The Lady in the Room
“What a sad story….” Rika managed to say.
“It happened a long time ago… hmmm… how many years is that approximately?” Yossie asked.
“Maybe…7-10 years? That’s why, when we first saw him… He’s wearing long khaki pants… like the rest of our high school boys here. If he didn’t die, he’ll probably be in the same year level as we are.” Maki explained.
“And what about the ghost in our room? We’ve heard you mentioned about that earlier…” Yassan asked.
“Yah… Tell us now what you saw earlier!” Miki commanded.
“It’s nothing really… I just saw a white lady near the closet for our cleaning tools… that’s all.” Yossie answered.
“Just don’t tell this to our classmates… They may freak out… Let’s just keep this to our selves for now.” Rika said to them. The others agreed.
“So Yossie… Is this your first time to see ghosts?” Yassan asked.
“Hmmm… Nope… I’ve seen one when I was a child…”
“What did you see? Is it scary? What kind of entity? White lady? Ghost? Vampire? What? Miki asked successively.
“…. I think it’s an elf… a white elf…” Yossie looked upward… It seems that she was trying to remember what happened that time.
“What do you mean ‘I think’?” Miki asked
“You know that my memory capacity’s only 1 kb…”
“TRY TO REMEMBER IT!!!” Miki shook Yossie’s shoulder…
“Oi stop that Miki… Her brain’s falling from her head already!” Rika laughed. Maki and Yassan followed.
“Fine…. Make fun of me… I’m used to it… Just don’t laugh that hard… It may trigger your asthma.” Yossie warned Rika. She was concerned for her friend… She knew how hard it is to have an asthma.
“…. Try to remember what happened… I want to hear horror stories…” Miki urged her.
“…. I do remember that I was waiting for my father to come home that night. We were staying in my auntie’s house. My mom, cousin and I were watching some Chinese horror movie that time. And then… I thought that I heard his bike… checked the gate through the window… and then I saw a small being… wearing white pants and long sleeves and a white hat crossing the road towards a vacant lot… I was stunned that time that I became quiet throughout the movie.”
“And then… what happened?” Yassan asked.
“I asked my mom and cousin whether they believe in ghosts or other entities… My cousin said yes because when she was a child… She saw a “tikbalang” (a local entity with a face of a horse and a body of a human.) looking at her from their ceiling when she was on her bed. My mom, being a religious person… also believes that this kind of things exists… and then my cousin asked me why I brought up that topic… I told them that I saw an elf… The next morning went we were going home, I looked at the vacant lot. I saw that there’s a ‘Punso’.” (a heap of soil…it’s usually believed that an elf lives in a mound of soil called in our local tongue.. “nuno sa punso”)
“Not that scary…” Miki commented “I’ve seen one that’s way creepier…”
“Yeah? It’s just a little part of my childhood… but there are a lot of scary things that happened especially with my brother when we were kids…. But let’s hear your story first..”
“Ok… I’ve told you that it’s scarier than your experience because… There’s a full contact…”
“What! A full contact? Like a ghost possessed you or something?” Yassan was horrified.
“Not that kind, dummy… It’s like this… Two years ago… I slept in my friend’s house. You know that I’ve been on a band before right? We were writing songs and then… I fell asleep in the room. I didn’t know that my friends left me to buy food. But then, I felt that there was someone walking near me. And THAT someone touched my back. After awhile I woke up and went down to them. I asked them who touched me while I’m sleeping. They said that they didn’t and told me that they all went out of their house.”
“What did you do then?” Rika asked
“It seems that Rika was not being scared at all by your story!” Yossie exclaimed and scanned the other persons who were listening to the story… “And Maki seemed alright to me.”
“I don’t care whether they were scared or not… It’s a one thrilling experience for me. But anyways, I was freaking out at that time. I blamed them over and over saying… ‘Why didn’t you wake me up… You knew that there’s a spirit here’...” She saw that Yossie was smiling weirdly at her. “But I didn’t cry, ok? I was just freaking out.”
