Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Falling Out of Trust

Recently, I fell out of trust (as opposed to falling out of love???) with a very dear college friend. He was actually my thesis partner. I admired him for his confidence and streetsmarts. Although he did not do well academically, I always thought that he would do well after college.

After graduation, we saw each other a couple of times and he would share with us his stories about his work in this English tutorial center for Koreans. I would learn that he was already earning P25,000 plus in basic salary (while I was earning P10,000.00!) plus additional bonuses and perks being a manager of sorts of the tutorial center. He would also share about his close friendship with his students, one he fell in love with and another who sponsored him to visit Korea (which he was not able to avail he said because he was to lazy processing his papers before his visa expired, such a waste... or such a lie?). He also had student friends who wanted to open businesses in the Philippines. Couple of times he would ask Jaja, another college friend, and I to come up with business proposals complete with studies, costing and all which he could give to the Koreans for funding. Ja and I never came up with one, though, as we were also busy with our respective preoccupations.

Just last year, F asked me to help him look for a space to lease in Bacolod. He left his job at the center, he said, to open one of his own with Jimmy, a student-friend, to finance the endeavor and ensure the coming in of students from his homeland. F offered us a commission on the whole space rental thing. The offer indeed was enticing, sending us up to our toes looking for prospective sites. Then we learned that one of Miki's relatives had exactly what F needed.

We did an ocular, negotiated for a fair price and closed the deal. Renovations began a week after the signing of the contract. We were already counting on the steady source of additional income that we hoped to enjoy for a good whole year.

However, a few glitches happened along the way. F told us that Jimmy's money hadn't arrived yet from Korea and he needed to get the construction going. To ensure our milking cow gets fattened up, Miki made arrangements for F to open a credit line with one local hardware owned by a family friend of Miki's. F also needed someone to process his documents to formalize his operation and so I asked Tetet, my high school friend to do the dirty work for him. Then Jimmy incurred another cash problem and so F asked us if he could get his supply of paint from Miki and ship it to Bacolod. Out of goodwill, and again to protect our milking cow, Miki agreed.

Nearing towards the end of the two-month construction period, however, something off happened. F was nowhere to be found! He promised to pay Miki his credit before the end of the construction but he never did. First, it was to be before the end of the construction period, then he told us that he used the money for something else and so we will just wait until the start of the operation of the tutorial center when he already collects his commission. Never happened. Miki tried calling his cellphone only to find out that he changed numbers. We asked a few people and we learned that he is using a different one. When Miki called him, he sounded surprised, asking how we got his number. Then he told us that he will just drop by the hardware with the payment. Again, never happened. We checked, cross-checked, asked around but all we really had about him was what we already knew. It was a very frustrating time for us - not being able to collect our commission because now Jimmy was the one dealing with the space lessor. We were also incurring a debt which we could have avoided had we knew F's running away from his obligations. Damn!

Somehow, right when we forgot all about our hapless state, I received an email from F:

Subject: sorry...‎

Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 8:55:58 AM

hi! i know that you have been wondering about my whereabouts and if what happened to me. I have been sick since october. I am diagnosed of neuropathy that i have to take a rest and be under medication for a long time. I couldnt walk for almost 3 months because of my foot. My right leg got darker in color and it gave me pain like hell. I am also suffering from the complications my diabetes has brought about. It is really difficult. I how i wish i could do more. Rox, i am really sorry for the trouble i have caused you and Mickey. Actually, i sent a message to Mickey and i dont know if he received it for i havent heard from him for a long time. I asked him if you could wait a little more time and to please take care of our transaction with her [him, actually] aunt. I lost contact with everybody because I lost my phone and i dont have your numbers. Now, i am a little ok though i still feel weak and have to change my lifestyle. Rox, the least i can do now is to let you know that i dont forget the amount i owe you. dont worry, i will try to pay soon. i know you trusted me and i might have lost that trust so i feel sorry about it. Rox please extend my apology to Mickey i want to start communicating with you again. please send me your numbers. thank you.

I read his email while I was out of town and I didn't know how to react to it. I am not one to harbor hatred or hurt feelings for that matter but I also could not allow myself to feel empathy much so forgiveness for the wrong that he has done. I always thought that things like these happen because you allow it to happen to you. Guess that's just what happened to me here.

I feel some consolation though in knowing that I am not alone (bad bad bad!). F borrowed P20,000.00 from Jaja's hard-earned savings too. He tried to borrow from some other friends but they knew better than Ja and me (sad sad sad).

I emailed F back, thanked him for taking finally mustering the courage to contact us and expressed my disappointment at how he handled things. I also asked him not to make promises he can't keep and I gave him all my numbers...cellphone, house numbers, office numbers, even our fax number!

Two months after, still no word from him. Ellen, my doc friend, is already alarmed thinking that he might already be dead. Neuropathy and diabetes are two killer medical conditions and if not treated will eventually cause excruciating pain and eventually, death. Not a happy thought really.

So what happens now? Waiting I guess, for answers, for the phone to ring, for an unexpected visit. Pray not the obituaries but for something good to come. I feel bad about going through the process of un-trusting someone after placing my confidence on a friendship that withstood distance.

Hurts need time to heal and healing is a process. My wish is that in time, we will all come to a resolution so we can finally put an end to the waiting and move on with our lives. That happening, perhaps we can teach our heart to forget and later.... forgive. Until then, there is just hope.


  1. wew!
    I felt so sad reading through this post Rox. It is really sad sad sad that things like these happen.

    I pray F is OK and well from any illness so he could start paying for his obligations.

    I pray for all people who are suffering his problems and I will also pray for people, like you, whom these sufferings inflict much more damage.

    Prayers for everyone! Trust in the Lord to heal the wounds.

  2. thanks watt,

    i still believe that somehow, things will get better for all of us.

    thanks for the prayers!


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