An apology is the emotional equivalent of reaching into your back pocket and pulling out a worn-out wallet. It’s saying “oh! before I forget” and handing over paper notes that flutter in the wind as you wait for them to accept. It’s a transaction that dents your ego and yet you’re lighter because you’re no longer carrying someone else’s weight. It’s the understanding that you took a part of them before, and it’s your job – not kindness – to return it.
Its standing at the teller as you hold up a mirror to the damages you caused, then asking to withdraw however much needed to make up for what you robbed. Some of us overcompensate while others would much rather negate any complaint and live in denial of their mistakes, their pockets heavy with lies and false promises. Some bills remain overdue so when they finally make their way over to you, you watch the empty words slide out of their mouths and you smile because you realize you were still whole all this time, even without. Some are handed in beautiful envelopes with your name engraved in love while others are crumpled little notes given to you in a huff – as if you aren’t entitled to the apology, and this is truly a blessing from above.
I’ve been trying to return a loan for the past twenty-one months but the check keeps bouncing back. The recipient has a new address, but he left behind a note to tell me not to worry, our slate is blank. So I keep the notes shoved in my wallet just in case one day again, we may be able to interact, but for now I’m getting used to the pieces of you that I stole unknowingly long ago, the ones harping from the back of my closet. But every now and then it becomes difficult to walk with the extra weight so I empty my pocket and stand beneath the night sky, with colourful notes waving in the wind – too flimsy to hold all my guilt – and wonder if I can at least make a small deposit. For you may have long moved on to a currency far more valuable, while I’m left with a debt that will remain infinite.