Never ruin an apology with an excuse

There are so many quotes that get bandied about when it comes to forgiveness and apologies. I have some favourites, the best of which is one that I’ve only heard said by my Dad. As a kid, or an adult when I come to think about it, my Dad would get a little harder on me if I thought I could just smooth things over with an apology. He would tiredly say “Elena, you’re not sorry until you don’t do it again.”

This sentiment is now a belief that I have inherited. I am eager to forgive people and often give more chances than I ought to when it comes to those that have wronged me. I guess in some way I’m waiting to see if they actually meant it when they said sorry, I don’t like to think that people actively go out of their way to deceive me so typically I’m all too ready to accept an apology.

This time I wouldn’t be backing down. It was October and Katy was staying with me in Portsmouth. She was furious with me for ending the relationship, I was furious with her for not trusting me again. I was adamant that the break down of our relationship was solely down to her behaviour, I hadn’t done anything wrong, I deserved her trust and she never gave it to me.

By this point we had split up about two weeks previously. I remember that through my efforts with the LGBT society (seriously it wasn’t a dating service!) I had gotten talking with a girl called Natasha, she was cute and I did ask her out on a date. I didn’t plan on telling Katy any of this, I wasn’t in the mood for playing games, when we weren’t together who I dated was my business, not hers.

I remember that I had a large bedroom in our house in Southsea but it still only had a single bed, which made the living arrangements during Katy’s stay, intimate. Of course the usual five mile rule seemed to apply, we were bound to end up sleeping together at some point, we just didn’t seem to be able to help ourselves.

One evening before we headed out for the night with my friends I had been in the shower while Katy was getting ready up in my room, when I returned to my bedroom I could tell immediately that something was wrong. Katy was frosty with me in the extreme, and eventually she composed herself enough to ask “Who’s Natasha?”

While I had been in the shower she had taken the liberty of reading pretty much every text message on my phone. The only thing that she found to be not to her taste were the messages between Natasha and I which were clearly of a flirty nature. Katy made the leap from the truth of the situation which was that I had broken up with her due to her mistrust issues to believe that I split up with her so that I could pursue Natasha without feeling guilty. It was the only argument we had while she came to stay.

I think I gave up in the end, it was clear that regardless of what the truth was or how I attempted to communicate how I was feeling to Katy that she would believe exactly what she wanted to believe. I can understand why she chose to do that, of course it’s easier for her to believe the worst of me, that way nothing was ever her fault. I stopped trying to get Katy to think well of me, sure I wanted to maintain a friendship but I was fed up of trying to get her to understand my point of view.

It wasn’t long before we both fell back into the patterns that our single lives had been before. Since we weren’t together anymore I had no right to be unhappy when she went back to Beth and rekindled their friendship, or whatever their arrangement was. As for me, I went on a date with Natasha, it didn’t ever amount to anything romantic, we just became friends over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile I had actually succeeded in getting Chloe to come out on an LGBT night out. Chris and I had been sure to arrange many frequent meetings, weekly drinks, making an outing of LGB club nights at Gunwharf Quays, we even arranged dinners and tried to keep everyone engaged. It wasn’t as easy as we first presumed.

After the night that Chloe had come out to play I walked home with her. Since we were all living across Portsmouth now we’d figured out that Chloe’s place was closer to the club than mine so I offered to walk her home. Although my situation had changed, hers hadn’t. She still had a long term girlfriend and I respected that despite the obvious chemistry between us.

When we got back to hers she happened to invite me in, I had a brief guided tour of her house noticed that she played the drums which gave us something to chat about for a short time. There was an awkward moment where if she had been single I would definitely have kissed her. That moment brought me to my senses, I told her that I’d had a great night and I hoped it wouldn’t take her so long to come out with us all again soon. We had swapped numbers as I was under strict instructions to text her to let her know I got home ok. I was in trouble, I had the biggest crush on Chloe and I never saw it coming.

I wasn’t sorry for anything that had happened, I felt that more apologies were owed to me than thinking that I should be saying sorry to anyone. Should I have been sorry for breaking up with Katy again? Should I have felt sorry for craving Chloe’s company when she wasn’t single? Despite this crush I still hadn’t stopped caring for Katy although it was clear our relationship just wouldn’t work while I was away at Uni, I wasn’t going to put my life on hold when I had three years of studying to get out of the way first. Being single again didn’t make my life any less complicated.

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