I’ve lived with the lie for far too long.
In the fall of 2000, a particular female accused me of punching her in the stomach during an extremely heated argument at the end of Chemistry class. She smacked me in the face a little and left some scratches, but it all cleared up in a couple of days. What didn’t clear up were the whispers that I had maliciously hit a poor defenseless girl for no good reason.
I don’t remember what the argument was about, but it was well above the boiling point of my temper threshold. I had a ridiculous shirt wrapped in a plastic grocery bag. We were supposed to take some pictures of it that afternoon to list it on eBay (that didn’t happen, and I somehow still have the stupid shirt). My temper got the best of me. From a seated position, I threw the bagged shirt across the room in a fit of rage. My hand never touched anything. Whether that bag hit her in the stomach on its way across the room, I’ll never know, but I definitely did NOT punch her. It was ok, though – most people knew she was a manipulative liar and believed me when I told them that I didn’t hit her.
Months later, somehow, I found myself on the receiving end of some communication from her again. I didn’t really care at first, but eventually she convinced me to go to the mall with her. Things started to get serious again, mostly because I’m stupid. She said that she couldn’t trust me completely because I had hit her. Instead of protesting, I apologized. I lied to her to get her to falsely trust me again. It worked, and everything was just as awful as it ever was until she started hooking up with a married guy 13 years older than she was. I realize now that he was my escape from her, even if I didn’t know it at the time.
Over the years since, she and I were on again off again friends. A couple of years ago, I just stopped talking to her. She had manipulated, twisted my words and actions, put me down, insulted my entire life, and generally spit on me for the last time. Sometime last year, she wrote me an email asking what she had done to make me not talk to her anymore. I let her have it. It was, so to speak, the figurative punch in the stomach.
If you ever read this, know that I apologized for something I didn’t do for the sole reason that I was bored. I never hit you, and apologizing for it was a mistake.