Sickness took hold of Amile before she turned eighteen. Her dream was to be a lawyer, to fight for the poor (who desperately needed a representative in her small community). Love was an undercurrent in her ambitions, and hope was always gleaming in her eyes.
A far away missile was aimed at her from the day of her birth. It seems the good often do die young. Despite her good heart and her serious and joyful studying, the world treated Amile unfairly. When she was sixteen her brother raped her behind the outdoor shed. It wasn’t terribly violent, but she wished it had been. She wished she had died that day. Instead, Amile was left lying on the floor of the kingdom of earth broken, hollow, and emptied. She didn’t know that Derek, her older brother, was similarly abused when he was a little younger than her. All she knew was that he was an angry drug addict, and Amile was no longer a virgin; she was a rag. Her church reminded her of this the following Sunday, “God hate’s premarital sex,” the teacher shouted, “but He loves those who have made mistakes.” Amile didn’t feel loved by God, she felt abandoned.
When she visited a counselor, when she prayed with her mother, when her brother asked her for forgiveness, when she forgave him, and when she graduated from high school, Amile finally felt a sense of peace. Then Derek was tested positive for HIV. Then Amile was tested and found positive as well.
One could imagine Amile crumbling under the weight of her circumstances. Amile cried because she knew that God had answered her prayer. She had prayed that Sunday morning, after the rape, that God would kill her. Was this the answer to her prayer? Medication was available, and she began to understand that she wouldn’t die very soon. What was her purpose?
Amile graduated with top honors from law school, became an astute criminal defense lawyer. She supported the same community she grew up in. Often she found herself passionately defending deviant and sordid criminals, and often she would defend broken innocence. Her ambition was to love, and hope never failed her- even when she died at age thirty five of AIDS.