We ran to catch the sliding doors of the train. It wasn’t the rush hour. We positioned ourselves at the corner as if to block the rest of the world. Time could have stood still but an angry voice broke through our invisible wall.
“Why do you keep on following me?!?”
I looked up to see a woman in her mid-forties, carrying a shoulder bag, looking wildly at us. Her short wavy hair seemed to accentuate the dazed and furious look in her eyes. At once, I was struck by fear. She looked as if she wanted to attack us, somebody, anybody.
We hastily turned our backs to her and tried to hide ourselves in anonymity by tinkering our cellphones.
“Are you calling your Master? Are you informing him that you found me?!?”
I closed my eyes and wished her away. I opened them and she was still there. I looked imploringly at the other passengers. They were all staring at us. They were all waiting for something to happen. I can almost touch the air of tension and anticipation in the air.
The sliding doors opened as the train stopped at a station. More people came in and then we were now hidden among the throng of sweating bodies.
“Damn you, all! Why can’t you just leave me alone?”
She stood there, as if she had a protective circle of wall. As if she placed a circle of salt around her to keep away evil spirits.
Hidden, I let out a sigh of relief and hoped she won’t see us until we get off at the next station.
The driver informed the passengers that the next stop was Cubao station. More passengers flocked by the exit and the woman was jostled and pushed with them. We looked on to see how much she struggled, how much she tried to avoid touching another person but it was hopeless. We waited breathlessly for the moment chaos would appear.
The sliding doors opened and like a stampede, the people came out of the train. The woman was dragged out of the train. All the while, she kept on shouting and flailing her arms, asking everyone to stop touching her.
Soon the chaos died down. I grabbed my companion towards the door. The woman was still there by the platform, dusting herself as if she has been dirtied by the people around her. Suddenly, she saw us watching her.
“Go away! Leave me alone! Get away from me, you—”
She clutched her chest in pain. Her eyes began to fill up with tears of rage and agony. Then everything went blurry for a few seconds as I sucked in her soul.
“A job well done, my student. A job well done.” my Master said.