Close - Lost Souls
Close - Lost Souls
Author: Yna-Hmd
Prologue

Nilibot ng binata ang kanyang mga mata sa ganda ng kalikasan. The last time he and his friends went here was three years ago, and they were amazed by the scenery.

“Jace!” Sigaw ng isa sa mga kasamahan n’ya sa Yate. He immediately turned around when he heard his name. 

“Hmm?” he mumbled in response. Nakatingin ito sa lalaking nakasuot ng puting pang-itaas at kulay asul na pang-ibaba. Isa ito sa tour guides at dahil nakailang balik na s’ya sa lugar ay kilala na s’ya nito.

“Why are you alone? Where are your friends?” Tanong ng tour guide. 

Lingid sa kaalaman nila ay nagpunta ng pilipinas mag-isa ang binata. Hindi n’ya alam pero may nag-udyok sa kanya na bumalik sa lugar. Is it because of the scenery? Sasagot na sana ito nang biglang sumenyas ang isa sa kanyang kasamahan na maari na silang mag deep diving. 

“Okay, you got fifteen minutes to explore. Please don’t forget to look at your diving watch.” Paalala ng lalaki sa kanila.

Naghahanda ang binata ng mapadako ang tingin nito sa isang grupo na nakasakay sa isang yate na mas maliit ng kaunti kumpara sa gamit nila. He then suddenly thought of his group.

‘Have they eaten yet? What might they be doing right now?’ Alam n’ya na mag-eenjoy sila kung magkakasama ang mga ito ngayon. But they too need to go home and visit their families, s’ya lang naman sa kanila ang nagdesisyon na pumunta ng Palawan. Binalewala nito ang iniisip at maya-maya pa ay tumalon na ito at nagsimulang sisirin ang karagatan. 

At the mouth of the bay lies the Japanese refrigeration ship Irako. Resting nearly upright with a slight list to port, many consider a five-foot ship to be the best wreck dive in the Philippines. Due to its depth at between one hundred twelve to one hundred forty-eight feet, only experienced and equipped divers should penetrate. Luckily, Jace is experienced, so he could join them. 

Manghang-mangha ang binata. Whether or not you enter the superstructure, you’ll be treated to some of Coron’s best visibility to see schools of yellowfin tuna, large grouper, scorpionfish, lionfish, barracuda, batfish and many more. 

Meron pa s’yang limang minuto para sumisid ngunit napagdesisyunan nitong umahon na. He swam upwards, but another diver bumped into him and she seemed to look for something. He wants to help her but they have limited time kaya agad itong umahon. 

Nang masigurado nilang nakabalik na ang lahat sa yate ay napamasid ang binata sa paligid at napansin na wala na ang yate. 

“Wait, where’s the other yacht?” he asked. 

“Oh, it left ten minutes ago. Kanina pa sila dito.” Sagot ng kasamahan. He then remembered the girl who was still diving underwater. Alam n’yang galing ito sa grupo ng isang yate dahil lahat silang magkakasama ay puro lalaki. 

“Huh? I think there’s another diver who was left.” Mabilis itong tumalon pabalik sa dagat para tignan ang dalaga. Mabuti nalang nakita n’ya agad ito.

He swam toward her and signals her to go up. Mabilis itong naintindihan ng babae at labag man sa kalooban ng dalaga ay tumango na lang ito at sumunod sa binata. The next thing that happened was a shark attacked Jace. It happened so fast that she didn’t even notice another shark coming towards her. She was able to bring out a knife but unfortunately, mas mabilis ang pating kaya nasugatan ang kanang braso nito. 

Agad n’yang tinakpan ang sugat at napansin ang binata na aligaga dahil sa kanyang oxygen tank. Buti na lang at tangke ang nakagat ng pating at walang nangyari na masama sa lalaki. Mabilis n’ya itong nilapitan at lumangoy ang dalawa paitaas at agad silang tinulungan umahon ng mga kasamahan ni Jace.

The lady didn’t even feel the pain in her arm. Hindi naman kalakihan at malalim ang sugat kaya siguro hindi ganun kasakit para sa kanya. Looking at the young man, batid ng dalaga na gusto s’yang murahin nito. Ikaw ba naman ang muntik ng gawing hapunan ng mga pating ay sino ang hindi magagalit?

Agad nitong tinanggal ang kanyang maskara at snorkel at linapitan ang binata. He can’t see his full face since he still has his mask on, but she felt shy about what happened so she said sorry in a low voice. 

“Sorry…” Sambit nito habang nakayuko dahil sa hiya. Hindi s’ya nakarinig ng sagot mula sa binata kaya humingi muli ito ng pasensya at naisipan na makiupo na lang muna sa mga ibang kasamahan na nasa gilid.

She was about to turn around when the guy grabbed her arm. Kaba ang nararamdaman ng dalaga sa mga oras na ‘yon. Para bang may kuryente na dumaloy sa katawan nito nang magdikit ang kanilang mga braso dahil sa pwersa ng pagkakahila nito sa kanya.

This time, Jace removed his mask and their gaze instantly met for a moment,  his eyes expressed perplexity and curiosity. He felt like he had seen those pairs of eyes before. It was at this moment, when he felt something strange, that even he couldn’t tell. 

“Excuse me miss but, have we ever met before?”

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