Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 3, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #60


(Disclaimer: This story is pure fiction. It never happened.)

What was I supposed to say? Was I supposed to lie and tell him that I was capable of doing something that I really couldn't do? Of course not, he'd already been through that with a fake con man psychic named Elias Morrow who promised Ken Watase's late wife that he could completely cure her of her cancer; the stipulation being that it would cost her thirty thousand dollars.
In the end, there was no cure and Kens' wife Elise was dead in less than two months; his call to me was brief and to the point in regards to his situation.

"It's a matter of life and death," he insisted.

Less than an hour later, Ken and I sat at the Jamba Juice down the street from where I lived, he begged me to communicate with his late wife from the other side, money was no object.

"I can't do that," I was honest.

"But you're supposed to be this...this guy right?" He growled.

"I'm not anything," I told him. "I'm just a storyteller."

"Well, what about all these stories of your personal encounters with the otherworldly and ghosts and everything?" He asked.

"Stories," I said. "That's all they are....that's all."

He put his head in his hands and cried for the next several minutes, people sitting near us or happening by either looked in our direction with obvious discomfort or ignored us completely.

"If anything, if your wife was going to really communicate with you from where ever it is that she is now, I think that she would encourage you to move forward and live in the here and now.  She wouldn't want to see you drowning in your grief, that's what I think she would want." I said.

"You're right," he sobbed.

He thanked me again and left. I sat back and let out a sigh of relief and sympathy for Ken.

"Thank you," Elise Watase's ghost whispered."Any kind of communication from me would have caused him to stop living. I want him to live."

"I know," I replied.

"But please find Elias Morrow," Elise asked, " I have unfinished business with him."

"Great," I thought to myself, "another vengeful spirit."


Elise Shiroda and her friends sat in the lobby of the Hawaiian Regent hotel shrieking with laughter as they made fun of the old Filipino men who were trying to hit on them at the wedding reception upstairs. They all compared the phone numbers which the men wrote on separate napkins in the hopes that anyone of the girls might call them back. On Elise’s napkin were the words, “Digits” and the phone number that followed. Elise happened to glance over at the other end of the lobby where she saw Ken Watase sitting alone, he was dressed in a light blue sports coat with a buttoned-down shirt, and a pair of jeans and loafers on his feet. His expression was serious as he read an article from Mother Jones magazine.

“Now that guy, I’d give my number to,” Elise said.

“I dare you!” Her friends screamed.

Shushing them, she stood up and fixed herself and made her way over to Ken and sat next to him.

“Hi, sorry to bother you but my friends dared me to come over here and give you my number, do you have a pen and a piece of paper?” Ken glanced up from his magazine and looked Elise over for a second,

“Only on a dare?” Ken was quizzical.

“Yeah,” Elise smiled.

“So you don’t WANT me to call you?” Ken queried.

“Well, yeah I mean it’s a dare after all,” she confirmed.

“So if I give you a pen and a piece of paper are you only going to PRETEND to write down your phone number?” Ken asked.

“Well no, I’ll write it down,” she said shrugging her shoulders.

“And then what? Do I throw it away after that?” Ken eyed her closely now. Before Elise could answer, Ken had already reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a pen. Handing her his magazine, he instructed her to write her phone number on the inside of the cover. “Here.”

“Thanks,” Elise said as she handed Ken his pen back.

“Hold on, just to be safe I think I should give you my number too,” grabbing her hand he wrote his own phone number on the inside of Elise’s forearm.

“There you go,” Ken said. “Have a good night.”

Walking back to where her friends awaited her return, they excitedly questioned her about what had just transpired. “Did you really give that guy your phone number?”

“Yes!” She smiled. “Try look he gave me his number too!”

Elise and her friends looked back to where Ken sat and he casually waved back to them. “Wait,” Elise’s friend Karen carefully read the number on the arm of their childhood companion. “808 867 5309......hello! It’s a fake number!”

“What?” Elise asked.

“It’s the number from that song Elise, he gave you a fake number,” Karen deadpanned.

Furious now, Elise marched right up to Ken and slapped the magazine out of his hand, “Hey! What’s with the fake number?”

“You should ask yourself that question,” Ken replied calmly.

“That’s my real number!” Elise growled.

“Well now that I know,” Ken smirked, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Smartass,” try as she might, she could not hold back her smile.

“How about I call you at noon?” Ken asked.

“Noon exactly,” Elise agreed.

“Just so you know, I’ll be calling you from my real number,” Ken replied. Elise took his magazine from him and lightly smacked him over the head with it and threw it back into his lap. It was love at first sight.


Their first official date was simple, Elise wanted to go to Genki Sushi on Kapahulu but it was unexpectedly crowded for a Tuesday night. Ken offered to drop Elise off at the sushi eatery while he drove across the street to park on the rooftop of Safeway.

“You tryna’ ditch me already?” Elise’ sarcasm was sweet and not at all offensive.

“You don’t mind?” Ken asked.

“I can walk,” she replied.

Ken found the perfect spot just near the elevators where he made it a point to open Elise’ door for her. Parked one space over were a bunch of teenagers gathered around a Nissan X-Terra, they were drinking beers and openly smoking joints. The sixty-eight-year-old security guard was too afraid to confront the group so he made his call to dispatch from his car. That didn’t stop Ken from confronting them directly. Especially since he recognized his nephew among the group.


Terence Watase sobered up quick once he recognized the familiar tone of his uncle Ken’s voice.
“Hi Uncle,” the young man was nervous now as he made a feeble attempt to hide his beer. His eyes were glassed over from nearly a half-hour of inhaling one joint after another.

“Go home,” Ken ordered calmly.

Without hesitation Terence handed his beer to one of his friends and walked away, not one of his friends said a word in protest to Ken’s command. Elise grabbed Ken’s hand and they walked over to the elevator. A moment later as the cart brought them down to the ground floor, Elise offered her thoughts, “ I know that look, I grew up with it.”

“What look?” Ken asked.

“The samurai Toshiro Mifune look, you don’t have that samurai attitude do you?” Elise queried. “I watched my mother suffer through that with my father if that’s the case this date is over.”

“That kid is my sister in law’s only child, my idiot brother took off on her once he found out she was pregnant with Terry. So I’m like his uncle and his father. I’m trying to keep him out of trouble and trying to keep my sister in law from an early grave at the same time,” Ken reassured her. “My dad samurai’d my mother too, it’s the last thing I want to be or pass on.”

“Alright,” Elise was pleased. “Now you can feed me.”


Married life as Mrs. Ken Watase suited Elise just fine, it was like a natural progression. Everything was easy with Ken, no hang-ups, no disagreements; even when something seemed difficult or unobtainable, Ken always helped Elise see the bigger picture. Things never seemed hopeless.
Three years later Elise went in for her routine check-up and was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer. The doctors checked several times in order to make sure that it was not a mistake but the results were the same every time. Ken was devastated as he sat in the doctor’s office crying after Elise had called him to come and meet her there. If they’d caught it earlier they may have been able to treat it and prevent it from spreading any further but it was much too late. She had only months left if anything. The unfortunate news yielded the opposite effect on Elise, it lit a fire in her that suddenly made her determined to find a cure, any cure. For the next few months, she tried everything and anything, new age healing, reiki, Chinese herbs, and Hawaiian la’au lapa’au. Nothing worked, but during her pursuit in finding the answer to ridding herself of her ailment, she also began to consult tarot card readers, ouija boards.

