Part 1: The School Boy
It’s the last week October… Yossie was somewhat happy because they will have no classes on November 1 and 2 because of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. She was happily thinking about it while riding a jeepney on her way to school. It’s already 5:52 on her digital watch… She would arrive in their school in less than 10 minutes if the traffic cooperates with her…
“I guess I shouldn’t worry… I still have 1 hour and 30 minutes before the class starts.”
She was thinking how she survived her last 3 years in high school. She NEVER studied in their house. All she did was to watch anime and listen to her collection of Japanese anime cds… or some J-rock music, though she didn’t understand them… She would just go to an internet shop to get lyrics with translations and compiled it in a binder… She’s well known in their group as the “Human Anime Jukebox”. If you don’t remember the anime song… or its title, she’s the person to ask and you’ll get your answer immediately. Their group was really into anime… Her best friend Maki wrote a cross over fic between Hunter x Hunter and Power Puff Girls entitled as Power Puff Hunters… It’s very funny that Yossie smiled unknowingly inside the jeep. She noticed that the other students and passengers were looking weirdly at her… She just opened her binder and pretended to be reading something. She closed it when she saw that it’s already her school. The jeepney stopped and all the students went down. She went straight to the church besides their school. It’s her habit ever since she was accepted in that ‘premier’ catholic school in their city.
It’s cold and the sun didn’t rise up yet when she went out of the church. They had a test that day that’s why she stayed a little longer to pray.
“It’s cold!!! December’s near. I hope I can save enough money to buy some gifts to my friends… Nani?.... I forgot to pay for the ride!!! Oh well, at least the driver didn’t noticed… hehehe.”
Because of her ‘day dreaming on the jeep, she totally forgot to pay for the ride. She only noticed it when she put her hands inside her pocket to get her hanky… a penny fell when she removed her handkerchief because she always put her payment for the ride on her pocket and not on her wallet inside the her bag.
She entered their school. The security guard is the only person she’s seen so far. She walked straight to a corner and turned left towards the tunnel. The lights were still on. She noticed someone was already in their “hideout”. She went past the huge old tree at the end of the tunnel, and squinted her eyes to see clearly.
“Wow… Maki-chan’s early today.”
“Ohayou! I’m first today!” Maki said when Yossie approached the entrance.
“Tomorrow I’ll be the first to arrive here… Hehehe.. Hey by the way… I’ve brought my lyric collection that you want to borrow.” Yossie handed Maki the green binder before putting her bag beside her and sat.
“I’ve brought my fic! You’ll have to finish it now because my brother will type it on the computer later to have it uploaded on his website.”
“Ehh?!? But we have a test today… And I didn’t read a single note… I guess I’ll just read it on lunch time.”
“Ok… But you hold it for now.” Maki gave her a red folder containing lots of papers. Maki really loved writing. Through it, she expresses her feelings and emotions in which she could not express besides her close friends. Yossie got her book on advance algebra and started reviewing. On her peripheral vision, she noticed a little boy outside, near Maki’s place.
“Oh… Its 6:17 already… maybe that’s my nephew Uchi.”
Yossie looked up from her book. She managed to see someone ducked. She smiled. She peeked to see whether her nephew’s there but she saw no one.
“You want to play hide and seek huh…
“Maki… Look if someone will pass there.” Maki looked behind her to check if there’s someone. Yossie immediately run outside and circled the place. She saw no one.
“What happened?” Maki asked
“Nothing… I thought my nephew’s already here.”
“Well, if Uchi’s here… Then Yassan would be here also… They’re on the same school bus right?”
“… I guess so.” Yossie went back inside and opened her book.
“Don’t stress yourself when reviewing algebra… Hahaha.” Maki laughed.
“What’s that’s supposed to mean?”
“Nothing… Nothing… Study now… I’ll not bother you.”
“Hidoi…” Yossie started reading again. After a while, Yassan arrived.
“What happened? It’s already 6:30.” Maki asked. Yossie looked up from her book and smiled at Yassan.
“Our service broke down a little. I’m really thankful that were the first batch. I’m sure the third batch will be late from their first class today.”
“Hey, is my nephew with you?”
“He’s in the elementary quadrangle now… Why?”
“Nothing..” Yossie went back to study again.
Nothing else happened that day. Yossie somewhat forgot what she saw earlier. She, Maki, Miki and Makoto where waiting for a jeep. They always went home together. Miki hailed for a jeep to stop. Yossie restrained Makoto while the other two were boarding the jeep. She immediately boarded and gave her money to Miki and Maki did the same.
