It was 120 degrees outside, and my air conditioner didn't work worth crap. This wasn't a high class joint, and the clientele included people of "high risk life styles." One of those very risky residents was the aforementioned Amber. One night her "boyfriend" beat the holy bejeezus out of her. Crying in pain, she found her usual gaggle of so-called friends couldn't care less. Well, you know me. Yeah, I took her to the hospital, held her hand, and stayed with her through the entire hospital experience. There was no permanent internal damage, but her ribs were terribly bruised. She, of course, always remembered that spontaneous act of kindness on my part. It's not that I'm so good, it's simply that I can't look the other way when people cry out for help.
I saw her on and off over the next two years. Sometimes it was great fun, with good laughs; other times she was not doing well, not well at all. Any time she let her integrity lapse in our interactions, she would show up two weeks later, out of nowhere, with hot take-out, soup and a story worthy of Can You Top This. I always felt that behind her confused and compulsive facade was a good person with a good heart who, God willing, would make it home alive.
Leaving Las Vegas a few years ago, I have often wondered what happened to Amber. I asked around, and heard conflicting stories. Some said they thought she had done something stupid and wound up in prison, others feared she was dead, and others..well, they didn't know and didn't care.
Today I found out what ever happened to Amber. She asked to be my friend on Facebook! She did make it home alive, healthy, and non-polluted. She is expecting a child, and has a significant other who is making an "honest woman" out of her. Thank God.
Moral of the story, in the words of Baha'u'llah: "Never mock the sinful or despise their low estate, for no man knows what his own end shall be."
I often ask people "Would you like to be more forgiving?" They always say yes. Then I respond, "Good, because I just keyed your car and I'm sleeping with your wife." You see, in order to be forgiving you must have something to forgive. Were it not for "bad deeds" how could God be the All-Forgiving? Were it not for the commission of punishment worthy deeds, how could mercy be manifested?
I wish Amber all the best, and continued happiness in her life. As for anything she ever did that I found unforgivable, I forgive.