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Home: The Toast

[Originally.]

THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. After all, this was the first time I’d brought up the issue with Fortunato – just because I was at a 10 emotionally didn’t mean he could read my mind.

“Fortunato,” I said, “you have injured me a thousand times.”

“A thousand times?” he said, surprised.

“A thousand times,” I said. “I should have brought this up sooner – I’m not saying I don’t have a part in this – but yes, a thousand times.”

“Well,” Fortunato said, a little taken aback. “This is news to me.”

“But I’m open to hearing about it,” he added, and I walked him through the thousand times I had been angry with him without saying anything.

“Jesus,” he said when I was finished.

“It’s a lot to process all at once,” I acknowledged.

“You really should have told me sooner,” he said. “I mean – I’m also sorry – but if you’d told me sooner, I would have stopped sooner.”

“That’s a good point,” I said. “In the future, I won’t wait so long to speak up, if something is troubling me.”

“I appreciate that,” Fortunato said. “And I’m really sorry for those thousand times I hurt you. I truly did not intend to.”

“Thanks,” I said, and I meant it. “I also realize that by keeping my feelings to myself, I was denying you the opportunity to do better. You may have hurt me one thousand times, but I’m equally to blame for about nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven of them.”

From then on, when I was upset about something, I said so out loud. And it really made a difference. Also, I had a cask of Amontillado in my basement. It, like my feelings, had been bottled up for too long.

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