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I was aroused from my sleep at around 2 am. by the creaking sound of my door.  Somebody sneaked inside my room!  I remember that  I forgot to lock it before I slept because I had a little argument with my girlfriend over the phone.  Since it was dark (as I always put off the light during bedtime), I could only see a silhouette.  The thief  appeared like he was limping and went straight to my drawer.   My heart pounded fast, but fearing for my life I just pretended to be asleep.

I could see that the thief carried a penlight to make it easier to find things.  What worried me was my laptop and my wallet which had cash in it intended for my tuition fee.  “Bog! Bog! Bog!”, I could hear my heart beating.  I tried to figure out how I could call for help. I wanted to reach out for my cellphone, but the thief was standing near it.  If I did, I could get stabbed any time because thieves have no mercy.  They kill for the money and since I was alone in my room nobody could hear me.

After a while, I noticed that the thief went out of the room.  I waited for around ten minutes before I decided to look around if I was safe enough to check my belongings.  Surprisingly, my laptop and my wallet were still there! Everything was there, including my watch.  I was relieved, and so I wondered what really happened.  Was I just dreaming? I tried to pinch myself to make sure that I was awake.   Maybe, it was because I watched a suspense-thriller movie that night, so I must have brought it to my sleep.

There were only two of us in the house, because after my dad died last year, my mom stayed with her older brother in Cebu to try her luck as domestic helper.  My older sister also followed after deciding to enroll in a nursing school there. My cousin (from a distant relative of my dad), was sent by my mom to give me company in the house.  He worked at a massage parlor, so his time was rather erratic.  Most of the time I was alone in the house, and so the thought of a thief inside my room really frightened me.

But, if it was just a dream, there was no reason to be afraid because the keys were all with me.  So decided to get out of my room.  To my surprise, I found my cousin drinking coffee at our dining table.  I thought he did not come home that night.  “Naka uli diay ka?”, I asked.  “Nabuntagan mi sa akong mga barkada, mao nga ni diretso na lang ko dri sa balay”, he replied.      I had a feeling that  he himself did not expect that I would be up very early.   I knew that he was hiding something.  “Sige, matulog sa ko”.  He immediately stood up and locked his room.  I looked at the watch, and it was still 3:30 am.

In the school, I went straight to the cashier to pay my tuition fee.  To my surprise, I lost P3,500!   I was sure that I had P6,000.00 with me which my mom sent me thru Palawan Pera Padala the day before.  In fact, I counted my money before I slept that night.  I tried to figure out whether I bought something which I may not have remembered.  But, I did not go anywhere else except home.

I froze at the thought that I was not really dreaming that night.  A thief came inside my room!  But, if a thief managed to sneak in, why were my laptop, my wallet and my watch still there?  Why did the thief get only the P3,500.00 and left me the remaining P2,500.00?  Something was terribly wrong here.  I was really confused.  I needed to act swiftly.  Anyway, since I still had some savings in the bank I decided to withdraw another P3,500 so I could pay my tuition fee.  I finally took the mid-term exam and forgot all about it.

A month later, I was aroused again from my sleep by the creaking sound of my door.  Somebody sneaked inside my room!  But, I remembered that I locked the door before I slept.  I saw the thief carrying a penlight again to make it easier to find things.  I was trembling with fear.  I was sure that I was not dreaming.  I was totally awake this time around.  But, I could not move to stop him because I was so frightened.  I have heard of people getting killed because they fought with the thieves.  I wanted to call a friend, but I was trembling. I could not find the numbers.   I felt like my hands were tied!

I had to hold my breath a little longer to keep the thief unaware that I was awake.  But how could I drive him out?  I decided to fake a cough.  “Ubo! Ubo! Ubo!”.  I moved my body to the right, just enough to see him.  Hearing my cough, the thief panicked and quickly left the room.  What a good strategy! I stood up right away, and slightly opened the door.   It was my cousin!  He walked fast towards his room and locked it right away.   I finally caught the thief!

I was still trembling, but I remembered my wallet.  I  checked my money and found out that he managed to take P3,000.00!  Right there and then, I called my mom and told her about it.  She flew to Iligan the following day and talked to my cousin.  She asked him to pack his things and to leave the house immediately.

I finally felt safer after he left.  But, it took a long time before I recovered from the frightening experience.  My mom did not leave my side anymore until she was called by the agency to leave for Qatar.   But, she made sure that her younger sister (a spinster) stayed with me.  My cousin actually apologized for doing it to me, but I could tell by his eyes that it would not be his last.  One day, KARMA will finally catch him up.