Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 29, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #34


"The kids are doing really good in school," William Enos explained to his mother. "They're getting good marks and performing well in sports."

"That's wonderful to hear Bill, you must tell them how proud I am. You won't forget, will you?" Barbara Enos asked.

"I won't forget mom," William promised her.

"Has that boss of yours noticed your potential and given you a raise? You've worked your fingers to the bone for that man for six years, come this August. No one person has given more to that company than you have Bill," Barbara shook her head in disappointment.

"I have, in fact, received a raise two months ago at a fifteen percent increase. Madeline and I have been looking at a couple of houses to buy; the kids are getting older, and they are going to need a lot more room."Bill smiled at his mother, he was very proud of himself.

"Well,"  Barbara began. "I wished you would have told me sooner, I could have made a nice dinner for you and the kids so we could all celebrate together."

"Mom, Madeline is not going to go away, she's my wife and the mother of my children; your grandchildren. I love you both, but you're going to have to figure something out," William spoke warmly to his mother, never out of turn.

"It's like global warming, Bill, it's there, but I don't have to like it," Barbara spoke as she crocheted effortlessly.

"Funny," William chuckled. "Madeline says the same thing about you except she references mosquitos rather than global warming."

Barbara grabbed a spool of the cotton twine and threw it at William. Expertly hitting him in the forehead, she resumes crocheting without missing a beat. He sits there, rubbing the now red spot just below his hairline while still chuckling. "What has she been up to anyway?" Barbara asked.

William said nothing but took a sip of his favorite homemade lemonade that he always liked. He never bothered to ask, but somehow, after all these years, his mother managed to find deviled ham and was able to make his favorite sandwiches with it. "I realize you must be in shock, Bill, but really, how has Madeline been these days?"

"She's got cancer mom, cervical cancer. The doctors told her if they'd caught it earlier, they might have been able to prevent it, but..." William took a moment to compose himself. "She would complain about not feeling well before, and I always told her to go get checked, but she was always so busy."

"So busy with that job of hers that she's hardly home to be a wife and mother," Barbara quipped. William knew that his mother heard him.

"On top of being busy with her job, which at times is very thankless, she is up at five in the morning preparing breakfast and lunch for the kids before they head out to school. She's also the head of the girls' soccer team, which your granddaughters play on. After that, she has a moment to shower and then head back to work. It's the same thing with the PTA meetings that she's attending on Wednesday evenings. After that, she heads back to work to finish out the day. I, as her husband, make sure that Madeline knows just how much I appreciate and love her. I always have dinner prepared, and if she's too tired, I make sure I run her bath for her and give her a foot massage before bed. On the weekends, it's all of us spending all our time together day and night. The four of us. I know you don't like Madeline because you already had Vanessa Pacheco picked out for me, but if you think about it, she would have ended up being more your daughter that you never had rather than my wife.
Anyway, if you care, that's what's been taking up all of her time, her children. So, I apologize mother, if my wife coming down with cervical cancer, which is way past the curing stage at this point, isn't tragic enough news to elicit one iota of sympathy from you. I didn't tell you this for your compassion, I told you because you're my mother..... I should have just kept it to myself." William got up from his chair and walked out the door without saying good-bye.

Barbara cleared away the crochet and dishes. Removing her wig and stepping out of her old house dress, she took out the makeup remover from her purse to clear away the layers of foundation and eyeliner. She let out her hair from the high tied bun, and it cascaded easily around her shoulders. Only in her tank top and a pair of shorts, Kapua Marks faced timed the real Barbara Enos, who was now a resident of a senior care home in Nu'uanu.

"Thank you so much, Kapua," Barbara's voice was shaky and fragile. "Your money is in your PayPal account."

"It's alright, Mrs. Enos," Kapua reassured her. "I'm glad to do it."

"I've become too old to wait for my son's ghost every year, too old to continue that same conversation. It takes a toll on you; thank you for being so kind Kapua," Barbara managed as best of a smile as she could muster.

"It's a shame that he died in that hit and run right in front of your house, it was a tragedy on top of a tragedy," Kapua offered.

"I can't expect you to do this forever, my dear, but should the day come when you cannot continue, at the very least, please leave out the lemonade and deviled egg sandwiches for Bill," Barbara's gray eyes welled over with tears. "My daughter in law hates me and blames me for Bill's death, I could never convince her that his ghost came to see me every year since then."

"You take care, Mrs. Enos, I'll come by to see you soon," Kapua assured the old woman. With no reply, Barbara hung up on her end.

Turning around to the two young women behind her, who were the same age of thirty as she, Kapua asked, "Do you believe me about your father now?"

No comments:

Post a Comment