No results.

All the while Ken begged Elise to go to chemotherapy but she would not hear it, in her mind going to treatment was just as good as giving in and resigning herself to die. On an afternoon when she lay on the floor of her bedroom curled up in pain, her phone began to ring incessantly until she finally called for Ken to bring it to her.

“Hello?” Elise barely managed an answer.

“Elise this is Karen, what are you doing right now?” Karen asked.

“Lying down on the floor....bleeding,” she sighed.

“Disgusting. Get up. I think I found someone who can help,” Karen’s voice was hopeful.

“Who is it?” Elise asked.

“It’s a guy who’s a psychic, he works out of a cell phone store in Waimalu. His name is Elias Morrow, I heard that he just recently healed a woman who had the same kind of cancer you have. He healed her 100%,” Karen said.

“Come pick me up right now,” Elise grunted through her pain.

“Blood and all?” Karen asked.

“Of course not stupid, Ken’s gonna help clean me up. I should be ready by the time you get here,” Elise said.

“Too late,” Karen shrieked, “I’m parked in your garage already,”


Forty minutes later, Karen drove Elise right up to the cell phone store where they were able to see a local Filipino gentleman dressed in a suit and tie standing behind a glass counter. He was holding the hand of a local woman who appeared to be crying, he smiled and gave her a big hug. She nodded as if she were acknowledging some kind of instruction to which he imparted to her. After the woman left the store, Elise elbowed Karen in the shoulder.

“Ouch got dammit!” Karen screeched.

“Take me home, I’ll come back by myself tomorrow,” Elise whispered.

“Why not talk to him now?” Karen asked while rubbing her shoulder.

“And tell him what?” Elise quipped. “ This isn’t like speed dating, I don’t have just a minute to explain my circumstances.”

“Sure you don’t want me to come with you tomorrow?” Karen begged.

“No, I’ll be good. Besides, this is my last hope, I’ve exhausted every avenue, this has to work right? Especially since you said he healed someone just like me right?” Elise sat there brimming with hope as Karen looked at her life long friend with the same assurance.

“Of course it’s gonna work, of course, it is! Once this guy cures your cancer then you and Ken can make me an Aunty and I can spoil your kids rotten!” Karen couldn’t hold back her tears.

“Stop crying stupid,” Elise sobbed.

“You’re the stupid one, of all places to have cancer! Why couldn’t you have it in your pinky finger?” The thought was so ridiculous that the two could not help but laugh uproariously, meanwhile, Elias Morrow eyed the women from where he stood within the store. His instincts told him that he was looking at another potential mark, but which one?


The following afternoon Elias Morrow was about to take his lunch break for the afternoon when Elise Watase walked in and introduced herself,

“Hi, I’m Elise,” she was nervous at this point. She’d spent the previous hour sitting in her car trying to work up enough courage just to walk through the door.

“Hi Elise, I’m Elias. How can I help you?” Elias asked.

“Let me just get to the point okay? Because if I don’t I’m gonna lose my nerve,” her eyes were sharp and determined.

“Sure,” Elias replied.

“A very good friend of mine told me that you cured someone who had cancer and that you fully healed this person 100%, is that true?” Elise stared directly at Elias as if she were waiting for him to say that it was not true and that he didn’t know who would say such a ridiculous thing.

“Yes, it’s true,” Elias’ voice was smooth and filled with a sympathetic, almost fatalistic understanding. Elise put her head down so that Elias wouldn’t see her tears.

“Are you suffering from the same thing?” Elias asked.

“Yes,” she sobbed, “I don’t have long according to what the doctors have told me and I’ve tried everything, you name it, I’ve tried it. Nothing has worked, nothing.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, I really am,” Elias said.

“Can you help me? Can you heal me the same way that you did with the other woman?” Elise was one person who never asked for help because according to her plantation upbringing it was considered shameful for her family.

“It’s not really healing,” Elias began, “It’s actually something that’s really simple. You see it’s a particular kind of berry that grows in South America just outside of Brazil. Not too many people know about it, I found out about it from one of my Portuguese friends from my Jiu-Jitsu class. He had lung cancer and his parents sent him those same berries from Brazil. All you do is dry it out and then boil it as a tea and drink a gallon of it every day for two weeks. It completely flushes out every sickness from your body. I mean EVERYTHING.”

“How come I’ve never heard of it?” Elise was curious.

“Well, they’re trying to keep it a secret as much as possible in order to prevent American corporations from going down there and completely raiding the forests you know?” Elias explained. “In fact, I just brought back those berries from Brazil a couple of weeks ago for the very same lady that you were asking about.”

“Do you know when you’re going back?” Elise was pressing her agenda.

“Not for a while,” Elias replied, “I spent my own money for the trip as well as having to pay for the berries. I’ll be tapped out for a while, that’s why I asked to work as many shifts as I can here.”

“Wait, you healed that woman and she didn’t even pay you?” Elise was shocked.

“It’s not about the money, that’s not why I do it,” Elias said humbly.

“Still, it’s the principle of the thing! How much did you spend on your whole trip?” She asked.

“Uh, I really don’t feel comfortable answering that if you don’t mind?” Elias tried not to sound standoffish. “I mean, we just met.”

“Just tell me, money is no option at this point,” Clearly she wasn’t going to let the matter rest.
Elias began to fidget with his coat and would not look Elise in the eye, “It was thirty thousand dollars”

“What time do you close up shop here?” She asked.

“Nine,” Elias put his hands up, “I know what you’re doing but please, I can’t let you.....”

“I’ll be back at nine,” she confirmed.

“No, wait!” Elias shouted.

“What?” Elise was out of patience.

“I’m just a small-time psychic, I give one-minute readings for people who come into the store, that’s all. It’s harmless, nothing major or earth-shaking you know? Something like this, like your situation, it’s life or death. I feel really funny about taking your money,” he explained.

“How long is it going to take you to get to Brazil and back?” Elise asked.

“A week and a half tops,” Elias answered.

“I’ll be back at nine,” Elise disappeared into the afternoon, her mind was swimming with the possibility of finally being able to think about her life with Ken beyond the few months she was given. Finally she would be the one to help her husband see the bigger picture and fill his life with hope.


The hour of nine in the evening struck as Elias stood outside of the store meticulously securing the double lock on the main door of the family-owned business. Elise was right on time as she approached him with a certified check in her hands. She did not hesitate to give it to him, but before she left she took his hand in hers,

“My time is short, please come back as quickly as you can,” her voice trembled and her tears drops were heavy.

“I won’t waste any time, thank you for trusting me,” Elias smiled.

