It was the summer of 1990. There were only the two of us, Mommy and I. We recently moved in an apartment at the heart of Pasig City, a busy neighborhood that never sleeps almost. The apartment we rented was one of the two-door, charming, modern, spacious flats in town.
Twilight time. Mommy was not home from the office yet as always, but a very close friend from my previous school named Jey was spending vacation with me.
We lazily lay on the floor after a tiresome day of chores and games that kept us busy. She stayed beneath the stairs, I beside the door. We talked of the future vacations we would have, where we would go, what we would do. We reminisced the many things we did the previous summer we had at my grandparents' house in the province; the strolls, the picnics, the crushes, the reprimands, everything! How we missed the fun!
I was engrossed in our conversation when she suddenly cut me to ask a question.
"Sweet, is Aunt Aey home already?"
"Not yet," was my response.
"Are you sure?" Jey insisted.
I turned to look at her then replied, "Of course! Jey, I'm here beside the door."
With that realization, she rushed towards the porch in an instant. I came after her. Her paleness and shiver showed even in the dim lights outside. She was clearly frightened of something.
I held her hands, they were so cold. With tears in her eyes, she said in nearly a whisper, "There's a lady upstairs! She peeked through the handrails and smiled at me!"
Needless to say, we had waited for Mommy to arrive before we went in. I don't recall how long we stood there. I don't even remember how we braved getting inside nor how we were able to sleep in my bedroom upstairs.
What I am certain of is that Jey never went back in our apartment after that incident.