The story so far:
"Mom, give me a hand with my homework," asked Mike. "It's Business Mathematics, and I can't get my head around it."
Amanda sat beside her adopted son and tried to give him through nurture what he couldn't inherit by nature, her love of well-balanced accounts.
"It's soooooo boring," he sighed as he finished. "I just don't see the point. I'm going to work with people, not numbers. I'll never understand what you see in Accountancy."
"You get to work with people in Accountancy, Mike. And it can sometimes be dramatic."
He looked sceptical. "What, finding a missing two per cent somewhere makes your day?" he teased.
"Oh, more than that. There was a man in tears in my office this afternoon."
"We can foreclose on him and ruin him, or we can extend his loan if we think that he won't make the same mistakes again. It's a difficult decision. He was literally down on his knees begging me for a second chance."
"What did you decide?"
"I haven't, yet. I'm letting him sweat on it."
"The sadistic side of accountancy, eh, Mom?"
"Well, I wouldn't put it that way, but – OK, Mike, you want to work with people. What would you do?"
"Will he make the same mistakes again?"
"I doubt it."
"Is he sorry for what he's done?"
"Was anybody hurt by what he did?"
She opened her mouth, shut it again, and then said slowly, "In the long run, no. No, they weren't."
"Well, then. Give him the loan. It sounds as if he's learned his lesson."
"You're a good kid, Mike. I'm very proud of you." She smiled at him, full of love and joy. "I'll take your advice."
The best revenge of all is living well.