“I forgive you.” Three words that you would rarely hear me say. I have been betrayed far too many times. More times than I could count. It’s not that I didn’t want to forgive the ones who had stabbed me in the back, it’s that they didn’t deserve to be forgiven. It may sound harsh, but that’s the way I deal with things like this.
It all started a few months ago. Joseph had dropped me off at the lab before heading to the FBI. I went downstairs to bone storage to identify some ancient remains as we didn’t have a case to solve. I stood beside the light table, holding the left femur bone in my hand. I examined the bone closely, mentally noting each and every fracture that this person had sustained when he/she was alive. Just then, my phone started to ring, causing me to break my concentration. Fishing out the device from my pocket, I answered the call.
“Hey, honey,” a male voice greeted from the other end. A smile appeared on my face as I recognized the voice. “Hi, Dad, how are you?” There was a slight pause before my father replied, “I’m fine, Erin. How are you? Has that FBI partner of yours come to his senses and asked you to marry him?” Rolling my eyes, I bit back a retort with as much restraint as I can muster and said, “No, Dad, Joseph hasn’t asked me to marry him. We’ve only just started dating, so the notion of marriage is not at the forefront of our minds. Did you call me in the middle of the day just to ask me that?” I asked.
A sigh was heard over the phone as my father gathered his courage. “Well, it’s sort of why I called, but the real reason is that I’m in trouble and I need your help.” Curious and concerned, I asked my father what kind of trouble he has found himself in. “It’s complicated, honey, just please help me get out of this mess,” he pleaded. Something then clicked in my brain as the words left my Dad’s lips. He promised not to do it again and he still did it. I thought, my anger rising.
Taking a calming breath, I said, “Dad, either tell me what’s going on or I swear I will hang up the phone.” My father heaved another sigh as he finally told me the truth: “I hurt someone, badly, and now the police are after me. I need to find a place to lay low for a while so I thought I would stay with you until all this blows over.” That did it, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Gritting my teeth, I said to the man I call my father, “You promised me that you wouldn’t hurt anyone ever again, even if it’s to protect me and my sister. You have broken that promise so I’m afraid that you will have to find somewhere else to stay.” My Dad’s voice then became quiet as he asked, “Will you ever forgive me?” Letting out a sigh of my own, I replied, “I have forgiven you too many times, I’m uncertain that I will be able to do it again, goodbye Dad.” I then ended the call, hoping that I had made the right decision.