A Proper Apology

What a pretty picture he's painting for me.

He looked around at the living room, as if trying to zoom in on the germ particles he'd released so he could chop 'em in half.

"Honestly Damien, I forgave you during first break. That, it itself, was a wonderful apology. Wacky, real wacky, but it worked." I smiled at him, gesturing him to sit back down which he did after grabbing himself a few more tissues. "I was determined not to let anything you do succeed in having me forgive you but it's hard to resist after the show you put on."

"I know but-"

"You don't have to apologize."

"No." His voice was hard, and his eyes conveyed a seriousness I hadn't been expecting. Shaking his head at me, he said firmly, "I do. I owe you an apology. I said some things that I shouldn't have, that were totally out of line when you were only just worried about me." He looked away, circling his thumbs around each other as he continued to speak. "For you to send me out of your house like that, I realized how you must have felt when I'd done the same. And it made me feel really bad, May. I'm not just apologizing for my words, but for my actions that other day too."

I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I'd never seen Damien look this serious before, and I could tell it was a rare sight. The joker, playful Damien I knew, that the whole school was used to seeing would never have that expression plastered on his face for too long. Yet, when he finally looked up to meet my gaze, his green eyes flickering with sincerity, it made me happy.

"I'm sorry. For hurting and upsetting you, in whatever way I have done so far. It was never my intention to make you feel that way."

Seeing him look at me like that, with such genuine emotion written on his face and words that I knew weren't sugar-coated but carried a weight of honesty, I started to forget why I'd been mad at him in the first place. I remembered what it was that brought me to avoid him, to hold a grudge against him. The fact that he'd lied about why he'd kicked me out of his house, and the words that he'd uttered last week, in this very room, rang clear in my head - "You're so needy. Wanting to know every single thing." But I couldn't justify why I should be mad any longer - not anymore.

"You're forgiven."

My words seemed to lift an invisible weight off of him. He relaxed, looking a thousand times healthier as his face broke into a grin.

I still wanted to know a lot of things. I still wanted to know the truth about why he'd kicked me out of his house. I wanted to know more about his cousin, Jessie. I wanted to know more about him. But as I sat there, gazing at the way he smiled at me with the warmth of a true friend, I knew I had time to find a way to opening up his heart. A lot of time. And something told me that Damien won't be going anywhere.

The End

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