“Yeah right…”Yossie rolled her eyes and continued. “How about this… When we where little, my parents took us to a vacation in my father’s province for a week.”
“That’s not good than mine! It’s your brother’s story not yours!” Miki cut off.
“Hey, stop arguing… Let’s just listen to her story first…” Maki decided to stop the two from fighting… It’s not necessary though. They were friends and friends do that.
“Well… Back to MY story… We were on the ship for 24 hours. My mom told me that there were two old people who gave us candies. I don’t remember eating them. Anyways… We arrived the next day and then we boarded the bus for 1-2 hours of travel from the port to my father’s place. Our week in the province was…ok… but on the first night of our stay, we heard strange flapping noises. Much like coming from a huge bird.
“Is it coming from an aswang then?” Yassan inquired. (An Aswang is a local creature that can shape-shift into different animal forms. The most widely known form is a creature that has the upper body of a human with huge wings resembling a bat.)
“I don’t know… Maybe… I was not well aware of that at that time.” Yossie answered. “Well, after a week, we went back in our house. And then my brother, claims that he had an elf friend!”
“Is it a white elf or a black elf?” Rika inquired.
“A white one… My brother said that his name is Yuya….”
“Ahh… I see, it’s better than a black one…Ok, proceed with your story… But make it fast… Our classes will start within 10 minutes.”
“I can continue it on our break time…”
“I’ll just remind you that we had a test on Visual Basic after our break time.” Rika said.
“WHAT!!!! TEST?!?” Yossie and Miki looked at each other… Both were surprised at the news.
“We had our test on that yesterday… It’s quite easy.” Maki told them.
“It’s easy for you… but you know my memory right? “Yossie answered.
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you in reviewing.” Miki was really into computers. She was the one who taught Yossie how to use the internet when they were in their second year of high school. Yossie considered Miki as her mentor… mentor in playing guitar, computer, internet, anime fan-girling, yaoi/yuri pairings, and lately, Jrock and Jpop music. She introduced her to L’arc en ciel and Johnny’s entertainment.
“Thanks… Ok, back on my story. My brother claimed that he had an elf friend and they were fighting the black ones in our elementary school. His teacher believed on what he’s saying because she believed that those things exists. I was scared with my brother that time… He would tell me… ‘Yuya’s above your head’… or ‘Yuya’s beside you’. I would always scream for my mother to come. One neighbor told my mother that maybe my brother’s third eye was opened. She gave directions on the location of a psychic that can close that. We all went to that place. Even though my mother didn’t tell a single thing about our journey to the province, the psychic told us that my brother had eaten a candy given by those old people and it somewhat got stuck on his throat.”
“Eh? Stuck? How did that happen?” Yassan asked.
“Well, physically it’s not stuck.. Maybe he just used that term to emphasize that, that candy was the one responsible. He then gave my brother a glass of clear water to drink. My brother was screaming “there’s an earthworm! There’s an earthworm on the water! I was like… ‘Ok… there’s nothing in there…’ But the psychic told us that the ‘candy’ was doing that so as my brother will not drink that water. To make the long story short, they forced him to drink it and then… his third eye closed. He didn’t see Yuya or any spirits anymore but he can feel them.”
“So he became a sensitive…” Maki uttered
“What was that?” Miki asked.
“Well, at first, your brother can see things normal people could not see. But then, by what you’ve told us, your brother’s third eye was not fully closed… He can still feel them and those people who could not see spirits but can feel their presence… were called ‘sensitives’.” Rika finished for Maki.
“Why did the two of you know that?” Yassan asked. HE was like a detective, always sensing things.
“Nothing… We just know.” Maki answered and then, winked to Rika. Yossie saw that but she decided to stay quiet.
The next day, Yossie didn’t have the guts to enter their hang out place all alone. She might see someone again inside their room. She didn’t have to wait long when Maki arrived. They both entered the place at the same time.
“I saw that you winked to Rika when Yassan asked you why you know those things… Care to share it with me?”
“Well, it’s because… I can see things too. Even when I was a little child.”
