“I’m leaving New York,” Cassandra opened with.
Zira looked at her with disgust, standing at the door and not offering to let her in. “So why tell me?”
Cassandra took a deep breath, then said, “Because I need to apologize for all that happened. I was wrong every step of the way and I won’t blame you if you can’t forgive me, but I want to ask for your forgiveness and tell you how sorry I am.”
“OK. You’re forgiven,” Zira told her in a monotone voice, then slammed the door.
Cassandra stood there for a moment, thinking about ringing the bell again, but not knowing what else she could say. She’d had visions of telling Zira about Jesus and even getting to baptize her. She envisioned them making amends and discovering they could really be friends. She had pictured Zira cursing at her and threatening to kill her (as Zira had done in the past). But she had never envisioned this.
She turned around and took another look at the neighborhood. It was a nice neighborhood. A row of old but well-preserved brownstones. A small park down the street. No graffiti. It looked like a good place to live.
She looked up to see Zira stepping out of the door, but shutting it behind her and holding onto the knob. “You really came all the way out here just for that?”
Cassandra stopped and nodded, saying, “Yes. There are a lot of people I need to apologize to, but it all starts with you and Wes. You, most of all.”
“Because,” Cassandra said softly, overcome with shame, “When we made that first video, that wasn’t the first time I had-” She couldn’t bring herself to say the rest.
“I knew that.”
“I’m not stupid.” Starting to open the door, she said, “You’ve made your apology. You can go now.”
“Is life good for you now, Zira?” Cassandra asked, not sure why she did. “I mean, I guess you’re married now. And Wes said Zack was living with you now.”
“Life is life,” Zira replied.
“But you’re married, right? You’ve got your life together-”
“Together? When my husband could find out at any time what I did? What we did?”
“You’ve never told him?”
“Are you stupid?” With that, she went back inside and Cassandra could clearly hear the bolt being thrown.