Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 22, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #11



Iʻd been busy for most of the month, mostly with work, and then running back and forth to the community center where I volunteered.
How that figures into this story which Iʻm about to share with you is that I only had time to fill gas in my poor 2009 Mustang, but not the other necessary liquids like oil, transmission fluid, and wiper liquid. The last was doable because I could survive without windshield wiper fluid for a couple of more days. The car wasnʻt showing any of the hop skips and jump signs that tell you, you need transmission fluid or a brand new transmission. However, motor oil was another story. The engine started knocking right as I took the Waiʻalae on-ramp heading to Hawaii Kai, and even before I could scream, "Fucking shit, no!"My good old trusty steed came to a slow halt on the side of the freeway where she died a quiet death. Dammit, I forgot my cell phone at home.

No sense in checking under the hood. I just took all the essential stuff out of the car and stuffed it in my back and started to walk. I was close to the 16th avenue overpass when a 2005 Honda Civic pulled over a few feet or so ahead of me. The four ways were on, and I could see the passengerʻs side window roll down. The driver idled the car and waited for me to catch up. It was a young Hawaiian girl dressed in a tube top, shorts, and slippers. She had her hair up in a clip, and she could not have been older than eighteen. Strapped into a car seat in the back was a little chubby Hawaiian boy who looked to be about three, he wore chocolate smudges on his cheeks and his chin and appeared to be utterly content.

"Uncle, you need a ride someplace?" The girlʻs voice that was filled with hope and optimism in spite of whatever her personal circumstances were.

"Oh, no," I smiled. "Itʻs okay, I live all the way up in Niu Valley, itʻs too far. Thank you though," I waved and began to continue walking.

"I going Waimanalo uncle, as long you promise that you, not one psycho I can take you," she half-laughed, but she was also sincere about taking me to my destination.

"Alright, but under one condition," I said.

"Conditions?" Her voice squeaked. "Iʻm giving you the ride and you making conditions?"

"No," I shook my head and smiled again. "The condition is that we make a stop at the gas station by Times Kahala, and you let me put gas in your car. Is that okay?"

"Shit, if we going do that, then you might as well buy me one musubi and soda too!" She shrieked, laughing.

"I can do that," I agreed.


The girl's name was Momi, and her little sonʻs name was Kaipo, short for Kaipoleimanu. She was coming back from picking her son up from her parentʻs place. They lived right off of Ward avenue on Green street. The chocolate he was covered with was snuck into his shirt pocket by his grandmother. According to Momi, her son discovered the confection just as they were passing the Punahou off-ramp. Not only did little Kaipo eat the chocolate, but he also began to wear it. At that point, she was searching for a safe place to pull over and clean the little one-off. Thatʻs when she saw me walking on the side of the freeway. Right now, as Iʻm filling up her gas tank, Momi is in the back seat of her car, cleaning up the last remnants of cheap chocolate from the babyʻs face, hair, and clothing.

"Ugh, my parents no listen when I tell them no give the baby chocolate," she looked him over to see if sheʻd missed anything. "Should be good for now."


I could see Momi running a whole household of kids and grandkids one day. She'll drive one of those fifteen-passenger vans or school buses filled with her kids and grandkids. Little Kaipo will grow up to be whatever he wants to be, but he'll always be the apple of his mother's eye because he's the firstborn, the oldest. We finally reached my destination at the end of Haleola street, I jump out and thank her, but she's already coming around the front of the car to give me a hug. "Mahalo Uncle, this was so nice of you, I really appreciate it!'

"Oh, not a problem," I answered. "Goodnight!"

I stood there and waved goodbye as the little Civic disappeared down the length of my street. I had to go upstairs and change and then call for a tow truck to come and pick me up so we could head out to retrieve my car. By the time all of that was squared away, it was four in the morning. I was too tired to take a shower, so I just lay back on my couch and fell asleep.


It wasn't the light of the early sunrise filtering through the windows that woke me up; instead, it was a distant voice I heard calling out, "Uncle? Uncle? Uncle?"

It took me a couple of minutes to come around and get my eyes fully opened, they were still puffy from a lack of sleep. I sat up on the couch, and once my eyes came in to focus, I saw Momi standing in the middle of the living room floor, holding Kaipo on her hip.  Her face was beaten up badly, and there were huge bruised handmarks around her throat. Kaipo's head hung grossly to one side, it was almost turned completely around. I could see a gray film covering his lifeless eyes as it peered toward the carpet on my floor. I was frozen to my couch with crippling fear, I couldn't move. 

"We stay in the dump Uncle, the one in Malaekahana. We stay in the dump." Her lips didn't move, but I could hear her talking in my head. Her eyes said everything, though; they were pleading and desperate. She took a step forward and disappeared into the filtered light shining in through the windows. What the holy hell was that?


A short time later, Momi's picture was plastered all over the evening news. She was last seen picking her baby boy up from her parent's house, after that, she never made it home. Her boyfriend was on the news crying tears of desperation, hoping that anyone would have some clue as to where his girlfriend might have been. I know you think you know where this story is going, but you're wrong. I made it a point to contact the authorities, and I fully co-operated. The smart thing on my part is that I kept the receipts from the gas station at Kahala Times, it's just a habit. That showed that I was there and at what time. I must also commend my nosey neighbor, the retired spinster Mrs. Patterson who saw Momi drop me off and give me a hug before she drove away. My cell phone also shows the time in which I phoned the tow truck driver, who later, in turn, verified coming to get me and then going off to get my car. It was tedious work, but I was cleared of any suspicion. The only drawback was the vision I had in the morning, the one where Momi and Kaipo were severely beaten. I couldn't tell the cops about that, even if it was real and they did find Momi and little Kaipo's body at the Malaekahana dump, I wouldn't be helping. I'd be incriminated.

As luck would have it, Momi's boyfriend Chad had been the number one suspect from the beginning. The police found holes in the details of his story concerning his relationship with Momi, the neighbors heard them fighting all the time. Whenever he was home alone with Kaipo, they listened to the baby crying, and they could listen to Chad screaming at Kaipo to shut up. Momi's parent's verified that the relationship was indeed violent and that they'd tried to convince their daughter to bring Kaipo and move in with them. Momi couldn't be swayed, she wanted to make it work. After working on Chad by making him go over the same story again and again, where the details were different each time, he finally broke down and confessed. When Momi came home that night she told Chad that she saw a stranger walking on the side of the freeway near the 16th avenue overpass and offered him a ride.

The stranger accepted and return for her kindness, he offered to fill her tank with gas.

Momi accepted the gesture, but she forgot to mention to Chad that the stranger also bought some snacks for her and the baby as well. Chad flew into a blind jealous rage and punched Momi so hard that she fell sideways on top of the baby, and broke his neck. Fearful now that Momi would turn him in to the police for Kaipo's death, Chad beat her until she wasn't moving anymore. In a panic, he loaded Momi and Kaipo in the drunk and drove out to the Malaekahana dump, where he tried to get rid of their bodies. He later took the police to the spot where he'd gotten rid of his girlfriend and son. Sure enough, the bodies were discovered.


To say I feel like shit is an understatement so is saying that I feel sad and enraged I feel all those things at once. What I think I really feel is guilt. Guilt for paying back a favor that would result in the death of two innocent people, and guilt over not acting quickly enough when the ghosts of Momi and her child appeared to me, asking to go and find their bodies. Anyway, that's what my story is.

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