*This is a work of fiction… Really.

Lady and Missy are good friends. Aged 18 and 16 respectively, they come from poor families. Having nothing to their name, they sought to earn money any way possible.

One day, they discovered that they could get some easy cash by stealing panties, bras, handkerchiefs and other stuff from boarding houses and apartments. Rubber shoes are disposed of for as low as 30 pesos.

Once, during Christmastime, they entered an apartment building and came away with shirts, an empty wallet and a pair of rubber shoes.

They felt emboldened and decided one day to return to the same apartment building.

Missy, the younger of the two, decided to wear the shirt she stole from the apartment that day. She thought that no one would notice. With all the houses they’ve stolen from, it was also difficult for her to remember which shirt came from which house.

The noon sun blazed in the sky when they scouted the street again for an open door or unguarded window to enter. They pretended to be scavengers, opening garbage bins and taking plastic bottles where they could find them.

A female college student recognized her shirt on Missy’s back. She pointed at Missy’s retreating figure. The apartment building’s maintenance staff heard her and chased Missy and Lady. They were ordered to go back and explain themselves.

The female college student, together with others who have lost their belongings from the same apartment unit, surrounded the two. Soon enough, barangay tanods were on the scene. The two were taken away.

They were first brought to the captain, who promptly smacked them in the face with such force that they buckled. Hot tears painted their faces.

“You m—–rf—–s

better stay away next time!”

At the barangay hall, the two chose to keep mum for some hours.

The owner of the apartment building came by to see how things were going. The college students, tenants of the apartment building, wanted to see the two punished and stayed to give their statements. They opted to skip classes that day.

After five hours of detention, Lady finally spoke.

“We stole their shoes, wallet and shirt. We can take you to the misis who buys them from us near the wet market. I’m not really 17, I’m 18. I am also one month pregnant. My live-in partner, a tomboy, is the father.”

The barangay tanods nearly mauled her for saying that a tomboy impregnated her.

Word of their inquisition spread quickly. Within hours, students from other boarding houses and apartments nearby flocked to the barangay hall, complaining of stolen clothes, shoes and other items. The barangay hall was filled to capacity.

Lady and Missy sat quietly in a dark corner, not knowing what to do.


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