Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 23, 2022

Anilā 2022

Weʻve understood that gloomy weather equates to ghosts and spirits for a long time.

But can the weather predict love or heartbreak? More importantly, what do ghosts, ghouls, love, and heartbreak have to do with the inclemency of the weather anyway? A valid question indeed. Let me start our story this way, and letʻs hope that it makes sense to all of us in these non-sensical times in which we live. My mother claimed that her family came from a line of Kahuna who had mastered signs and portents by observing the weather. She stated that the Kahuna in her genealogy could control the weather. Such amazing stories of growing up with, but when one starts to hear the same story repeatedly, one begins to question the validity of those tales. Our family was on a weekend retreat at Pōka'ī bay for our closest ʻohana. Pōkaʻī was much different back then than it is now. No homeless crackheads and criminals lurked about. It was a safe place to camp overnight while fishing on certain moon phases. The hour was 10 pm, and soon the circle of adults and the like gathered around the central campfire and began to talk and laugh. Of course, the conversations dovetailed back to what the original subject was all about. Ghosts, spirits, and stories of the fantastic. I was enthralled with every bizarre story that each adult shared that I forgot my mother was one of the adults sitting in that circle. It was too late by the time it became her turn to speak. All I could do was moan because of the shame that I knew she would bring upon herself. I brought my knees up to my chest, buried my face, and braced for the embarrassment. She was going to start the same way she always starts, waffling on about the line of Kahuna from which her family descends. Ones who could control the weather as well as discern signs and portents. God help me.

"I was sixteen," my mother began. "I was just a simple high school girl who knew nothing about the world outside of my junior year in high school. I was still Sherene Mahi back then; I wouldnʻt become Sherene Alcoba until much later on. But, because of this twenty-year-old teacherʻs, assistant in my art class from Kauaʻi, I thought I would become Sherene Kāneakua." Silence permeated the campfire, there was the ambient noise of all the kids playing off in the distance, but my mom held us raptly where we sat. "This was before I met Boise, and he knows this story, so heʻs fine with it. In fact, for as long as weʻve been married, heʻs been very supportive. So yes, I was young and stupid and head over heels with the Kāneakua person from Kauaʻi. His name was Haku, and out of all the pretty girls in the class, I was the one who caught his eye. We couldnʻt do anything because he was an adult, and I was an eleventh grader. However, he managed to sneak me his phone number while helping me with a charcoal etching assignment. Thatʻs how it started, and pretty soon, we were meeting at Dinerʻs down the street. Iʻd jump into his car, and we would go eat somewhere and then head back to his apartment. I lost my virginity to Haku, as you can guess. We were perfect together, but the only heartbreaking thing was that he had to go home to Kauaʻi on the weekends to help out at his fatherʻs store in Lihue. Needless to say, the weekends were torture. So, all of you here knows about our Kahuna lineage, right?" 

Everyone vocalized their reply with grunts and a few yesʻs here and there. So, where was my mom going with this? Was she going to ruin it again with her Kahuna weather forecaster story? "All of you remember when hurricane ʻIwa started before it was officially deemed a hurricane?" A circle of yesʻs resounded around the campfire. "I remember it too," my mother continued. "The news reporter from Oahu was on Kauaʻi, specifically in Lihue, talking about the hurricane and how it seemed to pass Kauaʻi and that no need to worry for the Kauaʻi people right?"

Everyone nodded because they were all about the same age as my mom during that time. "In the background from where the reporter was talking on the camera, I saw Haku loading up boxes and stuff into the back of a truck, and he went off-camera. Soon, he was back with two kids in his arms and a third older one following beside him, and behind him was another woman holding a fourth child. The camera panned over to them getting in the truck and driving off. There was no mistake, but I knew I had to call him and find out for myself. I found the number at the store on Kauaʻi and called it, asking for him. The person who answered said that she was Hakuʻs mother and that Iʻd just missed him. "He just took his girlfriend and the kids home; he should be right back," she said. "May I ask who is calling?

I lied and said, "this is Ms. Mahi; Iʻm the art teacher from Waipahu High School and Haku is the teacherʻs assistant here. Unfortunately, he forgot his curriculum folder for next week with his paycheck. Can you have him return my call, please? Itʻs urgent!"

Less than fifteen minutes later, the phone rang at my house, and it was Haku. "I didnʻt know you had a girlfriend and kids?" There was silence on his side of the phone. "I saw it on the news, you didnʻt see the news reporter with the cameraman in front of your fatherʻs store? Because I did!"

"Itʻs complicated," thatʻs all he had to say, and then he hung up. "I was so furious because here I was, this sixteen-year-old girl who understood nothing about life, and so I climbed to the top of my roof, and in my fury and anger, I turned the hurricane around and sent it back to Kauaʻi to find Haku and destroy him." I looked around the campfire, and everyone sat there in tears, crying. "We all helped you that day," my uncle Kalā said. "I climbed on my roof too."

"Me too," Aunty Virgie sobbed. " I neva like, but what was I supposed to do? I cannot deny my cousin and our lineage."

"We were young and hot-headed," uncle Kelaʻawe agreed. "We were caught in the heat of the moment because our cousin had her heartbroken. Of course, none of us meant for that boy to be harmed, but thatʻs how when you have ʻdis kine mana handed down to you, and you donʻt have someone to mentor that mana. So still today, I pray for that boy."

It was true after all, my mom wasnʻt a loon. They were all Kahuna, everyone from my motherʻs generation sitting at the campfire, including her. After washing all the utensils and putting everything away, my father appeared and joined the circle, taking a seat next to my mom, who he kissed on the forehead. "You guys telling that story again? You better stop before it starts raining like the last time." Son of a bitch, my dad, knew too! Wow, I was such an idiot up until that night. Today, Iʻm literally sitting at my momʻs feet, trying to learn everything she is willing to teach me. Sheʻs shocked actually because she thought it would have been my other siblings who wanted to know, not me. Yet, here I am, wanting to learn about the weather.



Check out our Mysteries of Hawai'i website and schedule your date with Hawaii's longest-running ghost tour! Visit some of Hawaii's Most Haunted sites with The Ghost Guy himself.

No comments:

Post a Comment