Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 15, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #77



6th avenue extends from the intersection of 7th and Brokaw, where it then becomes Alohea street. It ends just past the Wai'alae dental center at Keanu and Palolo.

Along the way are interesting homes, businesses, and schools. From his youth until well into his retirement, Mr. Kelekolio lived on 6th and Martha street for many years. There was a Mrs. Lori Kelekolio for twenty-five years until her passing in two thousand and fifteen. There was still time for Mr. Kelekolio at fifty-three years of age. The clock hadn't slowed down yet, and his natural charm and good looks hadn't faded away. Mrs. Alvarez from next door had always known this and was always complimentary to Lori Kelekolio regarding her husband's ability to keep himself in shape. Lori swooned every time this fact was brought to her attention. "I got lucky," Lori would always say. Now that Lori was no longer in the picture, Cheryl Alvarez felt that her turn had come. She herself was recently widowed when her husband Sherman passed from years of working around asbestos. Combine that with a poor health regimen that finally took its toll, and you have a recipe for a short life span. One morning Cheryl took it upon herself to bring Andrew Kelekolio a plate of Portuguese sausages, scrambled eggs, rice, bacon, spam, and some ice-cold guava juice. It was still early, and Andrew wasn't quite awake, which is why he answered the door in his pajama shorts. Cheryl was pleased by what she saw before she averted her eyes and handed Andrew the plate of food. "It's hot, but this is breakfast for you. You can return the plate when you're done, like later, not right away."

"Oh, thanks, Cheryl," Andrew leaned forward and gave his neighbor a hug which surprised her. His body was hot, and the feeling of it made her dizzy. She was suddenly flush and didn't have a chance to reply. Even if she did, it would have an awkward babble of words that didn't make sense. Andrew stepped back and closed the door. Her moment, which she determined would be perfectly orchestrated, had fallen apart with one hug. 

A few days later, there was a knock on Cheryl's front door. It was Andrew, smartly dressed and groomed to go somewhere. In his hand was Cheryl's plate and on it was a pile of fried rice with strips of pork belly and plum sauce. "Thanks for the other morning," Andrew waved. 

Cheryl opened the screen door and took the plate. "This is very nice of you. Do you want to come in for a second?"

"Oh no, thank you. I have to be somewhere in ten minutes. I'm technically late as it is," Andrew smiled and turned to leave. 

"If you ever want to talk, you know? Get stuff off your chest. I'm a good listener," Cheryl offered.

"I'm fine, thank you," Andrew reassured her as he walked back across the street to his car. In a second, the vehicle pulled out of his garage, and he was gone. 

"Shit, Cheryl! You're such an idiot!" She hissed to herself.


 It genuinely hurt me that Miranda was killed alongside Mr. Rissutto. She didn't deserve that, to die the way she did. Whoever did it should have just killed Mr. Rissutto and left Miranda alone. His house across the street from us stayed empty for a whole other year after his death. During that time, new crews showed up and interviewed anyone on our street who was willing to talk. Documentary producers from the mainland also wanted their pound flesh from Mr. Rissutto and Miranda's story. A fairy tale mafia romance went wrong. My parents were interviewed because the last time anyone saw those Mr. Rissutto and Miranda alive was at the anniversary party at our house. What were they like as neighbors? Were they nice people? Did they keep to themselves? So many probing questions. I, of course, had to stay out of it. It was a rule of thumb that until you were out of the house and on your own, you could not participate in conversations involving your parents. This means I couldn't tell anyone about walking in on Mr. Rissutto and Miranda leaving their loves stains on my parents' bed. 

One night, I had a dream that was so vivid that even after it was over and I was awake and sitting up in bed, I could still smell Miranda's lingering perfume in the air. In the dream, it was early morning. The sun was just coming up over Pa'ahana and Kaimuki avenue. Its first light illuminated the walls in my bedroom, and the chirp of the mejiro birds let me know that the fullness of the day was due to arrive. The sound of the birds became like the crescendo of one musical note that ended and then was carried on by another sound. That other sound was Miranda's voice, calling my name. "La'akea? La'akea?"

