“Never think twice before saying sorry or thank you to anyone”

One of the countless life lessons Nana left me to implement. Alas, those words went in vain on an 8 year old. They say that it’s never too late to say sorry but sometimes, just sometimes, isn’t it?

I have played it a thousand times in my head- how I would say sorry to you. Maybe a text, a call or maybe go to your house and blurt it your face. Just three words “I am sorry”. It’s so simple, easy as a breeze. Then what stops me? My ego? Lack of courage? Yeah, both. But what actually stops me is the realisation that it’s not going to change anything. Neither the past , present nor the future is going to alter itself even if I apologise.

Yet, I wish I could muster up the courage because it burdens me to keep it inside. The thought that maybe you look back at those memories just as I do but the presence of my shadow makes it all bitter. Like during autumn rain how we used to wear our oversized boots and try to push each other into puddles and how much it used to hurt your pride to always be the one to end up with muddy clothes. To be pushed over by a girl!- what an insult, right? Or how we used to act like being each other’s dance partners was like the worst thing that could happen but wouldn’t want to pair up with anyone else; partners in every duo performance I did in those 5 years with the person I claimed to hate the most.

Oh, I did hate you,  as much hate a 6 year old’s tiny heart could hold. For the times you ganged up with the other guys when they teased me for being a tomboy. When every time you came over to my house and took over my own TV and I couldn’t say anything back because according to Mom you were ” a guest”. For blowing off the candles on my birthday cake every year. For doing better than me at math. And so much more.

Somehow still, friend, I still never truly hated you. Remember one day we were cycling right after the snow had started clearing and my cycle skidded off the road? I cut my knee and you piggy backed me home, laughing at my pitiful cycling skills the whole way. Or remember how during spring when I used to sneeze because of the pollen how you would tie your handkerchief over my nose? Or the lazy summer afternoons by the lake, chasing after Ruslan’s dog? Remember how I broke your Batman figurine and started crying and you laughed saying how funny I looked when I cried?

“Good days” I say. But I wonder what you say when you look back at them. Do you recall me as a companion of a magical childhood? Or as a destroyer who brought the worst ending to your best days? In my head when I think of going up to you, I imagine you asking “Why did you do that?”. Nine years and I still cannot find an answer to that. Because I was angry? Because I was hurt? But the best fit always seems to be- because I was stupid.

So, maybe one of these days when our families get together again, I’ll walk up to you instead of avoiding eye contact and I’ll let it all out- the good, the bad and the ugly. And maybe you’ll forgive me and we will take a walk down the lanes of Parkovaya, the tunnels behind the school,  the narrow alleys of the bustling Sunday markets when our pockets used to be loaded with candies and our faces with smiles. Maybe.


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