“I have a life that I want to live out, I don’t think I’ve ever had a desperate need to grow old with my husband. I just never thought about it until now,” she wept. “Are your bosses going to be alright with you taking time off for almost two weeks?”

Elias removed a red piece of cotton twine from his coat pocket and tied around Elise’s wrist. “This is something they do in Thailand, it’s called Baci, it’s the calling of the soul. The colored string is tied around your wrist in order to secure good luck, this is my Baci to you until I get back okay?”

“Okay,” Elise smiled.

“Give me your phone number so I can call you when I get the berries and then when I get back,” Elias asked. Elise handed him her business card and after the two exchanged good-byes, Elias was off.

“ I never saw him again,” Elise’s ghost said. “ My body died exactly a week and a half later, needless to say, Ken was beyond pissed when the berries and Elias never came. He threatened to sue Elias’s bosses but they had no idea what Elias was up to, he only solicited psychic readings after the owners left for the day. I need you to find him.”

My answer didn’t come right away, I sat there staring into space trying to think of what I was going to say. I had no idea of how to find Elias Morrow much less figure out a way to bring him to the woman he ripped off. Inside, I knew it would have been better for Elias if I never found him at all, we had some unfinished business of our own but if he happened to suddenly fall off the edge of a cliff it wouldn’t bother me either. That was something that the ghost of Elise Watase didn’t have to know.
“Let me see if I can look him up on the fake psychic network,” I said. “You’ll find me I suppose?”

“When I do, I’ll tell you what your next step will be,” her voice suddenly became a fading cavernous whisper as her apparition began to dissipate.


On the morning following I woke up with a pounding headache, what made matters worse is that my phone kept ringing time and time again. You would think that after not answering it for two minutes that the person on the other end would get the hint.

“Hello?” I growled.

“Hey, it’s Elias,” the voice crackled.



“Well if it isn’t Sylvia Browne herself,” I remarked.

“Don’t be like that man, we go way back you and me,” Elias feigned hurt and feelings which he was really incapable of.

“You’re right, we go as far back as to where you left your knife, which happened to be in my back,” I quipped. “Jim and Sarah are personal friends of mine, you didn’t know that did you?”

“I don’t know who you’re talking about...?” He was playing dumb now.

“You know, Jim and Sarah, your bosses. The ones you flaked out on after you scammed that woman out of the last of her life savings, THAT Jim and Sarah,” I was fevered with anger as my words contained a calculating caustic air.

“Oh geez, I thought you said TIM and FARAH,” Elias over-exaggerated which of course was a classical sign of one of his lies.

“Fuck you, Elias,” I deadpanned. Just then Elise’s ghost materialized right in front of me, it was so unexpected that I jumped and had to contain my scream.

“Tell him to meet you,” she urged, “that’s why he’s calling.”

“How do you know that?” I whispered to her.

“Just do it, tell him.” She insisted.

“Sounds like you need to vent,” I asked.

“You read my mind brother, can we meet somewhere?” He fake begged.

“Sure,” I said as I looked at Elise’s ghost for approval. “Anywhere you want.”

“How about Neil Blaisdell Park?” He asked.

“Noon?” I asked.

“Sure,” he confirmed, “see you tomorrow.”


“Thanks for scaring the crap out of me,” I said sarcastically. Elise ignored me.

“Call Ken,” she instructed. The rest she whispered into my ear, then she was gone. The next morning I found Elias at the far end of the park near the harbor where he sat with two other men who were built like linebackers. I didn’t care, my own distaste for this man erased all fear of his two companions. He was gonna get his no matter what.

“Hey, hey brother man!” Elias sauntered toward me with his arms open but I completely avoided him.

“Wow man, is it like that for real?” He squealed.

“I don’t have time for stupidity, what do you want?” I was straight forward.

“Alright, alright, since it’s gonna be like that, let me just hand this phone number over to you,” he smiled.

He held up the folded sticky note to my face like it was a hundred dollar bill, I gazed at him without any expression and shrugged my shoulders, “And this is what?”

“It’s the phone number to someone who I think that you’d be interested in talking to,” he smiled. “He has a collection of ghost stories from the old plantation days.”

“So selfless and so generous, are you dying or something? Or is it more fiendish like the devil knocking at your door? No that’s wrong if that were the case he’d be here to congratulate you, not take your soul.” I smiled back.

“Now you see, it’s exactly that attitude that broke your marriage apart and got your daughter taken away from you,” he smirked.

My blinding punch came out of nowhere and knocked him right in the mouth. The sound was dull but effective enough to raise the attention of Elias’ two thug buddies. The first one was on me in a second and dropped me with a punch to the sternum. Even as I landed curled up on my side, the second thug had already cocked his foot back in order to punt my head like a football. I was in too much pain, there was nothing I could do to stop it, I just closed my eyes and tensed up for the blow. It never came. Instead, I heard Elias scream out, “Stop!”

He held out his two hands in protest as he got to his feet and inserted his himself between his two bodyguards and me. “No, no, no, we don’t hurt our friends. You two apologize right now, this man and I have history. We go way back, say you’re sorry right now!”

“Sorry brah,” they both mumbled. They grabbed me by my arms and hauled me up to my feet like I was a rag doll.

“Take this,” Elias said as he tucked the sticky note into my shirt pocket.

“That’s it?” I groaned. “You wanted to meet me just to give me a phone number?”

“Well, it’s more than that but that’s it for now,” he said as he wiped the blood from the swelling cut on his bottom lip. “I’ll call you when there’s more,” he whispered. The three of them turned and walked back to a large Chevy van that was matted black.

“Hold on,” I said as I took a breath in order to stop the searing pain in my chest. “I got something for you too, a gift from a mutual friend.” I reached into my shirt and removed it and held it out for Elias to see. To him, it might have looked like a trinket from the prize machine, but once he saw the ornate Japanese characters all over the small ornament, he took it without hesitation.

“Wow, what is this?” Elias asked quizzically, “it’s very cool.”

“It’s an Omamori,” I answered.

“How do you get one ?” He queried.

“I guess you can go to any Hongwanji temple but that one’s very special. That particular one that you’re holding was given to me by Ken Watase,” I confirmed.

Elias’ face went cold and he instantly turned pale.

“It belonged to Elise,” I said.

Before his two bodyguards could do anything, Elias dropped to the ground and began to flop around in the barely occupied parking lot like a fish. He was foaming at the mouth for a second and suddenly he began screaming as if the flesh was being torn from his bones. The two thugs were speechless and without warning, they ran to the van and drove off with no regard for their boss who now lay prone and bleeding from every orifice in his body.


The night before, Elise’ ghost instructed me to call Ken and ask him to meet me and to bring her Omamori from her funeral. Outwardly, it appeared to be a palm-sized silk purse with ornate designs and Japanese characters that symbolize good health. In it was Elise's ashes. The meeting was a short, quick exchange but before Ken could leave his wife relented on her previous concern regarding her husband. She materialized before him and it was all he could do not to scream bloody murder and run for his life.

