One of the things about having a lot of family interchangeably coming over from other countries for a whole Christmas season is that being part of the host family can become quite preoccupying and many normal “comforts” are sacrificed. Like quiet time alone. Or solitary walks. Or trips in and around town with the company of oneself. But those are another story.
Anyhow, back to what I wanted to talk about. As I was saying, many things are sacrificed. One such thing that has greatly impacted me is having to share the bed with others. At first, only one cousin came and stayed over; she became my bed-in-armswoman during her stay. Around the time she was still here, her younger sister, and my other cousin, with her husband and toddler daughter, came as well. They collided here for a bit, then my cousin, who came with no companions, left for Bangkok, her place of work.
With another couple in the house, plus a baby, my parents decided to give their room up for the duration and sleep in our room — and by “our”, I mean me and my brother.
Since my brother, for the first night, was unwilling to give his top bunk up for my dad, my parents decided to sleep on my lower, more spacious bunk (it’s sizably around a double bed).
Now imagine three adults sleeping on one double bed (turning 20 this year, I am). Yup. It is extremely suffocating. Especially if you’re the one right up against the wall.
It’s basically heatstroke inducing.
Anyway. Since that was the sleeping arrangement yesterday, I had to deal with it. I didn’t mind — in fact, I still don’t — but it affected my sleep a lot; my dreamscape wasn’t all too appealing. And waking up from it yesterday morning, I really wanted to jot down my dream. Didn’t get the time, of course, since this designated tour guide needed to maintain her presence at work — especially on her first day back from the holidays — and had to tour peeps all over this city — two adults and one very moody toddler who was luckily less moody throughout the day and has granted her tour guide friendship through the sharing of her Minnie Mouse Pink and our yellow football and workout ball.
In a not-so-dilapidated-but-nearly-so office building, I waited for the elevator to open in front of me; I was trying to get to my workplace early, you see, as I was tasked to open up the office early in the morning every single day. Once I reached our office floor, I walked a dimly lit corridor with mediocre tiling that could have been of better quality.
On the far end of the hallway — on the left side of the hall — was an empty office space that never had any occupants in it. Supposedly, it was haunted and anybody who dared enter would die a horrible death. I had no proof that it was true, but I didn’t want to risk it either, so I never bothered about it. However, seeing as our office door was right across from it, my curiosity was always triggered every time I opened up the office in the morning and closed up the office at night. Sometimes my imagination would get the best of me and I end up scaring myself.
But today was not that day. I was feeling very brave and confident about everything, and I believed nothing would get in my way. Once the office day started, I was breezing through a lot of my tasks and by the end of the day, I had accomplished a lot more than I had imagined.
At the end of the day, when I was about to close up the office, I glanced quickly at the office door across and thought I saw a white face looking out, with the emptiest black eyes I’d ever seen. That scared me out of my mind and I locked up as fast as I could, running towards the elevators and away from that ghostly apparition.
That night, a few of my friends and I met up for dinner and started chatting about Halloween’s near approach. One friend of mine decided that she wanted to host a Halloween party and wanted the venue to be an actual haunted spot. And with that mentioned, I told everyone my experience that very day when I was locking up the office. I told them how frightened I was and what the history behind that office space was.
Supposedly, the story behind the place was that there was this young man who worked at that office, constantly working overtime and extremely dedicated to his work. One day he got locked in accidentally and the office, somehow, caught on fire. When people finally reached the office to see the damage done, they saw a charred skeleton’s hand against the bloodied glass main door. The poor man had died in the blaze, trying to claw his way out.
After this was shared, my friend had completely embraced the idea of renting out the the very office space featured in the short tale for Halloween. I was horrified by this, but I reluctantly helped her with her objective. When Halloween came, a group of us got all our decorations together and headed over to the venue. We set up, got the food in, and remained there until the party began.
Throughout that time, nothing awry occurred, except for the occasional odd gust of wind.
When people started arriving, all my worries had vanished, since everything seemed to be going smoothly. People kept coming and the whole place was starting to fill up really quickly. The music was loud and blaring, and for some reason, we were allowed to remain there for the whole night without any complaints from the office building’s management staff.
A few moments before midnight struck, my friend was starting to act very agitated and scared; she kept looking around her and would go from one part of the room to another. It was great cause for concern, as the white face I saw a week ago came into my mind. She then found a knife from somewhere and, at the stroke of midnight, started to brandish it around her like a weapon. Some people started to panic, but the majority laughed, thinking it to be some gimmick.
I knew better, seeing as her eyes had changed to the empty black ones I saw on the white face before; they seemed to suck a person’s soul out from just one glance. Her voice had deepened to that of a man’s, as evident by her sudden utterance of a deep guttural noise.
“Ehehe,” she chuckled, “Well, this is fun. Too bad I never got to be part of this sort of thing, because I died. I’ll be taking some of you with me instead.”
And with those words, she started slashing at people near her. Some still thought that it was all part of the party’s theme, but most started yo realise what was truly going on, especially from the realness of the knife.
I started to panic. And me being me, my form of panic usually comes with a brainstorming session that is intended for damage control. I came up with a brilliant, but crazy stupid plan, and since I had nothing else, I just went with it.
“Wait!” I screamed, “How is that going to help you? You’ll be filling this place up with more people, instead of just having the place all to yourself!”
“That’s the point, isn’t it? I don’t like being stuck here all on my own. I’d like some company. It gets depressingly lonely on my own.”
The ghost of a man came out of my friend’s body, leaving her dazed and confused. He looked directly at me, as if waiting for my reply. Which I promptly gave to him.
“What if you didn’t have to kill anyone here at all, yet got a friend out of it? I’m sure if you let all of us leave, we’d all be very grateful to you and would consider you a friend. What do you say to that?”
“Do you take me for an idiot? Once I let you all leave, none of you will ever come back. I’d be all on my own again. Frustrated and all alone. Not a good combination. With no one to haunt as well. This isn’t a good deal.”
He was about to go into the nearest person to continue the killing, but I immediately blurted out the thought that spurred me to start talking in the first place.
“You can haunt me instead. Haunt me and let all of us go. You can go wherever I go. Just please don’t kill anyone. Please.”
He pauses and looks at me for awhile. He starts walking towards me and I tense up, as his penetrating gaze considers me.
“I think I like this offer. I get out of here and go wherever you go, while you get no one killed. Win win situation. Deal.”
With that, he became a constant specter in my life, whispering words of discouragements at first, which gradually turned into words of encouragement. Initially, there were times when I would stand at the edge of a building and he would whisper that I should jump off. I never did, but there were times when what he said was very tempting.
As the years went by, his presence actually became an advantage and I met with success, despite living in an empty and lonely white house all on my own. But that came with the baggage.
Done! Yeah…the ending was somewhat cut off since I suddenly woke up.
Seriously though, I am really tired and sleepy. Woke up around 3:30am. Couldn’t go back to sleep, because, dammit, my brother’s body heat is just too much (it’s winter and I’m sweating — I’m just wearing a T-shirt and folded-up-to-the-knees jogging pants. It is that hot right now); I decided to write this instead. Now it’s approaching 6:00am.
My brother inverted his sleeping position; his feet is now in my face. Mom’s noticed I’m up and decides to get on my university transferee case (even in her easily-awoken drowsy state, she still remembers). Dad’s gonna get up soon. Then Mom’s gonna get up. Then bro’s gonna get up. Then I have to get up.
Another typical working class family day soon begins.