Back in the later 2000s, I was living with my family in Tarlac, where I spent all of my childhood. My Lola, who was living and working in the US at the time, had an assistant that lived with us and helped with taking care of my siblings and I. We called her Ate Dina. I was the eldest, my brother Tonyo was the middle child, and Pria was the youngest. We each had our own yaya on top of Ate Dina, since our mom was a nursing student, had night classes, and also worked full-time from home.
Now, Ate Dina had a sister--Ate Donya--who owned a swimming pool day resort. We spent most of our summer days there growing up. It was usually just me, my siblings, our yayas and Ate Dina that went. We never stayed later than 5:30PM to avoid going home in the dark.
On one particular day, we ended up going to the resort later than usual since we wanted to bring along 2 of our childhood friends--Lawren and Lawreinne, whom were also siblings. Lawren was around Tonyo's age, and Lawreinne was Pria's age. Their mom, Tita Mira, also came with us. We arrived at the resort at around 5PM, and since we were the only guests there that day, Ate Donya let us stay to night-swim.
The sun set after a couple of hours, and it got dark. My siblings, their friends and their yayas were all just sitting around the edge of the pool at that point, so I decided to enjoy the water alone.
I was tumbling, doing handstands and swimming around carelessly in the pool since I was alone. At one point, I submerged myself under the water to do another handstand and hit somebody. They were right next to me, so when I hit them, their whole body crashed into mine. I came out of the water and quickly started apologizing.
"Sorry, I didn't see you," I said as soon as my head came out of the water.
Everybody sitting around the pool stopped to look at me.
"Ha? You've been the only person in the pool for 30 minutes now, Ate," Tonyo replied. He was known to be a prankster, so I refused to believe him.
"Stop lying, Ton. I hit somebody. I know it was you. I'm not mad at you for bumping into me, I'm just saying sorry 'cause I hit you pretty hard."
"Ate, I swear, Lawren and I have been playing pogs for a long time now. Look at us, we're dry."
A chill went down my spine as I looked around at all of them. They were all dry.
"Pria, was it you? Or Lawreinne?" I asked, even though I could see that they, too, looked dry. Both of their hair were tied up in ponytails now.
"No, Ate," they both replied.
The yayas, Tita Mira and Ate Dina all backed them up. None of them had been in the pool since the younger kids left the pool.
I was very young, probably 10 or 11 years old, so I was scared out of my mind. I was also very confused as to what could I possibly hit in an empty pool. We immediately gathered our belongings. After I had changed into dry clothes, Ate Dina came up to me with an explanation. Ate Donya had confessed that a few years back, the previous owners of the pool resort had a 4-year-old daughter that drowned in the pool. The little girl was dead for hours before her parents found her lifeless body floating in the exact area I was swimming in.