Supernatural-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
OUR walking club meets at breakfast at least once a week. It’s part of our Saturday morning ritual: walk, talk and eat.
Like all people our age, we are creatures of habit. Thus, we were able to develop a seating arrangement without anyone telling us where to go. Every breakfast, we simply proceeded to our respective favorite places at the table.
One Saturday, a couple of months after one of our members, Parklane Hotel owner Manuel Ting was ambushed in June 2010, we had breakfast at the Casino Español. We had kept Maning’s chair vacant during the previous weeks but that Saturday, Alex Ong, whether by inadvertence or design, sat on it.
Alex was reading while waiting for our food to be served when suddenly the newspaper that he was holding caught fire. Nothing extraordinary there since there was a lighted candle nearby except that I thought I saw the flame leap out of the candle’s glass container and ate the newspaper.
Anyway, after the fire was put out, Alex put down the paper but remained in Maning’s old seat. Not long after, the glass containing the candle sort of exploded and broke into pieces. Alex moved to another seat and we had no further incident.
Until now, I’m still trying to convince myself that the flame that stuck out of the glass like a tongue was just my imagination, that my eyes were playing tricks on me. As for the glass breaking into pieces, maybe it was because of the heat, never mind that there were other glasses that contained lighted candles on the table and none broke.
When I was a young practitioner, our law office was located on the mezzanine of a building along Osmeña Blvd. On the ground floor under the stairs was a copying machine operated by a girl who wore the same perfume since the day of the installation of the paper copier.
One morning, we were surprised to find that no one was operating the machine. The girl who wore perfume was no longer there under the stairs. We would later learn that she committed suicide after she broke off with her boyfriend.
A few weeks after her death, I was in the office alone, the other lawyers and the staff having all gone home while I had to work overtime because I had a deadline to beat. We shared a common restroom with the other tenant on the floor-–the regional office of a commercial bank-–so when nature called a little past midnight, I had to step out.
I was washing my hands when a familiar scent filled the restroom. I froze when I realized that it was the perfume of the paper copier girl that I smelled. When I recovered from my shock, I ran as fast as I could to the stairs, shouting the name of Roland, one of the bank’s security guards. When we both went to the restroom, the scent was gone.
I am not a superstitious person. Maybe, I had been working too hard that night that I was already hallucinating. Maybe, I was sleepy and was imagining things. Maybe, another person had been in the restroom much earlier and he had the same perfume as the dead girl. Maybe, someone (Roland?) found the girl’s perfume in one of the drawers of her table and pulled a prank on me by spraying it inside the restroom while I was not looking.
Or maybe, there is simply no rational explanation to the two events that I had witnessed and/or experienced. Maybe, there is truth to the supernatural.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.