A Friend's Mysterious Tale

Day 6 of my writing challenge. Prompt - Tell Someone's Story

This is a story about my childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for more than 3 decades now since she left for Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic helper.

Her name was Lolita but she was fondly called Lolet. She was living opposite our house where I grew up and spent most years of my life.  I am not sure if she was the same age as me or a year older. I thought she was taller than me because her body type was bigger.

She was a nice person. A good daughter of a very nice couple. The 4th child of 6 siblings. She was beautiful, kind, very responsible and industrious, doing almost all the household chores back then.

We were not together during our elementary days. She went to a school nearby and I went to another school with my oldest brother and had to stay at my grandfather’s house during weekdays and go home on weekends.

So whenever I was home, we always try to make up for the days that we didn’t see each other.
We gossiped and visited each other’s house.  We talked even if one of us was doing something or  offer help whenever it was needed.

But what we didn’t forget when we had the time to be together was to play with dolls, or play hide and seek or make a play house and assigned each a role together with our sisters or our playmates.

We attended the same high school.  We were not together in a class because I was on a higher section A and she was in B or C section.  But it never affected us. We would always go to school and walk home together.

We helped each other with school assignments and studied together every now and then. We were happy doing things together. We met some other friends along the way but we stayed close.

Then it was time to enroll in college, she also went to the same school as I but took up another course. I took up Nursing and we were in different time schedules and different buildings so we seldom see each other.

The more we got involved with our studies and new friends, the more we grew apart. 

But we were still friends, during weekends that we were home, we managed to gossip a little or we will just say to each other “ Hi, How are you? Or How’s school?

The closeness we had when we were younger wasn’t there anymore. We had our new set of friends. I can’t even remember if she finished college.

Taking up Nursing took almost all of my time 5 days a week.  It was attending both theory in school and the practical application which took place in the hospital.

After graduation, I had my practice at one of the hospitals where I lived.  The more I got busy, the seldom we see each other.

Then one day, she went to me and said she was leaving very soon.  She applied as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia.

She said it was her dream that she will be able to help out her family already. Back then I was also thinking of going abroad but Middle East.  There were many demands of nurses in that part of the world but I was afraid to go there. 

There was so much bad news of overseas workers and domestic helpers being handled very badly that either they were beaten, killed or put in jail.

It frightened me so much. I can't stand the thought of me not able to go out except going to work.

During the first 2 years that she was working there, she maintained the communication with her family. She was sending pictures of her and every time I asked her mom about her she will show me the photos. 

She had a smile on her face, as if saying  “I am okay and everything’s fine” , she seemed to have no problem at all.

She was able to send money too, her family was happy. But they were missing her very much. I was also missing her. I always asked about her and how it was where she worked.  Her mother and father would always say she was okay. Her siblings too.

One day they told me she was getting married. Then she had a son. All that stories without her going back home were only through letters and photos. I even saw his son’s photo. He was a beautiful baby.

Years went by without seeing her anymore after that day she told me she was leaving to work in the Middle East.  She never came back anymore after that.

Her father died, she was not there, her mom died few years after the father, she didn’t come back either.  There must be something wrong. It was heart breaking for her family, it was so hurtful for me too because she was my childhood friend.

I never heard from her anymore. I talked to her oldest brother one time when I was riding a bus going to Manila in 2008. He was a bus inspector and he saw me and I asked about Lolet.

He said they didn’t have news anymore about her. It was already a long time ago that they haven’t heard from her. I was very sad. I was hurt. I cried in silence. It must have been very hard for them. 

Can you imagine the pain and agony of her family? They didn't know her whereabouts and were not sure anymore if she’s still alive.

Will they ever see her again? Will I ever know what really happened to her?

Will she ever go back to her homeland and tell her son that she grew up there? 

Will her son be able to know his other family where her mom was born and raised?

Will these questions remain unanswered?

Honestly I really don’t know the answers to these queries. 

We will never know what happened to her unless one of her family or someone  will do something about it.

Is she still alive?   I hope and pray she still is.  

It will not only answer the several questions in her family's mind and mine but what's most important is that I will be happy and rejoicing but most of all her loving family.


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