This is a story about friendship, trust, loyalty, and a chocolate drink. Our story happened in a ladies’ dormitory for college students about 20 years ago. What transpired has made me realize a lot of things about people, and how we deal with everyday dramas. I will try to recall as much information as I can so please bear with me. The lessons are far more important than the exact details.
The Main Characters
Aside from me as a spectator in my late teens, let me tell you about the main characters in our story.
Dora, our not-so-little explorer is with friends with some of the nicest women in my dorm. Her friends were from the upper-middle class. Okay, I assumed they were based on the schools where they came from, their demeanor, cars that pick them up, and gadgets.
Ako na judgmental. LoL!
Her friends let us call them Barbies, simply because they were sweet, kind, and pretty.
Now there are two more important people in our story: Elsa and Anna. Both were Chemistry graduates and reviewing for board exams.
Other characters would be the spectator me, and the rest of the ladies inside the building.
The Chocolate Drink
In our dorm’s kitchen, we have a common fridge. Anyone can use it. You can place your food, beverage, and in some instances, an unmindful gal would leave her keys inside the freezer. But that’s another funny story.
Now Elsa placed a box of chocolate drink inside the fridge. I can’t recall if she put her name on the box, but I think she did.
Well, anyway, no one would bother or even attempt to get something that’s not theirs. We trust each other to leave our personal stuff inside it knowing that it is safe. Or so we thought.
One day, Elsa lost the chocolate drink that she placed inside the fridge. Someone definitely took it.
The evidence lied in the trash can.
There had been series of items missing inside our dormitory, including money. One of my closest friends lost hers, including Anna. I believe there were 3 ladies whose money went missing.
You have to understand that we were living away from our parents and the little money that we have is budgeted for our food, school needs, and payment to our bed spacing. Most of us have no extra money to spare for non-essentials. So for one of us to lose money while it is inside our cabinets is a big deal.
We begin to question, who could be the thief? Who is the culprit behind the missing items in our dorm?
Elsa starts to ask everyone if anyone took her chocolate drink. She was not upset that someone mistakenly took it. She was upset because the person who she felt took it was not telling the truth.
Elsa and Anna, being the elder sisters we look up to in the dorm, talked and devised a plan to make the suspect admit her sins.
A few days later, I learned that they succeeded.
Dora admitted her sins, including the money she stole from others.
Friendship, Trust, and Loyalty
After the Incident
It was very interesting for me to see how the women in my dormitory reacted to the situation. Now that the news has reached all the corners of our rooms, I wondered how each would treat Dora.
I remember during the interrogation among us, I felt anxious. Simply because I was wondering what if people would think I was the suspect? And pointed fingers at me even if I was innocent? If I felt anxious just a spectator, how much would it have been daunting for Dora as the culprit?
Dora and I were not close, but we were warm with each other. So when she surfaced as the offender in this story, there was not much of a difference in how I socialized with her. I never brought up the incident to her, not even questioned her of her reasons for the things she did. It was just as how it was.
I felt pity, actually. Here is this lady who is just starting her life as an adult and with a predicament she has to face moving forward.
The other girls in my dorm were pretty much the same as how I interacted with Dora. It was not that we pretended that the incident never happened. But we tried to be as civilized and amiable with her. It was a different story of course for those she stole from. She had to talk to them each and paid in installments the money she took.
You’re probably asking, how about her friends in the dormitory? How did they react?
Frankly, I have no idea if they talked about it (which I am almost certain they did) but what I am sure of is that they were still friends. These friends of hers, as I said earlier, were nice and kind. I still saw them hang out together and were basically just like how they were.
I admire these ladies.
These women with ages 16-17 were wise beyond their years. These young ladies were civilized, kind, and forgiving. Moreover, they really showed us how we should treat Dora.
Above all, we should see beyond the sins that Dora committed. Bilang tao, nadadapa pero kayang bumangon.
Dora and her friends moved out of the dormitory after that school year.
Women Who Trust Each Other
There were other stories after this. The life lessons learned from these molded me into who I am now. I am forever grateful for having experienced living in a big house with girls that have different backgrounds than me. We had different religions, aspirations, values, and beliefs.
But there is one thing we have in common: trust.
We trusted each other with our lives. And in some cases, literally.
We opened our hearts to each other seeking comfort and advice.
Furthermore, we had no pretensions. We accepted who we truly are.
It was safe. It was home away from home.
Certainly, we grew up together from girls to women.
A woman who is not afraid to learn from her mistakes. Gnawing at life’s lessons each passing day.