THE UNDEAD

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 By  Grace Uy Pangan

This story happened about six years ago when I was about to  graduate from College.  I had a very good friend named Rose back then who died a tragic death a  month before our graduation and just weeks  after her birthday.

The accident happened  at 10 p.m. as she was about to cross the street along Espana with her boyfriend. She was hit so hard by a jeepney that her skull,  bones,  ribs shattered and pierced her internal organs.

It was  almost impossible  to recognize her.  She was immediately rushed to UST  hospital and they put her on life support machines to help extend her life but  after an  hour, she was given a 30-70 chance of making it,

I received a call from Rose at exactly 11 p.m.   She said: “Grace, pasok ka bukas ha? Exam natin, tabi  tayo ulit. Mag-iingat ka ha? Palagi mong iingatan ang sarili mo at mami-miss kita. Alam mo mami-miss talaga kita, baka hindi na tayo magkita ulit pero tatabihan  kita sa exam bukas. Lagi kitang  tatabihan at babantayan para hindi ka mapahamak.”

I answered back: “Ay naku bakla,  tigilan mo nga yang drama mo at hindi bagay sa iyo. Hehehehe, basta bukas tabi tayo. Agahan mo lang at baka ma-late ka na naman. Alas 7 exam ha?! Baka naman dumating ka alas 9 na naman the conversation lasted till 12 midnight and I told her we had to rest for tomorrow’s exam.

Rose replied: ” Sige na Grace, pagod na pagod na din ako.  Tinawagan lang kita kasi mami-miss talaga kita. Nahihirapan  na din  akong huminga. Basta  tandaan mo  mga bilin ko sa iyo.”

We hung up after that. The following day, no Rose showed up.

I was so worried because she might not graduate if she  doesn’t take the exam.

We  finished the exam, but Rose was still a no-show. After the exam,  I told our other friends about the phone call and the odd conversation we had. I told them that Rose sounded sad, not at all the bubbly person that I  got used to. We decided to call up her house.

One of our closest friends. Bong, was the one who called and asked for Rose. Rose’s sister told him that Rose has been dead since 12 am.  Bong thought she was just  joking so he asked me to call her not knowing that he had already spoken to the sister.

So I called up, Lizette answered me: “Di ba sinabi kong patay na si ate Rose? Grace, patay na siya, kaninang  madaling araw pa.  Nasagasaan siya ng Jeep  kagabi bandang mga alas 10 sa may Espana.  11  p.m.  bumigay ang katawan niya at alas-12, tuluyan na syang namatay.”

I argued  that this  can’t be  possible because Rose called me at around 11 p.m. and we hung up at exactly midnight.   Lizette said: “Pa’no mangyari yun e nasa ospital na sita non? At 12, patay  na sya. Kung ayaw mong maniwala,  pumunta ka sa Punerarya Oro.”

Upon hearing that, I broke down in tears. I can’t walk… my legs seemed too weak. We went  to the funeral  parlor and saw her lying here… ang sama sama  ng loob ko. Hindi ko kayang tingnan si Rose ng ganon.

After that visit,  I never went back to the funeral parlor because  I couldn’t stand the pain of seeing her lifeless. The night before her funeral, I decided that I couldn’t go and would sleep early.  At 9 p.m. I went to my room to sleep.

After  a couple of minutes, I heard  a knock on the wall.  I thought it was my dad, playing tricks on me because he was in the  other room.  I went to check  and he was sound asleep.  I went downstairs  and saw my other siblings watching wrestling and my mom preparing something.

So I went back to my room to sleep,  but when I closed my eyes, I felt someone tickling my nose and my ears  with strands of hair I knew right there and then  that it was  Rose, because she loved doing it.  Afraid as I was,  I talked  to her (but with my eyes closed) and told  her that I don’t wanna go tonight but I would definitely be there tomorrow when they bury her.

After  what I said, my bed  started moving as if there is an earthquake. The laundry bag that was on top of a table  was thrown and our clothes were scattered all over the  place. My father was roused from sleep and my siblings went upstairs to check because they said they heard feet stomping so loud. They asked me if I’m alright and asked me  what happened, so I told them.

Quickly, my dad ordered me to get dressed  and said he would drive me to where the body of Rose lies.  When we got there, all our other friends and classmates  were outside. They told us that feet stomping were heard all over the room as if may nagdadabog, that’s  why  they were all outside and it stopped as I approached. Dad said they heard it too.  He said,  Maybe Rose was offended because it was her last day on earth and we  weren’t gonna see each other   So she made sure we did.

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