I searched my purse again. The money wasnt in my wallet, it wasnt in the zipped compartment, it wasnt tucked away in my makeup pouch. The evidence was clear. This morning I put a 500 peso bill in my wallet and now it was gone. The only person who had been near my purse was my friend. But why would she take my money? It didnt make any sense. I had no choice but to get out of the cafeteria line and go on a mandatory fast.
"Here, let me buy today," my friend said, as i started to walk away.
"Thanks," I forced to smile. "I really appreciate it." What i really wanted to say was, "I'd appreciate it if you'd give me my 500 bucks!"
She bought me a cheeseburger, fries and a coke. Pretty generous, but again, it was my money. All through lunch I listened as she told me how much our friendship had helped her. (of course it helped her, I thought to myself. It made her 500 bucks richer!) She went on and on about the merits of a true friend and how important it is not to do anything to jeopardize that friendship. Finally, i couldn't stand it any longer.
"Well," I began, my neck muscles tensing. "Since you brought it up, I'd like to add that a true friend is someone who would never...." Taking a dramatic pause, I slid my right hand into my pants pocket and leaned back on one foot for even further effect. She knew where I was going with this. She knew I was going to say that a true friend is someone who would never take money from you, someone you can trust. Just as I was about to utter those words, I felt something in my pocket. As i pulled it out, I could see it was yellow, it was paper, it was my 500 pesos. I could feel my cheeks flushing as i swallowed hard and thanked God I hadn't finished.
"I was saying a true friend is someone who would never believe anything but the best about you....ok let me buy a dessert."
That day I learned something about jumping to conclusions. There's always a risk of landing on the wrong side of the truth and sometimes the best gift you can give to a friend is the benefit of the doubt =)