Of all the crap that’s happened to her in life, I’ve only been here for a small little bit. Like when she tore off her toenail or when she cracked her jaw after falling off a horse. The worst trial I have seen her go through began a little under a year ago. She was on her way to a prayer meeting and some soccer mom ran the light and pulled in front of her. Amber’s car t-boned the mini-van. The initial report was that she was OK and when I saw her in the ambulance she was conscious and didn’t appear to be in pain. Later I learned that she injured her head, back and knees. She had minor brain damage which rendered her unable to read for a while. She wore a neck brace and her back would cause her much pain. Her knees seemed to be the least of her problems, but we would later learn they were the most detrimental and would only get worse with every step she took. The right knee continued to worsen though the left seemed to get better. After a year of walking on it, she finally had surgery and this brings us to my story.
It was about 7:30 pm on a warm November night. Amber, I thought was in her night literature class which would last until 9:30. I had some things to do and since I was picking her up I thought I would busy myself until then. I took care of some of my Typography stuff and then headed for the campus library a little after eight to do some other homework. As I entered, I saw her hobbling out on her crutches with a sad look on her face. She was wearing a Mesa State windbreaker and jeans with some nice white Sketchers that her mom gave her.
“What are you doing?” I asked thinking she was supposed to be in class.
“Where were you? I’ve been calling your house, I called Kristi and even Rhonda but nobody’s home,” she whined.
“Well I was doing homework until you got out of class,”
“But I told you I was only going o an hour of class,”
“You didn’t tell me that,”
“Yes I did,” she complained as I walked her out to my car. She was near tears. I helped her into my car and started on the way to her place.
“Amber, you told me-,”
“Let’s not argue about it,” she seemed mad at me. I felt bad, but really I thought she wanted me to pick her up at 9:30.
As we approached her house she began to sob. I helped her out of the car and she realized her door was locked and she had no key. The crazy thing was that her mother had come from Utah to be with her during surgery, but that day she trip wile doing laundry and broke her foot. So her mom and brother were at the hospital and had taken both vehicles.
“See if there’s a window open, will you?” she asked. I ran to the front window, pulled the screen off, crawled in, unlocked the door and then helped her in. Every step she took was pain and her sobbing got worse. She said I could go and finish my homework. I helped her up the stairs (she still had her book bag over her shoulder).
“Let me take your bag,” I said.
“No, I got it,” she whined. I tried to take it anyway and she repeated “I got it! You can go now,” she tried to sound like she thought I wanted to go. I didn’t. She was feeling sorry for herself and I was feeling sorry for her. She really knew I didn’t want to go.
I pulled her bag off and she said “Ow,” and then continued to fight her way up the stairs sobbing. When we got to her room, she through her crutches down and tried to bend down to take her shoes off. I helped her with the right shoe. Then she pulled the windbreaker off and then went on to taker her socks and then her pants off. She always liked to be naked or darn near it and especially in bed. The site was pitiful and funny at the same time. She then unbuttoned her shirt and threw it on the ground still sobbing.
Finally she came to reason and said “You forgot me,” and knowing that I had not, a faint smile came across her lips. I sat on the bed next to her and hugged her. I could imagine being on crutches and feeling like no one cares. But I was there and I cared.