Everybody deals with reconciliations in their own fashion. Some people take years to reconcile while others find it easy with just one sorry. Forgiveness isn’t a light issue and I always say that saying sorry and asking for forgiveness are two different things. Admittedly, I fall in the first category; it takes me a while before I reconcile with a friend I’ve had a falling out with. To some extent, it’s due to the gravity of our circumstance. If it really, really hurt me, it usually takes more than just one sorry to patch things up. Like I said, to each his own. Some people find forgiving others easy. I’m not saying I find it hard. All I’m saying is, it’s more than just saying sorry for me.
Last night, I was totally unprepared when my friends cornered me and another friend who I had a falling out with last February. I wrote about the foolishness of that in this blog and to this day, I still think the whole thing was a waste of time and friendship. Then it makes me wonder, so why didn’t I just let the whole thing go if it weren’t really that big a deal?
Well, that’s just it. It was a big deal, primarily because it involved something very, very important to me: honesty. At that time, what I was mostly mad about were the constant denials. To deny is to disregard all obvious truths and in the end, I was just disgusted with the whole issue. I hate that people are not honest with each other, and I hate that we try to cover up things that eventually cause the ruin of a friendship. When friends start being dishonest with each other, when truths become half-truths, then eventually trust is lost. And what is friendship, or any relationship, without trust?
So last night at the farewell dinner for me and my friend Jeff, the inevitable happened. Friends were actually teasing me and my other friend because they know we’ve not spoken with each other since February and have not seen each other since last year. I tried to be very civil. I think that’s the word. I wouldn’t say I was ‘friendly’ because honestly, I wasn’t enjoying the whole thing at first. It was awkward, having to seat there and let others tease you both about patching up and stuff. It was even more awkward when he started telling them about an issue I wished not discussed publicly. That probably triggered my half-hearted response to his presence. If a person wanted to apologize to me, he’d have done it a long time ago and not wait for an opportunity to arise where apologies would come at the prodding of friends, albeit in good faith. But I let that go. The mere fact that he was there, for whatever reason, seemed to say he wanted to reconcile, or at least have a try at it.
Eventually, towards the end of the party, we did ‘patch up’. Parang bata nga ang dating. So there we were seated beside each other, and my friends just basically told us, in a figurative context, to ‘kiss and make up’. Which is to say, to shake hands, and be well. Hmm.
I didn’t offer my hand when he did. I didn’t look at him nor did I respond positively to all that was happening at that point. It wasn’t because I was still mad. It wasn’t also because I didn’t want to reconcile. My lack of response was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t really know how to respond to something so awkward. Now that I think about it, I could have done a better job, actually. I could have said to them, “guys, sige na mauna na kayo. We’ll just have a short talk between us.” Yes, that’s what I wanted to say. Because in truth, this reconciliation is between us. It’s something personal, something that shouldn’t be forced upon us, but something we both decide to do. And yes, he may have decided he wanted to apologize a long time ago, but I was still mulling things over.
Ganun kasi ako. I think way too much about something. I consider many things. But I now realized the folly of it all and saw how simple reconciliation is.
Yes, saying sorry is not enough, but that’s the first step. He went to the party. He showed up. Danna told me, “he knows this will be brought up and tutuksuhin kayo ng barkada. He was prepared for that.” Point taken.
Kat also remarked, “he wouldn’t have come to your house if he wasn’t sincere.”
Now that I’ve thought about it, he probably was sincere and really wanted to get this over and done with. He said it himself, “hindi kasi ako ma-sorry.” For my part, I’m not easily swayed. A sorry is much more than a word said. It should involve, above all, the humility to recognize one’s fault, and admit it. To himself. To others.
But we’ve patched up. I texted him today that I wasn’t mad anymore. The whole public reconciliation just made me feel awkward. But all is forgiven and forgotten. It’s overdue. And since we’re all about to leave soon, it’s better to have no grudges, no ill feelings, and no bitterness whatsoever. I should look past the regrets of a lost friendship and be thankful for restored ones.
It may have taken me four months to recognize this, but reconciliation comes in different ways, different forms. The important thing is, people come to a middle ground.