Last weekend my friend apologized to me.
It hadn’t been that big a deal, the thing for which he apologized, but the timing was bad. I didn’t think about an apology. I didn’t ask for one.
He gave me one anyway. He made amends, and then he offered the apology up to me like an unexpected jewel, and then he made some more amends. I watched him take responsibility for his actions, and I watched him not have to take credit for doing so. He did it without any fuss.
The apology was actually for me.
I accepted it, and I took it in, and it changed me. I hadn’t realized how hungry I had been for that very thing until I sucked it down and felt a palpable relief. I had forgotten such a thing was possible. I am used to being asked to dance in a mirror maze in which I am a mere spectre. And here I was, being offered the chance to be me.
I said yes, of course.
I’ve gotten pretty good at being me, in the privacy of these temple bones, in the sanctuary of this muscle heart, in the safety of this rib cage.
He could have said, “You’re too sensitive, Amy.” He could have said, “Well, it only happened because of x and y and z.” He could have gotten angry at me. He could have thought I didn’t think he was a good person. He could have thought for himself that he wasn’t a good person. He could have asked me to comfort him. He could have asked me to pretend nothing had happened, and I might have, because I have larger battles to fight.
He could have left me sitting there alone. The only consequence would have been me staying in my cage of bones, unwilling to come out where I would not be seen.
But he didn’t do that.
And so I have a stronger friendship than I did before.
And so I can begin to see a path to being myself outside these temple bones.
And so I have hope.