” Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius
Have you had a sleepless night before? I had that kind of night a few months ago, where confusion, anger and sadness were all tangled and mangled into an unrecognizable jumble of helplessness that was me.
It had all started with a delightful lunch, ironically enough. During this get-together of close friends, one had revealed an information to the four of us in confidence. She had relayed it to us in the hope of getting our thoughts and advice. We are best friends, after all, and we assured her of our discretion.
A few days later, late in the evening, I received a text, laden with hurt, anger and disappointment. This close friend of mine suspected me of leaking the news she had shared with us. I sat staring at the phone in disbelief, heart hammering and palms sweating. You see, I had not said a word to anyone as I am quite discreet by nature, even more so in this case since I had given my word. Confused, I tried to ask her what had happened. Long story short, another person had come to know of it and no one else in our circle is close to this person but me. So, she assumed and concluded that I was the one who blabbed. I tried to convince her of my innocence but she just grew increasingly furious. I wanted to call her to talk directly to her but decided against it as it was getting very late. Finally, not knowing what else to do, I simply wrote that I was sorry for the pain she felt. Silence. Nothing. And that was when the agonizing began. For me. I slept without sleeping.
I visited and re-visited her words in my mind. The confusion I felt was soon replaced with anger and frustration. Nothing gets on my nerve more than being accused of doing something that I didn’t do. As one of my closest friends, how could she place so little trust in me? And I quickly regretted my last message to her. Maybe she took the word sorry as an admission of guilt. But, I wasn’t guilty! Then I felt sad for her because I knew how terrible she must have felt with everything out in the open. I was worried about her. Then I started worrying about our friendship. We had known each other for so many years and it would be terrible for it to end this way. Then, self reproach came as it occurred to me that, even when I was innocent, I had to use the word “sorry” to express myself. That was pathetic. On and on these thoughts circled in my mind. On and on these different emotions took their turns to impose on me. I tried to breathe them out of my consciousness but stubbornly, they dogged me endlessly until dawn of the next day.
Around noon time, I finally got a reply from her. She told me that she found out who the actual culprit was. One sentence. I was hugely relieved. But, I noticed. There was no apology. Not that I needed one. But, it would have been nice. After all those things she said to me, the baseless accusation, just one sentence of text? Really?! Without apology?! Then, I stopped myself. No more.
I had fed my pitiful misery for hours, sacrificing sleep. I could not go on feeding it. I could go on for days finding fault with her and finding fault with myself. But, I could not let it ruin a single more minute of my day. I told myself that she wasn’t thinking clearly. Or, maybe she feels so close to me that when she was in pain, she took it out on me. That doesn’t make it right but it happens and I had to let it go. I didn’t have to go on creating needless misery for myself. I refused to.
My friend and I have spoken since that incident and she has apologized for rushing to the wrong conclusion. She has no idea how much I foolishly lost sleep over it, though. I have no intention of telling her either. She thought I had just brushed it off like I do most things. I say, let tomorrow be a new day with new beginning, without the weight of yesterday. Maybe that’s the only way we can preserve our friendship.
** I altered a few details to protect our privacy.