“….Really? I must have been hard right?” Yossie sympathized.
“Hmmm, not quite. It just seems pretty normal with me when I see spirits. It doesn’t scare me anymore, but it had some effects with my life.”
“I can’t go to cemetery… Especially this coming November… I always see them and it’s like they are draining my energy. I just stay in our house during that time.”
“Oh, I you were me, I’ve probably freaked out by now. I don’t know what will be my reaction if a ghost will approach to scare me.”
“They don’t usually scare people; some just needed prayers that’s why they made themselves visible to other people… Like Nino. I don’t see him around anymore.. Do you?”
“Yeah, you’re right… How about the girl?” Yossie lowered her voice, her back was facing the window of their room where she saw the ghost.
“I don’t know yet… But I guess there’s a reason why she’s there.” Maki whispered back.
“What do the two of you whispering about?” Miki asked in a scary voice making Yossie shout from fright.
“MIKI!!! Geez, don’t do that!” Yossie slapped her friend’s right arm.
“Hahaha… Sorry… You were still talking about yesterday right?”
“Yes, just talking about the girl in your room.” Maki answered and blinked to Yossie.
“Is that so? I guess we will have to find out more about her as the time passes by right?... By the way, Yo-chan, could you teach me how to do smash in badminton?”
“I don’t like too… You scared me…” Yossie answered with an angry tone.
“Oh come on…. Scaredy cat…” Miki smiled evilly.
“I will not teach you if you continue to piss me off.”
“Hahahaha… Alrigth, alrigth… I’m asking you nicely now…”
Yossie got up and went to take her racket from her bag. She managed to get a glimpse of the inside of their room and saw a white figure standing near their blackboard. She just shrugged it off and gave Miki the shuttle cock. Miki ran towards the field to wait for her.
“She there right? I saw her when I was getting my racket.” Yossie said to Maki.
“Yes, and I guess she’s not happy being talked about. She looked rather angry at us right now.” Maki whispered to Yossie.
“…Why don’t you come with us… Are you sure you’ll be alrigth here?”
“Yes, I’ll be fine… I’m used to it.” Maki smiled at her. Yossie looked at Make while she was passing their room. She felt the hairs from her neck stood up when she passed by the broken window. She ran immediately towards the field to where Miki was waiting for her.
“You looked funny when you were playing darts with Tackey.” Miki laughed. Their P.E. was over and they were walking back to their room to get dressed.
“Why did you say that?” Yossie asked after she drank water.
‘Hahaha… I noticed that too! She looked like she was shooting from the free throw line! Bending her knees like that.” Makoto said while she was imitating Yossie.
“Don’t mix up basketball with darts… Ok?” Miki said before joining Makoto with her laugh.
“But at least, I’m pretty accurate when I’m doing that technique… I hit the bull’s eye 5 times… Can you do that?” Yossie said and ran towards their room. The two followed. They always run when they go back to their room. It’s a sort of last minute exercise.
Yossie managed to get to their room first. As she opened the door she saw someone inside. “YAAAAHHHHH!!!!”
Miki came in second place and saw the reason why Yossie yelled. “Now, you’re scared of Eri too?” Miki laughed.
Yossie was holding her chest for her heart was beating really fast. “Geez, you scared me there.”
“What was scary with me changing clothes?” Eri asked.
“Nothing… She was just being a scaredy cat these past few days.” Miki answered remembering what Rika told them before. They will not say anything to their classmates so as not to make them scared also.
“I wonder how much fats I lost today from that running.” Makoto said while entering their room. Eri’s chair was near the cabinet with cleaning materials, and Yossie’s chair was behind Eri’s chair. She changed her clothes fast. She can feel that the door in that cabinet was somewhat swaying back and forth, though all the windows were closed because all of them were changing.
“Who screamed in your class?” Maki asked when they were inside their hideout.
“Guess who’s the scaredy cat here?” Miki said to her.
“Ahh, ok, I get it.” Maki smiled.
“Hey, that’s mean!” Yossie answered.
“She didn’t say a name… She just said that she’s got it..” Rika joined in.
