“You know,” I began again, “once, in 2011, she left a comment on my blog.”
“I’ve made a conscious effort to not talk about it anymore. Not… out loud. But I would write stuff on my blog. Even… now. Sometimes I write about them – though not as frequently as back then. I don’t name names or anything, but if you know me in real life – chances are, you’d know who I’m writing about, which is why I’m iffy to give other friends my blog link. If you find me, that’s fine. Maybe just… don’t tell me you’re reading me. But even if I never wrote about you before – to be honest, I can’t guarantee I won’t. Because I write about things that happen in my life, you know? They’re all real, everything I’ve written about. Mostly though, it’s about what I feel as these things took place. I… write about the past a lot because that’s my way of trying to understand what happened, everything that’s happened.”
“You know how everything started from a blog entry? Blogging was the trend when we were in high school, so we shared our links with each other – we all read each others’ blogs. I wrote about people even back then, but I guess I had zero filter then – I’m slightly better now – and I just, people need to tell me when they’re offended, you know? You know me! I’m oblivious to these things, I don’t get hints and stuff. So I didn’t know – I genuinely had no idea at all – that I’d apparently hurt some of them with the stuff I wrote about them. To me they were no big deal, but apparently they took offense. Things escalated from there.”
“But anyway, I stayed with my blog. I gave you the link once, if you remember? But it’s fine, you don’t need to read it or anything. But yeah, I still have the same blog, though I think I’ve told… only five real life friends in total? Plus it was so long ago that I’ve no idea if they still remember. For those girls at least, I definitely thought they’d stopped reading after what happened, especially since the whole drama started because of my blog. I don’t know about them, but I kept my space. I wrote about my life in general, but I never… I never really got over what happened – not until I met up with her in Edinburgh during spring break of 2012. Man, I hesitated so much and for so long about meeting up with her there! I thought about it over and over, uncertain, but finally decided to go ahead. I think she worried over this too, but it turned out well. It actually went well. That was the first time when I realized that we’ve… grown up. We’ve built lives separate from the past we shared – our friends, when we spoke about those by our sides, they were names and faces that were unfamiliar. She didn’t know who I was talking about and neither did I, about her friends. And I mean, we know this about her – she’s a nice person. She’s truly, sincerely, a good person.”
My friend nodded her head in agreement.
“So I mean, when I think about that comment she left on my blog in 2011 – it was like… it was the kindest form of retaliation. Crazy, or crazy? I’ll be honest. That was so… frustrating because ugh, even then, she acted as the bigger person like the good person that she is. While I- I… sigh, my blackened heart.”
“What did she say? What did she write?”
“So it was an entry I wrote about them, because sometimes I have… episodes. I never really got over what happened until after I met her in 2012, so in those years between 2008 and 2012 I wrote about them sometimes… and this one was a relapse. I think I came across an old photo one of them posted on Facebook and it… hurt. So I wrote about how they kept driving home the point they’re six, conveniently and deliberately avoiding any mentions of starting out as seven friends.”
I had to stop for a second to compose myself; I could feel heat rising up my cheeks from embarrassment and mortification. Saying these things out loud now, after so many years – my god, no wonder my friend’s default expression that night was half-amused and half-sympathetic. I sounded foolish even to my own ears.
“I was so surprised when I got the notification that she left a comment. I thought… I was so sure they’d all forgotten about the existence of my blog, since they’d abandoned theirs and moved on to other platforms. She was… kind, you know? That’s who she is, who’s she’s always been. She said something like unlike what I thought [about them], when they meet up, they’d never fail to ask about me – “How’s Jane? I wonder what she’s up to now? Is she still in the US?” – and that to her, or maybe to them, they – we – were always seven. I think she might’ve apologized in that comment, but it’s that part about not forgetting me and about remembering being seven that I still remember.”
“Did you reply to her comment? What did you say?”
“I… can’t remember. I think I thanked her for her kind words, but what does it change now? Even that time when she left that comment, sweet as it was, I couldn’t… I couldn’t accept it for what it was – because she was wrong about one thing: we don’t know each other anymore. We’ve got that childhood past between us as our shared history, but even if we’d patched things up from there and I was back in their fold …no. First of all, no matter what, no. That past is gone – why the hell would I want to recreate the friendship circle? I don’t know them anymore and neither do they, with me. I didn’t say this of course and at that time, honestly, the pain was still raw – I think I just thanked her and maybe I apologized. We left it at that. But I haven’t forgotten, until now, that she actually left that comment. Because… it’s her. Of course she would do something like that.”
My friend shook her head for the umpteenth time, not exactly frustrated with me – not yet – but it’s clear she wished I would listen to myself more.
“You should’ve taken that apology she handed at that time. You should’ve taken it. And you know why you didn’t? More than anything, your pride didn’t let you. Even then, it stood in the way. That was her acknowledging she made a mistake in the past, that she treated you poorly. But Jane, you… could’ve been the bigger person too. Your ego-“ she started again, but for reasons undisclosed, decided against it and dropped it altogether.
As I write this, it is only now that I understand something else: I was wrong.
It wasn’t me who handed forgiveness first – of course it’s her. Always the bigger person. Always… the kinder soul. The girl I could never be. But in that moment when this conversation took place, between my old friend and myself, as we sat side-by-side on my sofa with my emotions and nostalgia raining down upon us, I hope she forgave me, just that once, for that moment in the past when I’d let my pride take over. Because even though I understand where she’s coming from – I really do – I also know that there was just no way that the girl l was at that time would’ve, could’ve, accepted and handled it maturely. Back then in 2011, although it was 2011 by then – the pain was still so raw.