Fez kept his word to his grandmother. He and Emberlyn arrived in Jerusalem and made the trek to Mt. Zion. When they found Oskar Shindlers’ grave, Emberlyn was so moved that she began to cry. “There are so many stones here,” she said, “and each one of them represents such love and respect.”
Fez placed his grandmothers’ stone on the grave and seemed to be memorizing every inch. Emberlyn was sure he was trying to somehow let his grandmother see it through his eyes as he had promised. She asked him if he was alright. He said “he was such an extraordinary man and he’s the reason I’m here.”
Several minutes later, Emberlyn asked Fez if he would take her to the Wailing Wall. “I want to leave a message,” she said. “You know that you don’t have to be Jewish to leave one.” Fez smiled and said “yes, we’ll go.”
Standing in front of one of the holiest of holy places, Emberlyn took Fez’s hand and said “how could anyone look on this and not feel changed?” She took out a small piece of paper and slipped it into a tiny crack in the stone.
Legend has it that any wishes left at the Wailing Wall will come true and Emberlyn was hoping that hers would. She didn’t tell Fez her wish and he didn’t ask.
This journey seemed to strengthen their bond even more. Emberlyn was appreciative of Fez’s heritage and the plight of his people, now considered to be her people, was stirring to her blood.
Fez surprised her with a small Dove of Peace, carved from a Jerusalem stone. It held an olive branch in its mouth and the word shalom was carved into its wing. It would be something she would always treasure and she held it in her hands on the plane ride back home.
Back in the states, Fez had taken on a difficult case. He had been hired by Walter Combs, a wealthy local businessman. Combs’ wife had filed for divorce, citing multiple charges which included serial adultery as well as emotional and physical abuse. Combs had denied each and every charge and was counter suing, stating that his wife was mentally unstable.
Like any attorney, Fez’s job was to prove the innocence of his client, while simultaneously proving the guilt of his accuser. Combs had every advantage. He had position, power and money. He had removed his wife from all the credit cards, closed the checking account and stopped paying the mortgage on their home. He had left her almost penniless and at the mercy of whoever was willing or able to help.
It was an ugly divorce and the more Fez talked to his client, the more he knew that all the charges levied by his wife had to be true. Combs was an arrogant, self-serving, self-important and deceitful man. More than once he had suggested that Fez help him fabricate evidence but being an honorable man, he refused.
Fez discussed the case with Emberlyn throughout the coming months. He confided in her that he wished he had never taken Combs on as a client. It was apparent that the case was taking a toll on him.
One night, Fez seemed particularly anxious. He told Emberlyn that the next day, Combs’ wife would be put on the witness stand. He knew that if he did his job, he was going to rip her to shreds and watch her figuratively bleed to death.
That’s exactly what he did. Combs’ wife was an absolute wreck. She could hardly answer any questions with credibility and when asked if she had proof of any of her allegations, she hung her head and said “no.”
When Fez finished his cross-examination, Combs patted him on the back and said “way to destroy her.” Fez looked at him and said “don’t ever put your hands on me again, you maggot. I despise everything about you.”
Because of Fez’s aggressive attack, Combs was successful. He was granted the divorce. The judge awarded very little to his wife and delivered a coup de grâce when he suggested that she seek counsel for her mental illness.
That night, Fez was visibly shaken about the case and Emberlyn could tell. He sarcastically said “I’m such a great attorney. I just beat the shit out of a poor woman who had already been destroyed by a piece of garbage.” Emberlyn had never heard Fez talk like that before.
Then he looked at her and said “I wish there was something I could do for her. Maybe I could give her some of the money I made off of that monster husband of hers.” Emberlyn said “if that’s what you want to do, I think you should. Maybe you could offer her your apartment until she can get her feet back on the ground.”
Fez looked at her and said “that’s a great idea. I think I will. Thank you, dear.”
Emberlyn told Fez that she was going to go upstairs to slip into something more comfortable. Fez said “I’ll be up in a minute.”
When he didn’t come upstairs, Emberlyn went to check on him. She knew he was mentally and emotionally exhausted and thought maybe he had fallen asleep in the chair. As she crept nearer, she realized he wasn’t asleep.
He was dead.
To be continued________________