Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 25, 2023

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2023. #96. Yearly.

I was lost in my thoughts on the plane ride from Honolulu to Maui. I was going through the motions, really. I didn't bother to call home for a ride; I got a cab to Wailuku. More specifically, Paukukalo.

"Going home?" The cab driver asked. I recognized him; he was my old classmate's father, Mister Cayab. 

"Yeah," I replied. "Upalu and Hilinai, right on the corner,"

"By the dead-end side?" He asked.

"That's the one," I nodded. "Right there on the corner,"

"You Malanai, Freda and Paul's son," he stated. "You classmates with my son, Alfredo,"

"How is Freddie doing?" I asked.

"Alcoholic, ever since his wife left him for one Popolo guy," he tisked. "We told him the girl was no good, but he no listen to me and my wife. It's hard time now to see him like that. It's a good thing they never make a baby together. More problems otherwise." We drove silently for a couple of minutes until he started up again. "Sorry to hear about your folks, so young. Who stays in the house now?"

"My sister," I said equally as quietly. "She's not expecting me, it's a kinda surprise,"

Mr. Cayab finally dropped me off and wished me well, asking and hoping that I'd come by to see Freddie and maybe help get him out of his alcoholic slump. "He's gonna need more than that," I said as Mr. Cayab drove off. I packed just for a few days, so my bag wasn't heavy with all my stuff. I plan to get clothes at Wal-Mart or Costco if I must stay longer. Going up the sidewalk, I recalled when this house and this neighborhood were brand spanking new, and we all felt rich in the mid-70s'. Now, it's as worn as an old yellowing newspaper. A shadow of its former glorious luster. I tried the doorbell, but it crumbled into the receiver when I pushed the button. A second later, the door opened, and my sister Tricia was looking as beat up and downtrodden by life as she ever was. "Do you know you're growing a mustache?" I pointed close to her upper lip.

"Fuck you," she sighed as she retreated back to her spot on her living room chair, catching up on her program on the television. "You didn't press the doorbell button, did you?"

"No," I lied.

"That thing hasn't worked in twenty years; it's ready to finally die a death," she said while looking at the screen. "Whatta ya want, by the way? Why are you home?"

"Uhm, Mom and Dad? Have you decided what you're going to do with the house?" I asked.

"I'm living in it, aren't I?" She shrugged and looked around the space. "That's what I'm going to do,"

"OK, but with what money? Because they didn't leave us anything," I told her.

"They didn't leave YOU anything, Blaine, but they left me this house, which is now mine," she confirmed. "So before everything errputs into utter chaos, I'm letting you know that I'm giving you the money they left for me; all I want is the house."

She gave me the account number and the balance, and I nearly died. "Tricia, this is..I don't have the words."

"Just take the money," she nodded toward the card. 


It's the same thing every year: visiting my sister's spirit at the old house in Paukukalo. I know when she's home because the house looks the way it did in the last few days before she took her own life. Now, it's a yearly vigil to play the scene out again and again until she can finally pass over.

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