On Wednesday I got to the bottom desk drawer, and under a pile of three ring binders I found four books belonging to a former co-worker. I haven’t spoken with her in years – not since a particularly ugly incident outside of work seriously strained our relationship. Yet, when I found the books, I brought them to work with the intent that I would send them to her – interoffice mail – once things became a little less raw.So now the books are on the top of my desk – the desk I will be vacating in 12 business days. I have to do something. The right thing to do, of course, is to pick up the phone and call her. But I soooooo don’t want to do it.
For all these years I have been sure she blamed me, and I’ve been afraid of her reaction to my reaching out to her. I’ve stewed about it for two days, all the while hearing the wise words of eight-year old Kevin in “Home Alone.” “Call her. If she won’t talk to you, at least you’ll know and you won’t have to be afraid anymore.”I looked up her phone number this morning. I see that she’s on our Instant Messaging system. Chickened out on the phone call and sent her an IM. “Please ping me when you have a moment.” One hour passes. Then two. Then three. And finally, I get a response. “I’m available now. Please give me a call.”
The story has a happy ending. I called. I explained. I apologized. She was delighted to hear that I had the books; she had feared they were lost forever. We caught up. She is well and wishes me well in retirement. Who knows when our paths will cross again, but when they do it will be on good terms.I carried the heavy box of her books down to the mail room with a light heart.