Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 29, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #63


"Here, dad," My son handed my grandson to me, and I hugged my little man close and kissed him on his chubby cheeks. He began strapping a harness around me, which seemed awkward.

"What, what are you doing?"

"It's a baby harness, so you don't drop him. Plus, it frees up your hands when you want to do stuff, like making a sandwich or getting something from the refrigerator, " he pulled down a strap through a loop on one side and then started on the other.

"No...Collin, take this thing off, I don't like it," 

He shot me a look of frustration but continued with what he was doing. "Dad, the harness is meant to make things easier on you, so your arms don't get tired. It protects your back too,"

"Collin, wait-just wait. Look at me, look at me," I urged him. "Stop what you're doing; look at me."

This kid, he's so much like his mother, God rest her soul. Once he gets something in his head, you can't shake him out of it. I wasn't trying to scold him; I wanted him to understand something visceral, tangible. He stood up and let out an irritable breath and looked me in the eye.  "I'm listening."

"I want to hold my grandson in my arms; I want to feel him up against my cheeks, you understand? I want to inhale his baby smell from the top of his head. If he cries or drools, I want to feel that too. I can't do any of that with a harness," I told him.

"I'd feel better would save me and Pearl a lot of stress if you wore the harness while you carry Pauwilo. Just do me this favor, ok, dad?" He didn't hear a word I said.

"I wasn't wearing a harness when I made you Collin; you weren't born with a harness either." I made sure that he was looking at me. 

"Are you going, senile?" He shot back. "What are you on about?"

"Never mind," I replied. "Just put the damned thing on."



I'm watching my grandson Pauwilo. He's dying. He's in the ICU at Kaiser and, he's not allowed any visitors. He's got an oxygen mask on his face, and he's nestled in a plastic tent all around, he's only twenty-two years old. 

Collin is sitting downstairs, with Pearl. They're both a mess. From the time Pauwilo was born, Collin was obsessed with providing his son with things that would make his life more comfortable. Thus the harnesses, eventually, the home computers, laptops, and cell phones. Collin was such a smart kid that he became the owner of the VR company that he worked for in no time. In the meantime, Pearl was able to hire a nanny who saw to Pauwilo's every need. She did a great job with my grandson. Alas, they fired her when they realized that he listened more to the nanny than he did to Collin and Pearl. Pauwilo grew up to be independent of his parents; soon, they would be an afterthought. He hardly called and hardly came to visit, but he would refuse the affections that Collin and Pearl wanted to give him when he did.  Despite the rules of the lockdown, Pauwilo attended a flotilla party with a bunch of his friends. It was nothing but wild debauchery and drunken idiocy. Less than a few days later, Pauwilo came down with COVID. Now, he is breathing his last few breaths before the light dims one last time. 

"I wished I'd listened to you, Dad," Collin cried.

"I'm sure he can hear you," Pearl reassured him.

"If we were at the old house, he could," Collin sobbed. "But he didn't die here, so I don't know."

I can hear you, son, I'm right here. You could hear and see me too, but you closed yourself off once you became dependant on material things. You forgot about what mattered most; even now, I wish I could hold you Collin and tell you how much I love you. Just like how you want to hold Pauwilo and tell him how much you love him.

Photo credit - Pininterest


  1. I just found your blog from Spooked. This was the very first post I read. I'm so very very sorry