It's Too Late to Apologize

May 15, 2010
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When I was 13, all I ever wanted was to be popular. I would watch the popular people who everyone seemed to like, and I would observe how they talked, laughed, moved, dressed. I envied how everyone seemed to be drawn towards them like the moon is pulled towards the Earth. They would say something, and everyone around them would completely agree with them. I envied their charisma. I hated that I couldn’t be like them.

I think that if I had had my own friends, or even just one trustworthy friend, I wouldn’t have tortured myself so. I despised myself, for even though I got 90 averages and never went hungry or cold at night, I knew that I could never be liked by my peers. I loathed myself for feeling so miserable every day, and I was disgusted by my lack of self-confidence and my sensitive nature. Was I a masochist? Probably. Was I depressed, or just plain crazy? It didn’t matter.

When I turned 14, it was a whole new school year. We had a few new students in our class, a change of teachers, of lockers, but once again, I was stuck with the people I knew I could never be like. My resentment of myself only grew, resulting in my marks slipping, my swearing at teachers and getting suspended, me destroying the relationships between myself and my parents, and my peers hating me as well. My teachers looked at me in disdain, the people in the school gave me a wide berth and whispered behind their backs about me, and my dad, who finally couldn’t take the screaming and the crying that took place every night, left my mom and I. My newfound behaviour continued for 2 terms. My mom was scared of me, I could tell, so she left me alone. I started feeling more and more numb as I pretty much gave up feeling. One afternoon after a particular bad day at school in which I kicked a classmate in his sensitive area on purpose and got suspended, I went home, found a scarf, and hanged myself.

Of course it didn’t work.

My mom had come home just then, having forgotten the dinner she usually ate at work. I was unconscious by then, but doctors told me that she’d taken my limp body down, called 911, and tried resuscitating me. Am I thankful for her saving my life? At that time, no. I swore at her when I woke up, and told her to go to hell.

After that incident, I tried changing. We moved to another city, booked a weekly shrink for me to see, and my mom even tried finding another boyfriend. I found a friend at my new school, and after a few months, we became like sisters. In fact, we were so close that I talked to her about everything, including the things I’d never told anyone about. She listened attentively, swearing at the people who’ve ever made me feel like crap, crying with me when I remembered the times I’d felt hopelessly lost. She never judged me. I loved her even more than I’d ever loved my parents.

I thought I’d finally found the life I wanted to have while I was in high school. I was, if not ecstatic, content and willing to live. My relationship with my mother was slowly improving. My marks were rising again, and my peers treated me like a mere classmate, no more, no less. I even had a boyfriend, who I actually fell in love with. I wanted to marry him, and I wanted my best friend to be my sister. That was what I wanted, and for me, it was worth living for.

One night, during our senior year in high school, my classmates, including my best friend and my boyfriend went out of town for a week-long trip in Washington. I was down with a bad case of flu that made me sound like a frog and look like a swine, but before leaving, my boyfriend came over, kissed me soundly on the lips, and told me I was the most beautiful person in the world. I promptly burst out, “Will you marry me?” and he looked at me, smiling his heart-warming smile. He said yes. I told him, red hot with a slight fever and the utmost embarrassment, that I’d just taken my medication and was sleepy and not thinking straight and how could I be thinking straight if I’d just asked him to marry me when we were only 17 years old and… He kissed me again, and told me that he loved me, and that he wanted to marry me, even if it meant that it didn’t have to be now. He left, saying, “I’ll see you in a week, alright love?”

I was so excited, and for the first time in a very long time, I was full of ecstatic feelings. I told my mom about the engagement, and to my surprise, she told me she was for it as long as I finished college and found a job to support us. That night, for the first time in my life, I prayed to God. I said, “God, thank you. I know I’ve hardly deserved all this happiness, I know I hardly deserve having such a great friend, and such a loving boyfriend, and such a forgiving mother. I don’t think I deserve to be alive even, but thank you for giving me this chance to be happy for once. I was a b****, and I knew it, but I think I’ve been able to prove that I am, in truth, a very caring and generous person. Please let me be with him, please let him come back, please let me be able to tell my friend about the joyous news and let her see how much she’s helped me. God, thank you. Amen.”

