Sammy took a deep breath, and let it out.

In, and out.

She was nervous. This could go wrong in so many ways. What if it wasn’t his house? What if she choked and found herself with nothing to say? What if he didn’t accept her apology?

But she shook those doubts out of her head. It would be his house, she wouldn’t choke, and he would forgive her. He had to.

She didn’t know why it was so important to her. She saw him once a month, if even that. She had dozens of friends that were closer to her than him. And yet, for some reason, it was absolutely vital that he forgive her.

She walked up to the front door and took in one more deep breath. She pressed the doorbell, and then quickly ran to the side of the house. If his parents answered the door, she would abandon the plan. She couldn’t very well ask to speak to him when she didn’t even know his name.

She heard the door click and then open. It was him.

"Hey," she said quietly, walking towards the doorway.

"Hey," he said back.

He hadn’t slammed the door in her face. ‘So far so good‘, Sammy thought.

"Can I talk to you?" she said.

"Sure," he replied. "What do you want to talk about?"

And so Sammy began: "I know you probably think it’s weird that I just showed up out of nowhere, but just hear me out. I’m sorry about what I said the last time we met. Even though I didn’t mean to, I disrespected the memory of your friend, and that’s entirely unacceptable on my part. I should have let you finish your story before I started talking, but instead I cut in and made a comment before I knew the true nature of your relationship with Noah. I’m sorry for that too. If you forgive me, I promise I’ll never interrupt you again, and I’ll always think before I speak. I know that we don’t see each other that often, but I still don’t want to lose you as a friend. Can you forgive me?"

The boy stared blankly at her for a moment. Then he burst out laughing. This wasn’t the reaction that Sammy had expected.

"Okay," said the boy after he had gotten his laughter under control. "First of all, how the heck did you find my house?"

Sammy blushed. "I sort of followed you home the day that we had that fight. I know it sounds creepy, but there was no other way for me to find out where you lived."

"Impressive," said the boy. "Second of all, you didn’t have to come here and apologize. I was a bit mad at you the last time we met, but that only lasted an hour. You couldn’t possibly have known about what happened to Noah. It’s not your fault. I probably would have interjected in the same way."

"Still," said Sammy. "I really should think before I speak."

"And that’s the other thing," said the boy. "I’m touched that you want to change a fundamental part of your behaviour for me, but please don’t. You’re fine as you are. If you change any part of yourself because of one person, you’ll always lose more than you gain. Besides, our conversations wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining if you turned into the embodiment of politeness and good manners. Just stay how you are, okay?"

Sammy nodded. She was amazed at how easy this had been. She had come in fully expecting to have to beg for forgiveness on her hands and knees. Instead, his only demand was that she do nothing at all. 

"Good," said the boy. "I’d love to talk for a while longer, but my family is going out for dinner soon, so I have to go get ready. We’ll talk again soon though."

"Oh, okay." said Sammy. "Goodbye then."

Sammy turned to leave. This had been their shortest conversation yet, and yet it made her feel better than any of the previous ones because it had brought an end to the guilt and nervousness she had been feeling for the past two weeks.

"Joshua," the boy said.

"Huh?" said Sammy.

"My name is Joshua."

It took Sammy a moment to realize what the boy had said.

"Alright then, Joshua," she said, allowing herself a smile. "I’ll see you soon."

Joshua nodded, waved, and then went back inside.

***

Well there you go, the boy has a name after all.

Why Joshua? Well, I didn’t just pull that name out of my ass in the last five minutes. I knew from the very beginning what his name was. Normally there’s a long story behind why I gave a character a particular name. At the very least, I always have some basic reason for it, even as basic a reason as "I just liked the name." Sammy and Joshua are the two exceptions to this rule. There’s no real reason why they’re named as they are. I don’t like the name "Joshua" much, and I definitely don’t like "Sammy". The best reason that I can give is that I knew even before I started writing about these two that I would be writing about a girl named Sammy and a boy named Joshua.


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