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By Karlo Jose R. Pineda
It was already eight in the evening when my girlfriend Kassey and I crossed the overpass on Espana. It was raining but we both had umbrellas. We kept close together as we stood on the sidewalk for a ride home.
We were the only two people there, and the jeepneys that were headed to out destination were few and far in between. As we waited in the languid expanse of the night, Kassey said that she saw a boy, about nine years old, beside me, sharing the shade of my umbrella. I searched for the boy but no one was there. I told her that she must have been seeing things for it was unthinkable for a boy to be out there on a rainy night.
Minutes passed and we remained stuck there. Our elusive ride home was nowhere to be found. I was already getting tired of standing, and my eyes were strained from watching the drenched street. In my peripheral vision, I saw that Kassey shared the same feeling. I glanced at her and my jaw dropped open. I was flustered. Kassey asked me why but I coudn’t answer.
After I got a hold of myself again, I asked her if the boy she saw was wearing a white sando. She said yes. I told her that I saw the same boy, this time behind her, staring at me. His callow face was smeared with blood, making his eyes seem like two big black pearls floating in a crimson sea.
As if on cue,a jeep approached. We hailed it at once and hastily boarded it. Kassey and I were shivering, maybe from the cold on from our “unexpected companion.”
Kassey advised me not to think too much of what had happened, but I said that prayers were a better idea.
I looked out the jeep. It was still raining, but in my mind I still saw the boy’s bloody face.
The alarm clock woke me at six o’clock in the morning. My eyes slowly adjusted to the rays of sunlight that penetrated my window.
“Karlo, it’s time to wake up! You’ll be late for school,” my mother called out. I was already awake but I wanted to lie in bed a while longer. My mother or else I might get stuck in traffic.
“Okay, I’m ready up,” I said, yawning as I stretched. With that, my mom turned away. How I wished she hadn’t left! Because standing there by the door was the boy Kassey and I saw on Espana the night before. He was still wearing a white sando and his face was bloody.
His eyes seemed to pierce my very being. I was shocked. I then heard him whisper. It was a whisper that indicated that he knew me.
“Karlo” he said.