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Too Late

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Apologies could be framed by indifference, motive, intention, repentance, regret or simply empathy. Nevertheless, they could always be gauged by effectiveness. But can an apology truly be considered effective once the damage is already done?


On a mundane afternoon, her phone buzzed with a text, “I know it is too late, but I just wanted to say I am sorry for everything… I don’t want to look back and think that I did not try to apologize - Rohit.”

An indifferent text for a callous apology from a person who stole her credit at work and was responsible for the domino effect that eventually led to her getting fired.

Kaiya could still feel the knife in her back being twisted as she was still trying to heal from the pain that it caused almost two years ago. As she had already heard, Rohit was now getting a promotion and was even being offered an opportunity to work abroad. The apology seemed like a convenient way for him to try and clear out his “Karma” before moving along with his new and successful life.

Cover Photo by Pankaj Tottada

She dropped to her knees sobbing uncontrollably. She knew she had tried everything to overcome the betrayal and the consequences it had on her life.

While wiping off her tears, she thought to herself how selfish delayed apologies were.

This made her think if she had unknowingly hurt anyone in the past. People whom she owed apologies to. Her ex-best friend Kshama from college came to mind… someone whom she could not stand beside when gossip floated around the campus about her.

At the time she was too naïve to know the pain Kshama must have felt but Kaiya knew she potentially caused her best friend a lot of pain by not supporting her at a time when she needed her support.

She thought to herself if an apology would even matter after all these years or would it just bring back painful memories from the past? Nevertheless, she drove over to Kshama’s home and gave her a hug.

Confused by the sudden visit, Kshama invited her in and consoled her that she had let go of everything from the past. Kshama had healed and it reflected in the warmth with which she hugged Kaiya back.

Kaiya, still reeling in pain but amazed by the love she received from someone she once unknowingly hurt, decided to visit her Mum who lived not far from Kshama’s house. Her mother could tell from the minute she opened the door that Kaiya had a lot going on in her mind.

As the tea kettle whistled over the stove, Kaiya sat in her mother’s kitchen venting about being frustrated with herself since she was not able to heal. Each time she would try and almost feel free from her past scars, a minor setback would turn those scars into wounds again.

Her anxiety began to turn into rage, and she kicked the table in vexation. The old ceramic pickle jar, passed on to her mother from generation to generation, fell to the floor and broke into pieces.

Kaiya’s expressions changed. She snapped out of her own episode and immediately turned to her mother because she knew the sentimental value that jar held. But now, it was broken to pieces.

Was it too late to apologize knowing the jar could never be fixed again?



This contribution was edited by Sreekar Ayyagari & Tarun Chintam & photographed by Pankaj Tottada.



This flash fiction is available in paperback & ebook.

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R.S. Chintalapati
R.S. Chintalapati
Jul 01, 2023
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Short, precise & interesting!

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