“That’s the thing about being a conscious MIND, you have one, it gets the better of you and it doesn’t always go the way you plan,” I said.

“I guess that will be the last time he’ll ever want to see me in the literal sense,” she sighed.

“This is where we part company, you go where ever it is you’re supposed to go and I’ll stay here and live out this mundane existence,” I said.

“I’m sorry,” she began, “that phone number that Elias gave you, you have to call it. Someone else like myself needs closure,”

“I’m not calling this number, especially since it’s Elias who gave it to me. He’s full of crap,” I replied.

“That phone number is not what Elias thought it was, there’s more to it and the person on the other side of that number needs you. You’re obligated the both of you. Obligated in a way that is not meant for anyone to understand but it will make sense to you once you call,” Elise shared.

“You be good Elise, I hope you’re reborn to live a long fulfilling life,” I said.

“Be well,” she smiled.

There was no fairy tale pixie dust which preceded her exit, she was just gone. There was no lingering aroma after she blipped out, it was merely as if she were never there, to begin with. Now, what about this phone number? Do I call it or just trash it and forget that it was ever given to me? Sure, why not? I’ll just trash it and go on with my life and not get involved in the unfinished business of any more ghosts or spirits.



The phone number that Elias gave me sat in my wallet for more than a month before I finally unfolded the paper and looked at it. I know, you’re asking yourself why I would do that after promising not to get involved in any more spiritual matters? You should know me by now and you should know how these things work in my life, I usually don’t have a say in much and I end up working with the flow rather than against it. I put my wallet on my desk as I held the yellow sticky note in my hand and began to peel it apart. There it was, the number. “357*4733”

I didn’t bother to call right away, instead, I brought it with me to my lunch appointment with Kolt Hartman. He was someone who befriended me and mentored me when I was struggling with my business, which was good in the beginning. However, he ended up becoming more like my Jewish father. We grumbled and grouched at one another and even if we arrived at an agreed meeting location at the same time......if he sat down before I did then I was the late one.

“You’re tardy,” he said as he sopped up the egg yolk from his plate with two slices of toast. He habitually snorted while he chewed his food which was already annoying considering how early it was.

“You’re old and you have sleep Apnea, you got bad eating habits and you’re gonna have a massive heart attack, sooner than later,” I cracked back at him.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m not worried if I die or not,” he philosophized.

“That’s crap,” I remarked.

“You got regrets?” he snipped.

“Of course, but I’m not gonna die with regrets, that’s how I know it’s not my time yet,” I confirmed.

“Meh, I got a few but what can I do? I’m running a business, I can’t let regrets sign my checks you know?” He growled.

I turned around for a second to look for our regular waitress, but Kolt tapped me on my forearm to get my attention, “I already ordered your usual,” he said, “it should be here in a minute.”

“Thanks,” I replied, “so......after seven marriages you don’t have any regrets?”

“What’s this now? Therapy?” he stared at me with that look that used to scare me, but it’s really something he uses to keep people from getting too close to him.

“We’re talking about regrets, you brought it up, I’m just trying to keep the conversation alive that’s all,” I shrugged.

“It’s a shitty thing to die alone, I mean I know ultimately when we die we ARE alone but you’d be nice to have the people you love to be around when the time comes.” He shifted in his seat which was a sign that he was uncomfortable.

Just then my plate arrived with a stack of waffles, a side of hash and a short stack of buttered toast. A plate of pork linked sausage followed right after. “I also took the liberty of ordering you a side of the sausage, I was feeling generous this morning,” Kolt muttered.

“Here I am complaining about your diet and you’re trying to kill me right along with you,” I said.

“No complaining while the food is on the table, I’m not Hawaiian and even I know that,” he was rubbing it in now, but he must have noticed my version of the resting bitch face because he ignored me and continued on,

“So how about this girl you’re seeing now?” He asked.

“You mean Tanya?” I confirmed.

He adjusted his glasses while holding on to his butter knife, “Yeah, how’s that going?”

“It’s scary,” I said with hesitation.

“Why is that?” He queried.

“Because she’s perfect and she loves me for who I am. I’ve had so much shit in my life for so long, I’m at a loss as to what to do,” I explained.

Kolt held up his butter knife to me as if to stop me before I could say anything else, “You have a chance at the kind of love that I spent seven marriages looking for, and guess what? I haven’t found it, it wasn’t meant for me. I know that now and I’m fine with it, but I don’t want to see you get to where I’m at. If true love is at your doorstep then do more then just turn on the porch light and peek through the peephole,”

“Alright,” I nodded.

“Let her in,” he pressed, “it’s time for you to have something good in your life and I think this girl is it. So, don’t fuck it up.”

“Yeah, okay I get it,” I replied.

“You know I love you, and I want to see you succeed. I want you to be happy, you believe me right?” He asked.

“Of course I do, I mean know,” I was the one who muttered now.

“So, changing the subject; I can see that something is on your mind,” he began. “Do you wanna share or do you wanna sit on it for a couple of days?”

“Somebody gave me a phone number to call, it’s supposed to be a person who has a collection of ghost stories from the old plantation days,” I told him.

“And you’re hesitating for some reason? ” he asked.

“The person who gave me the number is someone who’s not trustworthy; and I’m being much too kind when I say that,” I emphasized.

“Is this person someone who would go through the trouble of pulling a juvenile phone prank on you?” Kolt asked.

I had to think about what I knew of Elias Morrow and the trail of broken people that he left in his wake. He was always after bigger more grandiose targets, something that he could gain a twisted satisfaction from manipulating and destroying. “No, not the picayune stuff,” I said.

“Then call,” he shrugged. “If you don’t like what you hear, hang up. Just to be safe though, you should call from a payphone. You never know.”

Just then I reached into my wallet and removed the yellow sticky note and showed it to Kolt, “That’s the number,”

“I dunno, maybe it’s not just a phone number. Maybe the numbers mean something?” He asked.

“How is that?” I asked.

“How would I know? I’m a Jew, you’re the Freemason, you figure it out.” He chuckled.

I glanced at the phone number again after Kolt handed it back to me, it only took a second before the light came on but when it did, I jumped out of my seat.

“I’ll be right back,” I said as I stood up from my chair, “I have to use the payphone,”

“I don’t always spend more than thirty dollars on breakfast so consider this a treat, and don’t let this food get cold!” he barked from behind me.

Kolt didn’t know it but he hit the nail on the head, the only way to find that out was to call and hope that the response on the other end was the one I was looking for. I clinked the two quarters into the machine and nervously pressed the seven numbers, half expecting the call to be busy but it picked up after the third ring. The sound of shallow breathing answered on the other end until a faint voice strained to speak, “Fines justificare media,” It was just as I thought.

“Illuminare iter transeundum,” was my automatic reply.

“Help,” the voice struggled, “help”


“21.5753 N, 158.1394 W,” the voice coughed, “I don’t have much time.” I signaled to the waitress who stood behind the glass counter eyeing the collection of pies. When she met my glance I gestured for a pen and a piece of paper. She quickly brought it over to me and I began to write the number on my forearm.

