to me," I explained. "That person could be Ray."

"I see," Boy mused to himself. "Are you prepared to hear what I have to say about your concern?"

"Sure," I nodded.

"You're not someone who's ever had to worry about anyone else because of your job. That's never been an issue, but your work... it's starting to catch up with you, and you've needed somewhere to go and be by yourself and your friend....she's given you that with no questions because she understands. So now you care, now you worry." He paused and looked at me, waiting for an answer.

"Yeah, I guess so," I agreed.

"Normally you solve your problems by yourself, but this one came out of left field, and you don't know what to do," Boy was on point again, like he was reading my thoughts.

"I'll tell you," Boy began as he sat back in his chair, "I have my two uncles here who are as different as night and day, polar opposites if there ever was one. But there are no two brothers like them who have as close a bond as they do. My aunty Rita is a firecracker, hot-tempered, and wicked sharp with her words, but I have seen her time and time again do things from her heart that would make the most hardened criminal weep. There's also my daughter Tabby who is headstrong and outspoken, and one day, she may take over this office and run it herself. What I'm trying to say is that as capable and able as my family may be to take care of themselves, I always worry about them. I worry about their safety and well being all the time, and it's not just because I'm in charge of this office, but it's because they're my family, and I love them. That's what's happening to you, you've got a deep love and care for your friend, and you don't want any harm to come to Ray. When another person's happiness means more to you than your own........, that's when you know you've grown as a human being."

"Is that what it is?" I chuckled nervously.

"You want your friend to be safe, it makes sense," Boy continued. "It's funny that you asked for this appointment; maybe it was meant to be."

"What do you mean?" I asked, not understanding where the conversation was going.

"What do you think about becoming a part of this office?" I heard what Boy asked, but I still wasn't sure about what he was really asking.

"Your office? I don't get it?"

"Work here, with us; you can't go it alone like you've been doing all his time now that there's someone of consequence in your life. We can help protect her so that you have nothing to worry about. I'll teach you how things work and how to counsel people when they come to us for help. If you're worried about'll be set for life." Boy looked at me the way my father used to when he knew he was right.

"I appreciate your support... I've been at this for so long on my own... I can't kumbaya," I had to be straightforward so that there wasn't any misunderstanding. "Don't get me wrong; this is a great thing you're offering, but you're asking a shark to be a guppie. I'm sorry."

"It's a standing offer," Boy came around the desk and shook my hand and gave me a hug as did his two uncles and his aunt. I got the answer I was looking for, it was about love and family and the realization that things were no longer about you once you started caring for someone else. What I really wanted was for Boy to tell me that it was alright to fall off the grid where Ray and her bar was concerned. Instead, he told me to embrace my worries for her and that they would help to protect her if I joined his office. That was just as bad as Ray forcing me to smile every time I entered her bar.



Once the meeting was adjourned, Ivan and Tiny left to go fishing for Aweoweo at Keawaula. Rita stayed behind to clean up the office while Boy worked on reviewing the office insurance policy.

"Hanson?" Rita called his name to get his attention as well as to ask a question of him.

"Yes, Aunty?" Boy briefly looked up from his paperwork to give Rita his attention.

"When are you going to tell that man that he's your brother?" Rita made sure that the tone in her voice raised just to the right frequency so that her nephew could understand her intent.

"The time isn't right yet, but when it is, I will tell him," Boy confirmed.

"Don't wait until it's too late Hanson, you don't want that on your conscious," Rita advised.

"Yes, aunty, I will. I promise." Boy replied.

Boy thought to himself that one day when the time was right, he would tell the stranger he was his brother, but it had to be at the right moment when the news would bring him happiness and not burden him with an unnecessary concern.

1 comment:

  1. Is this a book you've written? Is it possible to get the book? So impatient for the next segment...sigh