Most of the time we fear to meet the ones we have hurt, not because we are afraid of what they will do to us, but because we will be reminded of what we have done to them. In them, we see the parts of ourselves we are not proud of, the aspects of us capable of atrocity.
We see what we used to be and we see the desolation we left behind and the time we wasted. We witness anew, conscience permitting, the meaningless pains and the thousands of tiny injustices we inflicted that taken together caused the bleeding out of love and other good things.
So we hesitate to reach out and reach back out, lest we brush up against our past selves, our dirty previous selves that we have been working hard to clean up and, in some instances, burn. We dare not imagine that the blood and tears of the ones we have cut will drop on the ashes of our dead parts and invigorate them. The cold grey embers might still be fertile.
And worse, that they will not forgive your happiness or your pain, whether or not you deserve them. You cannot begrudge them this – how can you continue to live while the ringing of the flower with glass petals that you dropped remains vivid in their minds?