This post is anonymous…
I owe you an apology.
We met on your first day of work. You were assigned to one of my cases. I was more than a little annoyed because seasoned veterans couldn’t figure out my cases, and here you were, first day on the job, willing to take on my case. Unwilling to reinvent the wheel, I firmly told you what did not work so you could eliminate those elements. I also kept in mind that you were new, so I exercised patience.
To my surprise, you found a solution within a month. You were permanently assigned to my cases, and I told your boss that you deserved a raise. For the next year and a half, we worked closely together to make sure your system kept working.
During that time, we developed a working friendship. We had the same ghoulish sense of humor and we made each other laugh every day. We discovered that we lived near each other and began commuting together. We shared stories. Most were hilarious. Some weren’t.
One day, you told me about how you almost died. A drunk driver hit you square on the driver’s side. Your car was a mangled mess and you were in a coma. You went through reconstruction and rehabilitation. By the grace of God you survived, although you admitted it felt more like Hell. I listened, horrified, and asked, “Who drove drunk anymore?”
Two weeks later, I found out.
I went out with a group of people. When I came home, I turned on the television and had some drinks, maybe three. This was in addition to the two I had at the restaurant. I dozed off and awakened an hour later. For a reason that I can’t comprehend, I decided to take a drive.
As I drove, I didn’t feel any impact. I saw lights in my rearview and slowly pulled over to the right. To my surprise, the lights stopped behind me and I knew I was in trouble.
I failed the sobriety test. My BAC was twice the legal limit. The officer arrested me, took me to the station, processed me and sent me home. I wanted to die. I was grateful that I didn’t hurt or kill anyone. Then I thought of you and I was sick to my stomach.
I had time to hire a lawyer and prepare my case. In my mind, there was nothing to prepare. I was guilty. I had my day in court and I promised the judge that I would never act so selfishly and carelessly again.
My license was suspended. I went for counseling, reported to a probation officer, and spent five figures in court costs and penalties. The Interlock killed my battery and I used alternate transportation. I told you that I was working a different schedule to explain my changing habits. That wasn’t a lie. I had nightmares about killing people. I still do. When I wake up, you are on my mind.
After my suspension was over I continued to live as if it was still active. I fixed my car but was terrified to drive it. Three more months passed before I resumed driving without reservations.
Not long after, I took another job. We no longer commuted together but remained in contact, somewhat. Only recently, have we started communicating more frequently. You’ve mentioned your accident a couple of times and I freeze with guilt.
I struggle about confessing this to you. I’ve received advice both ways. One person said that I should tell you to alleviate my guilt. Another said alleviating my guilt by telling you is selfish. I’m torn so I’m writing it out.
Again, I apologize with all my being for mirroring the actions of someone who almost killed you. That night, that someone could have been me.