Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 22, 2022

Trouble 2022

One never expects trouble even though trouble could be lurking about, waiting for an opportunity to make itself known and presentable when you least expect it.

It was like this growing up in the 70s. Trouble could have come from a pack of stray dogs, troublemaker kids, or even adults who meant to harm children like myself and others. When you were a kid and pre-teen like I was, you didn't have a problem walking to wherever you had to go as long as it was in your community. Otherwise, you'd have to catch the bus. I particularly favored the walk along Waipahu Depot Road because of the overhanging shower trees that extended from Hans L'orange park to August Ahern's. It was a beautiful piece of scenery. On one of those lazy sunny afternoons, my niece and I had just returned from purchasing a bag of candy and sodas from the Nabarette store. We were just across from the big field at August Ahren's and ready to walk down Peke lane to our house when a VW bug came driving by. Someone in the passenger seat called out, "Fat Ass!" about my niece, who was heavy set. She flipped the bird, and the VW stopped, and out from the passenger seat came a terse Hawaiian man with an afro that was too big for his tiny head and even more petite body.

"What did you do to me? You show me the finger? You like me kick your ass, you black niggah?"

My niece was Portuguese on my sister's side and black on her father's side. The idiot jumped back in their car, and they took off; what an ass. My niece was devastated and cried back home, even though I reassured her it would be alright and she needn't be sad. Her father, my brother-in-law, eventually caught up to the guy because I recalled the license plate number for some reason. It was not a pretty sight when he was done with the guy, considering that my brother-in-law was six foot four and the offender was five feet in height. What was memorable about that time was going to our friend Patrick's house after hours to hang out and have snacks or watch cable. His parents were very cool people. We always took a shortcut through August Ahren's school, which was never a problem until one night when we were coming back. We saw that all the ambient lights in the school were off. It wasn't a problem for us as we knew our way through the school. We didn't expect that we'd be greeted by several ghosts along the way. We didn't know that part of the school used to be a graveyard. It scared the shit out of us because the spirits just stood there staring at us, wearing clothes from another time. They were practically glowing. The one that creeped me out the most was the ghost of the young Filipino girl chewing tobacco and spitting it out. She had a nasty look in her eyes, like she meant to do us harm. That unhinged the shit out of me and I remember I lost my voice because I couldn't stop screaming. I just thought about it this morning as I woke up. I miss the simplicity of those days but not so much the trouble.

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