“I bought it. That’s not yours,” she said.
“I don’t understand,” I countered. Last week you didn’t have the cd, and now you do, and mine is missing all of a sudden? I know that’s mine.”
“It’s not yours.”
(source: Google images)
That was that. She had a tone of finality in her voice. I didn’t have the energy to argue with her anymore. It was just a stupid cd. But damn, it was my favorite cd. I seethed about it for a long time but never bothered to confront her about it again.
Years later, she got very sick. Cancer. She fought hard for her life. I didn’t think she would ever succumb to it. When a priest came to give her Last Rites, she was defiant and refused to take it.
A day before she died, I was at the hospital. From out of nowhere, she turned to me and said, “I want you to know – your Immaculate Collection cd – I did take it from you. I’m sorry. I loved that cd and wanted it for myself. I’m sorry I lied to you, but I did take it. It’s in my room. You can take it back from me.”
I felt my heart breaking inside. Ripping into little shreds.
I was angry, not because she did in fact steal my cd, but because she decided to finally come clean about it. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want a deathbed confession. I wanted her to keep lying and deny that she had stolen my precious cd. I remembered some saying about people making peace with themselves and with those they have wronged right before they died.
I could feel her slipping. I felt the fight coming out of her. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
I refused to accept her confession. “No, I don’t want to take it. That one is yours. You have to get better so you can buy me my own cd.”
“The cd is in the closet. Inside the box with all of my other cds. You can have your cd back.”
She died the next night.
Later, when we were going through her things, I came across the cd. I didn’t take it back. I left it in the box along with her other belongings.
For a long time I believed that she would still be alive if she never made peace with me.
I wish that I told her that I would have let her steal anything of mine if only she would never leave my life.
“Why, I did not know we had quarreled.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, when asked by his aunt if he had made his peace with God