“Here’s our payment!” Miki immediately gave the money to the driver before Makoto even sat herself.
“Geez… That’s a good strategy there huh.” Makoto looked at Yossie and gave her the money for her ride. Yossie passed it to the driver.
“We wouldn’t do that again it you do not treat us anymore… Geez, save your money once in a while.” Miki said.
“Hehehe…” Makoto only smiled at them.
“That smile means that were gonna be like this for quite a while.” Yossie said and all of them laughed.
When Yossie arrived at their house, she immediately opened their TV to watch Legend of Condor Hero. She hasn’t missed an episode on this anime.
“Hey… Who said that you could watch anime? Get out form there… I’ll watch basketball.” Her brother Ryo said with a commanding voice.
“Please!!!! Just thirty minutes!!! I’ll do anything you say!” Yossie pleaded. She was glad that her brother always comes late but sometimes he’s early. And those times when her brother was early was the time that she dreaded the most.
“Thirty minutes?.... Ok… Give me 20.” Yossie immediately search for her wallet inside her bag and gave 20 pesos to her brother.
“…Hmmm… use that to buy me a soft drink and food.”
“But I’m watching!”
“During commercial, you must buy. If you don’t I’ll change the channel.”
“Alright…” Yossie reluctantly said.
She managed to finish her anime and went up to get changed. She then lay down on her brother’s bed to rest for a while. They share the same room. And their bed was a double deck one. Her brother’s on the bottom part and her bed was the upper part. It’s already dark that time and she turned off the lights. She closed her eyes to doze off a little but then, she felt that someone was walking inside the room. Their room’s flooring was made of wood so one can easily feel it when someone’s walking around. She shrugged it off and turned her face towards the door. She opened her eyes when she felt that someone’s walking again but she saw no one.
I guess onichan’s finding some money on our parent’s room again.” But then, her heart started to beat very fast… She suddenly felt cold that’s why she immediately ran down the stairs.
“Hey don’t run! You might fall.” Her mother said to her.
“Don’t worry… I won’t fall. Is the dinner’s ready?”
“Yes, just get your food on the table.”
Yossie filled her plate with lots of rice. Their dinner for that night is her favorite, spring rolls. Though how much she eats, she didn’t get fat… Her metabolism is somewhat fast and maybe because she was on the varsity team of their school in badminton. She brought her plate in front of the TV and sat beside her brother who was also eating in front of the TV. It’s almost November so horror movies and dramas were spreading like fire.
That night, she had a hard time sleeping. She could remember the horror movies that were featured. She turned left and faced their wall, her back facing the door and the large mirror. Her brother’s a fanatic when it comes to heavy rock metal bands. He posted several pictures and posters of these bands on their wall. It didn’t help her ease the tension that was building inside her for the pictures showed the gruesome and scary masked these bands wore.
Why do Slipknot and Mudvayne have to wear that masks…”
She laid her back flat on her bed and stared at the ceiling. She smiled. Her brother wouldn’t let her post her anime posters on their wall, that’s why she just posted them on the ceiling. But then, she wished that she didn’t do that because she could feel that someone’s walking again. Her brother was sleeping soundly underneath her. Her both their parents sleep earlier than them. She just covered her face with her pillow and forced herself to sleep.
The next day…
“Boo!” Yossie was startled when someone tapped her shoulder.
“Geez… You surprised me… Don’t do that Maki… We’re in front of the church.” It’s around 6 that morning. Maki and Yossie met in the church. They prayed for a little while and went to their school at the same time.
“Did you managed to watch Hunter x Hunter yesterday? I’ve been caught in a traffic jam that I just managed to watch the middle part.” Maki asked Yossie.
“I didn’t watch Hunter because after watching Legend of Condor Hero… my brother watched NBA.”
“Your brother’s such a kill joy.”
“You could say that… The only anime he’s ever watched is Yu Yu Hakusho and Slam Dunk.”
“My brother and I both love anime…. Hey... Is that Tackey?” Maki pointed at their building near their ‘headquarters’. Yossie squinted her eyes to see well because they were still inside the tunnel and the huge tree was blocking her view.
“Tackey?... He’s early today huh… What’s he up too?” The guy was leaning on the side of the building while his arms were across his chest. It’s like he’s been waiting for the two of them that’s why they both hurried their steps.
