Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 1, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #93


Ever heard someone say that things will only get worse before they get better? I lived through that experience during my senior year at Kailua High School. It started out with my mother having a massive heart attack and a significant stroke while she took her afternoon nap.
After the services, my dad told me he called home to check up on my mom to see how her day was going. They ended up getting into an argument over the bills, and he hung up on her. He and I got home at just about the same time later that afternoon when we found her. That guilt slowly ate away at him until it took his life two years later. After that, school life became a routine, and I just went through the motions day in and day out. I wasn't even trying. My girlfriend at the time really tried her best to stay on board, but as luck would have it, she broke up with me right after my graduation ceremony. Couple that with the fact that my diploma would be taken away a few weeks later because of a mix-up of my grade point average with someone else's, and you have a classic case of someone being kicked while they're down.


I don't recall how I got there, but I knew it was just before sunrise at the Pali lookout. The sky was a black and purple color, and it wasn't fully daylight. I don't remember leaving the house, and indeed, I don't recall driving. I don't even remember sleeping the night before or even waking up. I do know that I climbed the railing at the lower path of the lookout and sat on the small grassy area just before the precipice, where it dropped off more than eight hundred feet. I cried without there having been a build-up to my tears. No beginning or middle, just straight to the grief. I was up on my feet, inhaled a deep breath, and stepped forward. I knew that if I didn't jump on my own, then the famous winds of the Pali would push me over. No wind, however, just still silence.

"There's no need to do that," the voice came from behind me. I turned to look, and a youngish local woman stood on the rail's other side. She had a beautiful round face, and her hair was pulled back into a high bun. She wore a thin material dungaree shirt with a white top underneath. Her jeans were snug and fit her hips nicely, and she spoke while putting a delicate gold chain around her neck. It was a heart-shaped locket with the initials KK engraved on it. "That won't be the answer, and all the people you're mad at will still be here talking about how pitiful a thing it was that you killed yourself, and you'll be gone. Wouldn't you want to still be around so that you have a chance to defend yourself and tell these people to go to hell?"

Her words struck me as logical and common sense, and I cried even more. She was right; how could I do this to myself? I felt so pitiful and useless, just like she said. I felt a huge burden lift from my shoulders, and as I looked up, the woman was extending her arms out to me.

"Come," she nodded. "Come away from there before you slip and really do fall."

I went to her, and she took me in her arms and held me with such maternal warmth that I melted into her embrace. "It's's ok."

She let go, took a small step away from me, and looked me in the eye. "So many young men your age come up here and jump, and I don't get to everyone. I was lucky this morning; you weren't too far gone that I couldn't talk you out of taking your own life. And look at how willingly you came to me when I beckoned to you?  That's a good sign."

"Thank you so much," I gushed. "You saved me."

Extending her hand again for me to hold, she said, "Come, let's take a quick walk."

We didn't so much walk hand in hand as it was more she leading and me following behind her. That's when I noticed the dark stains on the back of her jeans and her shirt. Even odder was that she was barefoot. At first, it appeared like she had laid down on a clump of wet grass or something, but I saw the dark red tinge. It was blood. I stopped dead in my tracks as she pulled ahead of me and stopped.

"What's wrong?" She asked.

"There's blood on your pants and your shirt," I pointed slowly.

"Oh," she laughed carelessly. "I borrowed this from the last young man I took. He was just here an hour before you arrived, and his life was so terribly destroyed that it was easy to take him. He practically begged me to. Certainly, I couldn't appear naked before you, right? That wouldn't be a good first impression."

I was confused at that point; it still hadn't dawned on me that I was dealing with something that was beyond otherworldly.

"Alright," she sighed and then stepped out of her clothing with such ease that it gave me the impression that she'd done this a thousand times before. She was in complete control over whatever happened at this part of the old Pali road. She determined who could pass and who would have to be turned back, but more so, she had control over men who ventured here when all was silent and void of any other human presence. I had no time to be enamored by the beauty of her naked form as her eyes, at that instant, rolled over black. "Come to me, and I'll give you one last moment of pleasure before I gut you and partake of your insides."

I remember screaming, and I remember running blindly back to the parking lot where my Mustang was parked. Tourists were just filing into the area while I simultaneously scanned the grounds, ensuring that this woman hadn't donned someone else's clothing and was now trying to blend in. When I didn't see her, I jumped in my car and burnt rubber out of that parking lot. I haven't been back there since, and I don't ever have plans to

One thing I learned, though, and that is that suicide is not the answer. I'm an advocate for suicide prevention today because of my personal experience. The difficult question here is if I  should be thankful to that thing for saving my life even though it had intended to kill me? Or, if you look at it another way, maybe its intention was to scare me just enough that I would never consider ending my life. Who knows?

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