“Yeah, that only means that you’re guilty of being the scaredy cat!” Miki laughed out loud.
“You’re all mean…” Yossie looked at Maki. Maki was looking at the tree near the tunnel. She followed Maki’s line of vision and saw something she wished she never saw. In one of the branch of the tree where it’s close to the window in the dorm, she saw a woman hanging from it. There was blood all over and Yossie felt that the woman was looking at them. Her tears fall from her eyes unknowingly.
“Hey, don’t cry. I’m sorry for laughing at you.” Miki said to Yossie.
“I’m not crying.” Yossie answered back but her eyes were still fixated at the woman.
“But why are your tears are falling?” Miki asked. Rika noticed that Yossie and Maki were looking at the same place. She looked at the tree too and saw something.
“Now I get it.” Rika mumbled.
“What do you mean by ‘I get it?’. Come on, tell me!” Miki saw that her friends were looking at something in the tree. She looked at the tree too. “My goodness! What’s that?”
“What, ‘what’s that’? Yassan asked. He was looking at the tree too. I can’t see what you’re talking about!”
Maki stopped looking at the tree. “I guess the four of us can see things, right?”
“What did you see? I didn’t see it!” Yassan was still looking at the tree.
“There’s a woman who was hanging from that branch near the window of the dorm.” Miki explained.
“You saw that too?”
Miki nodded. Yossie was stunned. She had a feeling that the four of them have an active third eye.
“And she was covered in blood right? Now I have an idea why they say that the dorm was haunted.” Rika said.
“Hey, is this the first time that you saw a ghost?” Yassan inquired to Rika.
“No, I always saw my twin sister that’s why I’m not scared when I saw ghosts.” Rika answered.
“Wait… You had a twin sister? We didn’t know that.” Miki raised her eyebrows.
“Well, it’s because she died when we were born. My real name was supposed to be ‘Risa’, and my sister’s name was ‘Kaori’. But when she was born, she died, and my parents combined our names to become, Rika.”
“Oh shit! We had the same experience! My mother told me that supposed to be, I had a twin sister just like you. But then she died inside my mother’s womb. My name was supposed to be Mikan and her’s was Kisa, that’s why my name became Miki.”
“I had a twin sister too! But she died too when she was inside our mother’s womb. My original name was Mari but then my parents combined my name, and her name, Kirei to become Maki.”
“Ok… Now I had this theory in my head that whoever had a twin sister/brother who died before even coming in to this world, the living twin will have a third eye.” Yossie stroked her imaginary beard.
“That’s a good theory you had there! I had an older brother too. But he died when we he was a baby.” Yassan told them.
“…You had a third eye too?” Yossie asked.
“No, It’s just that my theory was, he was supposed to be the one named Shota Yasuda III. But my father, Shota Jr., changed it to Maruyama. When he died, they named me Shota III. My grandfather named the older brother of my father as Shingo instead of Shota Jr. He died when he was a little boy. My theory is that in our family, we should have a son who will be named “Shota” so as not to be dead.” Yassan finished.
“Well, I guess we should be careful in picking names to our children in the future… That was scary…” Yossie said. They all went back to their classrooms when their bell rang.
Hey onichan, can I watch an anime tonight?” Yossie asked her brother. It’s Saturday night and she had nothing else to do.
“Just for thirty minutes.” Ryo replied.
“Massage me first…”
“Or buy a Pepsi outside… That will be fine.”
“I don’t have money…” Yossie answered
“Then you have to massage me first before I let you watch your anime.”
Yossie was left with no other choice so she massaged her brother for about 5 minutes. After watching anime she went upstairs. She was somewhat tired because they went to the cemetery in the morning because today was November 1.
“Nakazawa-sensei fooled me there… I thought that Nov. 1 and 2 will fall under the weekdays… That’s why she was so happy when she said that we will have no classes on that day… because Nov. 1 and 2 will fall on Saturday and Sunday… Next time, I’ll look first at the calendar before I will believe what she will say. But I’m glad that we had no classes yesterday.”
