The confrontation always kept just out of reach. The fight held at bay by simply ignoring one another, by not calling, by pretending not to care. After this long, the angst is less about how it began but more so how stubbornly it has been allowed to survive this long. Neither side is vested in its end but implanted in its origins. And so they take in the scent of their foe and they dance about the room throwing daggers disguised as "I could care less that we have this between us." But truth is, they do care, both of them care.
It is inevitable, and after all the shallow awkwardness builds to a heightened peak and there is no more room to maneuver, no more corners of the room to melt into, one of them slowly inches to the center of the ring, as if to say, "Let's do this, It is now or never." And just like a double-dare on the playground, the other matador grunts, scratches at the ground, and then inches forward. Room feels silent, but likely no one else really notices or they are polite enough not to notice making room for whatever happens next.
And low and behold the world does not stop spinning when one of them says to the other, "Have you tried Aunt Jane's sweet potato pie?" That is it. "Have you tried Aunt Jane's sweet potato pie?" And as if on cue they chuckle which instinctively builds to a fit of laughter between. Each of them knowing that for as long as they both can remember and for even longer than the silence between them, Aunt Jane butchers anything resembling the sweet potato pie. And now standing together in the center of the ring, they dip their forks into a single slice of pie, laughing until their bellies ache.
And they laugh and they forget and most of all they let go.