“I’ve got it, I’ll be there as soon as I can,” I said.

“This is not subversive, mercenary nor clandestine. All we have to count on is our obligation,” the voice said. After that, there was a click and the phone went dead.


I returned to the table to find Kolt sitting patiently, he looked at his wristwatch and sighed, “What a surprise, the food is still warm. Imagine that?”

“You know that half the things you get mad at me for are the very things that you tell me to do?” I said.

“What’s that thing on your arm?” He pointed while ignoring me at the same time.

“Nothing,” I replied.

“Looks like longitude and latitude,” he observed, “Is that what you garnered from your mysterious phone number?”

“I have to go but I’m trying not to be rude and just walk out,” I said as I finished off the rest of my breakfast.

“If you gotta go, then you gotta go. Don’t worry, I’ll just make you feel guilty about it later,” he said as he waved me off.

It only took me a minute to look at him thoughtfully and give him a kiss on his forehead, “You drive me crazy,”

“You’re a pain in the ass,” he said, “I love you,”

“Love you,” I exhaled.


With the absence of any major traffic on the freeway, it took less than an hour to get to my destination. The little side road wasn’t that easy to find, in fact, I had missed it a few times but when I finally figured it out I realized why I hadn’t seen the house in the first place. It was nearly covered by an overgrowth of kiawe trees which is what made it almost invisible to any passing car that might have been in search of it, like mine. I reversed into what was once a short driveway just to the left of the house is where an old rusted washer sat up against the back wall of the garage. As I exited my car I noticed an old Filipino man happening by on a ten-speed bike and I called out to him. “Tata! You know whose house this is?”

He was kind enough to slow down and pull up near the crumbling fence, “Dat guy he no come out long time, he own da house and da land. He no come out,”

The old man rode off down the old dirt road until he disappeared on to the main thoroughfare. Looking at the house I couldn’t imagine what would keep someone in a place like this that was literally falling away at the foundation. Any sign of anything that ever grew or lived was gone, it was all red dirt and gray lifeless soil. Approaching the front door I could see that it was literally hanging from the hinges which were coming apart and falling away from the frame. The door itself was covered by a faded painting of countless Forget-me-not flowers which told me that whoever it was that was within this delicate frame of a home, was someone I could trust. I did my best to maneuver around the entrance and once I did, I found myself standing in a small living room that was littered with stacks of books, magazines and old newspapers. Everything else that was contained within the interior of the home appeared to be like old memories that time slowly withered away until all was forgotten.

“Here,” the hollow voice called out. I must have jumped ten feet out of my pants but I managed to contain myself and turned toward the direction of the disembodied sound.

“Hello?” I replied.

“Close what’s left of the curtains and let your eyes adjust, you’ll be able to see me better,” the low whisper sounded as if it were struggling to be heard.

I did my best to follow the voice’s instructions but the material was so tattered that I feared it wasn’t going to do much to block out the sunlight. I adjusted my eyes to the shadows and not soon after, I saw him sitting in an old seventies solair chair. He was dressed in a faded tuxedo which he wore with his masonic regalia, but his physical appearance was very frail. He was right, he didn’t have long.

“How can I help you?” I asked.

“Stay where you are and listen, that is all I ask of you,” he whispered. “I’ll do my best to make myself audible.”

“So taken,” I replied.

“We’re from different grand lodges you and I, but a brother is a brother and a mason is a mason.” He said.

“You’re with the Prince Hall lodge,” I observed.

“Does it make a difference to you?” He asked.

“No, my daughter is part African American and her grandfather was a past master of a Prince Hall lodge here in Honolulu,” I said.

Nodding his head in acknowledgment of what I had just shared with him, he continued with his story.
“Being a storyteller and a brother, I thought that this was the only way I could reach out to you. I am glad that you're here,” he began.

Without the burden of the devil and his details, I spared him any mention of Elias Morrow and how the phone number that he gave me brought me to this time and place. All I could do was apologize.
“I regret my delay, I wish now that I might have been able to reach you sooner,” I said bowing my head.

“Things are as they are meant to be, life is too short and valuable to fret even the most bothersome details.” He could only talk with each breath he let out, I felt sorry for him and found myself wanting to tell him to stay his efforts.

“I’m afraid that I have to start at the beginning, the beginning being the time of my arrival here in the islands. It’s the only way that you will understand my story,” he said.

“The beginning is always the best place to start,” I agreed.

“My name is Roosevelt Williams and I impart my story to you with the hope that you will care for it as if it were your own child.” He said. I sat on the old musty wooden floor and listened as Roosevelt Williams began to paint pictures with his words.


“To understand the measure of my character is to understand my opposite, Elias Morrow,” Roosevelt began.

“Wait, hold on,” I stopped him. “How do you know Elias?”

I could see that it took a tremendous amount of effort for Roosevelt to hold his hand up in a gesture that was meant to assuage my concerns of betrayal. “We have exchanged the signs of recognition, there is no need for worry. You promised you would listen,” he exhaled.

“If we’re talking about the same Elias Morrow, then you would understand my concern,” I didn’t mean to be pointed but considering who the subject of our conversation was, I couldn’t help it.

“By your reaction, we are speaking of the same person indeed,” Roosevelt nodded.

“I apologize, please go ahead,” I said.

“As Freemasons, we are charged to uphold certain moral standards as well as a kind of moral etiquette, we are charged to be charitable and kind in our dealings. We are gentlemen in every sense of the word and are to always conduct ourselves as such,” Roosevelt began. “So was Elias Morrow."

A fever of rage came over me, I could not believe what I was hearing. “Elias is one of us?”

“Was,” Roosevelt said. “ He could not uphold all that was required of him in order that he might continue to be one of us. He could never talk to anyone in a direct manner, he talked around them, confused them, verbally threw them off balance. It wasn’t until it was too late that we realized he was a savant of lies and deceitful persuasions who could artfully con the trust out of anyone; I’m certain that you know this?”

Nodding my head I replied, “All too well.”

“Then you must know that he swindled a number of our senior brothers out of significant amounts of money? We gave him wise counsel and caution as much as we could, but the damage was done. Many of these men lost their entire life savings,” Roosevelt exhaled.

“Did it have to do with berries from Brazil?” I asked sarcastically.

Nodding with an obvious hint of melancholy, Roosevelt said, “It did, sadly enough. He claimed that the berries could lengthen the years of their life and dilute the ailments of old age.”

“A savant of lies,” I agreed.

“He was called to a tribunal and made to answer for his transgressions, after which he was extricated. He did not go quietly and promised revenge on his accusers, but there was only one accuser at the time of the trial,” Roosevelt trailed off.

“You,” I answered for him.

Roosevelt took in a deep breath before he spoke and then slowly exhaled, “No one gave his words credence but little did anyone of us suspect that he dabbled in the dark arts,”

“A curse? Is this how you got here?” The realization of this only made me that much more upset.

