Retroactive Significance

It’s interesting how events that seem to have no real significance while happening, suddenly gain a whole new layer of significance when remembered. That’s the case with today’s anecdote, which may initially seem to be nothing but a small interaction with friends.
    I had a long wait for the bus back to Corsham once after a day at Bath Spa University and so I was paying a very short visit to a couple of my friends on the way to the bus station. I was, and am, extremely fond of both of them so it was always exceedingly nice to spend time with them. I don’t actually remember the main part of my visit, but I remember what happened just before I left.
    I was in the hallway, about to leave when one of my friends stood in front of me with her arms outstretched. I didn’t understand why she was doing it and the confusion must have shown because she soon elaborated.
    “Hug,” she said.
    “Ah, I see!” I replied and then we hugged.
    “It’s so nice to hug you,” she said.
    “Well, that’s good,” I said.
    “How come you never hug me?” said the other friend.
    “Well,” I said to him, “that’s because you never ask!”
    And before he could reply, my other friend said “Oh, look out! You’re going to get hugged!”
    “No, stop, don’t touch me,” he said in mock-absolute disgust.
    So, of course, I didn’t hug him, but I didn’t think he was actually asking me to anyway.
    We all had a nice laugh about that and then it was time to go.
    “Bye bye!” I said as I went through the door. “Nice to see you both!”
    And now for the cause of the retroactive significance: that was the last time I ever spent time with them together. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time with both of them whenever I can, but it’s the last time I saw them at the same time. You see, the ball was already rolling for the pair of them to have a rather unpleasant falling out. It’s such a terrible shame because in reflection, I do believe I could have prevented it and saved them both a great deal of upset. It is, at least, a regret that I can learn from.

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