I suspect that most all of us did something as kids that is
a bit shameful.  I imagine that I committed
a lot of acts of thoughtlessness that I’ve completely forgotten.  There is, however, one instance of –abominable
behavior that hangs heavy in my heart to this day–my cruelty to Charles Crew.
We were in Miss Gigay’s second grade class at Kingsville Elementary School in Kingsville, Maryland.
It was Christmastime and we’d all drawn a name for gift giving.  I was thrilled when I opened my package and
it was a imitation pearl bracelets—one faux pearl after another wrapping around
my wrist.
I’d never had anything quite like it—I think it might have
been my first piece of jewelry.  It was
the first I remembered, at any rate.  It
was a gift from Charles Crew and at the moment I put it on, I believed I would
cherish it and Charles forever.
Unfortunately, being a Tomboy—and a clumsy one at that–I
spent the rest of the day in careless disregard of the slightly fragile
bracelet.  My physical recklessness took
a toll.  The stringing gave way and the pseudo-pearls
bounced around on the floor.
I was heart-broken.
But instead of accepting my culpability in its destruction, I lashed out
at Charles.  I yelled at him for buying
me a cheap gift.  I am embarrassed him
and made him miserable.
Ever since I have been old enough to understand the humiliation I caused, I have regretted it.
In the last couple of decades, I’ve had an undying urge to apologize to
him for my awful behavior.  Odds are, it
doesn’t remember that incident, but still I feel I owe him an apology and I
would like to deliver it.
I’ve searched for him online every place I could think to
look—but no Charles Crew I found seemed to fit his description.  So, I’m doing the next best thing: making a
public apology.  I am sorry, Charles
Crew.  I regret what I did that day and
the pain I caused.  I hope you’ve
forgotten about it, all these years later; but if you still recall it, perhaps
knowing that I am sorry for what I did will make you feel a bit better.