Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Nov 18, 2022

Waiʻolu 2022

We weren't always haunted, as they say.

Well, the house, anyway. It was a beautiful life, and the house was lovely too. Then my little brother suddenly passed away in his sleep, and everything became dark and moody. My parents stopped talking to each other, and everything became awkward because we could only speak to one or the other, but never to the both of them together like before. That's about when it started to happen. We would catch glimpses of Waiʻolu running down the hallway or turning the corner. Sometimes, we would pass his old room, and each one of us at different times would swear that we saw him sitting on the edge of his bed, staring out into space. Then, we would do a double take, and he would be gone. Other times we could hear him crying at different locations in our house or sometimes even in the car when we would pass his favorite place to eat. The darkest part of living there came on the evening when our parents gathered us together almost two years after Waiʻolu's death. This is also after two years of not speaking to one another. So it came as no surprise when they announced their intent to divorce. It was not as if we didn't know; we just didn't care. It was selfish of them to retreat into their own little corners after Waiʻolu died rather than be there for one another. We told them as much.

"It's like a fucking Filipino funeral, with the two of you trying to compete to see who was grieving the most," I said while sitting at the other end of the couch. "So, you go ahead and have your little divorce; we're gonna get on with our lives!"

So, they did. They filed for divorce, and they both moved out while we remained in our old home, trying to keep some semblance of what was left of our family together. Once mom and dad were gone, it all stopped. The moody atmosphere and darkness hovering over our household all went away, and the beauty and the light returned. We never saw Waiʻolu's spirit again.

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