Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 19, 2022

Letta 2022

She came each evening when I thought she wouldn't show.

Then, when I felt I could relax, she'd suddenly appear with the total weight of her body on my chest. Her clammy hands were already wrapped around my throat and slowly cut off my brain's circulation. I'd pass out soon like I always did, and the next day I'd wake up like nothing ever happened. It was horrifying, too horrifying to mention it to my parents. The experience didn't do much for my self-esteem, knowing that there was nothing I could do about an abusive situation where the abuser was not human. What was most disconcerting was that she didn't look like your typical grudge type choking spirit. She was beautiful, but with a twisted kind of fury in her face that had nothing to do with me. I don't know how I figured that out at only 8 years old, but when she manifested each night to throttle me, I could see that her eyes were looking at me as if I wasn't there. She looked right through me. The straw on the camel's back was last night; she didn't manifest on my chest; she appeared standing right next to my bed. Before I could react, she bunched up the material of my pajama top in her hand and bodily threw me across my room, where I hit the wall with a tremendous thud. It made enough of a racket that my parents came running into my room. They entered just in time to see her spirit looming over me as she was prepared to strike again. 

"LETTA!" My father screamed. "That's my son! Leave him alone!"

"Go away, Letta, now!" My mom joined in. "This isn't your home anymore! Leave our son alone!"

So, she had a name? Letta. My parents knew her; what the hell was going on? Her expression changed; she wasn't angry anymore. Her features softened, and she looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. "I'm sorry," her mind spoke to my parents and me because her mouth wasn't moving. "I didn't know; I've been angry for so long." With that, her spirit became ashes in the wind and disappeared. My parents had no idea that this was happening to me for a while, and they profusely apologized for not protecting me. In life, the woman's name was Letta Rodriguez. The house we lived in belonged to her after her parents passed away. She was a homeowner at sixteen years old, and she managed well. My parents told me that after high school, they all became friends. My dad, my mom, Letta, and her boyfriend, Herman. My mom worked at the local eatery at Pearlridge. My dad was a guard at OCC. Letta waitressed at the old Kelly's drive-inn while Herman had trouble holding down any one job for a considerable time. My parents said that it was because of Herman's inability to stay employed that he fell in with the wrong crowd and got arrested for assault, robbery, and possession.

My father knew nothing about it until he saw Herman being processed at OCC. My dad would say that there wasn't much he could do for Herman, and that it was up to him if his time in lock-up was easy or hard. If the crowd Herman fell in with was terrible before he ended up at OCC, the group he became a part of while in lock-up was worse. Herman was strangled to death one night in his cell while he slept. No one ever found out who did it. Letta blamed my dad for not doing enough to protect Herman, which was the end of her friendship with my parents. Who would have guessed that years later, my mom and dad would move into Letta's old house, never expecting her spirit to show up and try to strangle me in the same way that Herman was strangled to death. "Don't be afraid of her son," my father told me. "She's broken-hearted, and her anger is misdirected."

Since then, whenever Letta's spirit shows up to choke me, I don't resist. As much as possible before I pass out, I always look her in the eye, and I apologize for what happened to Herman. I also reminded her that Herman's ending up in jail and eventually being murdered had nothing to do with my dad and that it was Herman's fault, not my father's fault. You would think she'd understand, but it only makes her angrier.

credit: Shutterstock

No comments:

Post a Comment