Two weeks ago, I was rushing to school to fetch K.
Out of good intention, J helped me start the car engine. This wasn’t the first time she did so. But there’s something that she did this time that was unprecedented.
Immediately after she started the engine, she locked the car and slammed the door. That happened in front of my very own eyes. I was in shock and in that instance, I had no time to warn her not to do it.
The result was dismay: the car was locked with the key inside!
That little act caused me to search for the spare key frantically for a good two hours. In between, I managed to squeeze in a few phone calls to my wife and even my car salesman – just to make sure that the car came with a spare.
In the meantime, I didn’t manage to get a parent to help me fetch K. With no other options and time was running out, I had to cycle to school instead while letting the car engine run.
I didn’t want to force open the door until I gave up on looking for the spare key. Luckily I didn’t. Almost searching for the whole house, I finally found the key with a sigh of relief.
I knew she did it unconsciously. I didn’t really blame J for what she had done. I controlled quite well my emotions that day. A significant improvement for a bad-tempered me. Also, I didn’t ask her to say sorry for what she did. But an apology was welcome and expected though.
On the surface, J didn’t look really apologetic. I was curious how she could manage to put up a poker face and didn’t have a little sense of guilt at all. I ignored that and went on with the usual stuff at home.
I got a shock (also relief) when I stepped into bathroom after dinner that evening. I saw something on the mirror. It was from J. A short message to say that she was really sorry for what she did. Only then did it occur to me that she was not brave enough to say sorry in person. But that is okay with me. As long as she felt sorry and it’s coming from the heart, how she said it doesn’t really matter.
Sometimes things are not what we see or feel. There are many things that we think that it is the way but they turn out to be different.
Just like this apology after the key-in-the-car incident.
Another point to take home from this story? Make sure you know where you keep your car’s spare key!
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