This was weeks and weeks overdue. And yet standing in front of Minako's door, all Kathy wanted to do was chicken out and run away. Again. Even harder than confessing to Professor Starsmore that she'd stolen his letter was apologizing to one of her dearest friends. Not even because of how angry Minako still was--and had every right to be--but because of how very hurt and disappointed she'd been. Kathy could deal with anger. It was scary, sure, but manageable. Hurt and profound disappointment that she had caused? There was no easy walking away from that.
But there was no easy walking away from a friendship, either. And even if Minako couldn't forgive her, at least Kathy had tried.
Which, admittedly, would be pretty cold comfort if Minako couldn't forgive her. Especially since she wouldn't be able to blame her for it, either.
Quickly, before Kathy could talk herself into waiting--again--she knocked on the door. And when Minako opened it, she shoved two brightly-decorated bags at her, one gold, filled with the mochi Kathy had baked herself for Dr. Lecter's final yesterday, and one red, filled with gyoza she'd ordered from a dumpling place in Baltimore.
As soon as her hands were free, Kathy was clapping them together in front of her chest and bowing, deeply. She wasn't entirely sure that the customs were the same in Japan as they were in Korea (or very Korean immigrant households), but she figured it was probably close enough for Minako to figure out she was saying she was very sorry.
"Words can't express how sorry I am," she said quietly. "Both for what happened and for putting this off for so long. You deserve better, as a friend and as a wronged party. I was nervous, I was guilty, I was scared, but none of those things really matter. You were--are?--my friend and I owed you the courtesy of a good, comprehensive apology weeks ago. I might be more sorry for the wait than I am for what happened." Her hair fell into her face and Kathy paused to brush it away. "You don't have to forgive me. You don't have to do anything at all. But I want you to know how much I miss our friendship, I miss talking to you and laughing with you and running around with you. These past few weeks have been lonelier for not having you in them. I'm sorry I wasn't here to help you make Minako for Prom Queen posters and for everything else I've missed in your life since March."
She drew in a long and shaky breath, blinking back tears. "And I'm sorry for March, too. I'm sorry for stealing your pen, and--oh god--I'm so sorry for the things I said. I was hurtful and cruel and I took the trust you were offering me and I spit on it and I'm sorry. I can't even say it wasn't me--it was, it was the very worst of me and it's something I have to work long and hard to make better. Sorry isn't enough for that, wouldn't be enough even if I'd said it the very next day, but know I will remember what I said to you for as long as I live. It's a goad in my heart to spur me to do better, be better, be the kind of hero--of person--I want to be and failed so miserably."
Aware that she was about to start babbling apologies over and over again, Kathy finally stopped talking, but didn't straighten up. Not until Minako said something or did something, even if it was just to close the door again.
[Door and Minako modded with permission!]
- Outside Room 504, Tuesday Afternoon