Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 12, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #21


WAHI: Waialua

Remy is one of the younger librarians, if not the youngest. She doesn't see the need for the shelves and shelves of tomes that have been handled by homeless ne'er do wells and those stricken with mental illness.
They hardly come anymore, the regular people. She petitioned for a digital library, one where people could sit at a computer screen and pull up the book they wanted in a PDF form. No printers mind you, a printer is an open invitation to the homeless to sit there and print up reams and reams of paper. That would be a waste of money.

"We're about the tangible, some people may not think so, but books are very visceral," Mrs. Cachola said.

"We're also a small library, so why can't we go digital?" Remy asked.

"Small library, small budget, and so much to your dislike, we remain antiquated," Mrs. Cachole eyed Remy intently before returning to her duties.

"Ugh, this place is so behind the times," Remy said under her breath. "I wished I worked downtown or at a college library. It's like working in a cardboard box at this place."

Six 'o clock finally rolled around, and Remy roamed the library to let everyone know that the doors were closing. When the last few people exited through the double front doors of the library, Remy employed the double locks behind them. She watched as they walked down the stairs and went off in different directions. Across the street, Remy saw Mrs. Cachola sitting her car while it idled. Remy smiled slightly and waved, there was no reaction from the old woman, she simply put her car in gear and drove off.

 "Bitch," Remy hissed.


Fifteen minutes later, Remy was in the break room, cleaning up the crumbs from the upside-down pineapple cake that someone left for Mrs. Cachola. Used napkins and day-old coffee sitting in half-filled styrofoam cups were chucked into the garbage bags as well. The coffee pot was cleaned and washed for the next day's use, and older bags of chips and nuts were discarded after sitting near the mini-fridge for over six months. With everything put away, Remy went to the front desk and retrieved her purse, which was sitting on her swivel chair. Looking over at where Mrs. Cachola usually sat, she saw that the old woman' had forgotten her designer canvas bag. Remy thought to just leave it there until tomorrow, but then Remy thought about taking it home with her in case whoever was let into the library early the next day might see the designer bag and steal it. She decided that it would be best to take it home with her. She would prepare herself for the questions and assumptions the following day, and if that were the case, her reply would be a letter asking for a transfer to another library. Preferably, a bigger one.

She went to grab it by the thick straps and found that she couldn't lift it, not right away, that is. She peeked inside and saw a large leather-bound book with what looked like a thousand pages in it. Mustering all her strength, she heaved the canvas bag on to her desk and with both hands, removed the volume from it. There were no embossed letters or any kind of lithograph on the cover to indicate that it was an ordinary book. Opening the cover, there was not a title written, nor the name of an author, or publisher on the first page. It was blank. Turning to the inside page, Remy found that it was filled from top to bottom with handwriting, exquisite handwriting. And so it was for the rest of the book, except that it wasn't a book, it was a personal diary. "Good," Remy thought to herself. "It doesn't belong to the library, so I don't feel guilty."


Mondy September 19, 1977


I hope you like that I got this diary for the both of us to write in. It makes me happy to think that this is how we can share our thoughts and feelings. I'll make the first entry since I'm the one who bought this diary from Hallmark. I was really looking forward to coming to school today as I am every day because I know I'm going to see you. What an unusual way you dressed, a dark-colored aloha shirt with pink flowers on it? For pants, you wore green military fatigues and white Puma shoes. I giggled to myself, but you're such a confident person that your friends didn't even make fun of you! Mr. James's psychology class is excellent, but because he's so short, everyone in my class makes fun of him to his face! That's so disrespectful, I made a complaint to the principal. You won't know it until you get home and read this, but I got twenty dollars from my father yesterday for doing chores around the house and helping my mom with cooking and the laundry. I'm going to treat you to food and soda from the Manapua wagon after school. That way, we can eat together before you walk me home. Is it too soon to tell you how I feel, Renaldo?



Monday, September 19, 1977, Nighttime

So, you write to me and give me the diary, and then I write something and give it back to you? I not really that good to write things down, but for you, I can try. Thanks for treating me with fried noodles and soda. My dad said I gotta get one job after school, so maybe later, when I get the money, I treat you to round table pizza. Why? How you feel?



By just the two entries, Remy realized she was reading the personal interactions between two people who were teenagers way back in the '70s. She had to get home and feed her cats and then get to her yoga class on time. As well, she could not miss another episode of her favorite TV show, thank gosh for DVR. The rest of what was contained in the diary was none of her business, so she placed it back in the canvas bag and borrowed a roller to put it on. Safer to bring it back tomorrow. be continued

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