It was when I was in Grade 5. I was walking back home from school with a group of my close friends as usual. We were half way through when a silly argument started.
A random woman had passed by us, and we started comparing the person’s appearance to our mothers’. It was one of those things we constantly did as children – finding something funny about adults and making fun of them between us. But that day, our conversation went in a wrong way.
As we started talking about our mothers, one of my friends picked up on my comment and said that she was offended. She actually didn’t mean it, she just wanted to tease me. But somehow, I worried if I had actually hurt her feelings. Not wanting to show my worries, I argued her back. The teasing escalated and reached a point where I couldn’t tolerate anymore. Tears welling up in my eyes, I turned my back to them, and stormed away without saying a word. As I left them behind, from the corner of my eyes I saw them rooted in the spot, completely stunned.
All my way back home, I was regretting my behaviour, for giving into my sudden explosion of anger. But I was feeling really hurt and couldn’t think of anything else in that moment.
When I got back home, to my relief, my mother was out on an errand. I opened the door, threw my school bag in the living room, and stormed upstairs into my parents’ bedroom. There, I sat on the floor, crying and feeling sorry for what I had just done to my friends. I scolded myself for making such a mess out of the situation.
“Now, what if they don’t want to talk to you anymore? What if you have just completely ruined your friendship over such a silly thing?”
But saying everything out loud calmed me down a bit. In the end, I said to myself that I was going to apologize to them the first thing in the morning the following day.
As I wiped away my tears and got to my feet, I heard the house phone ring. I walked downstairs and picked up the phone. It was one of my friends who I had been walking with a moment ago.
“I’m so sorry. We hurt your feelings.”
My friend said in a kind voice full of concern. Such words of care was the last thing I had expected in that moment.
“I’m the one who owes you an apology,” I said quickly. “I’m sorry for storming away like that.”
Then I put on my usual cheerful voice.
“But I’m feeling okay now.”
The air between us lightened up like the sunbreak after a heavy rain. We laughed, and chatted about what was going to happen in our class the next day. We said something funny about our teacher as usual, and promised to see each other the next day.
When I hang up the call, I let out a deep sigh of relief and happiness. I was so grateful that my friend had reached out when I was in my weak spot.
The next morning, I went to the class and reunited with all the friends I had left behind the previous day. I greeted them wholeheartedly, and we immediately started talking about what was happening in the class that morning. Nobody ever mentioned that little incident between us. It was water under the bridge, and we had a whole new day to paint before us.