We have a cleaner. For the purposes of this post I shall call her Leijla. Leijla comes twice a week and does her best to restore the house from trashed to presentable. It is not an easy task, and nor does it last more than 10 minutes after the chaos creators reappear.
Leijla and I have developed quite a good relationship. We sit and have coffee every time she comes and we talk (in Bosnian) about stuff. She has a son who at 6 is just that little bit older than Adam and who goes to the same nursery. I quite often run into her there at pick up time and we always have a bit of a gossip as our children rush off to play on the slide. She has taken to passing on the clothes that her son has grown out of to Adam, refusing any payment for them (and there is some nice stuff there - Levis jeans and the like, barely worn). We've been over to her house and she has bought her son here. We've become friends really.
When she first started she would often ask for an advance in order to cover nursery fees or whatever. I had no problems giving her an advance, she also works for our landlord and I trusted her. She hasn't asked for an advance in a while so I thought that her husband had found work or something like that. I didn't like to enquire too closely.
As you have to pay for almost everything in cash in Bosnia, we tend to have a reasonable amount of cash in the house, particularly at this time of the month just before we pay all the bills. Yesterday we had 100KM (about £50) go missing. It wasn't the first time money has gone missing, but we put it down to forgetting to note that we had taken money out of the tin or something like that. We were getting suspicious, so were keeping closer tabs upon it, and yesterday morning we counted 900KM in the tin, in the evening there was only 800KM. I was in the house for most of the day and there was only one person who went upstairs near the tin during that time, Leijla.
I now don't know what to do. I don't know for sure that she took the money, but I'm about 80%. I know that she needs this job, as well as the one with our landlord. I certainly don't want to accuse her of something like theft without being positive. When I said that I had lost some money and had she seen it yesterday she said no.
Dave is furious. I'm not. I'm just sad. I don't have enough friends (especially friends with children who are occasionally around during the day) to blow this one out of the water. And I enjoy her company, our coffees, laughing about our children and her tips on what to do with kids in Tuzla. But if I think, as I do, that she has been taking money from us it will be very difficult to recreate that trust and intimacy.
I am so disappointed.