It was a night just like any other. It was late but I safely drove myself home through the slightly rainy weather.
Oh, I apologize. How rude of me telling my first story without introducing myself. My name is Don Eusebio Yufipaneo Dela Cerna Y. Mariano III but my friends call me Don Mariano.
At the moment, I am a successful Haciendero here at my .5 hectare farm land in La Union. I studied in Manila and at a prestige university at our province. Needless to say, I am successful as my name implies. So, in my spare time, I decided I would share my life’s great stories in hope that it will inspire and revitalize your hope and dreams for the future. And so with that, let us begin my first story, the story of The Stare Beyond the Window.
It was a night just like any other. It was late but I safely drove myself home through the slightly rainy weather. I knew everyone in the house was already asleep so I decided it’s best if I carry my myself, be a man and brave the rain — probably wetting my white shirt in the process. I parked right in front of the driveway with my headlights turned to bright. I can see the small droplets of rain illuminated by the two beams of light coming from the front of my vehicle. It was magical, like a unicorn with rainbows.
As I was about to go down, I noticed something moved inside the driveway — as if walking across from the back and into the front of the house.
For some reason I felt cold and suddenly my head started to numb. I suddenly though to myself, “My priceless collections, a thief!”
I reached behind my seat and grabbed hold of my 1994 signature bat from Divisoria and unlocked my door. I felt like a ragging man from a thousand-years of slumber.
The first few steps felt like I crossed the ocean for days. I felt tired, dragged down and my chest felt like it’s being crushed under the depths of the deep blue ocean — with the whales and the dolphins. A few more steps and alas, my hand found its way through the cold rainy driveway and into the dead-cold steel lock of our gate. Quickly, I unlocked the gate and as if the slowing of time from before was let loose, time rushed in as I ran towards the house and peek inside the window. There I saw that our maid was in a deep snoring (yet somehow still feminine) sleep in her bed in our large, finely decorated living room with three electric fans (two no longer working.)
Outside, I can still hear the engine running and the rain drops falling from the roof, the leaves, and on the ground beside me. The headlights clearly illuminating the side of the house, it’s as if a large, strong spotlight with a horde of angry mob and the police are outside our house ready to do unimaginable things.
I called upon our maid, “Ate, gising!” I loudly whispered.
“Pssst! Oi, Ate”, again, much louder this time but she still did not move.
I looked around and tried to see if there are any disturbances inside the house but I found none.
Inside, I walked across the living room floor as the noise from the outside slowly calmed down to a still dead silence. By this time I was near the staircase to our bedroom upstairs when I felt something. It felt like someone was watching me. I turned around and faced the window and what I saw challenged every inch of reason inside my head.
Like the feeling you get when you are walking and suddenly there is a step you did not anticipate — you fall. Time stops oh so briefly as you suddenly realize you are about to encounter something bizarre — beyond your control. You feel weightless and helpless and all you can do at this point is wait for the inevitable. That’s what I felt when I look out the window and see a headless lady staring towards me. All my hair stood on ends across my entire body and my ear went numb, my hands felt sweaty and my throat dried up. I blinked my eyes once, twice, a few more times but she never left and the one staring beyond the window stood and swayed quietly, she was facing towards me and it was at that moment I realized, it was her that I saw on the driveway earlier.
Frightened, I took a step back, and then another, followed by a few more until suddenly my back felt the edge of the wall. I dropped my bat and ran towards our maid, all the while not taking my eyes off the white lady facing me beyond the window.
“Ate, Ate!, GISING!” I shook her and woke her up.
“Ate, bilis halika” then asked her to come with me to the staircase room.
As I walked closer and closer I can see the white image slowly peeking behind the window — taunting me and as if she’s calling for me.
I stopped midway and asked our maid, “Ate, nakikita mo ba sya?” I wanted to know if she was seeing what I am seeing.
“Sino?” and my head went numb. Clearly I can see this, why can’t she — why couldn’t she?
“Ate no jokes, seryoso, wala kang nakikita sa labas?” I was starting to panic, my voice was shaking. She’s still there.
“Wala koya” And my head just exploded and my eyes wanted to burst in tears — my knees felt weak, I’m scared beyond my wits!
Suddenly, the headless lady moved and went straight to the window towards me. The wind blew along with her and as much as I wanted for this to be a bad dream; the reality is that everything that’s happening is real and my fortune frowns — I’m the only one who can see this.
“OMG Ate, wala kang nakikitang puti sa labas!!!” I closed my eyes and froze. It then went silent — dead silent and still, then I heard a voice peeked in my ear.
“Ay, teka, yung sampay kong towalya sa labas koya”, our maid hesitantly explained.
It turns out that she placed her long white towel over a hunger on the wall and the wind blew the inside fold of the towel making it look like it was a person — of all things, a headless person of all luck.
I tried to catch my breath as relief, frustration, and anger consumed me all at once. It was shameful, it was degrading, and it was not like me. A man of honor and bravery hiding behind a maid against a wind-blown hung white towel.
Shamed, I walked back to my car and drove it in the garage. The rain had already stopped and the ground has started to dry. Beyond the garage I could still see the white hung towel of our maid and I felt ashamed and annoyed. I could not believe how this little thing tricked me and bent the fabric of my reasoning and reality. It scared the man out of me.
As I locked the front door and walked towards my suite, a haunting thing suddenly struck me. One question tonight was left unanswered, do you know what that is?
Well it’s already late, we’ll talk more about that some other time. For now, that’s my story of The Stare Beyond the Window.
Until next time, stay tuned for more Kwentong Kabalbalaghan ni Don Mariano.