Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 26, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #37


Equipped with the money Iʻd only dreamed of having while growing up,  I found that the feeling was surprisingly sober. I suppose I was meant to be rich much later in life rather than during my stupid, arrogant, and careless youth.
I believe I would have squandered the money until I was alone and bereft of everyone and everything in my life. In my 50ʻs now, I felt that it was less important to look rich, but more important to be rich. Believe it or not, thereʻs a difference.

I drove around the Kaimuki neighborhood taking each street block by block. The variety of architecture in the old track was interesting, to say the least. Monster houses on one lot, a house that is the exact copy of the Amityville horror house next to it, and next to that a quaint 1925 style cottage. If you havenʻt already guessed, Iʻm looking for a house to buy. I wasnʻt judging what I wanted by look or feature, but more by feel. It didnʻt matter if the house was new, or old, it just had to move me. I had been driving around for almost two days until I found what I was looking for in a little cul de sac just a block away from the fire station. It was a one-bedroom cottage on a half-acre lot with three other houses on the property. The one I looked at stood in the far back corner of the property where it had two large mango trees looming over it. Perfect for what I needed, a lot of privacy and neighbors just far enough that I could choose whether I wanted to be friendly or not. People usually have to make the effort if they want to get to know me, Iʻm not the touchy-feely type.


So, weʻve established that Iʻm recently rich but when I finally moved into the new place and had myself settled, I didnʻt have much. Just a bunch of my same old clothes, two pairs of shoes, and one pair of slippers. Of course, I had all the essentials, toothpaste, and all that stuff.  I didnʻt feel like I needed dishes and cutlery. Instead, I bought paper plates, forks, and paper towels. I didnʻt need a television set either, thatʻs what Netflix is for. My car was nothing fancy, it was just a very well maintained 1996 Thunderbird. Thatʻs how simple life was going to be, I had a shit load of money that was going to last me a couple of lifetimes, but I had no need to prove anything. Iʻm still me, and I still live like me, just no longer in a Kalihi rat hole.



I didnʻt notice it right away until I decided that I didnʻt like where I had placed my Indonesian lamp.
I unplugged it and moved it (the lamp) and its stand to the middle of the living room carpet. I walked to the empty place and I see it. Thereʻs a well worn spot thatʻs sunken into the wooden floor. Itʻs dark and the fibers from the planks are visible. It looks like someone, a child really had been standing there for a considerable length of time as in every day. If it was indeed a child, I was now looking at the footprints that he or she left behind. There wasnʻt a landlord that I could complain to because the house belonged to me. That left me with no choice but to go and talk to the neighbors on the lot. The first two neighbors were young couples who recently moved here from the mainland, Iʻm pretty sure I scared them. The third neighbor was a man my age who was a lot friendlier than I was.

"Sorry to bother you, Iʻm Cray your neighbor," I gave him a short wave.

"Oh yeah, the corner house," He nodded his head and smiled sort of. "Howʻs it going so far?"

I immediately got the impression that my neighbor already had the answer to the question that I hadnʻt asked him yet. "It was good for a month, but I just found something strange on the living room floor."

"Oh yeah," my neighbor nodded again. "Iʻm Kevin Jackson by the yeah, there was a woman who lived there for a while...Susan Teshima, I think. She had a son, a young boy....we had to call the police a lot because of her. She was abusive and she didnʻt hide it either, they were there for a while until CPS finally stepped in. Well, thatʻs after I called CPS actually, I mean if I didnʻt call I think she would have killed that kid. She cursed me to hell when they came and took him. None of us ever saw her or the boy again after that day." He looked toward my place and looked at me. "You found the footprints huh?"

"Yeah," I replied with an edge of fear. "Was that from that womanʻs kid? That boy?"

"No," Kevin leaned closer and whispered. "Thatʻs from Susan, she had this irrational fear that someone was going to come and take her son, so every night without fail, sheʻd stand there in the dark and stare out that window looking out at the driveway. I would see her sometimes when I would bring out the garbage out late at night. Creepy as hell."

"Shiiiiiit," I gasped.

"You havenʻt seen her ghost or anything have you?" He asked cryptically.

"No," I replied. "Was I supposed to?"

"I canʻt say," Kevin rubbed the bottom of his chin. "Have you had your placed blessed yet?"

"No," I gasped again. "But Iʻll do that right away!"

