Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 9, 2022

Effort 2022

We worked at Coco's Coffee House back in the day when we were too young and too stupid to know better. It was always busy, so you had to constantly keep your wits about yourself. I, my friend Bray and his sister Deb worked the same shift. Bray and I were the fry cooks and bussed tables when we had to. Deb waited tables. As much as possible, we kept an eye out for her as men as old as my grandfather would hit on her and pinch her behind. For being all 19 years old, Deb knew how to handle guys like that, but sometimes other jerks didn't know when to stop. That's when Bray and I had to come out front armed with a billy club and a blackjack. Those were good times. The bad time for us was when the two of us waited outside for Deb one night after everything was closed down. She never came out; Bray and I looked around until we saw her crossing the street toward some guy waiting on the corner of Kalakaua and Kapiolani. Unfortunately, she wasn't paying attention because a car ran the red light and hit her head on. Luckily, she died on impact. It's years later, and for the first time today, I set foot into a place that used to be the hard rock cafe'. Of course, I remember it as the old Coco's Coffee House. So many fond memories and one lingering regret. My great grandson Troy did his best to be a good host by keeping me abreast of his life and all it had to offer him. Still, looking across the street at that same corner, I could only see the phantom shadow of Deb rushing to meet someone who stood at the corner where the old Aloha Motors used to be. This time she turned and waved to me, looking as if to say, "Don't worry, I'm fine."
I placed my hand over my mouth, stifling my utterance of grief, but it did no good. Finally, I sobbed, and my great-grandson reached across the table and rubbed my shoulders. Deb finally made it to the corner, leaving with whoever she was supposed to meet all those years ago.

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