How people handle joy and pride shows you a lot about them. How people handle pain and remorse shows you even more.
I’m not the girl who sits on countertops and swings her legs slightly as she falls in love or makes a big decision. I’m the girl that makes pro/con lists and sees everything as a process.
I don’t make a mistake and hope nobody will ever find out. I don’t carry dark, hidden secrets that can only be unlocked in a late night heart-to-heart.
I’m much more direct, and when someone hurts me I yearn for them to be just as straightforward. I just want the five feet of apology between us to be genuine. I want that apology to bridge the gap between destructive hurt and rebuilding a foundation of trust.
All I want to hear is, “I did something wrong, I wish I could make it right, and I can’t, but I hope you can forgive me in time.”
And sometimes that’s all I can say, especially when I don’t expect forgiveness.
I’m the girl who feels limited by English. Sometimes “sorry” can’t even begin to cover the scope of crippling, keeps-you-up-at-night remorse. An apology is how I verbally hold my head in my hands and show how desperately I ache for a re-do button to fix what I’ve done. “I’m sorry” is my promise that despite how rightfully upset with me you are, I’m even more distressed. I have to grieve the loss of the friend I thought I was.
I’m doing that grieving process now.
I was impulsive and irrational, and I made a terrible decision that destroyed a friendship that meant a lot to me. I handled it in the only way I know how: I owned up to what I did, apologized, and didn’t expect to be forgiven. “I’m so sorry” couldn’t fix it. I’m not sure anything could’ve fixed it.
It was like watching a zipper break and irreparably split apart: all the pieces are there, but they no longer fit together the way they used to.