VISIONS AT VINZON’S HALL

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

By: Joel P. Salud

Joey(not his real name) is your typical 23-year-old young intellectual-a hardnosed, matter-of-fact Nitzschean disciple withan ego that  would make  the USS Titanic  look like it was  built by Matchbox,”

As a UP Diliman philosophy  and political science dean’s  lister, he can’t  be anything else but  downright snooty,, and a skeptic  through-and-through. He did  not want to  admit he was a cynic,  however. Self-styled  geniuses and freethinkers never make such  claims. As far as  Joey was concerned , his mind was big enough for every  possible idea  and concept.  Everything  but ghosts. It was a rowdy afternoon  at Vinzon’s Hall,  quite unusual for a Saturday. The student center was  bursting,  at the seems  with students from every college in UP,  sitting in corners in their torn jeans  and sandals, books in hand. The lobby was  so packed  that day that Joey could not concentrate on what he was reading- a book by  Engel.  Raul, a friend and classmate,  was supposed to meet him  at the hallway  near  the entrance of the building. But it’s  been an hour  already,  and there was no sign of Raul. Surprisingly, even though there were many people  in the hall,  he saw no one that he actually knew.  Bored and irritated  by the hollow rumblings of students’ around  him, he  decided to pack his bags and leave for the second floor. There, he thought,  he could stay and read in peace. The second floor of Vinzon’s Hall was relatively quiet and peaceful, the perfect  place to  read and concentrate, he thought.  Joey hadn’t  read a fairly good book in weeks,  and this  bothered  him immensely. A  voracious reader, he would spend  almost half his  monthly allowance on reasonably  priced books.  Much of his  student life was spent this way- his face  buried inside the pages  of a book.  Forget the parties and the usual “gimmicks”  young people usually indulged in.  For  Bookworm Joey,  relaxing with a good book was  the only way to have  fun.  He immediately  slumped in one corner, and in just  a few  minutes, he was already on his fourth chapter.  He could  feel the cold stone wall  on his back,  which made  his left collar bones  ache a bit.  He decided  to wear his jacket  to ease  the cramp. As he was  taking his jacket  out of his  knapsack,  he heard a deep  ethereal sound coming from the  men’s  comfort room.  Sort of like a hushed  yet deep whisper.  It  sounded  like  the voice  of a young woman  gasping  for breath.  But it couldn’t  be. Maybe, some couple is  making  out in the john.  What a drag,  he thought.  A few minutes later,  Joey saw someone  come out of the men’s  comfort  room.  It was Raul.  Joey motioned to his  friend to come and join him.  As Raul  polished the cold  slab under him, Joey asked, ” Was someone else with you in the John?  I swear I heard  a woman’s voice in there.” Raul shrugged his shoulders.

“I was the only one there, pare ‘kaw naman. I wish Rachel was there!” Joey  laughed, put down  his book and took a sip from his canned iced tea. “Wish on , bro!””Hey, pare,  I’ve heard stories about ghosts in Vinzon’s Hall. You know,  that young coed whom they say committed suicide in one of the  comfort rooms?  It could’ve  been her…. asking for you!”  Raul  teased. “Yeah! Yeah! Sure, Raul, “Joey quipped He was somewhat irritated.

“Of  all the people to believe in ghost! Man! You’re so guilible I can’t believe  you’re my friend!”

“Hey! Take it easy, pare. I was just kidding around.”

“Lokohin mong lolo mong panot ( Go fool  your hairless grandpa)!” Joey,  the perpetual pikon ( sore loser),  howled,  smiling. “I’ll just go to the John.”

Joey went straight to one  of the cubicles. He did not  tell Raul,  but that day, Joey was suffering from diarrhea.  As he sat on one of the bowls, he felt something press on his head, as if smoothing or patting it. At the  same time he  felt a cold, unruly  current  stroke his nape. That was  quite unusual; it was  summer, Joey resisted  the temptation  to look up  and see what or who was  smoothing his head.  His curiously, however, got the better of him.  When Joey looked  up,  he saw a young girl hanging  by her neck, her eyes nearly bulging from their sockets, her face a deathly  pale from  the immense strain from the  rope.  And the ones stroking his head were the soles of her feet swaying  and rubbing against it.   He sat frozen. He could not take his eyes away from the  young girl hanging from the ceiling.   A few seconds later, the girl’s  face moved, slowly,  and turned toward Joey. Her  bulging eyes looked straight into Joey’s face, as if asking  him to save her.  At that,  Joey unfroze, Pulling  up his pants, he rushed  out of the  comfort  room, his zipper still down, his face sickly white from fright. He could not speak  for several  minutes. After a while, he managed to calm down. But he  never used that comfort room again.

Leave a Reply