Don’t Be So Quick To Cut Her Off: True Friends And Forgiveness
There’s a cliché saying, it’s something like, “You haven’t spoken to a true friend in a long time, but when you speak again it’s like no time has passed.” This became apparent after reconnecting with a woman that I’d stopped speaking to, about a year ago.
Shana, my friend’s name for this post, was a huge part of my life. We met during a teen poetry slam and spent the entire competition exchanging stories about our lives thus far. Warm and genuine, I was eager to forge a bond with someone so different than the drama prone girls I’d become accustomed to. Several years passed us by and we experienced the significant moments that companionships should have:
She’d been around my family and knew all of their names and ages.
We spent hours, at dinner tables, laughing at inside jokes and things we’d faced together.
We argued about things in the news and other social issues.
For almost a decade we stood in audiences, cheering for one another, and comforted one another when things became difficult.
Two years ago, someone inquired about Shana after meeting her at an event we’d both attended. The inquirer asked surface questions: Age? Birthday? From? All questions that I knew the answer to. They started to dig a bit deeper:
Oh that’s interesting. Was anyone else in her family in that field?
How about her mom?
Sisters? Oh, she’s not an only child. How many sisters does she have?
While the inquirer, a brother that was clearly trying to holler, rambled on incessantly, something occurred to me. I didn’t know a lot about the woman I considered one of the most important people in my life. I’d certainly asked these same questions, but she’d deflect them. I decided to confront her with it. Why hadn’t I met her family? Why wasn’t she comfortable telling me about the things happening in her life? Did she not trust me? Coincidentally she’d just encountered one of the most traumatic moments, of her life, when I decided to impose my inquiry. She was so annoyed and what was supposed to be a simple conversation turned into a full out argument. Although we never truly said goodbye there was an unspoken severance that occurred, so we could both have time to cool off.
I don’t think we ever thought cooling off would take a full year. Our pride clung to our fingers, pulling them away from the screens of our phones every time we passed each others’ names on the contact list. We even saw each other once, at a lounge event, and she was swollen and visibly pregnant. My heart beat quickly and I was deeply saddened by the fact that my would-have-been godchild was sitting spaces away from me. We indulged in common courtesy and said hello, but nothing more.
I’d think about her every now and then, but then I’d remembered the anger in her voice and I’d shrug off my worry. I was okay with not being friends with someone who wasn’t willing to share their life with me.
And then she called…
This is the moment I was prepared for. I was ready to be smug and confident; ready to tell her that she’s no longer needed.
And then she said…
“I need you back in my life. On a daily basis. Please return.”
All my defense mechanisms unraveled. I disregarded my womanly, innate power to hold grudges and make all who want redemption, grovel. I listened to her explain that she had a hard time trusting folks and the action wasn’t exclusive to me, but she was going to try to do better. I forgave her in an instant.
You would have done the same.
You might cry or smile, but you will comply. It’ll seem as if no time has passed, as you catch up on old and new.
Forgiveness is a necessity.
Women who are meant to stay out of your life will spark no resonance in your chest; you will not mourn them when they are gone. But companions that are worthy of second chances will succumb to their wrong and so will you. The two of you will take ownership and mature in a single bound.
The only key is the willingness to let it happen. We are heaps of intuition and we have to learn to discern when mistakes are authentic.
If I didn’t trust my intuition, I’d be bereft of an unyielding comrade today. I wouldn’t trade the smile of her year old daughter or the ear that she lends, for anything.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin
RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.