Please forgive me or I’ll give you another lizard for Christmas

Looking back on it, of course I bumped into her at the craft store. My heart was still pounding with the memory of texting her just minutes earlier from the parking lot. “I’m sorry,” I wrote. The thought that I might see her there at the craft store even crossed my mind as I walked through the door and lifted Nate into a cart. Usually it would be a good thought, but this time, no. It breaks my heart to admit it.

“Hi,” she said halfheartedly as we met at the end of the aisle near the cake decorating supplies. I maneuvered the cart around a large metal stepladder; we may as well have been in city lockup together.

“Hi,” I answered, knowing full well that she was angry. It felt strange to have my best friend angry with me at all and the week before Christmas it felt surreal. “What are you buying?” I asked, trying to sound lighthearted.

“Scrapbooking supplies,” she answered.

“I’m getting decorations for Anna’s birthday cake,” I announced unasked.

A minute later we parted, still uncomfortable, still in a fight. It’s funny that we bumped into each other just then, how the universe keeps bringing us together like that. Did I ever tell you that I first met her weeks before my mom suddenly died? At the very moment when I needed a friend the most, she appeared.

When I was a kid, I never wanted a best friend. Something about the idea of having one freaked me out. Now I try to forego labels at all, instead just trying to be the best friend that I can. I think it’s worked. I’ve done such a good job insinuating myself into her life, supplying the ingredients for fun, that she trusts me to be there all the time, not just for the everyday get-togethers, but for the birthdays, the holidays, all of it. Our friendship is such a success that she can believe that her semi-Jewish best friend will come to Christmas dinner at her house unannounced and without an invitation.

And when I can’t be there? Well, this friend who never fails to surprise me, who had a whole secret life before the one she has now, who has had adventures, who has messed up and fixed herself, and who even used to own a pet lizard, well, she surprises me yet again. She stops speaking to me the week before Christmas.


16 thoughts on “Please forgive me or I’ll give you another lizard for Christmas

  1. I had a friendship melt down shortly before Christmas several years ago. To complicate matters, I was preparing to move across the country, so it made me even sadder to part on such bad terms. A mutual friend helped us patch things up about a year later, but things were never the same. I hope things can be resolved for you and your friend.

    1. Aw, moving seems to be so hard on friendships. I’m sure that this will blow over and everything will be fine. That’s why I can write about it.

  2. Well, anyone who owns a pet lizard is definitely worth keeping as a friend. And it’s not like you didn’t speak at all… I think she probably doesn’t like this fight thing anymore than you. Sometimes it’s just hard to know how to end it.

  3. I’m so bad at friendships that go through rocky times — I either blurt out an apology or get sullen and quiet until we’ve both forgotten each other enough. I should do the first one more.

  4. Oh my, this was unexpected. I like the way you wrote it–pacing, tone, etc. Very skilled, as usual.
    As for the friendship thing…I run from confrontation (yes, I’m in therapy for that shortcoming) because I just hurt too badly when friends are mad at me. What a strange feeling, to be in a fight with your best friend. For me it felt like I lost a limb, maybe a spiritual limb or something.
    If that makes sense. I hope things get patched up between you two.

  5. Aww… stuff like this is the reason why I have so much trouble being friends with other girls. I don’t understand the politics! But I hope it blows over for you, sounds like you’ve got a great friend!

  6. Ah, im sorry to hear about this. My best friend and i stopped talking a year ago (over my being gay), and i still miss her terribly. I hope things get better between you two soon.

  7. Truth is, we actually all live in our own universe, and sometimes they seem to coincide, but that in itself is a miracle.
    When they don’t, well, maybe “no wonder”… 😉
    Maybe some day you will find out what is going on in hers, maybe not. If you are lucky, and give it good thought, you can at least know what is going on in your own universe. 😀
    Merry Christmas! tomas ☼

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