Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 12, 2022

Māhoe 2022

 E-mails, text messages, and other messenger apps have been uploaded to my phone ad nauseum in the last few days.

All the same, and all filled with hurt and anger. They saw me somewhere on the other side of the island and walked up to me to honi and say aloha, but my response was not forthcoming. I did not return their salutations and just walked away. Others claimed to have seen me driving by their homes and waved at me. Again, my answer was a non-answer. I stared blankly at them and continued driving. I jokingly replied to as many of them as possible that I must have a doppelganger. At that moment, my wife walked into the room and was very upset, "What the hell is your problem?"

"What do you mean?" Her eyes were glazed over with anger.

"In the kitchen, just now, I looked you right in the eye and told you that I love you and kissed you on the lips. You blinked at me and pushed me out of the way!" She was not just hurt; she was murderously upset, and rightly so if it had been me that did that to her. I handed her my phone and showed her all the e-mails, texts, and messages. "So, it isn't just me you're being an asshole with? You're doing it to your friends too?"

"Hun, look at the dates and times on those e-mails and messages," I told her. "I was nowhere near those locations. I was either home with you, or we were out shopping or eating somewhere. Like now, you're mad at me cause you say I pushed you out of the way after you told me you love me? Which way did I go after that happened because I've been in the room the whole time,"

She calmed herself down and thought about it for a second, "You actually went out the side door through the kid's room, not our bedroom."

The hackles on the back of my neck stood up and caused me to open our bedroom curtains, and that's when my wife and I saw it, or me. Walking down the driveway and crossing to the other side of the street. Without a word, she grabbed a baseball bat, and I grabbed my axe handle. We stormed out of our home and chased me, my double, or my doppelganger, down the street. We caught up to it at the end of the cul de sac in no time. It gave us no resistance but kept its back to us. Then, slowly, it raised its hands, and as it turned to face us, it slowly morphed into Heather, my wife. "Don't you know," its voice wasn't hers. Instead, it was stringy and sounded like it was turning tiny pieces of gravel around in its mouth. "If you see your doppelganger, you're supposed to die?"

Without hesitation, Heather swung her baseball bat and hit her doppelganger directly on the side of her head. It staggered to my right, which was very opportune because I turned my axe to the left, hit it on the other side of its head, and fell it at my feet. My wife and I went to town and beat the doppelganger to a pulp. Literally, a pulp of bloody flesh and bones was all there was. Walking back home after dumping the baseball bat and axe handle, my wife and I agreed on one thing. That there were too many doppelgangers trying to take over our neighborhood.

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