That school year God has blessed me with a trusted boy and other trusted girl in my class. Whenever I went out for seminar, training, activities, programs and personal matters, I left everything to him/ her- their classmates’ attendance, activities , cleanliness of the classroom, reports, tranquility as over-all overseers.
However, the tranquility was ruined when one day I lost two thousand pesos in my bag. Everyone became a suspect. Till then, I kept my wallet near me. I only chose my trusted students to get near my things specially my bag. I kept the door of my office closed every time I went to other classrooms for my classes. My eyes were not so clever to detect the offender, so I better forgot the incident than to worry and accumulate stress over me.
However, on the following month when I opened my wallet in preparation to pay my monthly amortization, my spine trembled and my hands quivered upon seeing my money was no longer there again!. I scanned all my things, my wallet, my secret pocket, my lesson plan, class record and everything in my room turned topsy-turvy. But in vain.
At home, I and my son and his wife joined together in their verdict of accusing someone who had had a short visit to our home. We made some assumptions, conjectures and blames. But they were all hypothesis . Still they remain as nothing at all.
One day on the month of January of the following year , I made another loss. It was my honoraria as college instructor .I rushed to the room of my son and his wife telling them my fear and my loss. Inquiries , blames, doubts and accusations followed once more. They could not imagine how I lost again that big sum of money. I was to be blame of being careless. But even I tried all my might to secure all my things, I failed always.
In my resource room, I dropped lamely and limply. I was thinking so hard if only I was careful enough. Then, my trusted girl whom all my worries, woes, and my wearies were being conveyed to her, approached me and reported me about her success of collecting monthly dues and for SSG contributions. I congratulated her and told her confidently my financial stress on said day. She answered me “ Again, Ma’am! “ She was worried and told me she made all her effort to help me investigate who the culprit was because she already heard some hearsays from her classmates. I was so grateful to hear again for that soothing promise. I was sure she could help me then and relieve my worries and self blame.
Then, an hour later, she rushed to my office and told me the news of tagging my trusted boy as the suspect. I could not believe it! The feeling of being betrayed was more that being killed in front of your enemies. My trusted boy was being investigated after a minute of report. He cried so much that his uniform was soaked with tears. But when I asked the former adviser of my trusted girl, she told me the secret. My trusted girl became the suspect now! That morning before my class ended, I appealed to everyone for helping me to catch the suspect. At 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon that day, I verbally reminded them my warning of returning my money before investigation took place and before I pray to God using with black candles. The black candles seemed a key for the truth. Then suddenly…
“ Ma’am, look at on the floor!”, said my trusted student of mine.
My heart pounded wildly when I saw the crumpled paper which I thought a garbage. I replied to them immediately upon holding the paper.
“Yes, here it is’!, as I showed them. They were awestruck and urged me to open the paper. I followed the instructions and opened it and there to my surprise, I saw the one thousand pesos!. I shouted “ Thank you Lord. “
Then, there’s a letter appealing not to mentioned the event again.
“Ma’am I am sorry I stole the money I returned the I,000 Ma’am Ma’am, do not tell my classmates that I returned the money and do not make mention or say anything of this in the class especially during remedial class because it hurts me. And thank you ma’am. Can I have this 1,000 because I am always hungry Ma’am?
The boys all went home already. The recalls of the most important events were expressed detail by detail and blames followed to the suspect’s name. Two of the eyewitnesses recalled how they saw one of their male classmate threw the letter to my office. Of course, one of the eyewitnesses was my trusted girl. She was the first to see the actual act and called the other girl to witness the same.
To my surprise, the name dumfounded me because their suspect was the thief!. My TRUSTED BOY was the thief? Can I accept the fact? How could he do it to me? He was seen pretending scrubbing the floor, got the paper in the bag and threw secretly the paper to my office recounted my TRUSTED GIRL as confirmed by the other girl who did see the act. Finally, the case was closed that day. We went home happy and satisfied that although I lose still a great amount of money because portion had been returned, the caught of the thief will melt the fire of accusations to everyone.
The feeling of winning the case cascaded clearly as I recounted the events to my son and his wife.
