Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 25, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #36


Daryl Hamas was one of those teachers that all the students liked.

His classroom was where the student body congregated in the morning, during recess, lunch, and after school. He always seemed to have a fan club throughout the four years at Leeward High School in Waipahu. He actually ended up marrying one of my classmates right after our senior year. I believe Mr. Hamas was nearly thirty by that time, and I was surprised to find out that his most prized and favorite students thought that the whole thing was creepy. Really? They worshiped him like a god, but the second he came down from his pedestal and took one of their mortal friends as a wife, they shunned him. Or he may have just been outright creepy. So, I was a bit surprised to receive a phone call from Mr. Daryly Hamas this afternoon. He asked if he could FaceTime with me, and I consented. He was now a seventy-year-old version of himself. His features were unchanged except for the fact that he wore a shock of white hair.

 "David Kaneala," he said in his still raspy voice. "You look good, very matured and experienced."

"Not so bad yourself, Mr. Hamas," I replied. "How have you been?"

"I've been as good as can be," I nodded. "I retired a few years ago, but they kept me on as an emeritus counselor. This basically means I sit in an office, eating musubi and drinking coffee for most of the day," he chuckled. There was an awkward pause for a second, and then he continued. "I'm actually calling you in regards to Carolyn."

"What about her?" I deadpanned.

"I'm calling to apologize," he exhaled. "It's a long-overdue apology, one that should have been addressed back in 1980."

"Mr. Hamas, are you dying and now trying to get into heaven?" I asked.

"There's that humor," he chuckled. "No, I'm perfectly healthy," he began. "Death will take me when he takes me, but this is something that Carolyn asked of me before she passed."

"I see," I replied evenly, with no tell of any sort of emotion.

"You were visibly absent during her services a few years back," he spoke with that kind scolding tone that he did when someone was delinquent in turning in an assignment. "For obvious reasons."

"Obviously," I confirmed. "You've made your apology Mr. Hamas. I think we're good."

"We're not," he replied. "Carolyn wanted me to also explain a few things."

"She's gone, Mr. Hamas," I reminded him."You've made your apology, I accepted and so that's it. We're done.'

"We're not," Mr. Hamas insisted. He changed the POV on his phone and scanned around his living room until it landed on a chair, placed in front of a large bookshelf. Sitting there was Carolyn. "She won't let me until I apologize on her behalf. "She loved you, David, but with the both of you being seventeen years old, she knew you couldn't help her get out of her house. Things were horrible there, abuse physically and sexually and worse. She had to get out and get away, I was the only one who could help her, and on a whim, it was I who suggested that we get married. As her husband, I could help her, and that's all it was. Her life and her sanity were at stake. She never meant to hurt you, David. But this is what she asked of me before she passed, to tell you everything. It wasn't easy to track you down, but here we are."

Carolynʻs ghost smiled and waved sheepishly, and then she was gone like, like bubbles floating on the top layer of a cup of hot cocoa. "It was never a marriage in the traditional sense," Mr. Hamas continued. "It was more like an agreed-upon partnership. Of course, your classmates never understood, but that wasnʻt the point, after all, was it?" There was no reply from me. I was too stunned by what I saw and was still trying to take it in. "You take care, David. Iʻm sorry to have bothered you."


It took a while to recover from my FaceTime with Mr.Hamas, but after that, attending class reunions was not so difficult. Neither was it difficult to participate in services for classmates who passed away. With each reunion and funeral came the cold hard truth that time was moving on and that our memories of our high school days were simply that and could never be repeated. When the subject of Carolyn and Mr. Hamas was broached, I was confidently able to fully explain the relationship's circumstances. After a time, slowly but surely, my classmates asked to be reacquainted with Mr. Hamas so that they could hear the story for themselves. The year before he passed, Mr. Hamas was invited to be a guest speaker at our class reunion picnic. There was not a dry eye to be had, and a short dedication was given in Carolyn Hamasakiʻs name.

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