About the Girl: Blessings & Betrayals

I can’t sleep.

It’s been weeks now since the incident happened, and I’ve planned to write about it ever since. I debated if I should or if  I should not.

I decided, finally, that this is my journey and I’d like to keep it real.

I want to let the readers know what lies in this chapter.


 

I hated posting my day change and my gains. If anything, it only made me feel fake. I knew the truth behind those. I was no superwoman of the stock market. Any trader worth their salt knows what our industry really is. There are more punches than victory.

The final straw was when someone said, “Ikaw na ba ang babaeng version ni Zeefreaks?“. That did it.

The more I learned about trading psychology, the more I realized how port snapshots do not sing the harmony I must presume. But by then, I was positioned to be in close proximity to people I look up to and there are certain perks to that.

Perks that led to betrayals.


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My father was driving me home late at night from one of ZFT’s After School talks. I was trying to keep the atmosphere light and cheery because he was in one of those sour moods that only I can pull him out off.

I cheerfully told him about the charity drives ZFT were going to run this year.

He heaved and grumpily asked, “Are you getting paid for any of these?”

No, I told him as I turned the air conditioning off the back seat.

His voice instantly changed. “Dapat ang gumagawa nyan yung billionaires na, sila Henry Sy.”

I was caught off guard. I grumbled my response before I found the right words to say. “We shouldn’t wait for anyone else if we can do it ourselves.”

He was driving through a dark portion, with sharp turns, and very often filled with 16 wheeler trucks.

“The people you help will forget you the moment they get what they want.”

I didn’t reply. It sounded like a tired old man. An old man who cared for his child. So for that, I allowed my father to parent me even as I thought to myself that I did not do any of this just to be remembered.

– But still. –

About a year or two ago, a man messaged me. He was pouring his heart out.

I was standing in line at one of the remittance centers in Riyadh. It was payday and I always, without fail, send my salary to my Philippine bank account the same day I get it. I was already waiting for the day to file my resignation.

Everything was according to plan.

The man who messaged me had the obvious signs of academic intelligence but his heart was soft and emotional. His message was long but interesting.

His name is J.

He told me how much he struggled. He told me about his job. He told me about the long walks he takes and his burning passion and losing portfolio.

It didn’t take too long.

I was in a much better position to help. So of course, I did.

It wasn’t even a full month later that he got more than he ever asked me for.


 

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We built this sort of friendship.

I rarely ever open up to anyone, but I thought J was genuine. I thought he was one of those who understood kindness.

One night, he asked me a question. And, for the love of anything holy, I could be talented in various things in life but not in lying.

It was a question about another man, fairly known in the stock market as well.

I thought I was helping.

I gave out fair warnings.

I told him my views.

An opinion limited to what I only knew back then– and it was very limited indeed. I’ve only met him once and heard stories thereafter. I trusted him to understand that. It was personal, and as secretive as I am, had only verbalized it to two other people I trust.

I thought that was the end of it.

But it was not.


 

About a year later, J somehow made a name for himself. He got positioned under the care of someone who was close to me. I was entirely happy about that. Things went well, my promise well-delivered.

A woman messaged me this time.

It was 3 AM.

I was awake and was having my round of fun in Facebook with the other ZFT accounts. She and I got to talk about the same man who I had an unpopular view on years ago.

“Well we don’t really talk, so I really don’t know.”

“You didn’t like him.”, she said.

I was puzzled. “What made you say that?”

“Well,” she continued. “He said you were each others’ bashers.”

She proceeded to tell me the exact same things I told J years ago. The man I helped to climb up to his position.

I was stunned.

There was no one else who would.


 

“Ambitious people are only loyal to themselves.”, Zee told me one time.

It all made sense. He was a disarray of things. One minute praising other people, the next minute vowing to topple and rule over them. During moments he felt invincible, he had the gall to tell me how he would crush and dominate the exact same people he messages, “Hello po, sir. Thank you po wala po akong idea pa po dyan, eh baka po matulungan ninyo ako.”

J would message me sometimes to ask me ‘interesting’ things I would most certainly know the truth about. It was almost like the press who wanted to interview a house speaker so he can eagerly misquote for a sweet headline on the primetime evening news.

I knew he knew the actual truth of some of those stories, but he wanted to make sure it was I who “said it”.

For whatever purpose.

He brokered secrets to gain trust from one person who already did to another who questioned his motives. If it worked, he establishes an access on both. 

His personal helpline.

People he could use at the press of a button. People who could give information, people who could help out with his technical questions, people who could coach his mindset and psychology, people who had powerful networks they can connect him to. Opportunities he can never create for his own.

“The people you help will forget you the moment they get what they want.”

My father’s voice ring.

I naively still wish it was not true.


 

Make no mistake about it. People do not have the same meaning of winning. If they can not outperform you, they will try to top you in another way to compensate.

I am gaining more clues of why those who were at the very top remained elusive.

The circles small, but the network vast.

The more blessings you receive, the more betrayals you may suffer.

C’est la vie.

I do not know if I have learned my lesson.

But Life taught me one thing. How we win matters— at some point, the house of cards such cheapshots to fame and power have built will fall down to the slightest gust of wind.

Very often, I am permitted to watch.

The higher a man climbs, the more cunning individuals who would willingly use him as a step to spring up the ladder. The very people he lends his hand to can be the same who would not think twice to plant their foot on his face if that would provide the boost they needed.

“There is always a lesson of a lifetime to learn in every betrayal.”

Edmond Mbiaka

I would still probably end up helping someone who does not deserve it, but no longer this man.

I have learned about what he is doing for a while now.

I played along.

Not anymore.

I’m no longer playing these games, J.

Forever yours,
Celeste

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