Reconciliation is a cup of coffee across from a cup of tea in a coffee house populated by people who can’t hear the conversations 6 inches away from them and where a middle-aged, overweight woman naps in the corner of a coffee shop off Center street. It’s a two person table in the middle of this cacophony of baristas, cash registers and espresso machines.
We calculated five years had gone by. When you got in my car I could see the time had passed just by a quick glance at your face as we pulled away from the apartment building where you were staying. I don’t think we said a whole lot, maybe exchanged or breathed some short greeting. To be honest, I was really scared so I couldn’t look you in the eyes and I couldn’t come up with much to say so I just let the music on my stereo keep playing. Bad Religion’s album, “Generator” in case you were wondering.
Did I mention I was scared? The nerves knotted up my insides like failed attempts at balloon animals, twisted and knotted up and uncoiled repeatedly. So, I focused on the road ahead of me where I had to drive about a mile to a coffee house knowing that was the only thing we had decided on that day.
You grabbed your tea and pumpkin bread. I had black coffee because details were the last thing I really wanted to think about. There was a tremendous amount of distance between us for being a small table apart from each other. Or maybe, that’s just me because the last few memories I had of you and me were not very pleasant ones. I’m sure you remember.
Remember, 5 years ago we were kids. We saw each other nearly every day because we both worked the same horrible work schedule. I couldn’t really grow facial hair back then so that’s why I say we were kids. The pictures of us back then are better proof than I could ever describe but we both had softer features in our faces because this was before a lot of stuff went down between us. But we were best friends and we would tell each other everything. We had a lot of laughs, we had some downs, we had some scary moments when the lights went out and it was just you and me but I don’t have any regrets so there’s no point in expounding any further. It’s just that I remember.
And you know, memory’s a tricky thing. When I ended what was between us just a couple weeks before Christmas I thought I was dying. I did. I don’t remember the drive home or the weeks that followed but I remember something and I want to tell you the truth because everyone deserves it and so do you. I’m just putting it down this way because it’s the best I can do and no one will really get it it but you anyway. So, here. Take it. And do me a favor, when you’re done, throw it away because it’s all garbage in the end.
Out of my pain and anger I said a lot of mean and hurtful things about you. I didn’t make up stories in fact I kept a lot of us to myself. But I told people you were crazy, clingy, and all sorts of mean things. The truth is I was all those things myself and a lot more. I put you through a lot of the hell I was experienced and you held on tight. There was a lot of unhealthy things that went on between us but that’s what happens when kids try to grow themselves up too quickly. What I’m saying here is I want to apologize. I’m sorry for all the pain I took out on you for the sake of my self and I’m sorry I wasn’t man enough to say it to your ears. I’m sorry that even if you would have heard it, they’d have been lies. I’m sorry for all the time I spent wasted resenting you and you never knew it. I felt convicted of it so here’s something finally telling you the truth.
Yesterday you apologized for the only way in which you wronged me in the 8 months we were together. I don’t think I told you that I forgave you. I do.
So, let us forget the past and bring it back to the present where reconciliation is an empty cup of tea sitting across from an empty cup of coffee. Where hours pass and so do many conversation topics and where we’re not really kids anymore.