Friday, December 28, 2007

The Watcher

The University of the Philippines (U.P.) is the premier university in the country. Hundreds of alumni have become eminent personalities in every field of human endeavor. The university’s standard of academic excellence is undoubtedly the most exacting in the Philippines.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the state university’s students are a breed apart, the cream of the crop among the country’s student population. The stringent University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) effectively screens incoming freshmen. In a few weeks time after entering U.P., students are quickly acclimatized to the rigorous routine of student life in the prestigious school. Immediately before periodic exams, students review in groups or individually in order to absorb the bulk of the period’s lessons.

In one of the university’s campuses in the Visayan Region of the Philippines, the girls’ dormitory was located at the old Girl Scout Building of the city. The land on which the university was erected was donated by the city government. Hence many of the old public buildings in the area were taken over by the university.

It was two days before the first periodic examination. Many of the female students billeted at the dormitory had chosen to study by groups at nearby beaches, rest houses, retreat houses, etc. Only a handful of the girls were in the dormitory that day.

At eleven o’clock in the evening, one college freshman was studying alone in her dormitory room. Her three other roommates had left in the morning to study at a friend’s house. Deep in study at her table, she faced the open window where the cool night air gently wafted into the room.

At around eleven-thirty in the evening, she went to the nearby comfort room. Standing up did her good. It awakened her senses and she was sharp and alert once more. When she returned to her table, she sensed some movement out of the corner of her eye. She raised her head and looked.

Across the open window, in the pale moonlight, a man was standing silently still and looking at her intently. The girl was quite annoyed. She detested rude men staring at her and she disliked it now that it was happening at night. After around five minutes, the man was still there, unmoving and still looking at her. She could bear it no more. She stood up and proceeded to close the wooden window.

When the window had been closed, she uttered a sigh of relief at being freed from such rude staring. But her relief turned to horror when she realized that her room was on the second floor of the dormitory and the “man” was staring at her from outside her dormitory window twenty feet away on the same eye level as her! This means the “man” was floating in mid-air!

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