Saturday, January 08, 2005

When the Dead Walk Among the Living

It was nothing short of horrifying. Horrifying. On the day where the whole university commemorated her death and her father's, she walked the quad, clad in black, her hair pulled away from her pale face.

I'd been talking about her in my morning classes, joking with my students. "You may be alive now...but who knows next semester?" A smatter of hesitant laughs. Deaths are a matter of fact to me nowadays. There is no mystery or fear left after all the deaths I've experienced in the past months. But Thursday, I was not prepared for.

Smoking my after-lunch cigarette, I and a few students litter the smoker's pocket. The wind was a mite cool and the skies overcast. A few puffs and I notice her on one of the pathways. From afar I recognized her features. My God. Dead girl walking.

Suffused with a cold kind of panic, I continue to puff away, avoiding eye contact with her approaching. From the periphery of my averted eyes I saw her sit on one of the stone benches. She seemed so alive. Please Lord, let her not speak to me. But me being who I am, "gifted" with certain abilities, I knew I wouldn't be so lucky. But this was the first time any spirit had ever manifested fully.

I was leaning down to kill my cigarette when she catches my eye. "Hi Ma'am. Do you remember me?" If I were prone to cold sweats, I'd have sweat pools by this time. "Of course." Maybe because she dropped my class last sem, maybe because she had such a difficult time with me, her restless ghost came to pay me visit.

"I didn't know Spanish this sem was so difficult."

"Oh, ok. I've to go, I have class." With no backward glance I hurry back up the department, panic barely contained with each step. Such a powerful haunting! Where the fuck was the class list?

All along I'd thought it was my former student who died in Phuket two weeks past. Same name. Same spelling. Different middle name. I really shoudn't watch so many Asian horror flicks so I wouldn't see dead people, walking around like regular people, even if they were still very fucking much alive.

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