I didn’t tell the landlords when the money went missing. Even though it disappeared on a day when the only person with access to our house was the cleaning lady. I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t be certain that I hadn’t misplaced the money. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t have proof of theft. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be the reason that someone lost her job. I didn’t say anything because I felt stupid for having left the money in a place where it could be taken. I didn’t say anything because we haven’t had a problem in over 4 years. I didn’t say anything because I felt guilty for having $100 that someone else thought she needed. I didn’t say anything because I am considered a “have” in a country of “have nots.” I didn’t say anything because even though losing $100 totally sucks, it’s not my end and it could be someone else’s beginning.
The following week, my earrings went missing – while I was in the room with no one but the cleaning lady. This time, I said something. And it wasn’t about the earrings. It was about the fact that someone else felt entitled to my things. I said something because I decided that if I didn’t, I’d be perpetuating the problem. I said something because I felt violated. I said something because I was angry that someone assumed I possessed so much that I wouldn’t notice if I was without. I said something because I was conflicted about feeling that I needed to apologize for having. I said something because I was disappointed that she didn’t feel she could ask for help.
I said something and three days later, she returned my earrings. And now I feel vindicated in my suspicions and saddened by their truth.