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My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas. My house is a mess, my hair needs a trim, and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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October 31st, 2008

Overdue Apologies- Halloween Edition

Dear Louis,

I know I already offered an apology for the whole bath tub water incident. But I feel I owe you another for Halloween of 1998.

You see, my friend Lauren and I were very concerned with getting our costumes ready. I can’t remember what the hell I was going as. But it was of the utmost importance that we discuss it behind closed doors. That day, you were your normal, bouncy, 12-year old self, excited at the prospect of a sackful of candy, and looking forward to donning your latest army-surplus getup. Your pre-sugar madness brought you, uninvited, into my room.

So I yelled at you to leave. This had the opposite effect. It was a classic case of moody teenager versus pre-teen wise-ass. I pushed you out, you stuck your arms and legs in the doorway. I kicked at you, you just laughed. I rolled my eyes at Lauren, pushing the door as hard as I could, as you tried with all your might to push the it back open. I gave one final shove, and you were out.

But something was wrong with what should have been a routine exiling. I was holding the door closed, yet it didn’t want to stay flush with its frame. And then you let out a cry. You were in real pain. I quickly opened the door again, and freed your finger.

As I replay this in my head, I want to run over to you and hug you and say I’m sorry and tell you that when I’m older I will write you $500 checks every month to make up for this. But, I was 14, and a jerk and so as you stood holding your hand and howling in the hallway, I shut the door again and went back to costume planning. My face felt hot from guilt.

Dad came to my door about 20 minutes later. “You broke the tip of his finger. He is in a lot of pain. I had to to give him a shot to numb it, and now his finger’s going to be in a splint while he trick-or-treats.” He didn’t ground me, or yell. I think he knew that just telling me about Louie’s situation calmly would be painful enough. It was.

Lauren and I went down to the end of my driveway and sat by the mailbox. I looked at my feet, and played with a roly-poly bug in the dirt. As it curled and uncurled slowly, I told Lauren that I felt like crap. I probably had a more miserable time than you did that evening, worrying that you weren’t enjoying yourself because of what I had done. But, judging by your confectionery haul, you were able to have a good, long trick-or-treating session with your pals.

Later, when we got home, and you and I dumped all of our candy out onto the floor as was customary, I wanted to make it up to you some how. So, staring at your bandaged finger while you sorted your candy into piles, I’m sure I probably gave you some pretty great candy trades.

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