I was completely caught off guard. I didn’t think this was something that would happen in adulthood, being left out, left behind for no apparent reason. Seeing guilt on faces because they got caught red-handed…doing something hurtful for no good reason.
There’s something humiliating about being left out. That hurt doesn’t stem from what could have been. No. It stems from the fact that you thought you were in and you find out you’re not. Joke’s on you. And everybody knew it. Everybody knew that but you. It was their secret. And now you know it but it’s not yours. That’s torturous.
I was caught off guard that the hurt is still the same. I still wanted to run to my room and cry at the very moment of revelation, with that iron taste rising in my throat right in front of that bubble that made it hard to breathe. Somehow I thought my adult reaction would be different: more graceful, maybe. More in control. I wanted it to be more graceful. Perhaps the difference was that where I once would just let it go, the tears deciding their own timing and path, I held it in until I got somewhere safe. I substituted silence for the raging disappointment that was pushing its way up my throat and making its way out as little rivulets running silently.
“Forgive and forget,” they say. That’s easy, right? Is that for my spirit or their comfort? I don’t know. Isn’t forgiveness earned? And as much as forgetting would help us all, I never will. That’s not even my choice. I think that maybe why it feels the same: I can still feel the air, see my clothes, taste the iron, feel the rivulets brought forward by the first guilty faces. It’s like it was yesterday.
It was yesterday.