Miyerkules, Hunyo 29, 2011

Internet Cafe

Jomer is a 3rd year civil engineering college student in UST. His family lives in Davao. But because he wanted to study in UST, his family allowed him to do so since they can.

Jomer is a rich kid. His father suggested that he should live in a nearby place. That's why his father funded all his expenses in an elite condo type dormitory a few walk away from UST.

It was one afternoon when Jomer's laptop crashed and he wasn't able to reopen his computer. The laptop was his since his first year in UST. It's old. And it didn't surprise him that it got broken that day. The laptop has a lot of issues lately, like failing anti-virus, slow response of the laptop, failure to execute tasks in short time, etcetera.

Jomer, just like other teenagers, is attached to the internet. Like, he always feel lame when he is offline or if he's unable to go online. He decided that he should go to an internet cafe. He'll just ask his father to buy him a new laptop the next day.

So Jomer left the dorm and went straight to a big internet cafe nearby. The internet cafe more expensive than other shops, but he doesn't mind.

When Jomer entered, he was impressed by the size of the internet cafe, not that it's the first time he had ever entered it. He was always impressed by it. It can accompany up to forty users. The air conditioners are working fine, the seats are also comfortable, the computer monitors are flat and wide, and the internet, if he's not mistaken, is upto 1MB/S fast.

There are at least 10 people using computers that time. The internet cafe was square-shaped, and there are four rows of computers, each row has 10 computers.

Jomer got the internet card and chose the last computer in the fourth row. Not that he's going to watch porn or stuff like that, but he just like to isolate himself when using the internet. He does not like people around him looking to what he's doing.

He turned on the computer and waited for a couple of minutes, then he entered the code printed in the internet card. When he accessed the computer, the monitor turned black, indicating that it is loading. When a computer screen turns black, usually, you see your reflection.

But Jomer was shocked to what has he seen. He saw behind him a girl in white with long hair covering her face and grayish skin, giving the impression that she was a corpse. At first, Jomer was annoyed because he doesn't like people watching what he's doing while net surfing. But when he realized what he saw and turned to look who's behind him, he was dumbfounded to see that no one was there. The nearest net user to him was three seats away, making it impossible that that person might be the one Jomer saw.

After a few minutes of thinking, he shrugged and started browsing internet websites.

Just like us, when we're online, we get disoriented about what the time already is. Jomer was there for almost five hours, and it's already around 9:00PM when he realized how long has he been there.

But when he's about to log off, three friends messaged him. Then he forgot about going home and continue to browse. The row where he is using the computer is now deserted. He's the only one there...when he felt the temperature suddenly dropped. It's too cold now.

In the long row of computers, the opposite part from where Jomer is, a girl in white dress sat. Jomer is busy chatting with his friends that he barely noticed the newcomer. They were 8 computers apart, anyway.

As Jomer continued net surfing, he chuckled, laughed hard, etc..but the girl in the other side of the row is sitting still, comparable to a statue. That's when Jomer noticed. He turned to look at the girl, he can't figure out actually what she looks like because her long, black hair is covering her face. Only her white dress is visible because that side where she sits was quite dimly lit.

Odd, he thought. But he continued.

At 10:00PM, Jomer decided to log off and go home already. When he stood up, he took the empty cup of coffee that he bought a few hours earlier and the internet card. He walked past the girl, but as he walked behind her, he realized that the girl's computer monitor wasn't turned on at all! Or the girl wasn't using the computer.

Jomer asked the girl in the counter about the girl in white.

"Ate, sino yung babae dun malapit sa computer ko na nakaupo pero di naman nagamit ng computer? (Miss, who's the girl sitting near me who's not even using the computer?)" Jomer asked.

The girl in the counter looked confused. "Sino sir? (Whom?)"

"Yung babae, sa computer 1 sa fourth row. (The girl in computer 1 in the fourth row.)"

"Sir, ikaw nalang po ang nandito ngayon. Usually, pag Friday, madalang na ang customers pag ganitong oras kasi nasa gimik ang mga tao. (Sir, you're the only customer at the time. Usually, during Fridays, during these times, customers are rare for they are on their hang outs.)"

To this, Jomer didn't respond. He paid the lady and left immediately. He realized what he saw. He thought that it might also be the girl in white that he saw with his reflection the computer screen earlier.

And after that night, somebody told Jomer that before the internet cafe was built in that place, there was an ancient looking (Spanish-type) house that stood there. And that house served as a cheap two-story lady's dorm. And the story about a girl in white wandering through it and haunting it was already viral that time. The person who told Jomer the story concluded that even that the house was demolished, the ghost stayed.


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