Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 5, 2020

The Name Of A Monster


In any new relationship, there's a lot of passion and long talks regarding wistful hopes and dreams for the future. Truth be told, this wasn't my first rodeo. My previous relationships were unsuccessful, to say the least, but Kona assured me that her love was enough for both of us, and I needn't worry.

Being in that heady space where the spark of love is newly created, I put aside the one thing she really needed to know. Because like she said, her passion was enough for both of us. Within less than a year into our relationship, Kona told me she was with child. I remember crying and holding onto her.

"This is the sign that our love was meant to be," I sobbed.

She sat back and looked me in the eye. "I told you I have enough love for both of us."

The next day I got rid of my Harley and traded it in for a 1987 Dodge Aries sedan. It was the most conservative choice I ever made in my life. Nine months later, our Timothy was born, and everything changed. At this point, I'm not pretending to be an expert as to what a woman's state of mind might be after she gives birth for the first time. I do know that it's the hormonal changes that do a hell of a number on her wiring, so to say. Know this, I tried to be as helpful as I could. I'm certain that I was in Kona's way, more than I was kind. In fact, I'm sure of it.

She was irritable all the time, and she had a tendency to snap over the smallest things. I always tried to get to the bottom of why she was upset so that I could alleviate her worries, but it just made things worse. In less than a month, her anger progressed to throwing things at me while simultaneously letting me know how much of a big mistake she made in choosing me as her boyfriend. I let that go, as well. I always took a deep breath and went out for a walk. Behind me, I could hear her screaming from the house. "Mother fucking piece of shit, bastard! Go on, you fucking loser!"

When I'd come back an hour or so later, there was never an apology. Just silence. Kona would talk to me later as if nothing ever happened, then things would go back to normal until the next blow up. I remember thinking that maybe her love wasn't enough for both of us and that now would be a good time to tell her. Luck would have it that when I did try to say to her that there was something she needed to know, she would surprise me with sex. Not out of love, as I'd find out later, but out of her own physical needs. Publicly among friends who would come over or when we were at a party, Kona was ever the gracious woman extolling the virtues of our relationship and myself as well. I'd get caught up in it as always, but the second we got home, she and Timothy would go straight to sleep. Sometimes I'd gently nudge her for a bit of foreplay, and she would either not respond or just push me away. One evening I jokingly reminded her of how her love was enough for both of us. She rolled over slowly and looked me dead in the eye and said, "It WAS. Now it's only enough for Timothy and me."

A year later, we were driving to Wal-Mart on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when Timothy pooped his diaper while in his car chair. Earlier, I had gotten Timothy's diaper and clothes bag together while Kona assured me that she had all the baby wipes in her giant purse. My son's favorite kids' songs were playing on the CD, and we were joyously singing along until the unique stench of baby food shit filled the car. I quickly pulled into the parking lot above the Mānoa tennis courts so that I could help Kona with the diaper change. She was in a frantic search for the baby wipes by the time I'd opened the back door to the Dodge.

"What do you need, babe?" I asked her.

"My purse with the wipes, I can't find it dammit, and there's shit on his legs now!" She wasn't kidding. Timothy's poop was liquid carrots and peas.

"I remember you said that you put it in your purse," I began. "We can just go back home real quick, and I'll get it. It'll be fast."

This look came over her, and her expression changed. Her eyes were sharp and focused, and her teeth were bare. "When did you know that I forgot my purse?"

"Just now," I replied. "Why?"

"Just now?" She asked. "Or did you see me forget it and decided not to say anything in case Timothy shit his diaper so you could make me look stupid?"

"What?" My voice squeaked. "Why would I even do something like that?"

In one fluid motion, Kona removed Timothyʻs shit-filled diaper and smashed it in my face. The force of it was so sudden that she knocked me down. Now, she was on top of me, not screaming but furiously grunting as she rained down punches around my head and face. I was overcome with a moment of clarity, which was not some kind of peaceful nirvana, but an actual realization of horror. I forgot to tell her. I forgot because she assured me that her love was enough for both of us; right now, it wasn't. I cried, and I begged her to stop, I pleaded with her to stop, and I made no attempts to grab her wrists or arms for fear that I might unintentionally bruise her. She wouldn't let up, and it was too late. My god, I should have told her from the beginning.

My skin changed first. From a light brown to a coarse dry grey texture. My fingernails and toenails were next. They melted off and were replaced by long talons with barbs at the end; it was nature's way of allowing it to tear into the flesh and to take away much more when removed. My hair stayed in place, but blackened boned spikes popped up like a sadomasochistic Mohawk. My nostrils widened, and all my teeth fell out once the fangs came in.

My eyes were red, literally burning with fire. It happened too quickly for Konaʻs senses to comprehend, when Kona finally saw me in my pure form, she recoiled back into the Dodge and frantically locked all the doors. I hovered over our car, glaring at her, grunting and drooling on the windows and the windshield. Kona huddled down in the back seat, praying that I would not shatter the windows of the vehicle so I could kill her. It was Timothyʻs crying that stopped me. His fiery red eyes filled with tears broke my heart, it made me turn around, and run off into the high grass where I could hide until the change was done, and I was myself again.

I could never go back.


Her name was Kona-Nui-a-Niho. Go look it up, youʻll be surprised. My name is Pilikua Nui. When my son was born, I thought that naming him Timothy would be a good thing because he would not embody all the real things that I am. I live in a cult-like community in the mountains of Denver, itʻs all peace and love here. Itʻs good for my disposition. Iʻve also took Timothyʻs name because it has a biblical meaning as well as an Irish meaning, and it has nothing to do with my name. I hope my son is doing well and that his mother doesnʻt push his buttons, as is her tendency.

One can only expect.

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