Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 12, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #82



If anyone of you ever has the cause or the opportunity to be in Boy Napualawa's office, I promise you that it is something you'll never forget. That is, of course, if Boy allows you to remember you were ever there. To save you and me a lengthy description of his office, I will simply tell you that it is as modern an office as can be, except that there is a strong sense of something ancient within the confines of the four walls.
In the far right corner of his office is a floor to ceiling door that conceals who knows what behind it? The carvings on the face of it are of native flowers such as Lehua and Kolomona and ferns like Laua'e and maile, which were so detailed that you could almost smell their heady scent. For a brief moment, I found myself wondering why I was here? It was like Boy read my mind when he pointed to the ornate door.

"I needed your help because this door is carved out of a thick piece of Koa and it's heavy. Usually, my uncles help me, but they're out getting lunch for us. Could you give me a hand?" Boy asked.

In the middle of the door was a mighty brass ring that moaned as we pulled it toward us with our hands first and then with our arms wrapped around it. I hadn't realized how massively thick the door actually was until we finally pried it open. Behind the door in an equally sized space was an Ahu or a stone altar. The aroma of Sandalwood wafted forth, but there was an energy there that was crackling and very much alive.

"That is where everything happens or doesn't happen," Boy pointed and then stepped forward and began to remove some old dried up ferns and other items. As a courtesy, I stepped away and walked to the opposite side of the office. "It's alright, I know I can trust you."

"I didn't see anything," I reassured him. "Was that all you needed?"

"Yes," Boy nodded. "But don't leave, remember I said my uncles are bringing lunch? Come over here, I wanted to show you something." He waved me over while still looking into the contents of his massive closet.

I was uncomfortable, to say the least, because although I was aware of the kind of work that Boy did, I was always respectful enough not to address the elephant in the room.  "I'm not sure if I should see this."

"Listen," Boy began as he turned to look at me. "I know that you're going through the worst time of your life. Your ex-wife left the islands with your daughter; you're at the worst financial point in your life ever, relationship-wise, you're a complete wreck. You're scraping the bottom of the barrel."

I could only nod and agree, "Yeah............I mean.....yeah."

"And yet, knowing who I am, you've never once come to me for help. Not financially and certainly not in the other way in which people come to see me." Boy looked at me now, not as if he were waiting for an answer, but waiting for something else or something more. I really didn't have a response yet, but he regarded the altar in his closet made of handset stones as if it were a person to which he was about to speak. "This is used for curses, but it's become so much more because of what this building sits on. It's like this ahu enhanced its energy and its powers."

"I'm not sure what it is we're talking about? I'm sorry, but can you be more clear?" I think I was fatigued at that point, and there was a lot that was going over my head.

"This is also a time portal, a door that can only take you back in time." Boy gestured with his arm stretched out to the stone altar.

"Again, I apologize," I say to Boy. "You first tell me that you know I'm struggling, and then you tell me you have a time portal in your closet?" I chuckled.

"In all the time I've known you, you have never once revealed anything about what we do here to anyone, and it means a lot to me. However, knowing what we do and considering your personal circumstances. Why haven't you ever come to me and asked me to place a curse on your ex-wife? The means to do it is literally at your disposal? I could do it right now, and it would not cost you anything." He was giving me the spiritual sales pitch, one that in any other circumstance I couldn't deny, but this was different.

"I can't, even if I wanted to, I can't." I was completely serious but also sad to talk about it. "It's not like the thought never crossed my mind because it did."

"What stopped you?" Boy asked.

"My daughter," I replied quietly. "She's my blood, but she's got her mother's blood too. I can't risk a curse being too ineffective on her mother and then have it bounce off my ex and then jump on my daughter. I can't risk it."

"But you have every right to do it," Boy reassured me as he placed his hand on my shoulder. "You've got more right than anyone else."

"Right doesn't matter, I can't.....I won't risk it. I'm sorry, I hope you're not insulted?" I wanted to make sure that he understood my reasons and that I meant no disrespect.

"Then what about the time portal?" Boy gestured. "It can take you to any moment in your past. You can go back in time with the full knowledge of everything you know now and fix things so that it all works out, and your ex never leaves."

I was silent for a minute because I had to consider what it was that Boy offered. "That's the thing, it wouldn't matter what I did to change the past. She was going to leave no matter what. Besides, going back in time with the full knowledge of everything I know now? I couldn't go just...I may never forgive her....but I can't change anything, and I won't do anything that will affect a negative outcome for my daughter."

"You're a true man of character Lopaka, you remain noble, and you choose to do the honorable thing although your world is falling apart around you." Boy walked to his desk and took a seat. He gestured for me to sit. "I just offered you a way to strike down your enemy, and then I offered you a way to change circumstances in your favor. You refused both times."

"I don't understand what this is all about?" I offer a sincere apology, not expecting to get one back.

"You've shown me that I can trust you and that chair your sitting in? I'm offering it to you personally for the rest of your life." Boy replied.


Aunty Rita's Hawaiian food had no equal in taste, texture, and preparedness. Of course, the amount of aloha that was imbued into it was equally important. I was glad that I'd known Boy long enough to be welcomed to the monthly lunch at his office. It was quite the spread, especially the combination of Rita's salad and her homemade dressing, everything was magic. No pun intended. The pipi Kaula and beef stew alone brought enough warmth to my stomach that I wasn't sure if I could move on to the first side of beef and the Keanae poi, but I was going to do my best. Tiny and Ivan were utterly silent while they worked on their 'Opihi and fried fish. Tabby, ever the hostess, made sure that everyone's glass was filled with ginger and honey tea. Rita expertly cut Tiny's steak into smaller pieces for fear that he would choke on it since he had a habit of wolfing his food down. Boy, as always, would take a moment to observe everything before him and then graciously thank Rita.

I was just happy to be a part of it.

Nine years ago, because of my personal circumstances, I had to refuse Boy's invitation to be a part of his office. Nine years later, he still includes me in family gatherings and parties. Especially the ones where Aunty Rita is doing all the cooking. I guess this is his way of showing me that I still have some kind of seat at his table. Between you and me? I don't think there was any kind of time portal, I believe it was all a test. I'm glad I passed. For that. I'll always be grateful.


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