Chapter 4 Holoku
After that incident... things were quiet for sometime. Like nothing had happened at all. The reminder of that incident seemed to vanish from my mind, altogether.
The calm before the storm...?
It was easy to go on with our daily lives. Nothing rattled our nerves to think twice about that horrible night.
Playing all day on weekends if we didn't need to be at a canoe regatta or any other sporting event. Moikeha had football practices during the weekdays. Seasonal games didn't start yet. My dad had basketball games, he and my uncles started a league. They would challenge teams from the local police department or other men that gathered up players out of thin air.
Just a normal... average day for the three musketeers. Being the three youngest and closely aged. Inseparable is what we were. That was what the adults referred us as, Keopulani, Moikeha and myself.
We were riding our mongoose bikes around the neighborhood. Stopping every once in a while to talk to friends who came out to play with us. Our usual spot was the vacant lots across the street. Filled with rows and rows of guava trees.
We had equal players to play war... A simple game of attacking our enemies with rotting guavas. (Hey... back then we enjoyed things like this.) There were no nerf or paintball guns at the time. Utilizing the resources around us kept us kids busy and entertained.
The only rule there was whoever made it out unscathed... untouched by the smelly, icky fruit was deemed winner for the day.
Before the game could begin. Moikeha announced he was going to get a glass of water. He'd be back shortly... five minutes later he didn't return.
"Where's Moikeha?" Harlan one of the neighbors asked, a piece of guava stick twirled in his hand.
"I'll check." I hopped on my bike and rode home. Hidey's bike was on its kickstand. I set my bike next to his and ran up the stairs. I walked into the house looking for my brother.
I heard whispers coming from the first bedroom that belonged to our parents. When I peeked my head in the doorway. He was standing in front of the closet. Talking like someone was there. I walked in and took a glance at who was in there with him. There was no one that I could see.
The weird thing was, on a hot day like that. The room temperature dropped it was cold as heck. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing at attention.
"Everyone's waiting to start the game." I said, thinking it would bring him out of that trance state he was in. He was staring at nothing... His focus was on nothing. Well, it was nothing I could see for that matter.
He didn't acknowledge me.
As far as I could tell, he didn't care about me being in the room. Like I wasn't even there. It wasn't right. I knew it wasn't right and yet he was fixed on that damn dress.
I left the room to see if one of my sisters were home. Knowing they could try to explain to me what the heck was going on. No one was in the parlor or the first three rooms. The smell of food being prepared tickled my sense of smell. I darted towards the kitchen, bingo... my sister fanny was starting dinner.
"Tita." (which is a term meaning "sister") I called to her, can you come see what's wrong with Moikeha?"
Although she was focused on what she was doing, she still made the time to respond.
"Why?... What's wrong with him?" she asked, while stirring the pot cautiously. Steam accompanied the delicious aroma that filled the air around us.
I felt guilty for pulling her away from what she was doing. We all had certain chores to get done around the house. But, this was important I tried to justify the reason for disturbing her.
"Ugh..."she huffed, then asked. "where is he?" she wasn't happy, but she knew I wouldn't bother her if it didn't matter.
She placed the wooden spoon onto a spoon dish and followed behind me.
"I don't know what's wrong with him." I babbled, leading her thru the house and straight to our parents room.
I could tell she was affected by what she was saw.
Our brother was standing at the same spot. Still in a trance and staring at nothing. Well... it wasn't nothing per se. It was our mothers damn "Holoku", (an elegant dress, normally used for weddings or special events.) for Christs sake.
This time though... he was having a full blown conversation with it. Excited facial expression framed his face and wailing hands, moving everywhere. You know... the gestures you normally make when you're fully immersed in whatever it was you were trying to explain or answer to. Like before... no one was there in the room. We couldn't hear any other voice, but his.
That was it... the goosebumps from that traveled throughout my whole body.
At first, Fanny had a shocked expression on her face. With a bit of a nudge to her arm, she was startled out of her daze. She looked at me... I nodded in Moikeha's direction. He was oblivious to our intrusion on him. In any case, the only thing that existed to him was the dress.
"Moikeha..." she called to him. I held onto her arm, my eyes traveled everywhere in the house.
He didn't respond, he was too busy talking to the dress.
"Moikeha..." she said once again, this time she had a louder tone.
He began to laugh and kept talking. Not to us, but that stupid dress.
Something was definitely wrong with this picture. Everything was wrong with what was happening. No one in their right mind, would be talking to a dress.
I was glad I wasn't the only one to see it. I had another witness, Fanny. It wasn't all in my head. My sister saw it... I saw it, yes it was confirmed. I wasn't a lunatic or I wasn't going crazy.
When he didn't respond to her calling, Fanny reacted. She did the only logical thing she could to get his attention. She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him. He looked at her with an angry expression. He braced himself in place still talking to the dress... like it would help him out. With irritation Fanny yanked harder on his arm and we stepped out of the room.
The three of us were standing outside in the parlor.
"What happened?" Moikeha said, his focus was on our sister who still held onto his arm.
We looked among each other.
"Who were you talking to?" Fanny asked him.
"I wasn't talking to anyone." he seriously answered.
After a moment of silence... I said, with furrowed brows.
"Everyone's waiting for you outside. They want to start the game already."
"Well... hurry up." he gave me a soft smile, before running back outside to our friends.
Like nothing had happened... he was out the door.
Fanny and I turned to our parents room. The dress was still there hanging on a nail, slowly swaying even though the air was still...
Wait till our parents hear about this.
Thanks for reading... Hope you like it so far.