I Forgive You

He was such an upstanding young man, after all.

“I forgive you,” said his coach.

“I forgive you,” said his priest.

“I forgive you,” said his father and brothers. And his mother, before long.

“I forgive you,” his friends would have said, had they felt there was anything to forgive.

“I forgive you,” said the mayor, once everything settled.

“I forgive you,” said his teachers.

“I forgive you,” said the smiles and silences of other students.

She wondered why nobody asked whether she forgave him, until it hurt too much to wonder.

Alexander B. Joy holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He currently resides in North Carolina against his will, but hopes to return to his native New England sooner than later. See his other works at linktr.ee/alexander_b_joy. Twitter: @aeneas_nin.