Earlier today, a commenter asked me if I believe in closure.
My exact response to her was: I believe in closure for everyone. Young, old. Long relationship, short relationship. It may not come when you want it. But it will always come.
Tonight, that very exact thing happened. To me.
When I was in sixth grade, I was in a group of girls. It was three of us. I loved them.
I wasn’t always easy to get along with. I’m still not. At some point, it became decided that “the group” (meaning…me…from them) needed to take a break. So we took a break. And then they decided that just the two of them wanted to be best friends, and that I was out.
This sounds like a small childhood thing. Of course, it was bigger than that. I had never realized that my personality was so difficult that it could drive away the people most important to me. I also didn’t learn until years later that the parents of the girls had been talking to some other parents about how I had lesbian moms, and how that wasn’t acceptable, and that no one should be invited to my house. Because my lesbian moms might touch them. And that maybe even I was a lesbian.
I was devastated. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I cried everyday. It was my first true and real wound in my life. The first time I lost something that important. I started crying just talking about this past pain to my husband tonight. It is still buried deep down there, from almost twenty-five years ago. That wound. That rejection.
One of the girls, now a woman, met my eyes tonight. Fate, or coincidence, or closure…brought us together. We didn’t pretend to not know each other. The significance was not lost. We acknowledged the awkwardness, and then quickly jumped into questions about the last twenty-five years. How are your parents? How is your brother? How are you?
Her eyes were kind. Whatever she thought about me then, she doesn’t still think about it now.
We have not seen each other until tonight. The last time I looked at her was the last day of sixth grade. I asked her to sign my yearbook, but she said she “had nothing to say.”
She transferred to another school the next year, and I began to act out, and date boys, and get bad grades. It took a long time for me to meet another group of girls that I trusted. And it took even longer for me to figure out how to be the kind of friend people wanted to keep around.
Neither of us said sorry, tonight. No one said what perhaps should have been said, which is:
A great deal of pain transferred between us. We hurt one another in a way in which only young girls are capable. I made you an enemy; I ostracized you. I was jealous and I was wrong. I am so sorry for the things I did before I was emotionally responsible.
I am am sorry for the ways I made you mature faster, for taking your girlhood away.
For ending your childhood.