“A curse yes, a curse as I said earlier regarding the contrary merit of my character as opposed to Elias. He called one morning, wanting to make amends for his words which he said was borne from anger and frustration; he told me I was correct and that the least he could do was to make good on returning the money that he’d taken. We agreed that the temple was a mutual place to meet since it was holy ground. He humbled himself greatly and we exchanged salutations and apologies, after which he offered me a slice of mango from the one that he’d already carved. It did not occur to me that during the whole period as we talked, he had not eaten one slice of the fruit. He kept me involved in our conversation as a way to distract me from the obvious; the mango was cursed.” His voice was filled with a kind of resignation in regards to his circumstances.

In my mind, I only knew of one person who could render such a curse. But I had to ask myself why? Why would this person help someone like Elias? “How long ago did this happen? Was it yesterday?” I asked.

“No,” Roosevelt said. “It’s been two months,”

And there it was, the epitome of Elias’ twisted methods, this was the culmination of how far he would go to exact revenge on someone who caught him in his own web of deceit and exposed him for what he was, a no-good bastard.

“Did you give Elias Morrow your phone number so that he could give it to me to call you?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“No, I did not. If you haven’t noticed, there are no phone lines connected to my home. I am without the comfort of electricity and I haven’t a cell phone,” he breathed.

“And you don’t have a collection of plantation-era ghost stories?” I asked.

“No,” he answered. “I can see that your mind has come to some kind of conclusion?”

“I didn’t see it before because I didn’t know that Elias used to be one of us. The phone number that he gave me that was supposedly yours was 357 4733. Three hundred and fifty-seven are the number of steps in King Solomon’s temple. The number forty-seven are the number of prophets that were called to solve the problem of Euclid, and of course, the number thirty-three represents the number of degrees in Masonry. It was Elias’ phone number, not yours. He was the one who answered the phone when I called, pretending to be you. He directed me here did you know about me? You said you tried to contact me but how?” I asked.

Roosevelt smiled and said, “The mail, I addressed it to your lodge in the hope that it would find you before it was too late.”

Just then I heard a car pull up in front of the house and as I glanced out the window, a tan Lincoln Town car appeared through the haze of red dirt. It was Elias, he stepped out of the car by himself, with no goons in tow.

“That’s how Elias was able to contact me, he’s been watching your house and taking your mail. That’s how he was able to formulate this whole thing, but has he ever tried to get in here? I mean in your house?” I asked.

“I may not know any Hawaiian curses or anything, but I am from the south. My ancestors were practitioners of hoodoo and other things, I learned enough to protect myself and my home.”He said.

“Then how was I able to enter?” I asked.

“You’re not evil,” he replied. “Once you put out a curse, the residual effect of it lingers with you like cologne.”

“If you’ll excuse me, I have to make a call,” I said as I walked back to the window. Luckily this phone number is the only one I have on speed dial, and I use it sparingly. It only rang twice on the other end until it picked up.

“Aloha this is Boy.” the voice was always warm and pleasant.


Elias recognized my car and returned to his own vehicle where he opened the trunk and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun. He slowly loaded the weapon with the buckshot shells that were obviously meant for us. This was his plan all along, to get rid of myself and Roosevelt Williams at the same time. However, giving him Elise’s Omamori either slowed his plans down a little or pissed him off even more. I guess we were about to find out. I had to explain everything to Boy as quickly as possible without being absentmindedly rude.

“Aloha Mr. Napualawa, this is Lopaka,” My tone was urgent, but I was trying to keep a sense of decorum over the phone rather than blurt everything out.

“Eh Lopaka, no make la’ dat you. You are my friend, call me Boy,” his voice had a deep tone to it but it was always gentle and filled with warmth. However, that voice could suddenly become ominous and threatening with just the slightest change of inflection and mode of circumstance.

“Mahalo Boy, you have to forgive me but I need to get to the point, I’m in a dire situation right now,” I said quietly.

Before Boy could answer there was a terrific sound of a crackling boom that made me jump so suddenly that I dropped my phone, “BOOOOOOMMM!!!” The wood near the front door of the house burst into splinters and scattered everything into a mess.

“Lopaka,” Elias’s voice was no longer that of the deviant sewer rat which sent your skin crawling, it was cold and determined.

“What was that sound Lopaka???” Boy's voice echoed from my cell phone.

“Someone’s trying to kill my friend and me Boy, this maniac outside used your mango curse on my masonic brother, his name is Roosevelt Williams. He didn’t die right away, it’s nearly two months later and he’s still alive,” I was scared out of my mind but I had to remain calm so that Boy knew exactly what was going on.

“You led me right to where I wanted you, and now I’m going to finish you both!” Elias shouted from outside.

“Is that Elias Morrow?” Boy asked.

“How’d you know that?” I was shocked.

“That sounds like a sawed-off shotgun, hand him your phone before he loads the next shells,” Boy instructed.

“KAAABOOOOMM!!!” The next shot pierced the air and hit another part of the front door that obliterated the frame. This time I covered Roosevelt with my body in order to make sure that he wouldn’t get hit with any kind of shrapnel.

“Hurry!” Boy’s voice was urgent now, “Don’t do anything to him, just go out there now and hand him the phone,”

Without a second thought, I pulled back what was left of the front door and ran out to where Elias was already reaching into his pant pocket for more ammunition. I held up my phone to him and made sure that I didn’t scream at him or try to attack him.

“Elias, you got a phone call,” It took everything within in me at that moment to not lunge forward and take him apart myself, but something told me that Boy had plans of his own.

“Nice stall tactic,” he sneered, “Guess I’ll take you out first,”

“I’m dead serious, it’s for you,” My body shook with nervous rage as I extended the phone out to him while keeping my right hand behind my back.

Elias loaded the two shells and pointed the gun at me, “If there’s nobody on that phone, I’m gonna shoot you where you stand,”

He reached forward and grabbed the phone from me and put it to his ear, “Yeah?”

I don’t know what the short conversation entailed or what it was that Boy said, but Elias’ face suddenly went pale. He wasn’t as cocksure as he was a second ago, the look in his eyes was that of someone who was past due with the devil. He’d broken out in a cold sweat and was crying without sobbing or heaving, he simply handed my phone back to me and walked to his car where he opened the driver's side door and sat in his front seat. The sound of the doors locking from the inside of his car let out a dull echo as Elias placed the barrel of the shotgun under his chin, he turned his head toward me and mouthed the words, “Help,”

“Lopaka, are you still there?” I’d forgotten where I was for a second and answered.

“I’m here Boy,” I said.

“Go back into the house and put your phone on speaker so that your masonic brother can hear this as well,” he instructed.

“Alright, I’m heading in right now,” I was in the door and standing in front of Roosevelt when I turned on the speaker. “Okay Boy, we’re on,”

“Aloha Mr. Williams, are you there?” Boy asked.

