I forgive you.
But do I mean it? I do not know. Many people say that word without knowing what they mean.
What do I actually mean when I say I forgive you?
I have no idea.That's why I hesitate before the door. I have the entrance ticket but I'm not sure if I could enter. My soul is still bind in the surface of the world I used to live in. Past pulls me back to the things I don't want to remember. Bitter sores prick my heart.
I firmly decide that I completely forgave you. Why would I trigger over the things already past by? I shake my head and push the gate. The clean, shiny gold gleams in the Light.
But again I remember the unanswered question, and I remember how I want a revenge. I sit back to my place, confused and worried.
I am stuck in the same question.
Do I really mean it?
I do not know. Strange, isn't it? Because I thought once when everything is done and I am here, I would be like an innocent angel and I would laugh over the things I suffered. But it is not so simple as I thought.
I bury my face in my hands. This isn't going very right.
Why can't I forgive you? I can't I say it is all right and I still love you? Is this what is meant to happen? Is it quite normal that I am still imprisoned by the happenings of the past?
I open one of the pages of my Life Book. The page, like any others, is full of unanswered and undefined and incomplete questions, but it is better something than nothing. I begin to read. The memories break their rattling barricades and begin to rush upon me.
I remember the thrill that swept over me when you entered into the restaurant which I was working in. You sat beside the window and took a glance at the menu. I walked straight to you. My knees trembled as you turned your head slowly to face me.
"Any orders, Sir?" My voice vibrated in the air even though there was no reason to be nervous.
"One tuna sandwich, please," you answered casually.
"In a minute, Sir," I answered.
You smiled. I remember the flashing white teeth and the black jacket that went so well with your broad shoulders. I remember the black holes in your two green eyes that pulled me to you so strongly.
'Relax, for heaven's sake, he's just your guest.' I whispered to myself as I walked back to my place. My heart buoyed up by the new love that began in my life.
You came everyday 2 o' clock. How I waited that time. I waited for your dazzling smile to flash upon me. Every time you came I fell deeper in love with you. Often I lay in my bed wide awake musing on the way you looked at me.
I also remember how difficultly said yes when you asked me to date with you. The streets glowed and the roads shined when you were beside me. We were so happy inside the noisy bar and in the quiet cafe. You were sweet, and our love was sweet, and everything was so perfect.
My mother and father did not approve our relationship. They did not like that you didn't have a job and that you drank too much. I knew that you ordered at least two bottles of drink for yourself every time we met, but what did I care? I married you right away, and I only expected the beautiful days that would lie before us.
But the reality was much crueler than I thought. I realized that I had to earn all the money, and 1,500 dollars per month was not enough to pay all the rent and the food AND the drinks. Everyday I could see you drinking before the TV, without any desire to find a job. That wasn't all. You kept buying leather shoes and jackets which we could not afford. When I found 1,000-dollar-jacket in your closet, I called you to have a word. When I told you about looking for job and saving money, you yelled at me and told me to shut up. I still remember how your eyes lighted up like green flames. Anger and shock bursting out from my lungs, I yelled at you too and we broke up into a big fight. I bruises in my arms and blisters on my feet.
Then it got worse. I sank to my knees and sobbed when I realized that I was pregnant. Having a child was a blessed thing, but having another member in our family would mean more money to earn.
The child needed much money and care, and we were in debts. You kept drinking more and more drinks, and you became an alcoholic. You began to curse and beat me in front of the child. I begged you and pleaded you to become the same gentle man I used to know but you wouldn't listen. Dark nights which I cried and cried until I fell asleep. Your hatred and your cruelness cut deeper into my heart than the bruises and sores you gave me.
Then the change began. My neighbor invited me to the City Church at Christmas. I was glad that I had some place to run away to. Then that day I met Him. I learned that there is a Man that would never change His attitude toward me and would love me tenderly. I learned that there is the One who would always hear my weepings and would cry with me. I learned that there was Someone who would think I'm worthy enough to die for. I began to live again by that new hope. I decided that I must make amends with you and set things right.
I wish I can say everything went right after that. But it went worse. You hated me lurking around the chapel and praying aloud every night before I went to sleep. A monster began to grow inside you and tore my life apart and swallowed it. You yelled and screamed and preyed upon me like crazy lion. Your sharp fingernails dug into my heart and took life out of it. Every evening I had to tremble with my back lying on the corner of the wall. Your flashing smiles and your gentle voices haunted me every time I rubbed my sores.
That was what I whispered when I found an unknown name on your ringing phone. The woman's name was Cassandra. I remembered the scent of the perfume on your jacket. I didn't use perfumes. You didn't use perfumes either. I remembered that you left the house one day with a rose on your hand, telling me that you're going to the graduation ceremony of your friend's daughter.
But none of your friends are married.
I stared at the door, rubbing my new bruises that I got the day before. I found out where your sweet smiles and kisses went to. It went to a woman called Cassandra, and to me it was only ruins and pains and ballooning debts.
You didn't come back that night.
You didn't come back after that night.
The only men that came to our house was angry creditors demanding money.
I prayed to God that I would not forgive you. I prayed that I would never ever forgive you even when I was a Christian and I ought to forgive you.
But do I forgive you now?
My eyes dig into the ground as He walks out of the golden gate. He is concerned about me because I'm not coming in and I'm just seating before the gate. He asks me what's the matter.
I know He knows the matter but He would prefer to hear from me. I show him the ink-stained pages of my Life Book and tell Him that I'm not sure if I can come in.
I tell Him about you. I tell Him how I hated you and how I was unwilling to forgive you. I tell Him I am doubtful if I can ever forgive you.
A hand lies gently on my curled shoulders. It is fatherly and it is warm and it is once nailed on a piece of wood. He weeps with me even when tears are not allowed here. He understandingly strokes my wet cheeks and tells me that He forgives me.
He forgives me.
He goes back to the gate and tells me that He'll be waiting for me.
I open the page again, and gaze at the unanswered questions written in vague writings.
I wipe out my tears to use it as an ink. Over all of the confusing words I write:
I forgive you.
Not because it's all past by. Not because it's easy to forgive you and my heart is bursting out of mercy and love. It is because I was forgiven, and I once loved you dearly, and because I remember there was a time when everything was perfect and beautiful with you. It is also because I want you to know Him as well, and I wish you would not hesitate before the door like me.
Thereby, I can tell you that I truly mean it:
I forgive you.