Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Mar 4, 2022

True 2022

Are we ever prepared when true love walks into our lives with no invitation, announcement, or warning?

Of course not. We often feel like it's a slap in the face, but really, it's a wake-up call. I was in a semi-casual meeting at Kahala mall food court where my clients sat in front of me indulging in a Mediterranean salad and a health drink, while I sat there sipping on a big cup of coca-cola. "That's stuff is bad for your health," Maynard Ching warned me while speaking with a large chunk of salad in his mouth. "I'm trying to commit a slower form of suicide," I deadpanned. "Besides, there's a greater chance of you choking to death with food in your mouth."

"I tell him that all the time," his wife Rose chimed in. "And I don't know first aid or anything, so he'll the most I can do is call 911, but by the time they show up, he'll be dead anyway."

"See how she treats me?" Maynard leaned over and kissed his wife with a mouthful of his salad, still chewing and grinding. It was at that precise moment that he began choking on his food, and the result was just as his wife had warned him. With no first aid skills of her own, I was the one that had to call 911. In the interim, a woman sitting a table's length away from us rushed over and performed the Heimlich maneuver on Maynard and got him to spit out a large chunk of spinach and two olive pits that became lodged in his windpipe. I didn't really get a good look at her until Maynard got over his coughing fit, then we made eye contact, and my world changed in that nano-second. She introduced herself as Samantha Bose while reassuring myself and Rose that Maynard was going to be okay and that it was a good thing I called 911 in that they should do an assessment just to double-check. "Thanks," I mumbled, and I extended my hand, which she took. It was soft and hot, and that feeling went straight to my heart. I felt flush and feverish, and I saw that she felt it too. "Have we met before?" She asked. "Do I know you from somewhere?"

"No," I replied. "Not until now."

"Geeze," Rose interrupted. "Just kiss already, you two,"

We both realized that we were still holding hands and hadn't let go. It was awkward, but we apologized and took a step back. "I'm Jessie Peters," I introduced myself. 

"The Moloka'i Peters?" She asked.

" I don't know," my reply was awkward. "I was born and ended becoming who I am."

"You're so weird," Samantha giggled. The two of us ended up completely ignoring Rose and Maynard and walked off in no particular direction. Somehow, we ended up at Kahala Beach park. So much for the semi-casual business meeting. We talked about everything and nothing, and by the time we got back to our cars at the Mall, we made a last-minute decision to go see a movie. Needless to say, we canceled appointments beforehand so that there wouldn't be a problem when we woke up the next day. Yes, we spent the night together. We didn't have sex or anything; we just kept talking until we fell asleep. 


Two years later, we are still lying next to one another, talking about everything and nothing. Mostly, we look into each other's eyes, Samantha with her brown eyes with green flecks here and there, and mine, precisely the same. She caresses my cheek, and I bathe hers in soft kisses, nuzzling her forehead and inhaling her essence. Her girlfriend Nell found out about us; Nell followed Samantha from her job and found us parked in my car at the Mall's rooftop parking. On the way, she contacted my wife Sue to let her know what was happening. It was a coordinated attack. Sue had the spare key fob and clicked the car door open. Nell stabbed us first; once she was done, Sue stepped in shot us with a sawed-off twelve gauge. As we lay dying, we looked longingly at one another, expressing our devotion to each other, apologizing that we'd been so caught up in our whirlwind romance that we took advantage of our separate partners, never once believing they'd discover our love. But they did, and they conspired toward our end. So here we sit, treasuring our true love, which was handled so irresponsibly that it cost us our lives.

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