Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 11, 2022

Manawaʻino 2022

When she slept on her side, the curve of her body looked like the outline of the Mānoa mountains.

Perfectly accentuating every nuance of that vista when you saw it from the porch of the old Moana hotel, you could not help but become short of breath, just as I am short of breath now, seeing her this way. Her hand reaches for the blanket and bunches the material in her grip before pulling it up to cover her shoulders. I am breathing again, as any ordinary man should, after witnessing a sublime miracle manifesting like a mirage only to become tangible for a brief second before disappearing altogether. How fortunate am I that she loves me? Things were not always this beautiful and steeped with deep meaning. Ours was a life like a boat weathering a terrible storm, not knowing when we would be swamped or torn asunder. We had not fallen out of love or were on the brink of divorce; instead, we were besieged with spirits who would not give her a moment's rest when they discovered my wife could see them. The spirits surfaced at the most inopportune times, during her bathroom sessions, business presentations, or when her parents were over for dinner. Luckily, her mother, my mother-in-law, recognized the signs and was able to help.

 "Just tell them you are off the clock and that you will speak to them when you are ready and not until then," she said. 

"Is it that simple?" My wife replied.

"It worked for me," my mother-in-law confirmed.

"Wait, you can see spirits too?" My poor wife was surprised and simultaneously not happy.

Therein was the truth and the way to my wife's salvation. My mother-in-law never thought that her ability to see and communicate with spirits would be something that she would inherit. The two spoke for hours on end and laughed and cried together as they had never done before. This shared gift became their bond, and for me, my mother-in-law advised that I should support my wife in all ways possible. This was not a question; I did it wholeheartedly. After all, she is my wife. Now, I am laying in bed beside her, watching her sleep, and I, too, am on the precipice of sleep. 

"David? When do you think Sharon will wake up?" The disembodied voice jolted me out of my half-sleep. I whipped around and saw an old woman in the middle of our room wearing a raincoat and slippers. She was soaking wet. "When is she going to wake up?"

"Who the hell are you?" I demanded. "How do you know my name?"

"It's not just me," the woman put her hands up as a cautionary measure. "It's them too," she gestured behind her. Our bedroom was filled with people that went out of our door, to the landing, down the staircase, into our living room, and out the front door and the yard. Fucking spirits.

Credit: Long Island Press

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