Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 8, 2022

Pohaku 2022

 Everyone stayed in their own camp.

Japanese, that side. Okinawa, over there. Chinese that side, same with Korea, except the other side. Portuguese and Puerto Ricans have different sides too. The Filipino camp, too, over there. The Hawaiians are sometimes in the camp or somewhere else. Nobody mix; everybody stays with their own people. Kai Malama and Sayo Kugawa made eye contact one afternoon at the plantation store. It was love at first sight, a powerful love at first sight. Sayo's mother, Yua, saw this, grabbed her daughter by the wrist, and kept her close. Kai's parents also noticed; his mother Lei rubbed his back and smiled at him. Ola, his father, nudged his son and handed him the bag filled with vegetables. "Hāpai kēia," they made their purchase and left, but not without Kai and Sayo making eye contact. Soon, Kai found himself following Sayo home, but at a distance; this way, he would know where she lived without really being mahaʻoi. One night while Sayo lay in bed, she heard a noise above the din of her mother's snoring. It was an ever so slight tapping on her bedroom window. Carefully parting her curtain, she looked out, and Kai was standing in her backyard. "Come on," Kai whispered. Carefully climbing out of her window, Sayo followed Kai through the dark until they came upon his house. He and Sayo sat for most of the night until she finally had to return home. This continued until Yua became suspicious of her only daughter being so tired in the mornings. One night, Yua found out why. She watched from the darkness of the washhouse and saw Sayo climb out of her bedroom window, where she fell into the arms of the Luna's son, Kai. "No," Yua thought. "This can't be! That boy is not Japanese!" She followed the pair until they finally came to rest on the porch of Kai's home. There they sat and kissed passionately. It seemed as if it were never going to stop. Yua knew that this was a besmirchment on her venerable ancestors. What if Sayo became pregnant? Yua, could not bring herself to think about it. Instead, she rushed home and retrieved the Shinshintō sword from the mantle, and raced back to the Hawaiian boyʻs house to end everything tonight, even if it cost the life of her daughter, herself, and the boy too. Approaching the Hawaiian familyʻs property, Yua hid behind an unusually shaped boulder where she slowly unleashed the ancient sword from itʻs saya. Holding it above her head, she was about to let out a horrific war cry when something grabbed her by her wrist and lifted her off her feet. It was a very tall and very dark Hawaiian warrior wearing a feathered helmet and a short feathered cape around his shoulders. He threw her to the grass, where she went tumbling until she finally came to rest at the foot of the porch. Looking back at the spot where the warrior grabbed her,  Yua saw that he was gone. In his place was the unusually shaped stone. Kai's parents came out to see what the commotion was all about. When Sayo calmed her mother down, Lei and Ola were able to translate to Yua through Sayo about what just happened. The pohaku wasn't just any old unusually shaped boulder, it was a Kūpua, a guardian spirit imbued in the pohaku which had protected the Malama family since ancient times. It was just fulfilling itʻs kūleana, its responsibility. It was not going to kill Yua, but it wasnʻt going to let her kill Kai and Sayo either.

Credit: Freepik



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