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I’ve always feared ghosts.

Having been the hyper snail collector as a little girl, my yaya always had the difficult task of putting me to bed every night. Her solution was this: Bed-time stories of children-eating poltergeists that roamed around the apartment complex. So after a round of annoying sobs and blood-curdling squeals later, I would immediately seek refuge under my floral blanket and curl in fetal position – hoping my snails and I would survive the night unharmed.

I lost the snails in my teenage years, but I was still sleeping with the lights on; especially when after watching scary movies like The Ring. I would remember shutting my eyes tight, furiously blocking away any mental image of the dead girl eerily crawling her way towards me from the television set. At any minute, I was ready to wake the entire neighborhood up with a high-pitched Psycho scream.

I got older, and I finally managed to turn the lights off. I would toss and turn in my sleep, with my eyes snapping open to the faded sounds of footsteps by the door. As if on cue, my heart would start thudding against my chest – steadily at first, then faster by my third or fourth breath. It was with all this that I knew the ghosts finally came around to haunt me again…

But they were all different this time.

They came in forms of painful memoriesrelentless worries… and inescapable fears

One by one, they would slowly crawl their way towards me in the darkness… their faint whispers seeping into my head, their tight grasps reaching through me to grip my heart, and their disturbing presence soaking up all traces of emotional strength left lingering in me.

Fear and sadness would grip me in an instant, almost as if to paralyze me. I wouldn’t be surprised, yes, but disheartened, very much… Unlike before though, the once annoying sobs have now turned to deep sighs and the once blood-curdling squeals have now turned to silent cries of help.

And just like that little girl again, I would seek refuge under my floral blanket and curl in fetal position – hoping that maybe after a tear or two, the ghosts would finally disappear; and that my heart and I would survive another long, haunted night together…


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Optimistically Disenchanted | TNB