I should be very hurt that you were noticeably absent at a time when I needed you most. I should be furious that you didn’t open your emails or text or call me or anyone else, so that you would know the date and be there. I should be, but I am not.
In the past, more layers of armor would have been methodically stacked to further insulate me from further transgressions. That hasn’t happened either. It’s not the past, but the present. The present is different.
In the past, the blinds would have been tightly drawn, but not this time. They are still open. Wide open for the light to enter.
I know what happened wasn’t intentional. You called. You tried to come over, to bring food and a loving embrace, but I was on my way to the beach, to try to forget, as if that was possible. And you, you had a brain blip. A smart fart. A ball drop, at the most inopportune time…
You, the smartest, most brilliant person I know…went blond. Bleached blond.
But I know it wasn’t on purpose, and I forgive you for not being there. You are the person who never remembers how old you are, or the year you were born. You forgot to go to a wedding. The only person that does that is you. It is who you are. Nothing malicious or intentional, just the absentminded professor that is you.
I went silent, and you knew exactly what to do. You went silent too. And it is for this silence on your part that I thank you.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, your move was your way of showing that you really understood. ..
You let me be, alone with myself, with my thoughts and my pain and my confusion. No texts or emails or calls to school. No messages left on my cell or expectations or timelines. No impulsive attempts to apologize or beg forgiveness. No pressures to do or be something that, quite frankly, I just can’t do or be right now.
You too went silent, but it was purposeful and gentle and loving. It was done for me.
The silence, this leave of absence, has enabled me to process, to be rational, to reflect and to take it for what it really was: a mistake, an meaningless mistake. And because of that, I have found my way back…
All thanks to time.
Your knowing what I needed has been the best gift you could have given me at a terrible time in my life. It has been subtle and thought-provoking, much like a flourless chocolate cake or a bold red wine…
I should be hurt, but I am not. Instead I am grateful.
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