Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 1, 2022

Aggressor 2022

Years ago, a fight nearly broke out at an eatery on Ke'eaumoku, particularly crowded on a late Saturday evening.

It was petty; someone felt that someone else was staring at them for too long when in fact, the accused party happened to be looking at the picture glass window near that booth where the aggressor and his friends were sitting. The aggressor got up to use the bathroom, and in passing, the accused gave him the stink face. The accused grabbed a steak knife and followed the aggressor, and both booths emptied out. Shouting and taunting took place, feints, insults, and derisions of being less than manly were hurled back and forth. Finally, the management staff and security removed the groups from the eatery. When the aggression gravitated to the parking lot, the police had already arrived and broke up the whole affair. Years later, the aggressor has leveled himself to a career in crime. Extortion, robbery, forgery, sex trafficking, possession, and murder. In Las Vegas, this aggressor murdered a seventy-eight-year-old man in cold blood when the elder accidentally bumped into the aggressor and knocked his winning chips to the floor. Apologizing and kneeling down to help recover the chips, the elderly man also offered the aggressor some of his own chips as an apology. Drunk and high, the aggressor removed a gun from his waist belt and shot the old man in the head, point-blank. Little did the aggressor know that the senior citizen was a decorated world war II veteran who, at that time, lived in 'Ewa Beach. Without going over the details, I will say that it took two years before the aggressor was brought to justice. He was extradited to Nevada and given the death penalty. Sitting on death row, awaiting the day when he would cross the great divide, the aggressor requested the presence of a Kahuna from his home state, Hawai'i. Typically, a priest is called to hear the sinner's confession, but the aggressor wanted a Kahuna for some odd reason. First, the warden sent someone from his office dressed in an aloha shirt and black slacks with a white sheet tied over his left shoulder, but the aggressor laughed. 

"This guy is Mexican, and he's wearing a white sheet, not a kihei!" 

"Who would know the difference?" The warden argued.

The aggressor gave the warden the name of the Kahuna he wanted to see. The kahuna flew himself to the facility on his own dime when he was contacted, not worried about the cost. In fact, he sat in first class on the way over. When the aggressor and the kahuna met in the secured space. The two prison guards were uncharacteristically nervous. The aggressor was instantly struck with the mana the kahuna radiated. It raised the hackles on his neck and caused him to fidget in his chair. The kahuna was a well-groomed Hawaiian man who appeared to be the same age as the aggressor. He was dressed in a well-pressed black coat and tie with a white dress shirt. His slacks were creased in the right places, and his shoes were spit-shined old school style. "Aloha, you requested my presence. How can I help you?" The kahuna asked.

"Mamake au ia ʻoe, e hoʻomake i kekahi kanaka. O ia no ʻo Shigeru Miyake," the aggressor said. (I want you to kill someone, Shigeru Miyake)

ʻO wai kēlā?" The kahuna asked. ( Who is that? )

"The son of the man I killed," the aggressor replied. 

"Mamake ʻoe e hoʻouna i pūʻolo," the kahuna confirmed. (You want to send a message)

" ʻAe," the aggressor replied in the affirmative. (Yes)

"Before I say if I agree or disagree with this request, let me say this," the kahuna began. "Years ago, at Kawenaʻs restaurant on Keʻeaumoku, a group of friends and I were sitting our booth. We had just ordered burgers, fries, and some drinks. We were waiting on our orders to arrive when I saw one of our other friends walking past those big picture windows. He saw us and waved, and came in to join us. Some person and his friends came over and accused us of giving him the stink-eye, which never happened. I reached out to shake the hand of the man who was the group leader to apologize for the misunderstanding. That person spat in my face and called my mother a whore, who was not there herself, but still. Calling my mother a whore? Management kicked us out, and the police arrived just in time to break it up. I never forgot about that night, and I never forgot about that person. Who would have thought that all these years later, I would be sitting right in front of him on death row, listening to him tell me to kill the brother of the man he killed for the purpose of sending a message to that family, just to intimidate them. To egotistically let them know that he still has power even though he is locked up in a cell on death row. Who would have thought?"

The agressorʻs demeanor changed, his eyes went wide, and he recoiled back out of his seat and slowly went to stand behind the two prison guards. "What the fuck? That was you from all those years ago?"

"Funny how things come full circle, donʻt you think?" The kahuna smirked. Racked with fear now, the aggressor, the hardened criminal who prided himself on his ability to beat someone into submission or end their life, could not bring himself to look the kahuna in the eyes. Instead, he cowered behind the prison guards. They could not have gotten the aggressor out of there quick enough. "Ka pō, ā ke ao? ʻEleʻele, ā keʻokeʻo? I luna, ā i lalo?  Ke ola, ā ka make? Pō, ʻeleʻele, i lalo, a ka make loa," the kahuna called after the aggressor as he left the room. "Ka make loa nō,"

(Is it night or day? Black or white? Up or down? Life or death? It is night, blackness, and death. Death indeed)

Three days later, the aggressor was found dead in his prison cell; his body was covered in dark black bruises from head to toe. There were also tiny human bite marks in the most uncomfortable places. The autopsy revealed maggots in his intestines, brain, and inside the nasal cavity. The night before he died, the other inmates on death row complained about the aggressor whimpering all night, apologizing and trying to make restitution with someone or something which he claimed was in his cell with him. Whatever the case may be, the kahuna returned home to Hawaii on the next flight out. He needed to visit the family of Shigeo Miyake to let them know the news. The mission they hired him for was completed. The aggressor was dead. All the kahuna had to do was pray in Hawaiian to enter the mind of the aggressor and convince him that he needed the services of one specific kahuna, Boy Napualawa.




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