“Greetings sir,” Roosevelt breathed, “I am present,”

“Mr. Williams Lopaka has told me that you are his Masonic brother, Lopaka also happens to be a close friend of mine as well. It’s safe to say that you and I both trust him, yes?” Boy asked. “I’ve just now come to realize that Lopaka and I trusted Elias Morrow at different times in our life, the same person who poisoned you with the curse of the ripened fruit,” Boy stated.

“Yes sir, you are correct and as we speak I am at the mercy of this curse,” Roosevelt exhaled.

“For this good sir, for what it is worth at this present moment, I offer my apologies. Elias was less than a rank amateur who stole knowledge from me that was not rightfully his to take, that is why this curse has taken so long to work. Elias had no clue as to what he was doing, you should have died within a day.” Boy continued.

“Duly noted, I accept your apology. Can you cure me?” Roosevelt wheezed now.

“I cannot,” Boy was truthful in his reply. “Once this curse is cast it must complete it’s course to the end, all I can do is help quicken the process if you are so inclined.”

Roosevelt’s eyes scanned the length of his living room back and forth as if searching for something or someone to help him in his resolve, “It would be most appreciated, will it be quick?” He asked.

“Yes,” Boy promised. “You will fall into a deep sleep from which you will never wake,”

“When are we able to perform this task?” Roosevelt’s voice was filled with fatigue and exhaustion.

“We can do it right now,” Boy said, “ Lopaka will have to release the speaker button and hand you the phone and it will be done.”

“I agree,” Roosevelt said, “but may I speak with Lopaka for a brief moment before you and I begin?”

“Of course sir, take your time.” Boy said.

I walked closer to where Roosevelt sat and placed my ear close to his mouth where he said, “Your masonic obligation to me.” I nodded in agreement and his words were brief and to the point; in less than a minute we were finished.

“Boy? We’re done,” I said. “I’m taking the phone off of speaker and holding it to Roosevelt’s ear,”

“Mahalo,” Boy answered.

While holding the phone for Roosevelt to hear the conversation that would only transpire between himself and Boy, I watched as his head tilted to one side and his eyes closed. A look of content came over him and the darkness that was the curse which ravaged his body lifted itself from his being. There was a light that filled his continence and made him appear as if he were only sleeping.

“He’s resting,” I informed Boy.

“No,” Boy countered, “he’s gone. His insides are going to start rotting away completely, you should leave soon.”

“Okay,” I answered.

“Are there going to be services by the way?” Boy asked.

“No, he wanted to remain here,” I replied. “Uh, what about Elias?” I asked.

“I leave that to you,” Boy replied. “Who’s life has he destroyed more? Yours or mine?”

“He’s destroyed Roosevelt Williams’ life far more than yours or mine,” I replied. “While Elias fooled Roosevelt into meeting him at our temple in downtown Honolulu in order that he might offer him his apologies and casually feed him a cursed mango, Roosevelt didn’t know that Elias was parked near his home. He waited until Roosevelt left and placed a bag of mangoes at the front door, with no one around Elias rang the doorbell and ran to his car and drove off.”

“Oh my god,” Boy sighed. “There was someone else home that day?”

“Roosevelt’s wife,” I confirmed. “She consumed the entire bag of mangoes and did not suffer for as long as Roosevelt did,”

I could hear Boy let out another sigh of disgust, “I was going to offer you the chance to let Elias blow his mind out in his car but after what you’ve just told me.....I can see that would be letting him off too easy. I’ll take care of it.”

“I couldn’t have done it anyway Boy, I can’t have something like that over my head. If I were on my own with no child to think of, then perhaps I would not have given it a second thought, but I can’t have a decision like that and it’s consequences re-visit my issue at some future period.” I explained.

“I appreciate that you are always honest Lopaka, it means a lot considering the kind of business that you and I are in,” Boy said. “I know that your relationship with Elias does not exist at this point but do you still have his phone number?”

“There isn’t a way that I couldn’t remember it,” I laughed as I repeated the numbers to him.

“I’ll let you go now, please keep in touch,” he said.

“Will do, aloha!”

“Aloha,” Boy said.

Boy must have called Elias soon after we hung up because even with his windows rolled up I could hear Elias’ muffled sobbing from his car, he was now begging for his life. As he drove off, the Lincoln town car kicked up a bunch of red dirt behind it; there was not so much of it but it didn’t prevent me from seeing that Elias no longer had the shotgun placed under his chin. Tears continued to stain his cheek as he blabbered to himself. The following morning Elias Morrow’s body was found in his car at Kaimana beach. The police had to break the window in order to get into the vehicle which turned out to be a regrettable decision. The car was filled with flies and piles of empty plastic bags which took up the front and back seats. There were mango pits everywhere. Elias’ face was covered with a yellowish-orange variety of mango pulp. He’d gorged himself with the fruit way past being full, it was almost as if he were forcing himself to eat every single mango. It would be a while before they would realize that the content of his inner body had completely rotted away. I would not come to know any of this myself until later in the evening when I watched the late news. At the moment I had an obligation to Roosevelt Williams to fulfill, one that bound the both of us together as masonic brothers.


The long scenic drive from Waialua was sheer beauty in itself with its sand dunes festooned with Naupaka along with the windswept shore. It was indeed breathtaking for the normal out of town visitor who would behold something so pristine that it gave them pause and moved them to exit their vehicles and bathe in the essence of creation. To be hypnotic and transfixed by a vision that does not exist in your own town is a renewal of your own senses that could never happen again in a single lifetime, but for myself, a native of these islands, I felt nothing. After being bombarded by so much in just a short amount of time, my senses were numb; what’s more, is that the overwhelming magnitude of mana which Boy Napualawa possessed would not leave me. I could only liken the feeling to that of seeing the Kahili which were fashioned to occupy the tomb of King Lunalilo being raised in the courtyard of the Queen Liliuokalani children’s center one late afternoon. The wind was absent and all the ambient noise of the busy city life dissipated. The tall feathered sentinels were raised to their height by two stalwart Hawaiian men and without the presence of a single gust or slight breeze, every single feather fluttered of their own accord. I was moved to tears and without a second thought, I fell to my knees in deference to the kapu that the kahili possessed. It was a powerful, overwhelming feeling that seeped into the pores of my skin, it was that same feeling that now occupied my thoughts as I hiked toward my destination. Boy had given me the opportunity to decide the fate of the man I most hated, but I was no longer the same person I was when I first knew Elias and it was a responsibility that I could not shoulder. However, the volume of what Boy must shoulder every day clearly outweighs the minuscule choices that you and I make as normal people. I’m simply thankful that he regards me as a friend.

The hidden trail above the Dillingham airfield was just as Roosevelt Williams had described it, it was covered with just enough foliage that the mere blink of an eye would cause you to miss it. Hidden or not, the trail was long and the journey was arduous but it was the end of the trek that proved to be the most rewarding. Though veiled in allegory, Roosevelt’s whispered details did not do justice to the wonderful sight which greeted me.

“A finely manicured site,” his soft voice played back in my memory. “A flower perpetual grows, it overlooks two realms; ours and theirs. She is there.”