I thanked him again and walked back to my place. I will admit that I was kind of freaked out but luckily, the ghost of Susan Teshima nor her son made an appearance in my living room. Later that week on a Saturday, a pastor from a nearby church came and did the once over at my abode and I thanked him graciously with an envelope filled with ten one hundred dollar bills. Just to cover my ass, I cleaned out my place one more time from top to bottom. It took most of the day and by the time I was done, I already put the Indonesian lamp back where I found it. A carpenter I hired would come by tomorrow to replace the plank with the indented footprints of a helpless little boy.

Come Monday, the one simple plank that needed replacing was gone and a fresh new plank took its place. I had a few errands to run for most of the day, so I hopped into my T-bird and was driving out of the lot when I saw the man I bought my house from placing a for sale sign in the grass opposite the mailboxes. I slowed up and rolled the window down, "Mr. Lum, good morning!"

Now, if you wanted to talk about a guy who was filthy rich but didnʻt look it, that was Mr. Lum. Whitework shirt, Bermuda shorts, and slippers. He stood up and turned around to see who it was that called him. "Oh," he chuckled. "Itʻs da rich Hawaiian, how you Hao?" He was tickled by his own little joke that he made up on the spot. "Nah, only joking! How you today Mr. Hao?"

"Iʻm good, thank you for asking," I smiled and waved him off. "Whoʻs selling? Is it one of the haole couples?"

"No," he grunted while pushing the for sale down into the grass. "Dat house ovah dea, time for sell ʻum."

It didnʻt dawn on me right away that he was pointing at Kevin Jacksonʻs house. "Heʻs selling all of a sudden?"

"Hah?" Mr. Lum scrunched up his face and put his open palm to his ear as if he didnʻt hear me clearly.

"Kevin Jackson, when he did he decide to sell his house?" I asked.

"Datʻs not Kevin Jacksonʻs house you, das was dis lady Susan Teshimaʻs house before. Jacksonʻs house used to be da one you stay in now," Mr. Lum pointed.

"What?" I think I shrieked like a woman at that point. Mr. Lumʻs information wasnʻt registering right away.

"I was so busy dat time I sell you your house I wen forget to tell you. Jackson had one boy he used to abuse all da time. Him, he neva care who saw or who wen hear, but mostly he make dat boy stand in one place in da living room....hah!" Mr. Lum snapped his fingers and tapped himself on his forehead. "I wen forget to tell you about the footprint on your floor too, but das how long he make da boy stand dea and he tell the boy he no can move no matter how much he buss him up."

"No, wait hold on," I had to put the car in park while turning this around in my mind. "Kevin told me just the other night that Susan Teshima was the one abusing the boy... her son!"

"Ooooohhhh," Mr. Lum shook his head. "So, you when talk to Jackson hah?"

"Yea," I nodded.

"Dat guy was no good, all he do is lie. Even now he lie, I not surprised at all," Mr. Lum rubbed the back of his head and let out a sigh.

"I donʻt understand Mr. Lum, what are you saying?" I didnʻt mean to press him but this was all so confusing.

"One day, Jackson went too far, could see right through your front window he was giving the boy dirty lickins. Teshima wen call CPS, they came and took the boy and Jackson got arrested. When he finally got out, da first thing he wen do was come for Teshima but she was ready. I guess she knew what was going to happen. Sure enough, he came back and he kick down her door. Soon as he go inside her house, she had one knife. She never wait her, she stab him right in da heart, he make (mah-keh) right dea on da floor." There was silence while Mr. Lum stared at me. He knew that I was still trying to process what heʻd said."Das why have to sell dat place, get Jacksonʻs ghost stil inside dea. I going have ʻum blessed though, I tink das one good idea. Eh? You wen bless your place already?"

"Yes, I did," I replied earnestly. "What happened to Susan Teshima?"

"She wen move mainland, Vegas I tink," he nodded. "Anyway, you have one good day, I have to go clean out dat house."

Mr. Lum walked toward the house which up until now, I believed was Kevin Jacksonʻs place. I took a drive to the Diamond Head lookout and sat there for the rest of the day until I could make sense of everything.



Iʻve spent most of the day driving through the Nuʻuanu and  Manoa neighborhoods looking for a new house to live in. The current residence is up for sale, considering what just happened, and considering that I was lied to and bamboozled by the ghost of a child abuser and a near murderer? I had to leave, it was the rational thing to do. I guess after someone dies, their personality doesnʻt change and theyʻre still the same person in the afterlife. That would for sure explain the apparition of Kevin Jackson. But, who was the boy? What was his name? Doesnʻt he deserve to just be and live a semblance of a normal life considering all heʻs been through? I pray for him.

No comments:

Post a Comment