A Dash of Guilt

March 28, 2011
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‘’Truth springs from arguments among friends’’

-David Hume

‘’These aren’t as good as the last batch’’, Sage wrinkled her nose slightly. ‘’I think I liked the chocolate icing better’’ she said, looking at the Nanaimo bar with an expression of disdain.
I smiled, biting into the Nanaimo bar, letting the rich flavours dance across my tongue. ‘’I think these are amazing’’, I said, taking another bite, basking in its deliciousness. ‘’The last batch wasn’t the best’’, I look up at Sage, and she looks back, her dark eyes an abyss, (as always) blocking her emotions from me.
‘’Let’s avoid any conversation about the last batch’’ she muttered, hastily trying to wipe chocolate off of the kitchen table.
My heart panged slightly, and I looked out her big bay window into the backyard, where snow melted on the grass. The incident known as ‘the last batch incident’ was not something either of us enjoyed talking about. We’d had the biggest argument in existence, which had had the both of us fuming for days. The argument itself hadn’t been very important, it was when we were both too angry to calm down, and we’d begun yelling the worst of insults at one another. Just thinking of our argument almost brought tears to my eyes . . .

‘’I KNOW you told Leslie what I said about her’’ Sage snapped, throwing down the washcloth sharply.
‘’I did not!’’ I protested, glaring at her. ‘’How dare you accuse me of betraying your trust’’ I furrowed my brow, ‘’I would never, NEVER do that!’’ I said, shaking my head roughly.
‘’Liar’’ Sage hissed, ‘’you were the only one I told’’ she placed her hands on her hips, a defiant expression on her face.
That was true. I was the only one she ever whined about Leslie to. But I’d never go ahead and tell Leslie what she’d said. I wasn’t the kind of person who went and stabbed their friends in the back. ‘’Have I ever spilled any of your secrets?’’ I asked, ‘’no, I haven’t. What makes you think I’d change and start doing that all of a sudden?’’ I was pretty sure Sage had enough evidence to think it was me, but she should’ve trusted me. She was my best friend.
‘’Because you hate Leslie’’ Sage pointed out, her voice rising.
That was 95% true. I did not hate Leslie, I just extremely disliked her. ‘’But what would I get out of that? Ruining your friendship with Leslie so I could have you all to myself?’’ yes, the idea had crossed my mind before, but I’d come to the fact that with doing so, my relationship with Sage would implode.
I could see the anger in her eyes building, and like a kettle at its boiling point, she completely exploded, reaching her arm out to smack cutlery off the table. ‘’Liar’’ she hissed menacingly, her voice tight as if she was trying not to scream. ‘’You ruined my friendship with Leslie, and now you have the nerve to lie to my face?’’ she yelled. ‘’You lying WITCH’’ her voice resonated throughout her house.
Witch was not the word she’d said. But I’d barely registered what she’d yelled, because the moment she started yelling, I started seeing red. Furious, angry red, that made my blood boil-and not in a good way. I’d been biting my tongue up until now, trying not to let any rude, snarky, or hurtful comments slip out of my mouth . . . but I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
What happened after that was a complete mess. We yelled horrible insults, used words that stabbed us like knives, and by the time I’d left, (my bag of Nanaimo bars in my hand) we’d both been reduced to tears. Yes, it had been horrible, but what had happened afterwards, wasn’t any better.

What am I going to do? I thought, throwing myself facedown on my pillow. I couldn’t just go crawling back to Sage. It would mean I was admitting that I’d told Leslie what Sage had said about her. I couldn’t confess for something I hadn’t done.
But you want Sage to forgive you, don’t you? A small voice in the back of my head said meekly, maybe just lying and getting it over with will make things better.
Well, yes, it would be better. But she wouldn’t forgive me for the things I’d said to her. I really had said the meanest things I could think of. She wouldn’t forgive me for that.
Well, if you explain to her that it was all in the heat of the moment, she’ll definitely understand! The voice said, in an almost-encouraging tone.
But you see, I wanted her to apologize to me. She also said mean things. I deserved an apology more than she did. I’d also been accused of doing something I hadn’t by my best friend.
Be the bigger person, the voice began, if you show initiative and apologize, she’s sure to follow suite. You know that.
I did know that. Sage was not the girl that held grudges, and if she saw that I was really making an effort to make an apology, she’d probably forgive me. But my issue was trudging over to her house, and knocking on her door, and waiting for her to come. And when she did, I’d hang my head as a sign of defeat and apologize.
Just get it over with, the little voice urged.
So I did. I dragged myself out of bed, out of my house, and across the street to Sage’s house. I lifted a heavy hand and knocked on the door, my stomach filled with comets (not butterflies, comets).
Sage opened the door after my second knock, her face full of sorrow. ‘’Hi’’ she said meekly.
‘’Hi’’ I replied.
‘’Listen, I’m so-‘’ we began together, and we giggled nervously.
‘’After you’’ Sage smiled slightly.
‘’Thanks’’ I took a deep, deep breath. ‘’For a while, after our fight, every time I bit into the Nanaimo bars we made, it would taste like guilt’’ I admitted. ‘’I knew it was because I felt guilty for saying the horrible things I said to you’’ I looked down, ‘’I know I was angry, but you didn’t deserve the things I said. I’m really, truly sorry, Sage’’ I finished off quietly.
‘’I was talking to Leslie, and she told me that she’d lied when she said you told her about what I’d said. She said she’d actually been on her way over when she’d overheard us talking on my porch. She just wanted to break us up’’ Sage chuckled, ‘’I’m so, so sorry I accused you of stabbing me in the back. I should’ve trusted you when you said you hadn’t. I mean, you’re my best friend. And best friends stab you in the front, not the back’’ Sage said, and I looked up into her eyes. That was really what I wanted to hear, an apology. ‘’And I’m also really sorry for the things I said to you’’ she said quickly.
‘’Sage’’ I cried, and threw my arms around her. I was so glad we’d apologized. Just hugging Sage after two weeks without her in my arms, was the most wonderful feeling ever.

We’d both learnt valuable lessons after our argument. Sage had learnt to believe me before believing someone else. After all, we were like sisters, I’d always tell her the truth. I’d learnt that no matter how angry I got, I could always calm down before I said something that I’d definitely regret later. Thankfully for me, Sage had forgiven me, but not everyone would be as forgiving as her. Yes, we’d moved on from the fight, but ‘the last batch’ incident would always be imprinted on our brains as the time we’d both lost our heads for a moment. After that, we made sure we solved all arguments with talking, not yelling. I also learnt one last extra thing. Nanaimo bars always taste better without that little dash of guilt.

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