Indeed, before me was a small patch of finely manicured grass where a small cutting from a Puakenikeni branch was already sprouting it's fragrant white and deep orange flowers. Clearly, from where I stood, I could see Leleina Ka ‘Uhane the leaping stone that separates the realm of the living and the realm of the ancestors. This is where Roosevelt Williams buried the body of his wife after she had succumbed to the curse that took her life much sooner than it would take his; it was the spot that she would share with him when he first met her on a weekend pass from the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base where he was stationed. She was a Hawaiian girl who lived in Waialua and he was a native of South Carolina. The two connected immediately after Roosevelt accidentally knocked a box of doughnuts out of her hand as she exited the Zippy’s in Wahiawa. It was love at first sight; the conversation began with apologies and would eventually end with the both of them abandoning their friends and driving off together past Waialua. For the remainder of the day, they hiked the same trail from which I had just endured the unmerciful heat of the sun and it was here at the very spot where I now stood that she would finally tell Roosevelt her name. It was this little ahupua’a that her grandparents named her after because their origins were from a similar place on the island of Kaua’i.


This was my obligation to Roosevelt Williams, to see to the care of his wife’s burial place for as long as I was able. I remember asking him if he wished to be buried with his true love but he wished for his physical remains to stay within the confines of his house, he was certain that he would be by her side soon enough. Elise Watase was right, it was the phone number that would put everything together and make sense once I called it. It would bring me here physically but would also confirm more, much more than I expected spiritually. This was no stroke to my ego, this was a humbling reminder of the weight of kuleana and all that goes with it, it was a moment that found me wishing for a life that was more simple and less fettered. Those were my last thoughts before I lay back on the grass and closed my eyes; I hadn’t realized how exhausted I was. Within the small space of time that I was allowed to dream, I found that it was not filled with the residue of the events of the past few days, rather it was filled with the vision of one person’s face whose presence was a continual source of comfort and assurance in my stormy life. Tanya.

Before I knew it I was awake, the sun was nearly setting so I had to hurry and get back to my car before it got dark. The hike back didn’t seem to be as long and I had reached my car before I knew it. It was parked just outside the fence of the Dillingham airfield, I removed my cell phone from my pocket to see if I could get any kind of signal but no luck. I wanted to call Tanya as soon as I could, I had a lot of things that I needed to share with her. The key wasn’t even in the door to my car when I saw him standing on the other side of my vehicle, it was Kolt Hartman.

“Hey, what are you doing out here? The parachute jumps are done for the day,” I said.

“I’m supposed to go somewhere but I kinda forget where it is, my first wife told me about before but that was a long time ago,” he replied.

“How long ago was that?” I asked.

“1977, and no smart ass remarks outta you!” He pointed at me.

“Wait, she told you this thirty-two years ago and you’re only looking for this place you’re supposed to go to now?” I asked. “Where is this PLACE?”

“ She’s supposed to meet me there. It’s a promise we made and we agreed to keep it long after we were divorced, I just can’ remember where it is,” I’d never seen Kolt this unsure of anything. It worried me.

“Hold on, hold on, this isn’t making any sense?” I walked around the car to where he was standing. “Are you okay Kolt? Do you feel clammy? Is your heart racing?”

“No, dammit I’m fine!” He growled. “I just need to find this place,”

It was only then that I realized that my car was the only vehicle parked in that whole area, otherwise there was no one else. “Kolt, where are you supposed to go? Where are you supposed to meet your ex-wife?” I asked.

“If I knew that you think I’d be standing here asking you?” He shouted.

I opened the passenger side door for him, “Get in, I think I know where it is,”

He lumbered into my car and we drove the rest of the way in silence, in a short time we were parked in front of a large iron yellow gate at Mokuleia. We both got out and gazed toward the horizon.

“Whadya bring me all the way out here for?” He complained.

“I think you’re supposed to go that way; you’ll come to a large stone that’s sitting right on the water, you can’t miss it. I’m pretty sure that that is where your ex is waiting for you.” I instructed. “I’ll go with you, keep you company?”

He stared out into the distance for a few seconds and the look on his face changed like he knew I was right.

“There she is,” he pointed.

Approaching us not more than five feet away was a beautiful young Hawaiian girl dressed in a victorian style mu’umu’u. Her hair was long and the wind seemed to lift the strands about her as she walked toward Kolt with her hands outstretched. Kolt looked at me with a smile that had no trace of anything that burdened his thoughts or darkened his heart, “Be good to yourself, I love you.”

“I love you Kolt, thank you for everything.” The six-foot-three bull of a man fell into the arms of his former wife as if he were a child. Her embrace seemed to absolve him of all his troubles before she finally took him by the hand and led him toward Kaena point. The events of the past few days come forth in the form of tears that I must have cried for at least an hour more before I got into my car and headed back. It wasn’t until I was well past Helemano plantation when my phone finally got a signal. I pulled over into the space fronting the entrance of Kukaniloko. I dialed the number and waited for the ring.

“Hello?” Her voice was my absolution, it was all I needed to hear.

“Hi,” I answered. “Would you like to meet me for dinner?”

“Sure,” she agreed. She could sense my hesitation because she asked, “what’s wrong?”

“Nothing is wrong, but I do have a few things to share with you. How’s Zippy’s Waipahu in an hour?” I asked.

“Okay, I’ll see you there.” After we hung up more voice messages began to pop up on my phone along with more text messages. Both were filled with the same information, Kolt Hartman died of a heart attack at Anna’s restaurant earlier that morning, possibly not too long after I left him.


Two days later I sat with Ken Watase at Jamba Juice where he nervously asked me if his wife’s ghost was going to materialize? To which I answered in the negative.

“What I do want to tell you is that Elise wants you to move forward with your life, she loves you but she does not want you to linger over her passing, “ I explained.

“Sooooo, if I have a new girlfriend or a new wife she won’t get mad?” He asked.

“No,” I stated. “This is directly from the source and that’s all she told me to tell you, that’s all. After this, there is no more, no more messages or signs or anything.”

“Oh okay,” Ken said as he nodded his head. “Sooooo how much I owe you?”

“Nothing,” I replied.

“Nothing? For real?” He was stunned.

“I don’t do it for money,” I said.

“Oh okay, shoots den!” He shook my hand and excused himself.

Looking over at Elise’s ghost who was standing where her widowed husband was just sitting, I asked, “Alright, how was that?”

Crossing her arms and crinkling her nose she replied, “ I don’t like it, that was too easy. He didn’t seem like he was grieving for me enough, and you saw how he just took off? Eh, for all I know he was seeing somebody way before I died!”

“Elise, I have a life I have to get back to. If you want answers you should communicate with Ken yourself, this is taking up too much of my time,” I sighed

“Sorry,” she began. “Yeah, I go talk to him myself! I going scare the shit out of him if he making anykine!!”

That’s the great thing about talking to ghosts that no one else can see, people who would otherwise annoy you, actually end up leaving you alone

No comments:

Post a Comment