THE sun was bright, hitting my skin with its shiny light.
"Ate Belle, gising." Pag gising sakin ni Sabrina.
I slightly opened my eyes. "Sobrang aga pa Sab, inaantok pa ako." Reklamo ko sabay takip ng kumot sa aking mukha.
Naglikot siya sa hinihigaan namin patuloy parin sa pagsasalita. "Pero ate, pupunta pa tayo kay Ate Ace diba?" Pagpapaalala niya.
I groaned before opening my eyes. "Alis nga dyan, babangon na ako." I said grumpily.
I finally stood up and went to my room to take a shower. After some time I was finally done and currently walking down the stairs.
"Wala ka ba pasok ngayon Sab?" Pagtatanong ni Marj.
I walked towards them and grab one sandwich, Marj probably made it. I shrugged and took a bite. "She's home schooled since the last accident." I replied.
Marj look at me. "Accident? What accident? I mean, how, when and where?"Marj asked frantically.
"Calm down Marj, that was ages ago. It was a car accident. Look at her arms closely, you could see scars from the accident. And there are some cuts from the bone surgery." I explained while eating my sandwich.
Marj then looked at Sab's arms to make sure. Then she slightly rest her back at the chair.
"Only if your Ate Ace and me was here. You wouldn't experience that traumatizing event." Marj said while caressing Sab's hair.
Sab looked up at Marj. "I'm okay ate, that was an accident. And I kinda like being home schooled. I get to focused with my study and do the things I want at the same time." Sab said trying to ease Marj.
"Tara na nga, let's visit Ace, I'm sure that bitch is waiting for us." I said with my usual bitchy voice.
Marj and Sab just laugh at me and we started walking towards the car.
WE'RE already at the parking lot, but the wierd thing is, kunti lang ang mga kotse na nandito. We choose to ignore it and just walk towards the lobby.
I creased my forehead because of the things we saw. The doctors and nurses, so was the hospital staff was panicking. Transferring the patients through ambulances.
As we enter the lobby a nurse approached us, saying we should go and just stay home. I'm confused as to what is happening. Emergency sound keeps ringing, it's annoying, also a red light keeps blinking in sync with the emergency sound. The whole place was a mess because of the people running.
We immediately left the place and got to our car. We speed it up and goes home. Marj on the other hand keeps calling Ace, even tho Sabrina was reluctant to leave.
We are home and panicking. Frantically calling Ace and wondering what was happening. The hospital awhile ago was a whole lot of mess.
"Sab, go to your room. Lock the door and windows!" I shouted at Sabrina due to my frustration.
I looked at Marj when the phone rings. She immediately picks it up. "Ace! God! What was that awhile ago? That was a mess. What's happening? Are you okay? Where are you?" Sunod sunod na tanong ni Marj almost shouting habang kinakagat ko naman ang kuko ko dahil sa nerbyos.
"I-loud speak mo." Aligagang sabi ko sa kanya.
She then pressed the loud speak button as I hear Ace breathing in and out. "Answer us Ace! Arghh!" I almost screamed frustratedly.
"Calm down. First go to the grocery store. Buy everything that is needed. We need to have a stock. I don't know as to when I'll be home, but keep safe. Don't let Sabrina goes out. Use all your money to buy foods and drinks if possible or buy daily needs and necessities." Ace said calmly. "I'll explain everything once I'm home." She said as she end the call.
Marj and I immediately go out and hop the car. Riding it to the nearest store. As we reached our destination, everything seems normal.
We immediately took two carts and buy everything we need, from food, drinks and necessities. As what Ace instructed. Everyone looked at us as if we've grown two heads. But we choose to ignore them. I know we looked like doing panic buying, but we are literally panicking. We also buy some medicine in case of emergency.
After buying everything and making sure that we didn't neglect a thing, we goes home and waited Ace there.
"Ate? Ate Marj?" We heard Sabrina's faint voice calling us.
We hurriedly go to her room to know what happened to her or what does she need.
As I knock at her door she immediately open it up. She hugged me tightly.
"A-ate I'm scared" she said slightly trembled.
Marj and I share a knowing look and I caress her hair to calm her down.
"Let's go to your bed Sab. Let me cuddle you." Marj said. Sab obliged and cuddle Sabrina.
Then I look at them. "I'll cook our lunch." I said and closed the door, as I walk towards the kitchen, I felt a sudden shiver down my spine. And I suddenly thought of Ace.
A knock on the door woke me up from my reverie. "Sino yan?!" I shouted.
"Si Ace to."
Dali-dali naman akong pumunta sa harap ng pinto at pinapasok si Ace. Kasama din niya si Maxrhein, her younger sister. They also have an older brother, but I think he's still in state.
