Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 23, 2020


It was only one time, so Sean thought. One time was all it took. Now he couldnʻt get rid of her. She appeared on the outer fringes of his social circle. Peering at him from around a corner, standing among a group of his co-workers.

Always with a look of sadness, a look of pleading, and still, always with a swollen canopy of tears brimming in her eyes, ready to soak him in her self made grief. More unnerving was the fact that she knew where to wait for him whenever he was alone, the corner of a stairwell, in the parking lot when his car was wedged between two larger vehicles, and when coming out of the bathroom at work. Sometimes at a movie theater, she would approach from the opposite end of the row from where he sat and then take her place only three seats away from him and ignore him the entire time. She would laugh too loud at the funny parts, shout violent obscenities during the dreadful parts, and cry too ugly during the sad parts, all the while ignoring him. Sean finally left the theater and didnʻt bother taking his popcorn and drinks. Turning the corner where both exits convene, where there is no overhead light, where it is most dark, she was waiting.

"Sean," she sobbed. "I didnʻt mean to embarrass you. Letʻs go back in, and we can watch the movie together."

"It was only one time," Sean said. "Just one time."

"One time is all it takes," she cooed in his ear.

"Go to hell, you damned psycho," Sean growled and left.


Sean wasnʻt sure if he was horrified or relieved when her students found her dead in her classroom the next morning. He would find out later that there was no suicide note, that implicated him in anything. He was careful to keep himself in check and not display any palpable kind of emotion. Just then, the principal and the senior teaching staff walked past him and gathered around her body. Her head rested on her arms as if she were asleep on her desk. The pool of blood seeped into the white pages of nearby worksheets and composition books. The principal decided to leave her like that until the authorities arrived. The curriculum development staff touched her on her shoulder, and a jolt of lightning went through Seanʻs body.

"NO!" He screamed suddenly. "Donʻt touch her!"


Nathan Pacheco was at that pinnacle in his career that everyone reaches; should he stay or should he go? Heʻd already opted to go on the morning that Daphne Milari was found dead at her desk in her own classroom. His letter of resignation lay in his shoulder bag, neatly waiting in a large manila envelope. He turned thirty earlier that month and realized that he hadnʻt done anything, hadnʻt gone anywhere, hadnʻt ever been in a serious relationship. All heʻd ever done was sit in front of a computer and developed a curriculum for schools and students that he would never meet. This is what he earned with his masterʻs degree. Nathan was practicing his preamble for his boss when there came a frantic knock on his office door. It swung open even before he could get up and answer it.

"Nathan! The principal needs your help!" It was Janice, the custodian.

"Whatʻs going on?" He could see people running through the hallway, and he could hear screaming.

"Ms. Milari killed herself in her classroom!" Janice was hysterical by that point.

Daphne Milariʻs grieving students filed down the hallway past him while school security escorted them to the cafeteria where their parents would come to collect them home for the day. Daphne looked as if she were resting on her desk for a short nap, except that there was a dark pool of blood under her arms. While his boss and the other senior staff discussed what should be done with her body, Nathan instinctively reached out to give Daphne a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. Thatʻs, when Sean Ayau, the English lit teacher, screamed at him to not touch her. Nathan had no way of knowing, but it was too late for him.

Daphne would first appear to him in a dream much later that night. Nathan felt the edge of his bed sink in, and when he opened his eyes, she was sitting naked at his feet.

"I didnʻt know you liked me, Nathan," Daphne cooed. "You should have said something before."

"I donʻt even know you that well," Nathan replied nervously. "How did you get into my house?"

"Iʻm not in your house silly, Iʻm in your soul," she smiled while running her finger along the seam of his blanket.

"Wha-what?" Nathan stuttered.

"When you touched me on my shoulder, thatʻs how I knew you were interested," Daphne smiled.

"Iʻm not," Nathan replied. " Iʻm not interested, I never-I never was."


Nathan didnʻt sleep for the rest of the night. The following morning in the principal's office, he was frazzled and on edge, but he managed to hand in his resignation. He thought it was the best way to leave and also the best way to rid himself of the residue from Daphneʻs suicide. However, Daphne did not free herself of Nathan. She appeared in his dreams every night for a month until she finally wore him down, and he gave himself to her, just to get rid of her. In his waking hours, she appeared on the outer fringes of his sanity. Peering at him from around a corner, standing among a group of shoppers at Foodland. Always with a look of sadness, a look of pleading, and still, always with a swollen canopy of tears brimming in her eyes, ready to soak him in her self made grief.


Nathanʻs resident manager, Richard Corpuz, found him hanging from the railing of his third-story unit one morning. He was on his daily morning patrol of the complex when he saw the body. The noose was firmly tied around Nathanʻs neck, but Richard was perplexed as to how Nathan managed to zip himself up in a sleeping back and wrap duct tape around it? Pulling the body up was going to be a task. Nathan was six feet four inches tall, and he weighed a good three hundred and seventy-five pounds.

"Meh," he thought to himself. "Iʻll leave it up to the authorities.


The fire department cut Nathan down while the police tried to put together any idea as to who might have wrapped his body up in a sleeping bag. Cases like these usually turn out to be strangulation or murder made to look like a suicidal hanging. By the time the medical examiner was ready to take Nathanʻs body away, Charla Corpuz, Richardʻs wife, had come to see what the commotion was about. Overcome with sympathy for Nathan, Charla reached out and placed her hand on Nathanʻs forehead, and moved a lock of hair away from his eyes. Later that night, while Richard lay by her side, snoring the world away, Charla hovered between being awake and nearly falling into a deep sleep. She felt herself going under but could still hear her husbandʻs near gagging on his apnea. Suddenly the snoring stopped, and Charla felt Richard removing her underwear. With her eyes still closed, she took her top off and lay back while Richard did all the work. He skipped the foreplay and went straight to third base, which was okay with Charla. It was late, and she was tired. The moment he entered her, she knew it wasnʻt Richard. Her eyes opened, and there was Nathan on top of her. He was naked and slowly moving the entire length of his manhood in and out.

"I never knew you liked me, Charla," Nathan grunted.

"Oh my god, Nathan, no!" Charla hissed. "Get off of me!"

"What do you mean?" Nathanʻs breathing was shallow while he slowly moved in and out. "I thought you liked me?"

"NO!" She shouted. "Not like this!"

"THEN WHY DID YOU TOUCH ME???" He screamed while simultaneously releasing himself.


Charla Corpuz sits in a psych ward at an undisclosed location on Punchbowl. Itʻs self-imposed, she wonʻt let anyone who isnʻt gloved up or wearing a face mask, touch her. She canʻt risk it. However, Nathan and another strange woman named Daphne keep her company. They only speak to her whenever an orderly, or a doctor enters the room.

"Touch them, Charla," they egg her on. "Touch them, and youʻll be rid of us."

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