I absolutely hate waking up early on Sundays. I am someone who really loves her sleep and nine hours are a must for me to feel truly satisfied, which is quite atypical because the average person just needs seven to eight hours to feel one’s best. I’m probably one of those few who fall outside the norm, towards the higher end of the spectrum, as opposed to the short sleepers who can do very well with just four hours of sleep. Initially I did worry about my sleep though as research has shown that people who sleep either too much or too little have a risk of increased mortality!  

An optimum of nine hours means that I feel like crap every morning when I wake up for work. On Friday nights, I do get about nine hours of sleep if I don’t go anywhere else but home after work, but because I wake up at about nine am for my yoga class, I do not get to laze in bed as much as I like. Hence Sunday mornings are the only chance I have during the week. Unlike most, I don’t sleep late on weekends. In fact, I try to go to bed even earlier to grab more sleep. But even after ten hours of sleep, I’m very reluctant to get my ass off my bed on a Sunday morning. I will roll around on the bed, slip in and out of sleep and only get up when it’s past eleven (anytime before that seems an indecent time for me to start my Sunday) or when I feel a headache coming. Yes, when I get too much sleep, I get pretty severe headaches that throb non-stop, threatening to burst my cranium until paracetamol comes to save the day.  

If anyone tries to wake me up for no reason before I wake up naturally on a Sunday morning, I can get irritated. Waking me up to go for a breakfast which we have agreed on the night before is a valid reason. Waking me up just to eat breakfast which my mum has bought back or just because it’s already noon is not one. Occasionally, my mum will do the latter at which I will shoo her off in the most polite way I can muster on a Sunday morning.

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by my alarm which I set at ten am for reasons I couldn’t fathom. I was probably attempting to start my day early because as we Chinese like to say, “早睡早起,身体好”. Of course that didn’t make me get off the bed. I merely turned off the alarm. I already had ten hours of sleep which was way enough but I was reluctant to get up. Especially when my sis was still sleeping on her bed next to mine. Hence for the next two hours, I simply lied in my bed, tossing and turning around, enjoying the cool morning (it was a rainy morning!) and my warm bed and blanket, thinking about nothing in particular, slipping in and out of sleep.  

For the two hours, I heard my sis waking up, getting out of her bed to wash up and subsequently switching on the laptop in the living room. My mum also woke up and had breakfast in the living room. Like I said, I had slept enough, I was conscious but slipped in and out of sleep as I remained on my cozy bed full of familiar comforting smells (but no odours). I think I was slipping into sleep again when I felt two firm pats on my right arm. I was sleeping on my left side, facing the wall (because the left side of the bed is against the wall). Someone was standing beside my bed and patting me as I had my back towards the person.

Naturally I thought it was my mum because no one else in the family had the actual guts to wake me up. But strangely, I didn’t hear the door opening. I turned around and true enough, there was no one else in the room with me. I pondered for a second as I looked around the empty room, whether I should freak out (my heart didn’t even skip a beat nor was it even racing). I decided against that and went back to sleep again haha. I only pulled myself out of bed half an hour later when it was almost noon (the magical hour! I’m the Sleeping Cinderella!).

I went out to the living room where my sis and mum were, totally oblivious of what had happened in the bedroom (a scream would have helped), and told them the incident. To which my sis loudly exclaimed, “Must be the ghost from Mummy’s bedroom! Can ask it to go to Ling (our youngest sis, who was still sleeping at that time)’s room instead?” Now, there’s a story behind this: Words (ok, who else but from my sis) has it that one fine morning, after my sis woke up and she walked from our bedroom to my parents’ to use the bathroom, she saw my dad still lying on the bed. After using the bathroom, my dad was still sleeping on his bed. She then washed up and had breakfast in the living room where my mum was. That was when she discovered from my mum that my dad went out early that morning. My sis was shocked and looked into the master bedroom. True enough, there was no one lying on the bed anymore!

My sis was a bit spooked out. Afterall she was the “lucky” one who accidentally bumped into my grandpa in the unlit kitchen one night when we were still young. We were all in my mum’s bedroom then, sitting on the bed and chatting away as my mum ironed clothes. My sis went into the kitchen to get something and as she happily skipped into the kitchen, she saw an elderly man surrounded by somewhat appropriately ghostly green aura. She stopped in her tracks, shocked to the point of breathlessness and ran back to the bedroom. She didn’t say anything about that encounter until years later. The quaint thing is that we have never seen our grandpa before as he passed away when I was just one. All we have left of him was an old photo of him and my grandma. Yet my sis could recognise the glowing old man from the kitchen as our late grandpa from that photo!

When she finally told us of that paranormal encounter years later, the first thing my mum said was actually “Oh so you can see him too”. Apparently when we were younger, my mum would wake up in the middle of the night to check on us. When she went into our bedroom (we didn’t close our door then), she could see our grandpa (also somewhat blurred and greenish) looking at us from the side of the beds. She would then walk back to her bed silently and go back to sleep. “It’s not like he’ll harm you all anyway”, my mum said. For my mum, neither religious nor superstitious, she has already gotten used to seeing people whom others around her can’t.

We have always agreed that our apartment is very much occupied by more than the five of us. Being neither paranoid nor superstitious, we have seen and felt on occasions we’ve never seen coming. Somehow we are simply not freaked out by it all. Afterall they have never meant malice nor harm. You can say that we live in harmony haha. I can be in the apartment all by myself for the entire day and night and be very glad to have the chance.

Which is why we took this latest unexplainable incident with loads of lighthearted humour and laughter. When my youngest sis woke up and I retold her the incident, my sis cheerfully told her how the ghost would now shift to her bedroom to ga jiao her after it had done “haunting” the other two bedrooms. The two of us, supposedly elder sisters but aaahh, so childish, started making up ridiculous stuff excitedly, like how her Hello Kitty lattern which sings the tune of “It’s A Small World” and shines disco lights when switched on, would start singing “夜来香” in the middle of the night. And all the plush toys on her bed would start to pair up and dance waltz. The glow-in-the-dark sheep which she stuck to her walls would start running about on the walls. All at 3am sharp.

To which my youngest sis just shrugged her shoulder and said “ya right”.