"Pasok kayo." I said. I looked at Ace's eyes and signaled her to follow me. "Max, go to Sab's room. Also kindly tell your Ate Marj to come here."
Tumango lang si Max at naglakad na papuntang kwarto ni Sabrina.
Hinawakan ko si Ace sa braso tsaka bumulong. "What's happening?" I asked her.
She just calmly look at me and removed my hand at her arm. "Let's wait for Marj. I'll tell you everything once we settle down. For now, think rationally and calm down." She said.
I sighed and sat at the sofa. We waited for Marj, silence took over us while waiting.
We heard footsteps nearing us. So we turned our head and saw Marj approaching. She immediately sat down and look at us.
I look at Ace and uttered. "Now Ace, care to explain what was happening?"
She took a deep breath and started talking. "Our hospital in state discovered a new virus. It was the deadliest virus so far. We called it NDV-01 or Narcolepsy Deadly Virus-01. It was discovered at a region around South Africa. The small town there was already dead because of this said virus. Some of the native people survived and they are isolated from other patients. We also created a lab just for them. Scientist all over US gathered in one laboratory to create a vaccine or an anti-body that can make a stop to this virus. This is actually the reason why I'm here in the philippines. To report the said virus. It can't be reported through media yet, because the US doctors and Scientist don't have an information about this virus. All we know is, this virus is deadly, it can make a person look like sleeping, that's why we called it Narcolepsy. No trace of any bacteria from the body. But we ran series of blood test, and we discovered a rare virus." She stopped.
Marj and I shared a look. "And then?" I urged her to continue.
"It was already spreading silently. A silent killer literally. Many body in the state was reported dying due to over sleeping, which is unbelievable. But we know better. Doctors and scientists don't want to make this go public yet. They don't want people to panic for they don't have enough details. It can also be the cause of panic attacks by seniors." she paused then continued. "I'm on the directors office to talk to him and discuss about this virus. But she was with his wife. And the wife refuses to leave and just sat there to listen to us. I hesitated at first but he assured me, so I discussed it to him while his wife was listening. But at the mention of NDV-01, his wife started screaming that eventually got everyone's attention. She started spilling the words I've said at the directors office. And that was the start of the fussed that you witnessed at the hospital this morning." She explained.
I took a deep breath, absorbing that information in one go. Shit! Viruses sure are scary. Even I was afraid. I got worried over Sabrina's health. She's a sickly girl. Mahina ang immune system niya.
I looked at Ace and asked. "Wala pa bang progress sa pagtuklas ng vaccine or anti-body?" Nag aalalang tanong ko.
She then again sighed and look down. "As of now, wala pa talagang progress. Unti-unti ng dumadami ang cases sa States. Baka umabot na ang virus dito sa pinas in just a few hours or maybe days. Kaya sinabihan ko kayo na mag-stock ng pagkain, incase bumilis ang pag-spread nito, all over the world."
Kinagat ko naman ang aking kuko sa pag aalala. I looked at Marj when she caressed my back softly.
"For now, calm down Belle. Di pa natin alam ang mga mangyayari so don't overthink just yet." Marj's voice slightly calm me. But the worry and fear can't be erase that easily. It's still there, lingering at the depth of my mind.
"Puntahan mo muna yung mga bata Belle. Kami na ni Marj ang bahala sa pagkain. Rest for now." Ace said and smiled at me softly.
I walked up to Sabrina's room. I knock trice and she immediately opened it up. I saw maxrhein lying on the bed. Maybe they're talking random things. I locked the door and drag myself towards the bed and just slam my body at it. Malaki naman ang kama ni Sab.
"Ate, what did you three discussed out there?" Sabrina asked curiously. "What happened at the hospital this morning? Why did the nurses and doctors panic?" Sunod sunod na tanong niya.
I just closed my eyes and didn't answer Sabrina's question. My mind was still processing, so I can't answer her for now. As minutes goes by, I didn't know that I feel asleep so fast.
DINNER time when I woke up. The scenario that happened this day replayed before my eyes, like a movie clip.
I sighed and look around. Sabrina and Max wasn't in the room. Maybe they're eating dinner right now. I opened the door and walked towards the kitchen. I saw them eating at the table with a tense atmosphere around. Seems like Ace already told Sab and Max. I sat down and Marj handed me a plate. I put rice on it and started eating.
"Di ka na namin ginising kaninang lunch kasi ang himbing ng tulog mo."sabi ni Marj.
Siya lang ata nakakapagsalita sa kanila eh. The three was silent the whole time. Wala akong ganang kumain pero I needed strength and vitamins.
We eat in silence. Tunog lang ng kutsara at plato maririnig mo. I'm almost done when Ace spoke. "Be careful. Be ware. Don't stay at crowded places. Wear masks. Wear gloves. Don't talk to stranger, specially foreigners. Sab and Max, don't go out." Ace said before she stood up and went to the sink with her plate on hand.
