Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Dec 1, 2022

Hoʻokumu 2022

Saddle Road was laden with vehicles parked off the blacktop, with their owners either basking in all the glory of the red volcanic glow from Mauna Loa.

Most were taking pictures and videos for content on their social media platforms; the rest were tourists of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Other than the glow from Mauna Loa or any ambient or direct light, I didn't see it until it caught my full attention. Two spaces from where I parked was a black 1966 Pontiac GTO without any trimmings or detail. It was parked diagonally, and the owner, a very tall, naturally beautiful Hawaiian woman, sat on the roof of her vehicle wearing a white hoodie with red flower designs. Her shorts were also white with coconut-leafed motifs here and there. Her feet were bare and very clean. No trace of dirt, mud, or pieces of black dried lava was on it. Her hair was a cascade of long black curls. She presented a robust and regal countenance, and I noticed that the longer she sat there, the more some of the men who were parked nearby began to gravitate toward her. 

"Ho, what kine kah dat? One sixty-eight, right?" No reply from her, not even a glance in the general direction. "Oh, why you gotta be one bitch for?" Still no response, not even a stare. The local brother walks away in an embarrassed huff and strangely trips over his feet, breaking his ankle. A smirk plays across her face, but no acknowledgment of the gribble, as they called it.

The male tourists were bold but just as stupid as the ones before. "You know, you're gonna ruin the patina on that paint job sitting up there on the roof like that? I got something you can sit on if you'll just come here." Magically, the offender's wife, left at the hotel in Kona, pulls up in an Uber just in time to hear her errant husband make the proposition to the beautiful stranger. He is summarily beaten and chased about the roadway by his wife until he is clipped by an oncoming 4x4, which breaks his ribs and nearly kills him. Glancing over at me, the beautiful Hawaiian woman looked me up and down, and I quickly put my hands up and shook my head, indicating that I had nothing to say. She directed her attention back to the lava flow from the uplands, and I did the same. A short time later, a middle-aged Hawaiian couple walked up. They didn't appear to notice the Hawaiian woman sitting on the roof of their car as they got into the vehicle and started it up. They reversed onto the road, and within that one second of a pause, before the gear shifted into drive, the Hawaiian woman jumped off the car's roof and walked toward the tall grass, but not before turning to me and giving me another look. I raised my hands again, angled my head a little sideways, and bowed. She continued toward the uplands in the pitched black and disappeared into the darkness. Not even the red glow from Mauna Loa's lava flow illuminated the white color of her clothing. She was gone. I won't even say who I thought it was, but who else could it be? I mean, c'mon.

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