“Ohayou!” Maki waved at him when they where out of the tunnel. They were still 10 meters away from him when suddenly, the birds from the aviary made some noise. Yossie and Maki looked at their left side where the aviary was located. When the birds calmed down a little, Yossie and Maki returned their vision to the building. They stopped on their tracks… Tackey was not there anymore but a kid who looks like Uchi. Maki and Yossie stared at each other. They looked back at the same time. And they saw no one…
“WHAT WAS THAT?!?” Yossie was somewhat scared… This was way creepier than yesterday.
“Who’s that?” Maki was shocked but she was not scared.
“I don’t know… But that kid… He’s the one I saw yesterday.” Yossie explained while they went inside their ‘hideout’.
“You saw him yesterday?”
“Yah… I even asked you to see whether someone will pass by right? He looks like Uchi right…”
“… Well, Uchi and Tackey somewhat looked a like…” Maki said while putting her bag on the table. She went outside and scanned the area. Yossie stayed inside, too shocked to do anything.
“Hey, don’t be afraid… Maybe that boy just need some help.” Maki said and sat beside her.
“… I’m not scared… I’m just surprised…. “ Yossie said at Maki.
“Yeah right… your knees are shaking.” Maki rolled her eyes.
“And what about you? Are you not scared by that?”
“No… I’m used to it.” Maki smiled at her and opened her book.
“What do you mean by that?”
“….. Nothing… I’ll tell you some other time.”
“Hidoi!” Yossie retorted. After a while, Yassan came to join them but they remained silent about what they saw earlier.
“Yassan, do you have an assignment in physics?”
“I can’t understand number 3 and 4… Can I take a look at it?”
Yassan got his notebook, passed it to Yossie and went outside.. In truth… Yossie didn’t make her assignment last night.
“Ohayou! Yossie… Do you have an assignment in physics?” Miki said while throwing her bag near Yassan’s seat.
“I’m just copying Yassan’s answer…” Yossie said to Miki.. Miki immediately got her notebook and copied also.
“Tsk… tsk… tsk…both of you are such a diligent student.” Maki said without looking at them. Yossie and Miki didn’t answer her because they were busy copying notes.
….. The next day….
Yassan and Maki were the first to arrive in their ‘hideout’. Yossie arrived late (6:15 to be exact) and proceeded to talk with Yassan.
“HAVE YOU WATCHED LEGEND OF CONDOR LAST NIGHT?!?!” THEY’RE SO SWEET!!!!” Yossie excitedly said to Yassan…
“Yeah, I’m planning to buy the manga version. I saw one in National Bookstore.”
“Oh? How much?”
“About 300 per book…”
“Oooohhhhh…. I don’t have that enough money.. I’ll just borrow it from you if you buy one.”
“Hey, here’s your compilation… I’ve finished photocopying some of it, arigatou.” Maki gave back the binder.
Yossie got her binder. Doing so, she managed to get a glimpse of the gate near their “hideout”. It’s at the end of the building and she saw the “boy” in there…
“He’s there again…” Yossie mumbled.
“What did you say?” Maki asked.
Yossie looked at Maki and Yassan. “The boy yesterday… He’s there near the gate!” Yossie pointed at the gate near them… but no one’s there.
“What boy?’ Yassan was curious and looked at the direction of the gate.
Yossie went to the gate. She looked at the end of the building. It‘s a dead end… there’s a huge tree blocking the way and behind it were some old chairs and tables and some steel bars.
“Maki come here!” Yossie shouted. Maki ran to the place and Yossie pointed at the wall. “I know that its not there before.”
“Nino… Who could have written that? I just scanned this area yesterday and that wall was still clean.”
“Could it be that the name of that kid is Nino?”
“Maybe… I’ll bring some holy water and blessed salt for him. My grandma said that these can help to make the soul, rest in peace.”
“What’s happening here?” The three of them looked behind them and saw that Miki’s already there. Maki and Yossie looked at each other and summoned the two of them inside their ‘hideout’. Yossie told them everything… From the first time she met that boy… till what happened earlier. Miki and Yassan were listening intently. They loved a good, true to life horror stories.
“Hey you know what… Ayaya had an experience in the girls’ toilet room. You know how she always loved to go there even during class hours.” Miki told them.
“Yep… Does she have some kind of a disease or what?” Maki asked.
“I don’t know but then… She went there all alone to take a leak… She just finished doing her thing when suddenly; the flush from the last cubicle was turned on. When she went out of her cubicle… She saw from the mirror that the door from the last cubicle was open and no one was inside. If there’s someone who entered, she will notice that because the door was not touching the floor, right? She immediately went out and then she heard the flush again… She went running back to her room that day… Ever since then, she wouldn’t dare go to that cr alone.” Miki related her best friend’s experience.