"Max at Sab, kayo mag hugas ngayon." Sabi nito bago tuluyang umalis.
I sighed and continued eating the last spoon full of rice. I then stood up and drank one glass of water before going to my room to continue sleeping.
As I opened the door of my room I saw Ace at the balcony. Talking to someone. With a report chart maybe, in her hand. I just ignored her and slam my body at the bed. Feeling the softness of its matress. After some minute, Ace entered the room again. Maybe she's done talking to someone over the phone.
She put her phone at the bedside table and also lay beside me. We're both wide awake, still waiting for Marj. For sure tinulungan na naman niya yung dalawa sa paghuhugas.
Sa aming tatlo, si Marj ang pinaka soft-hearted. Tipong kunting paawa mo lang dyan, bibigay na yan. Si Ace naman ang pinakamatalino at kalmado. Ako naman, well, the bitchy one. Madali lang din akong ma-nerbyos o mag alala. I maybe bitchy at times but I still have my care.
As we waited for Marj, I didn't know that I feel asleep.
"Belle! Belle wake up!" Nagising ako sa nakakarinding sigaw ni Marj.Hinilamos ko ang aking palad sa aking mukha. "What's the fuss?""You need to see this, get up Belle. Now!" She said in a hurry.I abruptly got up and she hold my hand and drag me near the window.I was terrified of what I was looking at right now. Ang daming tao na nakahiga. Para lang silang nahimatay. I almost cringe at the sight.Before I can touch the window to open it, Ace immediately close the curtains in order to block the view."Stay away. Don't go out. The Virus may not airborne but it was still infectious. If you don't want to be infected, then stay still and never go out. Well, you can go out but you need to cover up. From the tip of your hair to the bottom of you feet." She said then walked out of the room. "And oh, one more thing. Be careful."Napaupo ako sa sahig pagkalabas n
It's the 3rd day of being home quarantined because of the said virus.As we ate our breakfast silently, Rye suddenly spoke. "I got a call from Dr. Fierro. According to him, there's a location that evacuates the remaining citizens here." He looked at Ace. "And we have to help out. He sent me the location last night through email. I'm not familiar with the place but we'll use gps to lead us there. As for now, we'll not be evacuated, we'll just help out the evacuees to move out. As per Sab and Max, we'll send then away and make sure to be the first to be evacuated. Us adults will be left behind and help out." He explained.Marj shrugged her shoulder, "As long as the kids were safe, then I'm willing to help out." She said and ate a spoon full of food. She's a heavy eater, yep.After eating we cleaned everything up. Ace readied everything, from the suit to the things we need for travelling. Foods, beverages and other necessities like health care and girly stuff
He's Jed, together with a child?!Dali dali akong tumayo upang tulungan sila, sugatan ang bata na kasama niya, buhat-buhat niya ito at nilapag agad sa nakalatag na kumot pagkarating niya sa amin."What happened?" Kalmadong tanong ni Rye ng mailapag na ni Jed ang sugatang bata.Tumingala ito sa'min bago dahan dahang tumayo at pinagsalikop ang mga palad. "We're attacked by some stranger, they're looked like zombies, they're even acting like one." pagpapaliwanag nito.Kumunot ang aking noo sa narinig. Zombies? That's impossible."What do you mean?" Biglang sabad ni Ace.Kinakabahang tumingin si Jed kay Ace. Maybe he still haven't gotten over with the fact that Ace almost broke his arm. I chuckled inside my mind."T-They're acting weird, Ace. They're attacking us mindlessly. They seemed controlled by something or perhaps... someone?" Pag aalangan pa niya.Napatingin naman kami kay Rye ng bigla itong kinwelyuhan si Jed.
He came in front. "Ako na maghahatid sa kanila papuntang safe zone." Pag bubulantaryo pa nito.Tumango naman si Rye. At humarap ulit sa mga taong nandoon. "Now, since our car is only a small van, it can only fit up to 10 to 12 people inside. We'll make sure to prioritize the kids and the senior citizens.""We'll also search for cars, and also spot some nearby people that is also camping here. Baka kailangan din nila ng tulong." Pagpapaliwanag pa niya. "Marj?" Tawag nito kay Marj. Tumango lang si Marj na parang alam na ang gustong ipagawa ni Rye sa kanya.Tumayo si Marj at isa isang pinalapit sa kanya ang mga bata. There were a total of 4 kids, including the wounded one. Then there are 17 senior citizens in the crowd. So a total of 21 will be prioritized. Since sampo lang ang magkakasya, pinauna na nila ang mga bata bago sinunod ang nga senior citizen na may mga kapansanan na, like those seniors na hindi na nakakakita at nakakalakad."Hey." Tawag pansin sa