I sat up on my bed, and Miranda was sitting there next to me. She held out a gold chain with a locket on it. She gave it to me and closed my fingers around with both her hands. "Someone will be coming for it," she said. " Give it to him. It's important."

 At that precise moment, I'm jolted out of the dream. There's a knock at the door. I hear my parents come from the kitchen to see who it is. Then I hear the conversation. It's a man's voice.

"I'm so sorry to bother you so early, but it's rather urgent. Does La'akea live here?"

"He's our son," my father replies. "Who are you?"

"I'm Andrew Kelekolio," the man introduces himself. "This is going to sound very strange, but my wife, who passed away, she came to me in a dream and told me to come to this address and ask for La'akea. That, he had a gold chain with a locket on it. She said that the locket had a picture in it that was very important."

"Are you serious?" My mother sounded irritable. "You have a lot of nerve coming here first thing in the morning with some crazy request!"

"You should leave right now before I call the cops," my father was firm in his suggestion.

That's when I inserted myself between my mother and father and held out the gold chain with the locket to Mr. Kelekolio. "This is what you're looking for, sir,"

My parents were speechless, and Mr. Kelekolio looked like he was going to cry. "I'm so sorry, you folks, I know it sounds crazy, but my wife Lori came to me in a dream, like I said. She gave me this address and told me to ask for La'akea because he had her sister's gold chain and locket. So this is the first time I am seeing this."

"Open it," I nodded.

The locket opened without effort for Mr. Kelekolio, and he let out a slight gasp. His tears came freely after. Then, turning the locket over, he showed us the picture inside. The woman on the right had to be his late wife, Lori, because next to her was her sister, Miranda. 


Sherman came to his widow in a dream recently to let her know that life was one continual unending strand that went on long after the flesh faded to dust. The next morning, Cheryl dressed down, less seductive, no unbuttoned tops or fitted capris or shorts. Just plain and simple, no need for too much make-up but certainly not dowdy. She let her shoulder-length hair down and come what may if the wind blows a few strands in front of her face. Armed with a chilled glass pitcher of her best lemonade, she opened her kitchen door, intending to pour a glass for Andrew and herself. She had to pull her head out of the clouds and make herself remember that admiring or lusting after someone is completely different when you have to live with them, day in and day out. She really didn't know what Andrew was like. She can only tell from what she lusted after and from Lori's reactions. Now, she would take that step to find out. Surprise of all surprises, Andrew was standing at her back door, ready to knock. "Oh!" He stepped back, nearly stumbling backward.

"Oh! You startled me!" Cheryl shrieked as she reached out to grab him by his coat lapel.

They both ended up holding on to one another for balance, with one trying not to cause the other to fall. Luckily, Cheryl didn't spill the lemonade. "I'm sorry, I was coming over to find out if you'd be interested in some lemonade? I made it myself."

"That's funny," Andrew chuckled. "I came over to see if you'd be interested in having lunch somewhere. It gets tired of having to eat alone. Some company would be nice."

"Sure," Cheryl couldn't believe her luck. "Let me just put the lemonade away, and I'll grab my purse, and we can go."

"Uh, Cheryl," Andrew called out after her. She stopped and looked at him for a second. "Lori came to me in a dream last night. She said it was alright if I wanted to get on with my life. So that's why I came over. If that's too weird, then don't worry about it."

"No," Cheryl replied while tears formed in her eyes. "I think that's nice, and I believe you."

Andrew and Cheryl didn't end up in bed with one another, and they didn't get married. Instead, they took their time in helping one another transition through a lifetime of emotion and used-to-ness with their previous love so that they could be better enabled to build something fresh and new, with no residual anything from before. The last I saw of Miranda was her ghost waving at me from outside the front door of Mr. Rissutto's old house. She smiled and blew me a kiss, then opened to door and let herself in. It slowly closed and locked behind her. A second later, a moving van pulled up, and many kids my age jumped out. The man and woman I assumed to be their parents jumped out behind them. They all stood back for a second and admired the house. The parents had a pair of keys in their hands which opened the front door. The kids took off running and screaming for joy to the backyard. It was the perfect way to bring life to that old house, considering what transpired there before. I like to think that Miranda knew that.

Photo Credit-Today Show

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