Yossie was in her parents’ room. She was staying in there first because it was colder in that room. They had a queen sized bed. And an antique dresser with mirror, near the door. She turned off the lights and tried to sleep a little. She felt that ‘someone’ was beside her. She was somewhat scared so she turned on the radio to listen to music. She still felt that someone was in the bed so she spread her feet and arms as if blocking someone. She scattered the pillows also. After that, the dogs from their neighbor started howling.
She had goose bumps when she heard that. He grandma said to her when she was little that dogs howl like that when they see spirits. She also recalled what happened when the father of her older cousin’s wife, died. She and her brother stayed in their auntie’s house. They were left with the nanny and their grandma because their parents went with their cousin to the province. They went home late with one of their relative’s car. Her cousin has 2 Dalmatian dogs and a Boxer. The three dogs started howling when they parked the car in the garage. She remembered that her grandma said that the ghost went back with them. Her mother said that maybe that’s the reason why it feels that the car had a difficulty to go fast. Yossie then saw something flash from the mirror in the antique dresser. She immediately turned the radio off and run down to the living room.
“What happened with you? Yossie’s mother asked when she saw how pale she looked like.
“Nothing… What are you watching?” Yossie asked.
“An All soul’s day special… about true to life ghost stories…” Ryo answered.
Yossie knew this show. Every November, they had a special documentary about ghost and other paranormal events that happened. She remembered that when they were in elementary, they watched this show all alone. Their father had a night time shift from his work and he will come back the next morning. Their mother went to their cousin’s house to get something. They were watching this show when the guest psychic said to the camera that the ghost will appear near in the stairs. The psychic was talking with the ghost and asked her to show herself in public. The ghost said yes, but the psychic said that only those people with third eye will be able to see the ghost. She and her brother saw the ghost. They immediately ran outside to their neighbor’s house and waited for their mother to come home.
“How’s your weekend?” Yossie asked Maki.
“Well, it’s very interesting…” Maki smiled.
“Why, what happened?” Yossie asked eagerly.
“I’ll not talk until the others were here.” Maki said to her. They waited for a 15 minutes for Miki to arrive.
“So every one’s here right?” Yossie checked, there was Miki, Yassan, Rika, Maki and her. The people who knew about these paranormal events were all present.
“What happened?” Miki asked while putting down her things.
“Well, I tried to go to the cemetery last Saturday… And guess who I saw…” Maki smiled at them..
“The you-know-who in our room?” Rika whispered.
“Bingo!” Maki exclaimed.
“Ehh? But the cemetery was somewhat far from here… Why is she there?” Yassan asked.
“Well, the right question was… Why is she here?” Maki corrected.
“Tell us now what happened!” Miki excitedly said.
“Calm down will you… Ok, I checked the name of the tomb where I saw her… I guess, her name was Kusumi Koharu. She was a rich young lady here during the Spanish era… She died somewhere around 1890’s I think. Her bones where there in the cemetery.”
“If her bones where there… Why where she here? It doesn’t make sense.” Yossie asked
“At first look, it doesn’t make sense at all… When I got home that night, I dreamed about her.”
“You’re like ‘Joseph, the dreamer’ huh. You dreamed about Nino too, right? So what’s this girl’s story all about?” Miki inquired.
“Well, I dreamt that she had a secret boyfriend. Her father wouldn’t approve of him because he was poor… But Koharu loved him very much. His name was Keiichiro. Her father found out about them and ordered his men to kill him. Koharu found out what his father did and killed herself. She was buried in the cemetery near our place and Keiichiro was buried in this school, the former public cemetery, at the same location where you put you’re cleaning tools.” Maki explained to them.
“So it’s a sad love story right? Koharu knew that Keiichiro’s body was here so she spent her ‘ghostly days here instead in her own tomb right? But why can’t we see him?” Yossie asked.
“Well, I didn’t have the answer to that. Maybe his soul already found peace. That’s why he’s not haunting this place anymore.”
“I hope that Koharu’s soul will find peace soon..” Rika finished.