Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 7, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #24

 "When the sun goes down and the clouds are gone, where do I go? When the lights go out and the club doors close, where do I roam?

When the party is over and the ribbons all come down, why am I still alone? When the road is long, and my heart is lost, where is my home?"

It's a beautiful song she sings in the confines of her bedroom; her guitar paints the physical picture of the memory that's breaking her heart. Her voice has such control, there's emotion in it, but she's not letting it turn her song into one big cry. She knows she can't sing it for him, in front of him, or in spite of him. Her dignity won't let her, so she sings it for herself. All I can do is go about my daily routine around the house; I knock on her door when it's time for lunch or an early dinner. She's up until all hours, so breakfast is out of the question. As a father, it's difficult not to do anything about the boy who broke her heart. Hurting him would only hurt and anger her, so there goes that plan.



"Someday there won't be any more tomorrows; someday there won't be a yesterday. Someday I'll forget about the sorrow, but for right now, I can't get past today. Someday you'll remind me why I love you, and someday I'll remember why I cared. Someday I'll believe in all the chances, someday I'll remember why I dared, why I dared to love you, why I dared to love you, why I dared to care,"

I knocked gently on her door, "Amy? Hun, it's time for lunch. Did you want to come to sit with me in the kitchen? Maybe get out of your room, get some air?"

"I'm fine, Dad, I'll just order something from Uber-eats, or pizza..or something," that wasn't my little girl's voice anymore. That was the voice of a young mature woman, dealing with a difficult situation in the best way she knew how. 

"How's the job? It's a good thing you can work from home, right?" She was lucky with this shutdown; her job is essential, so she gets can still collect a paycheck. 

"OH SHIT!" She screamed. I heard her chair scrape across her floor and then fall over. "Fucking dammit!" Her door swung open, and she was wearing his old Paul Mc Cartney RAM t-shirt and big pajama bottoms. She had a large package in her hand that she thrust into my chest. "Dad, can you please take this to the post office? It needs to go right now, and I'm a mess! It's going to take me too long to get ready, can you please, Dad? Otherwise, I will be in knee-deep shit! Thank you, Dad!" She closed the door and went back to her daily routine of being heartbroken. Ugh, she's wearing his shirt and his pajama bottoms. I have to do something before she completely wallows in her emotions until nothing is left of her. 



My knock on Amy's door wasn't the nurturing knock that I've been giving up until now. I pounded on the door until it sounded as if it were going to fall off the frame. I bought the house; I renovated it with my own two hands, so if I don't want to be gentle when I knock on my daughter's door, then I don't have to be. She opened the door slowly; her hair was a mess. Her eyes were swollen because she'd been crying. She was still wearing his clothes. "Let's go," I grabbed her and dragged her out to the garage. I flicked the light on and sitting on the floor, gagged and tied by his hands and legs, was Amy's self-proclaimed ex. He broke up with her, but he didn't give her the chance to be broken up with him. "OMG!" she screamed. "Colin!"

She ran over to him and wrapped her body around him; crying and apologizing, she began to untie him. I pulled her away and walked her back into the house. "What the hell are you doing? I'm giving you an opportunity, not a reconciliation!"

"You fucking gagged him and tied him up! What do you expect me to do?!" She whisper-screamed at me. "You're crazy, dad! You're crazy!"

"I have to listen to you sing all those sad songs all damned day, and they're heartbreaking, Amy! I'm your father, and I can't stand it! You're supposed to go in there and beat the shit out of Colin! Get it out of your system! Get your revenge!" I was livid that she didn't get the picture.

"What fucking songs are you talking about?" 

"The heartbreak songs you sing every day to Colin after he dumped you," I was exasperated. "The songs you compose because I've never heard them on the radio or seen the music videos online!"

"Oh my god, you are so out of touch! I dumped HIM; I met somebody at work, but because of this COVID, we've only been able to continue our relationship online!" She threw her hands up and looked at me with disgust. "That's why I'm up so late all the time! Besides, why would I write heartbreak songs about somebody I DUMPED??!!"

"But you keep wearing Colin's shirt and pajamas!?"

"I bought Colin, this shirt and pajamas! When I dumped him, I took it back," she pushed past me and went back into the garage and locked the door. Luckily, she convinced Colin not to press charges and to forget the whole thing. It turns out that Colin was the heartbroken one, pinning away for Amy, who wouldn't give him the time of day. She and her online boyfriend moved in together that same week; she hasn't spoken to me since. I'm not sure when she will. I'm by myself now in this big old house; Amy's room is empty, and I never lock the door. I've left a video recorder running and a digital recorder but so far, nothing. I only hear the songs when I'm in other parts of the house, but when I play the footage and the sound back, it's all static. 

"The skies up above bring lightning? Can the love songs I sing be frightening? Will, I ever learn, will I ever know? You give your heart, and your love gets burned, and that just goes to show, that with love you never know, with love you never know,"

Photo - Nijwam Swargiary

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