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Be cruel to be kind?

I could hardly recognise L, my former insurance agent, when I saw her. Gone was the professional-looking, sophisticated and sassy girl whom I first met two years ago.

Now, L sports a long straight hair that, frankly, needs to be trimmed and a post-natal body.

There was a bump on her belly that made her look like she was 5 months pregnant. When I asked, though, she told me that she was due any day now.

She asked me how I have been and we talked for a bit about me before she bukak cerita about how her father-in-law hates the sight of her and wishes that his son and L would divorce.

L’s husband has apparently been unlucky in finding a decent job and the employer of each company he was attached to had cheated him. Things were so bad in Penang that they came back to KL to start anew.

At the time, she hadn’t even shopped for her newborn (who was due tomorrow) because she hasn’t got any money. She was hoping that I’d be able to lend a couple of hundred bucks.

I was saddened by what I heard but I can’t ignore what my friend told me about L. I know my friend S, she is not malicious. S was in fact the only person who was willing to give L a second chance. She loaned L RM500, money which she otherwise would keep in her ASB account. After she got the money, L went missing for 2 years without a word.

Can you blame S for not trusting L? I don’t. So can you blame me now for not buying all the sob stories L told me?

It was a good thing that I went to see L without bringing my wallet. When she asked me for cash, I only spared her RM3 for taxi fair. Then, I took down her account number and lied through my teeth about banking in some cash into her account when I had some cash.

Incidentally, I had to fork out RM500 to pay my credit cards a few days after I saw L. So now, I really have no money to spare at all.

Now, I’m waiting anxiously for L or her husband to call me. I sorta have a feeling that she will not bother me. Maybe she got the feeling that I already know what is up her sleeve.

But I can’t be too sure. Maybe she will try to contact me again come the end of the month. When she does, I know just what to tell her.

“I’m sorry to tell you that I can’t help you. I have been told by your relatives not to help you. I would appreciate it if you do not call me after this”.

Cold, right? Well, I have to be cruel to be kind. I just hope I’m doing the right thing.

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