By Gianna Maniego
Nini used to invite her friends to her house for a sleepover when she was in high School. But after a friend reportedly saw a hideous creature, many of her friends became reluctant to stay for the night. Though she never admitted it, Nini had a suspicion that the creature had not disappeared after the incident.
Yes, from time to time, Nini would get the creepy feeling that someone was watching her. But when she would look, there would be no one there. At other times, she would notice that her things had been moved around. A hairbrush would be found living at the bottom of the bathtub, a pencil she had just put down would be found hiding inside her closet….
Through the years…. Nini turned a blind eye, insisting that the pranks were the handiwork of dwarfs. But one time, the pranks turned really scary. Nini was talking on the phone, as usual. She and her friends often used call conference to get everybody on the line at the same time.
Sometimes, there would be five or six of them on the line. That night, Nini was talking to Jen anf Rhona. Jen excused herself to get a glass of water, so Nene chatted with Rhona. During the lull in the conversation, they heard a man’s throaty voice cut into the conversation, saying, “Gago, tumigil ka na nga!”
Nini and Rhona stopped talking. And then Rhona asked, “Nini sa inyo ba ‘yun? Si Kuya Jonjie ba ‘yun?”
But Nini Knew she was the only one awake at that time.”Rhona, I think we should put down the phone!”
“Okay! Without another word the two hung up.
Spooked, Nini covered herself in her blanket and tried to will herself to sleep. she felt that a presence approached her bed and sat beside her. She felt the bed give way to the weight, but still she didn’t pull down the blanket.
The she felt a pressure on her neck slowly moving down to her chest. She was being squeezed by something! She couldn’t breathe! She tried to fight off the weight but it wouldn’t give in. In desperation she prayed. “Lord…Lord… help!” was all she could mutter. Then she heard a low malicious laugh near her ear, as if it was taunting her.
She went into recite the Lord’s prayer in her mind. Little by little she felt the pressure ease. By the time she got to “Amen” she was able to breathe normally again. Since then, Nini has been sleeping with the TV or radio on. Recently, Nini met Lui and they immediately struck up a friendship. Lui was her classmate in two subjects and they both agreed to study together for the upcoming exams.
They were scheduled to sleep over at Lui’s house but the plan was cancelled, after Lui’s lola and tita from the province decided to visit the family. “With the house full, we would’t be able to study,” Lui said apologetically. Mindful of her unseen “roommate” Nini hesitantly invited Lui to her house, thinking that Lui would refuse. But to her surprise, she said yes and even got immediate permission from her parents.
On the way home, Nini debated whether to tell her new friend of the strange occurences in her bedroom, But in the end she decided against it. “Bahala na. Baka naman walang mangyari,” She said.
In her room, Nini immediately turned on all the lights and the TV. “May third eye ka ba?” She couldn’t help asking Lui. “Wala. Sabi nga nila manhid ako sa ganyan eh,” Lui answered.”Ah, buti naman,” Nini said ambiguously. Intrigued , Lui looked at her. “Walaaaa… I was just asking kasi my friends- those who are supposed to be sensitive to these things- tell me they feel something when they’re in my room, “Nini explained in an offhand way.
“You mean, may multo dito sa room mo?” Lui asked, goggle-eyed. “Something like that. But personally, wala pa naman akong nakikita,” Nini quickly assured. It wasn’t technically a lie since she really hadn’t seen any supernatural being…. yet.”Ah. Okay lang ‘yun, hindi naman ako matatakutin at saka mahimbing ako matulog,” Kui shrugged. And things did seem okay the whole evening.
The two were able to study with-out interruption from anyone-human or otherwise. The only distraction came from the TV which was tuned to a music channel. After a while, Nini was able to relax. Maybe things will be alright, she thought.
At Around midnight, the two called it a night and prepared for bed. After brushing her teeth and changing into pajamas, Lui hit the sack, immediately failinginto deep slumber. “Wow, she wasn’t joking,” Nini laughed to herself as she went inside the adjacent bathroom. The minute she stepped in, she knew something was wrong.
The temperature inside the bathroom was almost freezing, but none of the windows were open. She felt goosebumps creeping up her arms as a sense of premonition took hold on her. Trying to dismiss the sense of foreboding, she concentrated on brushing her teeth, but as she looked in the mirror, it became misty. “That’s funny,wala namang fog ngayon ah,” she muttered as she groped for a towel to wipe the mirror. But when she turned back, an ice-cold fear gripped her being. Written on the mirror were two words .Akin ka!
Nini blinked and immediately the words disappeared and the mirror cleared. “shit, this is what I get for studying too hard,” Nini tried to make light of the incident. At that momen, the volume of the TV turned full blast and then suddenly it was turned down.
She peeped outside the bathroom to see who was fiddling with the volume. But Lui was still sound asleep on the other end of the room and anyone who came in would have to cross her line of vision to get to the TV. When she came near the TV, she noticed the volume was turned way down. “Hmm…. baka naman si Lui nga, “she thought.
Nevertheless. she grabbed her rosary from her bedside table before getting into bed without turning off the lights. Covering herself with a blanket, she willed herself to sleep. Soon enough she fell into a fitful dream. In her dream, she saw and talked to an ex-boyfriend.
Soon enough they were romancing. But as they were kissing, Nini opened her eyes and saw her ex’s expression. Suddenly, he changed into a hideous demonic looking creature. She struggled to free herself from the creature’s embrace, but he kept squeezing tighter and tighter.
Nini awoke with a star, but she could still fell something squezzing her tight. Oh My God, she thought. It wasn’t a dream. She cracked open her eyes and almost fainted at the sight of the thing that was squeezing her. It was distinctly male, she could tell from his musky smell. He was short and powerfully built, and his arms seemed twice as long as his torso-arms that were encircling her in a tight embrace.
His grotesque face was contorted into a grimace, saliva dripping from his open mouth, and he was looking at her with bloodshot eyes. Nini struggled violently against the creature but could only flail her arms at it. Her moments woke up Lui who could see Nini shaking violently beside her. “Nini! What’s wrong? Nini! Wake up!You’re having a nightmare!” Lui reached out a hand to shake her freind.
Nini looked at her and open her mouth, but no sound came from it, Lui could see her friend’s body being crushed by something unseen. But every time she reached out to her friend, an invisible force kept her from going nearer. Lui sat paralyzed as Nini struggled to beat her unseen foe.
But Nini could only feel her strength ebbing away. In desperation, she began muttering every prayer she could think of. Then a sense of calm came over her. She stopped struggling and willed herself to concentrate on praying. Miraculously, she felt the creature’s grip loosening up until finally she could breathe freely. When she opened her eyes, the creature was gone.
Lui looked horrified. “Ano ‘yun, Anong nangyari? Bakit parang may dumadagan sa’yo Lui stammered, her fear dissolving into a torrent of tears. “Hindi ko alam. Ngayon lang nagyari ito,” Nini answered as she tried to catch her breath.
“Ayoko na dito. Uuwi na ako,” Lui said, grabbing her things and heading for the phone to call her parents who reluctantly fetched her. On Monday the two saw each other in class. “Uy sorry ha, hindi ko alam na may nangyayaring ganun,” Nini apologized. Lui smiled and disappointed and answered “It’s okay. Pero corry ha, hinding-hindi mo na ako mapapa-sleepoversa inyo from now on.”
Nini hasn’t asked anyone to sleep over since then.