Later, upon pondering every thought of the letter I instantly told my children the letter was made intelligently even in the absence of punctuation marks. It’s then I realized I have to do something. I began to investigate the letter. There’s been receiver’s name in front of the letter “ To: Miss Aparijo”.
Oh, my God! My brain flashes the handwriting of my TRUSTED BOY- the suspect. But I was very much sure, this was not his penmanship.
The next day, I called my two students and instructed them to identify the handwriting of the letter. My world shattered when the name of the girl which was hidden profoundly in my heart ( because of love and trust ) was mentioned. She was my suspect too, the night before and she was named by these two girls. Tears almost fell for betrayal. They named MY TRUSTED GIRL.
I instructed everyone to go home except the two of my trusted beings. The boy approached me and cried again admitting me he was the THIEF and asked forgiveness. I was already ready for that admission, although it killed me deep inside that my trusted one betrayed me!. When I asked him what did he buy for the money, it took 2 minutes for him to answer .
“ How could I answer you that Ma’am”, as he cried bitterly. “ I cannot answer you that Ma’am because I never get the money!
For that pronouncement, I called immediately my TRUSTED GIRL and without hesitation brought about by what I had witnessed before the admission and told her “ This boy told me you are the one who got the money!” This statement just flowed freely in my mouth due to anger by making me fool and my ego of losing myself by the acts of these younger ones!. She made a surprising admission “ How could I be!, I made my new year resolutions that I would never steal the money anymore. Yes, I did it when I was in Grade 7 but I prayed hard and thank God I never ever did it!.
My shocked was compounded!, she told me without asking her background – the facts that ruined her and ruined me for trusting the girl or people without checking their background. It helped me realize that my highest educational attainment does not guarantee I am safe of betrayal among people surrounded me. I finished up our conversation with a special treat to both of them that I had to report the incident to the cop, guidance office and the prefect of discipline. But my TRUSTED BOY interrupted by saying “ I will bring my mother tomorrow Ma’am. I replied “ much better”.
Early in the morning, I sought my eyes for two people and told myself to end my agony of investigation to these people who belittled my ego and intelligence just this day only. After the flag ceremony, I instructed the two students to meditate in my office and approached me to tell the truth before the prefect of discipline called a police for investigation. Mr. Morales came and brought them at the prefect of discipline office. He investigated them and a few minutes later, the mother of my TRUSTED BOY came. I ended my class and brought her at the prefect of discipline office while she was sobbing for the hurt and shame of the event as parent. She could not believe his son could do the shameful act.
Entering the office, I found only the two of them. Mr. Morales was not around because of other concern/ problems at the gate of the school. However, he was done investigating, but even how hard his tactics in getting the culprit, he failed to find the offender.
“This is now the last!”, driving by my anger and ego, I gave them ball pen and paper in front of the parent. I instructed them both for a spelling test.
“ Number one, write the word English”, that’s my first instruction as I asked God to send His Holy Spirit to guide me in detecting the wrongdoer for His people.
“Number 2, write the words To: Miss Aparejo”. By this, I will surely know who was the thief due to punctuation and the letter formation. But I should not end there, I told myself to avoid detecting my purpose. I had to continue saying “ number 3, write…”
but I was interrupted by the boy saying his pen had no ink anymore. I stopped and instructed him to go and get his pen in the room. While waiting, my hand picked up his paper and found another truth! HE WAS NOT THE ONE! The conclusion was made due to the absence of semicolon after the word “To” and the capitalization of my name. God, hope I ended this misery. I moved my pace to the girl’s side and picked up her paper. To my surprise, I had seen the things I wanted to see! The semicolon after the word “ to” and the capitalization of my name!
“YOU ARE THE ONE, HOW COULD YOU DO IT TO ME!,” in my unified stern, agitated and irated voice. I wanted to shout for the fury of betrayal and for joy for winning by getting the offender and protecting the innocent in front of the parent. I asked her again twice and thrice “ HOW COULD…!”
Her body began to tremble, legs shuddered as she covered her face from the agitation of the parent’s presence with her quivering hands of fear- fear of unfolding the secret of her life and fear of losing every good things about her!
That time, I never made another investigation again.