SOMEONE WATCHING OVER ME

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By Gerrilyn  Cadiz

My sister isn’t  one to believe  in things  that go  bump  in the night.  But that  changed  when she attended an out-of-town seminar and came face-to-face with one such otherwordly presence. My sister said it was  more like  a retreat than a seminar, really. It was held at one of the vacation houses owned  by the company she worked for.

It was  far from  the main  road  and could only  be reached  by private vehicles.  No public  transportation passed by. But you can take a tricycle from the main road and just direct the driver to the house.  It was far from  the maddening noise of the city and was nestled  amidst mountain ridges  that accounted for the breezy afternoons and chilly nights.

However, she found it creepy that the trees had all these crosses on them. One  of her officemates said it’s  because the trees  were used  for the station of the Cross during  the Lenten Season.  It was a week-long seminar. The days were spent with the usual  team-building  exercises and activities. At night,  they would  have bonfires and tell  inspirational  stories.

It was during  one of these bonfires that she first heard about the “resident”  Some of her officemates, especially those who  been with the company for  years  and had previously attended these seminars, recounted their encounter with the  lodge’s  apparition.  How it would  suddenly pass them by on the stairs; how it  would appear at the door of the dining area as if checking on them.

But the manager, who had been with the company for almost 10 years, would  quickly debunk the stories and call them”nonsense”  And my sister, as I’ve said earlier, was not  one to easily believe such talk. So,  she and their manager had a good time laughing the stories off. The third night of the seminar, as they were  all preparing to go to bed, one  of her officemates came rushing to her room.

The officemate told her she heard something moving,  rustling, inside her closet and asked my sister to accompany her to check  it out.  It was my sister who opened the closet door  and there,  lying on top of a bunch of clotes was a lizard. Her officemate freaked out. Nothing like a reptile to scare the wits out of somebody. Anyway, since both of theme were afraid of the reptile, they  decided to leave it alone. My sister then asked her officemate to just sleep in her bedroom. The creature might attack her, they thought.

My sister  and her officemate went back  to her room and got ready  for bed.  After a few hours of chit-chat, they went to sleep.  My sister is a light sleeper. A movement on the bed would easily her wake her up.  She woke up in the middle of the night with a scene of unease. She wasn’t exactly sure what woke her up. But she  felt a chill even before she opened her eyes.

Her mind  registered that maybe she had forgotten to close the windows. And so even though her lids were heavy with sleep, she willed them open. And there, hovering above her was a face! She felt  a scream rise to her throat. She wanted to kick her officemate, who was happily snoring beside her, into wakefulness. She wanted to raise her hands in alarm, wanted to flail her arms at the spectre. But fear paralyzed her.

The face was that of a woman. She had wide sunlen eyes, gaunt  cheeks and an empty hollow mouth. It screamed at her, a high piercing sound that could’ve come from the very pits of hell. Then her  officemate turned and in an instant, the apparition was gone and my sister, trembling, woke her officemate up. She was as  scared as my sister, they went  to the next room to crash another officemate’s room. My sister huddled  close to  her officemate, fearful that the wraith would come  back. They didn’t sleep a wink that night.

The company  stopped  having its seminars at the house  shortly after that a few months after the incident, my sister resigned. Though she  would not admit  that it was probably the experience that pushed  her to do it.

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