A few years ago, I deeply hurt a very close and dear friend because I was too foolish and proud to apologize. I am embarrassed by what I did, but I have learnt from it and (hopefully) repaired the damage I did back then.
I was downright nasty and disrespectful to her. I said words to her and about her that I should never have said, let alone to a friend.
At the time, I was more concerned with winning an argument. I was so engrossed with coming out tops that I never realized that I was potentially ruining one of my best and most important friendships ever. I mean, this is a friend who I spent so much time with. I knew and loved her so much, yet when it came down to a silly squabble, I escalated in into a full battle. I’m ashamed when I remember how I dragged in other people to take sides against my friend.
I am not sure I won, because it certainly didn’t feel like I did. Instead, even relationships with common friends suffered and I suppose they also couldn’t understand how I could be so vain.
I hurt her badly, and hurt myself in the process.
Over the years, I came to my senses and couldn’t begin to imagine what I had done. I wished we could be friends again, but the damage was already done.
Here I am, years later, and I miss her so bad. It’s hard to believe I was ever the mean girl. And for what? I miss my friend, and I want her back.
Years of longing to talk to her again, go to our favorite Eritrean restaurant, and questions of whether she could ever take me back as a friend. The years without her have shifted my perspective on friendship fights. They have been years of clarity, growth, and learning. Learning to never let my ego get in the way of a great friendship.
Today, I miss my friend like always. And I will do something about it; I will reach out to her and apologize. I realize not only do I need to let her know how sincerely sorry I am, I need to free myself of this guilt.
I get on Facebook to message her. I read our conversations over the years. They’re crazy and hilarious, and affirm that indeed before my hurtful words to her, we were really great friends. In there I found secrets she probably has never told another soul.
I finally have the courage to message her. She replies almost instant! Not even a tinge of bitterness. I apologize. She says that she had long forgiven me. Wow! To think I was willing to risk my friendship and sisterhood with this girl who has a heart of gold! We have a lot of catching up to do. Soon we are laughing like the old friends we are.
But it pains me that I missed part of her life out of my own doing. She is now a Mommy to the prettiest little angel, I would have loved to be there during her pregnancy and birth. She graduated yesterday with her Master’s degree, but I missed that too. All because I wanted to win a verbal war, it’s embarrassing.
Like the great friend she always was, and is, she lets me back into her life with open arms. She invited me to her house next week to visit her and her baby before she ends her maternity leave. Words cannot even begin to describe how elated I feel. I look forward to reconnecting with one of the best friends that life brought my way.
This time, this time I won’t let anything stand in the way of a beautiful friendship.