The two traveled home from a town on the coast, and they saw a young hitchhiker. They stopped, asked where he was going, and invited him into the car. They asked him who he knew in the town to which he was headed, and he told them. They recognized the last name, and mentioned the full name of someone they knew in that town by the same last name.
"That's my uncle," the young man said, adding, "Don't ever trust him."
It turned out to be true, the hitch hiker's assessment. He did not know, however, that the couple that had given him a ride were in a business agreement with the uncle or that the uncle would later turn his back on promises made to ones he had called friends.
We cannot always know the true character of associates, business or otherwise. Often, we learn the hard way. Yet, we learn. The hardness helps us, however, in different ways. They even say it makes us stronger. At the time, we may not wish to be stronger, but free of betrayal.
The end of the story was that the ones that were misled did fine and walked away without rancor, wiser and better for it, in the long run. They remained true to themselves through many changes. There was forgiveness, eventually, in the woman's heart. Her husband never held grudges, but did get a business separation.The couple never wanted to hinder a possible turnaround within the heart of the former associate, although they moved on.
My parents, good neighbors on the road, are in heaven now. Times have changed, and hitchhiking is, in many places, illegal. "It's more dangerous these days," people say. I think that all times have their own kinds of dangers. I am thankful that's not the end of the story. At least, that's what I think.