Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 18, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023 #58 Hauola. Malama ka 'ike.

It's sooner than now when I post a story here on the blog.

 Presently, it's 5:31 p.m. The tale of Hauola and hula and love, loss, and life comes from my own experiences and the hope that we can all gain closure so that new doors open, as they say. I come from a bombastic male hula style that traces its origins back to Waimapuna. My other hula genealogy, according to my kumu Kaleo, who finished me so that I could continue as a kumu hula, said that we come from the Kauai style, which dates back to antiquity. That particular style is the one I've taught to the women who danced for me. I don't suppose you know this, but you shouldn't be surprised that hula can be a jealous art filled with drama and trauma. Here is such a tale.

The land purchased to build the halau, which would be the living manifestation of Hauola's memory, was perfect in its placement as it aligned with the mauna behind it as it faced the ocean from the front entrance. It gave Leipili a sense of peace and content. It's where she felt her daughter closer to her than she did in her own home. Many in the halau thought Leipili and Kumu Kalani would come together to marry since they'd known one another for so long, as it was Kumu Kalani who gave the land to Leipili to build the halau. Kumu Kalani also constructed and dedicated the kuahu to Hauola, giving birth to the halau spiritually and physically. There was no question that the two loved one another, but too much had passed between them, and they needed more than the death of Hauola to keep them as one. Kumu Kalani continued working at the health department and periodically made himself available at Halau whenever Leipili needed him. Otherwise, he kept to himself.

When Leipili opened a keiki class for hula, many parents signed up, and she had twenty students. One Kamalo Akiu was always brought to Papa Hula by his father, Steven, who was single. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were his weekends with his son, so he decided they should do hula together. Steven attended the adult hula class for men and women on regular weeknights. It was an hour of hula basics, which was a workout. The introductory beginners class wouldn't learn their first hula until six months later, towards the middle of the year. On the weekends, for fun hula activities for his Kamalo's papa hula, Steven was there helping out in any way he could. Leipili and Steven took every opportunity to steal glances from one another, with either one or the other smiling and then looking away. The weekly hula basics class found Steven pretending to forget where his feet or hand placements should be so that Lei would have to come and correct him. Leipili's way was to hand something to Steven, and in doing so, she purposely let her fingers touch his and act as if nothing happened. 

"We can't date as long as you and your son are my students," she finally told him. "It would be awkward."

Steven's reply was to step forward and kiss Leipili. Soon, the two were locked in an intimate embrace in the middle of the halau office. Leipili stayed her passion long enough to let Steven know she could not make love in the space dedicated to her daughter. So, they went to her home, where time was of no consequence. The next day, they agreed that their dalliance should be kept between them, and so it was. Lei did not expect to see Steven drive up to Papa Hula later that week with one of the other beginners, where they sat in his car, making out until class started. Leipili said nothing and conducted her class typically. Steven and the young girl Kara walked out and left together after class. In fact, Steven repeated the pattern for the following months, dating a different girl from the halau without informing the other previous girl he'd been dating. Steven came to Papa Hula one month ago, and in the first fifteen minutes, he had to leave after breaking out in a horrible rash all over his body. It went on like that even when he brought Kamalo to his keiki papa hula. The rash worsened each time, so Steven's face swelled up and became puffy. Eventually, Kamalo's mother, Alyssa, began bringing him to class, saying that Steven started working on weekends. 

"Kamalo told me that his father got all itchy, so he couldn't stay for class like usual," Alyssa said. "Is that true?"

"I never noticed anything," Leipili replied. "I'm the kumu; I see everything but never saw any rash anywhere. Besides, can't those things become contagious?"

Of course, Leipili noticed. After all, she prayed to the 'aumakua of the halau for a solution to Steven and his wondering pelvis. She got her answer in the form of a rash sent to him by Hauola.

1 comment: