Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 27, 2021

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2021 #34


Traffic brings out the worst in people

. I don't need to go into detail because I feel that you already understand what I mean. Sometimes, we try our best not to become one of those stupid people. However, there are exceptions when unusual circumstances pull you out of your foolishness and force you to do the unexpected. For example, I was caught in a gridlock of unexplainable traffic at Kapahulu avenue and Mo'omeheu street. It was 7 pm. It was March 10, 2011. As far as the eye could see, the line of cars went back to the Lunalilo freeway underpass and all the way forward toward Waikiki.

At that moment, my phone rang, and I saw that my brother Kenji was calling me from Japan. "Hello?" There was some unusual static on his side, but I could barely make out what he was saying. Then, finally, I got a bit of something that sounded like it made sense. "Brah, check this out!" It went static again, and then the screen began to flicker. Suddenly, Kenji's face appeared. He was driving somewhere. I couldn't tell, really. It looked like a city somewhere. "Brah, check this out! This is nuts!" He flips his phone around, and it's facing out from his car window. There's water filtering through the streets, and it's black. It's flowing around cars, sidewalks, and people. "Kenji, what is that?" I ask him. There's no answer, the phone goes dead.  I called Kenji right back, and he answered. "What's up, dingleberry?"

"Fuck you," I replied. "Where are you right now?"

"I'm about to drive into Tōhoku for a photoshoot; why?" He asked.

"Did you just call me right now?"

"No," he squealed. "You know I donʻt call when I'm on the job!"

"Turn around, man, I got this bad feeling. Just turn around, Keni, please!" I begged him. 

"Ho! What the fuck was that?" He screamed.

"KENJI! KENJI! What's happening? Tell me right now!" I tried not to scream, but I couldn't shake this feeling of dread.

"Fucking earthquake, Boy-san!" He hollered.

"Turn around and get outta there right now!" I demanded. "Fuck the photoshoot! Get out of there!"

"Yeah," stuttered. "I better do that."

"Call me when you get back to somewhere safe, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah," his reply pissed me off.

"You fucking call me Kenji!" I wasn't kidding around.

I turned the radio on right then, and I heard it. 9.1 earthquake in Japan, which generated a tsunami. One of the areas was Tōhoku. I had to call Kenji back. I had to know that he was safe. The phone rang five times before he answered. His voice was groggy. "Dingleberry, do you know what time it is?" I heard a womanʻs voice in the background in broken English. "Who's dat?"

"It's Boy-san," he said. "Why are you calling so late, dude?"

"What the fuck are you talking about? We just spoke on the phone. You said you were in Tōhoku and that you were on the way to a photoshoot?" 

"That wasn't me, weirdo," he chuckled. "I canceled that photoshoot at the last minute. But I dunno. I just had a weird feeling about it. Did the news get to you guys about that earthquake over here?"

"That's why I'm calling," I replied. "You were supposed to call me back when you got to a safe place!"

"Whoever you were talking to, that wasn't me," he laughed harder. "You must be losing your mind, dingleberry!"

"Hey fuck you," I was irritated. "Where are you right now anyway?"

"Ooofing!" He bellowed. "But you interrupted me! Bye!"

He hung up. Until this day, I don't know what happened, and I still have no clue about who it was that actually called me. Was it Kenji? Or a Kenji from an immediate future that could have happened? I have no clue, no idea. Personally, I think that bit of gridlock I was caught in ten years ago was designed so that those three phone calls could happen. One of those calls might have saved Kenji's life.

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