“You know why?” Yassan interrupted.
“Because our school ground was a former cemetery.” Yassan finished.
“USO!!!” Yossie exclaimed.
“It’s true… You’ve seen those grave marks on the walls of the church right?”
“Yah… What about them?”
“The truth is that those were all empty… Those people’s bones were scattered here in our school ground. Have you noticed the community pattern during the Spanish era? The municipal hall was near the hospital and the church… And usually, besides the church was the graveyard. Our school was created in the 1900’s… But before that… This place’s originally a local cemetery.
The next day, Yossie and Maki met up in the church again. Maki got a small bottle and filled it with holy water from the church.
“Eh? What are you doing?” Yossie asked.
“I forgot to bring holy water… but I’ve managed to get some blessed salt. We will offer these to him and some payers for his soul.” Maki explained.
“Ohh, I see.” Yossie and Maki exited the church and went straight to the red gate near their hideout.
“Here’s a little offering for your soul. I hope you can rest now.” Maki placed the container where she put the blessed salt near the tree. She then opened the bottle of holy water and sprinkled some of it to the area. She even sprinkled on their hide out and put some blessed salt on the door. And then on their building and the 2nd building. Yossie just followed her. Maki then sprinkled some on Yossie.
“Hey! Why did you do that?” Yossie shouted.
“So that spirits will not come for you… Hehehe.”
“You should do that to my brother…. He’s like a devil you know.”
“Hahaha… You should to that to him… not me.”
“Hey what’s happening here…. STOP THAT!” Miki yelled after Maki sprinkled some holy water on her.
“We were just offering some holy water and blessed salt to the boy so that he may rest in peace.” Yossie said in between laughing.
“Ahh, is that so?” Miki put down her bag inside their hideout. The two did the same also.
“Why are you so early today?” Maki asked.
“Yossie and I were supposed to play badminton today… It’s our practical test on P.E. today.” Miki explained while getting her racket. Yossie did the same too.
“Wanna come with us?” Yossie asked before getting out of their hideout.
“No, I’ll just watch the two of you from here.” Maki smiled. The two were enjoying their play and they did not care whether there were many students passing by. Some became envious, got their own racket and played also. Others who do not have a badminton racket borrowed from the two of them.
“Hey, you’re tired now, right? Can I borrow your racket?” Yassan asked Yossie.
“Sure… Here.” Yossie gave him the racket and someone reacted.
“Ehh? I don’t want to fight him! He’s good!” Miki shouted
“You’ve played with me right? And besides he’s not a badminton varsity… He’s a table tennis varsity.” Yossie explained.
“I know that dummy…. It’s just that you’re more compassionate than him.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be easy on you… I just want to apply some laws of physics here.” Yassan said playfully.
“Good luck to the two of you!” Yossie said before going back to their hideout.
“Rika!!!! Why are you absent these past two days?” Yossie was glad to see her classmate.
“I had another asthma attack... You know me.”
“Well, you must engage yourself to sports… I had asthma too. That was before I engage myself in badminton… and basketball.
“WAAAAHH!!!! SO TIRED!!!!” Miki yelled before sitting next to Yossie. “You’re so mean…. Leaving me with Yassan.”
“Hahahaha… It’s good for you… think of it as an exercise.” Yossie said.
“But I think I’ve lost all my energy to play… How will I survive P.E. now? It’s your fault!”
“Gomen!!!! Hahahha… You still have reserved energy, thanks to your adipose tissues… By the way, with whom did you exchange places?”
“Oohh… best friends… Hahahaha!!!” Yossie said.
“Eh, Ueda and Yassan are playing? I wanna see it clearly!” Rika went out of their hide out to see the fighting “best friends”.
“Waahhh…. I had a mental block in the last number…. BAKA BAKA BAKA BAKA….” They had just finished taking a test in Economics and were about to go home.
“Here’s my shoulder.” Miki offered to Yossie.
“Thanks…. BAKA BAKA BAKA BAKA!!!” Yossie slammed her head several times on her friends shoulder. She’s been doing this for a long time now and Miki got used to it.
“Why can’t you bang your head on Makoto’s shoulder sometimes?” Miki asked.
“ME?” Makoto pointed at herself.
“She has more adipose tissues than you… I wouldn’t feel anything even if I hit my head on her shoulder hard.” Yossie explained. She stopped banging her head on Miki’s shoulder. Her forehead became reddish in color.
