Monday, January 01, 2007

Dear 'Netters

You deserved better.

You were my first friend. Pretty sure I was your first friend, too. But as far as friends go, I was pretty crappy to you.
And for no reason.
We were a few months apart in age, so I got to go to Kindergarten a year before you did. I thought that made me better than you. And I certainly made sure you knew it.

I was a stupid, selfish little kid.

You deserved better than that kind of friend.
But there weren't many kids in our neighborhood, so you took what you got.

I wanted to say something years later when we both rode the same bus to high school. But I knew what a jerk I'd been. I was ashamed. I didn't know how to say I was sorry after all those years. We sat at the bus stop together every morning, and I never said a word.

You deserved better.
You deserved an apology.

You really did.
I think you fell into the wrong crowd in high school because I made you feel like you didn't deserve better.
Back when you were only 5 years old.
Because you had a really crappy friend.
That's so wrong.

You really didn't deserve that.
You were a nice person.

I've been thinking about you for the past couple of years.
Wondered if you'd married, had kids. Grew up happy.
Wondered if I could find you, write you a note. Tell you I was sorry.

Of course, I didn't.
I only thought about it.
Like sitting at the bus stop watching you hunch over your school books trying to disappear.

New Years Day, my dad told me that your dad died.
I had just enough time to feel sad for you when my dad added, "You know that 'Netters is dead too, right?"

No, I didn't.

Five years ago.
In a car accident.
You were 35.

And I thought of that note I had wanted to write to you.

The one you so deserved.
And never got.

You deserved so much better.

Annette, I am so sorry.


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You know what it is.
Go now.