I knew Steve in college right when all the partying started. I knew him when the drugs started. I knew him before things got bad. I even knew him through the filming of the first Jackass movie. But soon after that I couldn’t handle it anymore. The worse the drug problem got the more I distanced myself from him. I didn’t feel safe around him anymore and I couldn’t just stand there and watch him ruin his life.
For a while after I stopped talking to him, he would call me a lot. I never answered the phone or returned his calls. One day the calls stopped. Part of me wanted to worry, but I had to tell myself that there’s was nothing I could do to change him. Not long after that I received a call from Johnny Knoxville. I had met him on the set of the first Jackass when Steve brought me around to meet everyone. He told me that him and the guys got together and had an intervention for Steve. I told him I was happy to hear, but I had no intentions of speaking to Steve ever again.
During those college years we had been great friends, but the alcohol and drugs slowly changed him. He would say hurtful things to me, and then try to pretend like it never happened. Johnny explained to me that as part of his treatment Steve had to apologize to all he had wronged, and that I was on the list. It wasn’t something I wanted to deal with, but he insisted if we all wanted Steve to get better, we all had to do what we could to help.
So here I am today, sitting at a cafe waiting for Steve to show up. It’s been almost six years since the last time I saw him. I don’t even know how to feel right now. I’m very happy for him and I’ve heard he’s doing well, but I don’t know if we can ever be the way we once were.
I looked down at my phone to see the time. He was running late. I set my phone back down on the table and sighed. I looked around, up and down the street. It was a nice day outside. Almost too hot, but there was a nice breeze that continually blew. A lot of people were outside, walking down the sidewalk, shopping, sitting at the exact same cafe I was at.
When I looked down the street again, my heart began to race. I saw a familiar figure. He had on a plaid shirt and jeans. He’d grown out his hair a bit, something I hadn’t really seen before. I realized my body must have recognized him before my brain did. He had a huge smile on his face and as much as I tried to fight it, I couldn’t help, but smile as well. I stood up once he got closer to the table. I could tell he wanted to hug me, but he refrained.
“Hey.” I said.
“Hey.” He replied in his familiar raspy voice.
“You look good. Healthy.” I said.
“Thanks. I feel good.”
We both sat down at the table and a waiter came to take our order. I sat there staring at the table and fiddling with my phone. This was the most awkward I had felt in a long time. I knew I was making him uncomfortable. I finally looked up at him. He had a look of desperation and sorrow in his eyes.
“So..” I said.
“Ellie, I’m really sorry about everything.” He blurted out.
I sat there quietly, focused on his eyes. He sat there for a moment, searching for any words that could express how he was feeling.
“I know I said and did a lot of dumb things, and I know I don’t have an excuse for any of them. I know I hurt you on multiple occasions and I wish I could take it all back. You were my best friend, and at the time really my only friend and I know I fucked up big time. I don’t expect us to be the best of buds in an instant, but I hope you can at least accept my apology.”