“So, I’m the medium type then?”
“Hey… what are you talking about? Why did I hear my name being mentioned? Share it with me!” Makoto pulled Yossie’s hair clip.
“OI!!! Give that back to me!” Yossie tried to catch Makoto’s hand but before she managed to get it back, Makoto threw it towards Yassan.
“That’s my 9th hairclip that you’ve taken from me… Oh well, I still have lots in our house.” Yossie said to them.
“We’ll gonna take that again… Why don’t you just let your hair be like that? It’s way cuter.” Yassan said while putting the clip inside his bag.”
“I’m not used to it, that’s why.” Yossie said while holding her hair. The truth is, she had three more clips inside her pocket, and she was just waiting for Yassan to go home.
“Gomen! Our teacher’s extended her time…” Maki said. She was in another section on the third floor. The 4th year batch has five sections in total. 2 sections were in the 3rd floor, another 2 on the 2nd floor and Yossie’s section was in the first floor. That’s why they “unofficially” made that newly made structure next to their room, their so called hideout.
The four of them were waiting for the jeep again. Yossie and Maki secretly gave their fare to Miki. When a jeepney stopped Miki boarded first and sat right next to the driver.
“Here’s our fare!” Miki said and handed the driver their payment for their ride.
“Tsk, next time I’ll outrun the three of you… Here’s my payment!” Makoto sat across Miki and gave her fare to the driver. They were so noisy in the jeep, sharing funny events to Maki that happened during their P.E.
“Yossie was the first to arrive in the gym… She suddenly went back to us because she saw that the boys were still dressing.” Miki laughed after telling it to Maki.
“Hontou?” Maki quizzically asked Yossie.
“Yah, but I’m used to it… I have an older brother right?... "
“You know what, when we were in elementary… Makoto saw Jin Akanishi’s brief!” Miki exclaimed. She noticed that other passengers were listening to them but she didn’t mind it.
“Who’s Jin?” Yossie asked.
“Akanishi? He’s my classmate now… What happened?” Maki asked excitedly.
Miki looked at Makoto… She saw that she’s somewhat blushing. “Well, Makoto said… : ‘OOOooooHHHhhh COLOR BLUE!!!’ ”
Miki laughed hard. Maki and Yossie were also laughing but they minimized their noise. Yossie covered her mouth and tried to stop laughing because the other passengers were looking at them.
The next day….
Yossie came early that time. It’s still dark and she stayed longer in the church in hopes that Maki would come anytime. She didn’t have the guts to go in their hideout alone. After a couple of minutes, she decided to take a look in their hideout in hopes of finding Maki there. She took a peek when she was in the tunnel… She saw no one….
“Ok, what took her so long…. She’s late today.” Yossie walked slowly towards their hideout. “Should I go inside now? Going inside means that I will see that tree… She was on the side of their building now and was deciding whether she will wait for Maki inside or outside. She saw that one of the windows in their room was broken. She took a peak inside. Well, well, well… Our room’s somewhat scary when it’s dark... She really wished she didn’t do that because she saw a girl with long black hair, dressed in white near the cabinet for their cleaning materials beside their blackboard. She immediately backed out and bumped into someone.
“AHHH!!!” Yossie screamed.
“It’s very early and you’re this noisy…” Rika said to her.
“RIKA!!!” I’m glad that you’re already here!”
“Why? What happened?” Rika asked while she went inside their hideout. Yossie followed her.
“I…. I… saw a ghost inside our room…”
“Really? Is that the boy Yassan told me?’
“No, this time it’s a girl… about her twenty’s I think.”
“So that’s the one my classmates were talking about…”
“Maki!!!” Rika and Yossie said in unison.
“I’ve heard that my classmates also saw a girl in our room when they stayed late last month… I guess she’s been hunting this building for some reason.” Maki explained.
“Why are you late today?” Yossie asked.
“I had a dream… It’s about Nino.”
“What? You dreamed about that boy?” Rika said.
“Yah… And in my dream, I saw how he died in there.” Maki pointed towards the gate.
“What a nice start for the day…” Miki said while entering their hideout… Yassan followed inside.
“Well, it all started many years ago… He was playing with a basketball in there.” Maki pointed towards their school ground. “His ball slipped away and went towards this direction. And then he hit the ball so hard that it bounced on the other side of the tree where those steel bars were located. He climbed on the other side in an attempt to get his ball… But he slipped and got hit by a steel bar straight at his body. He tried to call for some help but no one came. He died in there.” Maki finished her story.
End of Part 1