Forgive You?

You say to me, 

“If I have hurt you in any way this past year, I apologize and hope that you can pardon me, forgive me, let me atone for my sins against you.”

If?  If you have hurt me?
Of course you have hurt me!  
Remember that time in the car, in the living room, on the road, in the back yard, on the stoop?
In that email, on the phone, to my parents, with my friends, next to my spouse, in front of my kids, when we were alone?
Overtly, covertly, passive-aggressively, inadvertantly, officially, slowly, abruptly, shockingly, repeatedly, mistakenly, knowingly?

Oh my God yes, you have hurt me!

“I know,” you say, “I know.

Pardon me, forgive me, let me atone for my sins against you.”

Forgive you?  Should I forgive you? when should I forgive you?
Immediately, before you even know what you did?
Now, as soon as you ask for forgiveness?
Eventually, but only after making you feel bad for years?
What about never?
How should I forgive you?
Miraculously, without you having to ask?
Simply, by just saying, apology accepted?
Grudgingly, and only after you’ve groveled for a really long time?
Or what about, not at all?
Why should I forgive you?
Because you are really truly sorry and you will never do it again?
Becasue it cleanses us both and helps me move on?
Because it’s Elul and the Rabbi says I have to?
Because nothing, screw this, you’re evil and I hate you.

“Yes,” you say,  “you’re right.

All true.

Pardon me, forgive me, let me atone for my sins against you.”

Forgive you?
I imagine saying, No.
Forgive you?
I imagine saying, Maybe.
Forgive you?

I imagine saying, Yes.


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