Today, I was in a conversation with a friend. A very very close friend. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known friend, or what the scope of friendship is with friend, but all you need to know is that I care about friend, and like any close friendships, we fight sometimes. I get sad about these fights, because seriously, who wants to fight with a close friend? Especially when this friend is the friend I go to when I’m feeling sad? No one, duh.
So friend and I got to talking, and a mistake that I made was brought up. It was one of those mistakes you can’t really undo, but we also never really resolved it. We, like many close friends, shrugged it off and moved forward trying to pretend it didn’t happen. At least, I did…kinda. I’m not sure about friend.
Friend was rightfully hurt, saying that friend was better off not knowing about the mistake I had made. Friend is right, and for a while, I didn’t tell friend about the mistake I made. I kept on keeping on, and everything was great between me and friend. Then, I told friend the truth. I stopped omitting the truth for the sake of protecting our friendship, and it shattered us. It made things tense and uncomfortable, hurt friend more than I could imagine, and left me feeling…well, I don’t know what I felt.
Friend and I tried (again) to talk through my mistake. It ended the same way it always does, uncomfortable, silent, a longing for something better than “I’m sorry” or “forgive me.”
So my question is this. With the friends, loved ones, significant others…the people we care most about and hold closest to our hearts, what’s the right answer? Omit the truth to protect friend’s heart? Take the “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” method? The same way teenagers hide their tattoos from their parents until they’re thirty, or the way we ignore how unsanitary most kitchen practices are? Or do we always do what we say we’ll do for those who are closest to our hearts, no matter what pain it causes, and stay honest?