Two days later, I could hardly contain my emotions anymore, so after consulting with my doctor and my mother, I was able to convince them to let me visit my boyfriend and my friend at the trip. Seeing how happy I was for once, my mother agreed to fly with me to Washington. We got there, took a taxi to the hotel my class was staying at. I remember looking in every mirror or glass window we passed, realizing how crappy I still looked, but I would remember what my boyfriend had said, and I would smile, tears of joy welling up in my eyes. Me and my mom talked like we hadn’t talked for years. We chatted about the most trivial matters, my engagement, and even about my dad. He left us, she told me, not because of my behaviour for he loved me so much he would’ve given his life for me, but because he had stage 4 skin cancer, and the doctors were pretty sure he wouldn’t survive. He left so that I wouldn’t be hurt by his death. He would’ve rather me hate him for ditching us then me hating myself for him passing away. Me and my mom both wept for him, and we hugged eachother.

When we got to the hotel, my mom waited at the restaurant where most of my classmates were at. I went up to the room my friend and boyfriend were sharing, but they weren’t there. I was getting this weird feeling in my gut, but I assumed it was because of my illness. I went back to find my mom, and at the same time, two of the most important people in my life also entered.

I ran to my boyfriend, and kissed him, sensing his surprise, and finally, his happiness. I hugged my best friend, trying to talk but my throat was too roughed up, my lips too swollen. She could sense my overflowing emotions though. She asked me what the happy news was. I told her.

That night, while my boyfriend and I shared a room talking about anything we could think of, the phone rang. I picked it up.


“In five minutes, you and that son of a b**** will be dead.” I was shocked. My boyfriend pulled closer towards me, and asked me who it was. Speechless, I pressed the button so that the mysterious caller’s voice could be heard by us both. The caller did not say anything more. I felt like I was in some kind of soap opera for a second, thinking, no this is too fake to be true. I turned to my boyfriend to say something, and the door in the room’s bathroom banged open. My best friend suddenly appeared at the small hallway of the hotel room, screaming incomprehensibly, something went off, and my boyfriend screamed. The hotel door opened as if by magic, my mom entered, and my best friend, who was now somehow holding a fire extinguisher spun around and smashed it on her head.

I stared. It sounds stupid, but that’s what I did. A hotel employee came running into the room, and seeing what happened, took out his walkie-talkie and said something into it. My best friend moaned and crumpled on the ground. I remember turning towards my boyfriend, and throwing up on him. I fainted right after.

Waking up, I found myself in a hospital again. Social service employees surrounded me, talking to me in gentle, sympathetic voices. I told them to just stop with their frickin’ act, and to just get straight to the point. I learned that my mother was dead, and that my friend was charged with first-degree murder. The story had made minor headlines. The articles had talked, more or less, about how one high-school boy had been sleeping with his girlfriend’s best friend and had agreed to marry both of them without the other one knowing. The murderer, who’d killed the mother of the girl her lover was dating, had been convinced that the boy would break up with his girlfriend so that they could have a proper relationship. When she learned that he’d agreed to marry the girlfriend, she snapped, and went to confront him about it. She confessed to the fact that it was the boy she wanted to hurt, and not the mother. She would be facing a life-time in prison, or perhaps even death row.

All that happened four years ago. I now have a major in English, and I’m taking a psychology course. I’ve learned to let go of my pain through my various shrinks, to move on from my late parents and how much they loved me, and how I returned their love in such unfavorable ways. I’ve learned to let go of my hatred of the person I’d thought to be my best friend, and of my expected chagrin at her successful suicide. I’ve learned to live with my anger at the God I’ve never believed in, but who had punished me for not being a believer and only communicating with him for my own purposes. All my hard work of letting go so that I wouldn’t go even more insane and end my life was swept away though.

Yesterday, when I was coming out of my building to go to school, I turned around, and saw him leaning against the railing, his arms and legs crossed. He was almost exactly as I remembered him to be like, except for his eyes; they were shadowed, and made him look as if he’d aged 20 years. I didn’t say anything. I was busy taking deep, long breaths, just like my shrink had taught me.

“I’m sorry.” He finally said. I stared. Then I swore at him.

“Go rot in hell,” I concluded. He gulped, but didn’t move.

“Please,” he pleaded, “I need you to forgive me. I’m sorry, you know I am, for cheating on you. Your mom, she – that was partly my fault I know. I loved you both, and I know that that’s not an excuse for what I did, but I never wanted you hurt. I swear.” I had to continue with my usually unfailing breathing exercises, for at that moment, I seriously wanted to take a club and bludgeon him to death. “Please.”

Remember about the hatred I told you about, the hatred I’d felt for myself? I felt it again. I hated myself for even listening to him, for looking at him and wanting him, wanting him so much even though he had pretty much destroyed all that I’d ever wanted, all that was ever worth living for. I was crying by that time, but I walked past him, giving him a wide berth.

“It’s too late to apologize.”

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