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She Rebooted a Faltering Friendship

A silly spat left her on the outs with her best friend. Could she swallow her pride in order mend the rift?

Isabel Torrey; photo by Randy Boverman

I wanted to get the mail but she was out there by the mailboxes. My next-door neighbor, Virginia. My best friend. Or she had been until our spat a month earlier. She’d come over for coffee—something we did sev­eral times a week. I mentioned having to get a new credit card because I’d misplaced my old one. “I looked every­where,” I said. “It’s driving me crazy not knowing what I did with it.”

“Where did you lose it?” she asked.

“If I knew where, it wouldn’t be lost, would it?” I retorted.

“Well, you needn’t get so huffy about it,” she said. She stomped out of my kitchen and back to her house.

I looked at Virginia’s unfinished cup of coffee, feeling ashamed. Why didn’t I apologize for snapping at her? But my regret quickly morphed into self-justi­fication. She should’ve been more sym­pathetic. She should apologize to me.

Since then we’d avoided each other. No more chatting by the mailboxes. No more meeting eyes when we were in our backyards. No more passing plates of hot cookies across the fence with an “I’m trying a new recipe. Let me know what you think.”

Now I couldn’t go out and get the mail because I didn’t want to run into her. Might as well get some work done, I thought. I sat down at my desk, which was still neat from my search for the credit card. I turned on my computer and went to enter my latest receipts in the itemized file I kept for our ac­countant.

I moved my mouse to my “Income Tax” folder and clicked. The folder opened. Empty. Not a single file. That couldn’t be. I closed the folder and clicked it open again. Nothing. The me­ticulous records I’d kept were gone.


My husband, Larry, came running. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I must’ve hit the wrong key,” I moaned. “I just lost a year’s worth of tax prep work!”

Larry suggested we call Mark, a young friend who was a computer guru. I explained to Mark what happened. He came by early the next morning.

“Very few things are ever truly lost with computers,” Mark said. “I’ll just backdate your computer to when you last saw your files.” With a few key­strokes and clicks of the mouse, he re­stored my work.

If only I could backdate my friend­ship with Virginia and have things re­turn to the way they were!

Well, I couldn’t turn back time, but I could try to make amends. I found a new cookie recipe online that I thought Virginia would like and whipped up a batch. I plugged in the coffeepot, then carried some warm cookies on a plate out to the yard. Virginia was working in her garden.

“New recipe,” I said. “White choco­late chip. Want a taste? I’ve got coffee on too.”

A moment’s hesitation. Then her reply: “Be right over.”

Soon we were sitting in my kitchen just like old times. “These cookies are really good,” Virginia said.

“They’re gluten-free, so your daugh­ter can have some too,” I said.

“Thanks,” she said. “Hey, did you ever find your credit card?”

“I searched high and low, but it never turned up. At least I got a clean desk out of it. Come take a peek.”

“Looks great,” she said. “Wow, I like the pattern on your mouse pad!”

She picked it up to take a closer look. There was my missing credit card! Hid­ing under my mouse pad all this time.

Quite a few things were restored that day. My tax files. My credit card. And most important of all, my friend­ship with Virginia. I guess I should have thought about what Jesus said: If you remember someone has something against you, go and be reconciled to that person (Matthew 5:23-24). Sooner rather than later.

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