Letter of Apology

Letter of Apology

A Story by L.W.M.
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An apology for leading a friend down the wrong road.

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Our friends who know the story comfort me, and tell me that it’s not my fault. They say that sometimes people just turn out this way; that you were a bad egg from the start. Or they say that your parents, despite their constant love, never paid enough attention.

       But I remember the kid I met at the first day of tryouts. You couldn’t have been five feet tall. Many of the guys laughed when they saw you running the bases �" “Who’s the Asian midget that can’t find a helmet that’ll stay on?” they said. “Hey kid, T-ball field is down the block!” You just smiled, and stole third.

       I was immediately impressed by how you carried yourself that day. There was a sense of dignity, of purpose. It reminded me of how I had come in as a freshman. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, that sense was slipping from me. It may have already been gone. Either way, when you happened to sit next to me in the dugout the excitement for our conversation was mutual.

       Man, you had f*****g fire in your eyes. Lead-offs, batting stances, ready positions, hit-and-runs, double steals, strategy, preparation, mechanics �" you were a flurry of knowledge and desperate for more. Dieing for anything that could help you make the team, help you reach the position that I was in. Your work ethic was a special thing. It’s what sets people apart, and you had it.

       You asked for my secrets, and what did I do? I took you behind the bleachers after practice and pressured you in to smoking your first joint. Sure, it wasn’t just me �" half the team was there. But that night changed things for you. The fire in your eyes now had a different flame to compete with.

       Of course, we had our fun. Smoking weed always is, for a while at least. Remember the time we were high in my kitchen and had a laughing attack, and my sister ran into the room because she thought we were crying (which we were, uncontrollably)? You shrieking, pointing at the crackers above the fridge that were maddeningly out of reach, me rolling around on the floor with my breathing laughter that truthfully does sound more like a sob. How ridiculous. It seems like so long ago… like we were just children. S**t, come to think of it, you were still a child �" I was just acting like one.

       Why did I do it? Why did I introduce that world to you when the world you were living in was so obviously the right one for you? I guess it’s because that’s what was done to me. I too was the freshman betrayed by the habits of the older ‘friends’ I looked up to. Did the same thing happen to them? Is it just an endless cycle of corruption of spirit?

       You’re sentence is for eight years. I’m told it could be six with good behavior. That’s how long I’ve known you now: six years. I won’t know you when you get out.

       Our mutual friends don’t like how much I bring you up these days. I suppose it’s not a story they’re comfortable with thinking about. So they brush it aside, and comfort me, and tell me that it’s not my fault. But notice this: I am not man enough to visit you and apologize face to face. Instead I sit in my room and write.

 

© 2011 L.W.M.


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L.W.M.
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Added on January 26, 2011
Last Updated on January 26, 2011

Author

L.W.M.
L.W.M.

Portland, OR



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