Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 28, 2019


It's the bathrooms between those two fast food eateries at the food court. Down that hallway, you will often find a single rose taped to the wall just before the entrance to the men's restroom.
That's where Paraluman was left by her grandfather, Martin. He called her, "Lu" for short. She was only four years old on that fateful day but by then her grandfather was at his wit's end, his back was literally up against the wall.

Earlier that morning Martin and Lu boarded the number 48 bus on Renton Road just fronting Ho'opio street in 'Ewa Villages. He had prepared the contents of his paper bag just before sunrise. In it was everything he needed. They sat at the back of the bus in the corner where people's conversations wouldn't bother Lu while she slept, it wasn't crowded during that time of the morning so the two of them managed to have their own peace and quiet. The bus let them off at the west end of the mall and Martin carried Lu the whole way through Sears and up the escalator toward the food court and they were there in no time. He placed Lu right outside the entrance to the men's bathroom and instructed her to wait for him until he came out. She was not to talk to anyone or leave with anyone. Lu agreed and stayed put.

Martin didn't seem to be bothered by the stench of the unclean restroom as he made his way into a stall. From the paper bag which he placed on the floor, he removed a beautiful white Barong and hung it on the rod on the back of the stall door. Secondly, he removed a pair of clean slacks and a pair of nicely polished shoes which Martin put on the toilet seat cover. His house clothing and slippers from which he undressed himself now filled the paper bag, soon he donned the stunning white formal shirt and dark slacks. It still fit and he looked as dapper as he did on the day that he married his late wife Dolores when he was all of 18 years old. Martin unfolds the piece of paper from his pocket and tenderly tapes it to the wall of the stall itself.

"There," he says to himself.

The last item he removes from the paper bag is a snub nose 357 Magnum which he applies just under his chin and pulls the trigger. Simultaneously as his blood splatter and brains decorate the wall behind him, Martin collapses to the floor.

The loud thundering blast of the gun brings everyone to the men's facility and they are greeted by the horrible sight of an old Filipino man lying dead in a dark pool of his own blood. The police find the suicide note on the inside of the stall that says,

"Without the door of this bathroom you will find the corpse of my granddaughter Paraluman. She was only four years of age when she died but she has not given me a day of rest. Her ghost torments me without pause, sadly this condition in which you find me is my only salvation. Take her body and burn it but do not touch it with your own flesh for you will never be able to rid yourself of her. She was cursed to death by her own Aunt to wander as an evil restless spirit simply because the little girl accidentally destroyed her patch of magical banana plants. Lu's aunt believed that the first drop of dew that fell from the first sprouting flower of the plantain stalk was what gave her her longevity and helped her to age slower than most. With the plants now obliterated, Lu's aunt aged rapidly and her health deteriorated in a week. Her curse rendered upon her own four year old niece was put forth with her last dying breath. Thus, the curse could never be lifted. Even now as I compose this letter, the idea of magical banana plants does not seem to be so foolish after all that has happened. Had you told me that the corpse of a little girl could reanimate itself long enough to feed on the very misery and discontent that it creates, I would certainly have scoffed and thought you to be a superstitious fool. Yet, here I am a firm believer that evil is alive and well because it has snatched away the very soul of my granddaughter. My Paraluman, my little Lu. Heed my warning so that you do not suffer my fate,"



The elderly Portuguese couple walks the lost little girl to the security guard station and finally, the husband lifts the girl in his arms while his wife rubs her back.

"You don't know where your parents are?" Asks the wife.

The little girl simply shakes her head.

"What's your name?" The husband asks.

"Lu," the little one replies with a squeaky raspy tone, "Lu"

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