Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 27, 2022

Coffee 2022

Every morning, she'd sit there with a hot cup of coffee she would never drink, a breakfast she would only half finish, and a magazine she'd stare at without reading.

She'd shower after, and after, she'd spend the rest of the morning sleeping. She'd rouse herself around noon and then sit on the edge of the bed, thinking. Finally, she'd get dressed, head to the market for a few things, and return to binge-watch anything worth looking at on a streaming network. If that didn't happen, she'd jump in her car and drive to no particular location. She'd just go. If it moved her to stop somewhere, she'd stop. That seemed to be the choice on the menu of What the fuck do I do tonight? Her Lexus left the driveway at 11 pm. She hit the freeway fifteen minutes later, finding it surprising that there was still a bit of traffic going west at that hour. She took the Pali exit and directed her vehicle toward Nu'uanu Pali Drive.

The stretch of road seemed to exist in its own bubble. Everything changed once you veered right onto that road. The vibe, the energy, and the atmosphere of the place were like a slot in a vending machine, waiting for you to drop a coin so it could give you what you paid for in spades. That energy, however, was for the unsuspecting car filled with ne'er do wells on a dare, hoping to summon some phantom that would briefly scare them sober if they were lucky, but it never turned out that way. Finally, her car emerged on the Pali highway, topping the drive, where she headed toward the lookout. To her surprise, the gate was open. She was parked and walking to the lookout in less than a minute. The air was sharp, and the view was as magnificent as it always was. The blinding beam from a flashlight caught her attention. She turned to see a police officer heading towards her.

"Pali is closed," he said. "You have to go; I'm closing up the gate,"

"Thank you," she nodded and returned to her car. 

"Everything alright, though? So you not thinking of harming yourself?" The officer asked.

"No, I'm fine," she assured the officer.

"Ok, take care and be safe," the officer said.

In a few minutes, she drove toward Kailua, intending to take Kalaniana'ole to Waimanalo. It was a half-hour past midnight, and there appeared to be more vehicles on the road than usual. More so, cars were parked at Sandy Beach and along the road leading to the lookout. The song selection on the radio was geared toward the 70s listening audience, which she didn't mind. Soon, she was at the Koko Marina Zippy's having a late-night meal with which she ordered breakfast and two types of dessert. In an hour, she was back home. She used the bathroom, took a shower, and went to bed. 

The landlord sat with the new tenants on the second floor, watching as he came down the sidewalk and entered her apartment. "She doesn't know she's dead, so I can't rent out that unit. Her ghost keeps reliving the same day over and over again."

"How did she die?" Mrs. Mendiola asked the landlord.

"Choked on a piece of fried chicken at the Zippys," he said. 

"So sad," Ted Manly sighed. 

"Yup, so you understand why I'm stuck; I can't rent it out because of her ghost," Rudy, the landlord, lamented. 

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