She was the type of person who would always come up with the perfect response. The cutting line. The hilarious joke. The exact right thing to say. Unfortunately she always came up with them much too late. On the drive home from work she would think of exactly what she should have said to the snotty woman in line at the coffee shop that morning. At a party she would blurt out the name of the actress they had all been trying to remember, long after every one else had moved on. The exact right thing to say to a coworker who was trying to shift the blame on to her plate always came to her at dinner instead of when she needed it. It had always been like this. So she cherished the times when she did come up with exactly what she wanted to say at exactly the right time.
This was one of those times.
As she listened to Him go on and on about how life turns and changes and how it all works out for the best in the end she knew that when He was done with His little speech He was going to ask her for her forgiveness.
He needed everyone to like Him. To love Him. To make His world run smoothly. She was the one loose end. The one person He couldn't point to and say, "Yeah, we are still great friends." She also knew that He hadn't even considered it could be possible, that she might not have forgiven Him, that she might not like Him, until a few days ago. That's when she had run in to Ryan, an old friend of theirs, who mentioned that He was engaged. Ryan asked how she felt about it and in of those rare but sweet occasions when she knew exactly what to say she had looked at both of her empty hands and back up at Ryan. "What does that mean?" he had asked her, "I was just looking to see if I had any fucks left to give about what He does and apparently I am still out." Ryan had roared with laughter. And apparently told Him about it because she got the call the next day.
"We should grab a cup of coffee."
She could have turned Him down but she didn't. She thought about that after she agreed and realized she had never turned Him down for anything. Not once. She had always done what He wanted. What He needed. So in truth she had probably started forming her perfect response then. Instead of being right on time she was a day late from what she should have said on the phone. But that was okay, she'd take it. He didn't need to know.
No she would not forgive Him. He broke her. He left her. He chose someone else when He swore she was the only one. When she had asked Him over and over what was wrong He had lied to her. Told her it was all fine. And then He left. Telling her that it was her insecurity that had caused it, really. That if she couldn't trust Him then He was forced to be untrustworthy. And the real bullshit of it was that for a long time she believed Him. Until she realized that she had trusted Him. She had believed Him. Over and over and over. Until it became too obvious even for her that He wasn't trustworthy.
So no, she would not forgive Him. And honestly they both knew He didn't want her forgiveness. He wanted her absolution. He wanted to be able to say "It all worked out perfectly. Look how happy we both are now. Where we should be." He wanted to somehow take credit for her life now. For the happiness she had made for herself. For the work she had done, bit by bit, rebuilding herself in her own image instead of His. Putting the pieces back together in to a whole new picture. He wanted to be able to say that He did that. That He knew they would be better off with other people. That really she owed it all to Him.
She knew that forgiveness was as much for the forgiver as it was for the forgiven. But she didn't really care. Making Him feel better wasn't her job anymore. It just wasn't. She had spent so many years doing everything she could to make sure He was okay. She had put her career in a holding pattern when it became obvious that too many hours at work meant fewer hours with Him. She had stopped traveling because He couldn't always go. She tailored her life around His. Anytime He mentioned something about her that He didn't really like she would change it. Her laugh, her friends, her clothes. And it wasn't until He left her that she even realized it. That she had nothing that was hers.
She was broken.
Now she wasn't. She had her own friends. Her own interests. She was dating someone who loved everything about her that He had worked so hard to change. She was happy. And He had nothing to do with that. She did that all on her own. And what He did was of no concern to her either. So no she wouldn't forgive Him, she was working on forgetting Him.
That was what she was going to say.
He looked at her with his soulful eyes and took her hand in His and said, "So it all worked out for both of us. I just need you to forgive me."
She looked back at Him, smiled, and said, "No."
Then She got up and walked away from him. She loved it when the perfect thing to say came to Her at the perfect time.