Earlier in my 10-11.30 Eng10 class, way up at the top floor of the CAL New Building, we were having a lively exchange regarding the public use of space and the history of the megamalls. According to Vicente Rafael, public spaces are defined by the "civil society," and has a tendency to migrate around the metropolis. Thus, Escolta was the place to be during the 1920s, but you wouldn't be found dead hanging out there in the 60s--you'd rather be rolling skating in Ali Mall. But then Cubao died and Makati was the new new Escolta, and now Cubao is the new Greenbelt.
So public spaces have a long history of use--i.e., all those Catholic school rumors about how they were formerly graveyards and/or Japanese garrisons where people were decapitated and now haunt the present buildings. Urban edifices also generate legends, like that of the snake in the dressing rooms of a certain mall in Ortigas. Or how leaders built huge concrete monuments in their names and then pour concrete all over everything. But if it's a new building, chances are there won't be any hauntings.
The door tentatively opened a crack. We all waited who would dare come in when there's only half an hour left of class time and after a quiz. No one came in.
"Oooh, do we have a visitor?"
I asked the big boy at the back of the room to close the door again. He stood up and made a big business out of shutting it. All the while, we uneasily joked about how we might just prove the belief wrong. I remembered this post by psychicpants about how this professor was talking to the air. Something like, "Get out of this room. You don't belong here anymore."
Just then there was a movement (a stirring perhaps?) and then the door was pushed open and aside, as if someone (or something) got irked and walked out.
It took a nanosecond for our screams to register and arms and legs fled to cling to the window grills, taking cover. I found myself entangled with the token Korean in class, who seemed quite unsure of what was happening.
"What was that?"
"The wind, maybe?"
"But there was no wind. And all the fans are off."
"Then it must be---"
More screams and we were ready to jump out at any sign of a chair or table lifting, an aparition. But I was still the teacher, after all. I tried to give the class back a semblance of normality while I disentangled myself from the Korean.
"Okay, time for your homework."
They scrambled for paper and pens, but we all stared at the gaping door, waiting for shadows and suppressed laughter to ring down the hallways, the crisp high fives for a prank well done, but there was none.