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Sabado, Hunyo 11, 2011

Dangerous Doppleganger

I attended college not too far from my home, but stayed in a dorm inside the campus from Monday until Friday. I'd drive home on weekends most of the time because I had friends in my hometown that I'd like to spend time with. One Sunday, morning, I was sleeping late and my father had gotten up very early--as most country folk did in those days--and drove to check on his sister who lied alone about five miles away. By 10:30 a.m., he was already on his way back home.

At that time, I was just waking up and getting ready to go into the kitchen and fix myself some breakfast. As I was just about to come out of my room, my father burst in and asked, "How did you get back here so quick?" I had no idea what he was talking about and told him I'd just gotten out of bed. He insisted that I had nearly hit his car with mine about a mile from our house. He was approaching an intersection and a car exactly like mine--driven by someone he clearly identified as me--made a very fast turn and headed straight into his car.

He insisted it was me and that I had nearly side-swiped him had he not acted fast and hit the side road. Now, lest anyone thinks, "Oh, it was just a similar car," I should point out that it was definitely NOT a typical car I was driving at that time. I drove a black 1960 Studebaker Lark Coupe with gray front fenders and hood. There wasn't another one like it in the entire area. In addition, my father vehemently insisted it was me behind the wheel.

My mother and I both continued to explain that I had been in bed and the Lark had been parked out in the yard under the old oak tree the whole time. I also pointed out that if it were only a mile from the house and I had been going the opposite direction, I could not have turned around and made it home ahead of him without passing him. He conceded that made sense, but still insisted on checking to see if my car's engine was warm, of course, it wasn't.

The incident seemed to affect my father deeply. He was a very grounded person, and not given to any flights of fantasy or wild imaginings. HE felt that the incident meant something, but he didn't know what. Like many country folks, he spoke occasionally of "signs". He became convinced that the incident was a "sign" of some sort. Whatever the "sign" might have meant, it never became apparent to any of us. My father lied to the grand old age of 101, and died peacefully in his sleep in November of 2004. If dopplegangers are harbingers of death, that one took an awfully long time.

Story by: Gabriel Fernandez, from True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 22

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