Message to her:
I wanted to say thank you for talking to me last week. The only other time we've hurt each other you told me, “messy explanations I can handle, but not knowing I can not.” Not knowing how you felt or what you thought was agony for me. Talking to me was probably unpleasant for you, so I thank you for granting me that small mercy. It meant so much to me. In the week since we talked, this bit of understanding has helped me get a small handle on my emotions, so it's helped me to start to recover from this loss.
Your answer wasn't the one I had hoped for, but at least it wasn't the worst outcome: that you thought I did this intentionally. I can understand the conflict between your thoughts and emotions. Your mind believes me that this was an accident. All the nights I spent at your place, all the times I looked out for you when you were incapacitated, I never sought to take advantage because I never wanted anything more from you than your friendship. I'm not good at showing people how I care for them but the Christmas card I sent you before this happened said what I felt, that “your friendship was the best gift I've ever received.” I may have been drunk and high that awful night, but I know who I am and I know that I never wanted to betray your trust. You said you believe me and I try to take some comfort in that. But I understand that your heart can't unfeel the hurt inflicted on you by my carelessness. So no matter what your mind believes, your heart is what drives your actions now.
I'm dealing with that same conflict right now. After talking to you, I . . . understand that there's probably no real chance that we'll be able to repair our friendship, regardless of how desperately I wish we could. I heard your words and I thank you for them, painful though they were. My mind understands but my heart . . . my heart is a slow learner. I still feel and believe and instinctually think of you as a dear friend. Every time I see you, I want to laugh with you, bitch about students together, make plans for breakfast pho, and look forward to our weekend shenanigans. My heart doesn't realize that that will never happen again, but when that realization starts to sink in, it just breaks me down all over again.
I only have a vague sense of the anger and pain you must feel over this. Or maybe you've buried it already and me trying to save things is only making it worse. I don't know. The only person I know of that you've completely and utterly cut out of your life is Will. If I'm receiving the same punishment as him, then I can only conclude that you truly hate me for how I've hurt you. That's what breaks my heart, that I could cause my best friend to hate me as much as she's hated anyone. I don't even know what kind of human that makes me, if that can be said about me. I've never hurt anyone like this and I've never despised myself more.
Even knowing that you may feel this way, I believe that you're capable of forgiveness. And I believe that we had a genuine friendship, not just something built on boredom or alcoholism or convenience. I believe we were real friends. I believe we can recover from this. Maybe not ever again the same as we were, but we can recover. That's really why I'm writing to you today. I may be stubborn and loyal and optimistic, but eventually even I'll give up the hope that we can return to being friends. I will be able to accept that eventually.
Yet, I at least hope that we can ease the atmosphere between us at work. Not for my sake though. I fear that if nothing changes between us, if this iciness and discomfort becomes the norm, then a few months from now when the school year winds down, my mere presence at school may be a factor that pushes you away from somewhere that you want to be. I don't want to be something you dread about your job. I don't want you to have to decide between staying here or escaping my presence. I've already caused you so much pain and discomfort, I don't want to add to that. I would rather forfeit my position here than cause you further troubles. But I hope that it doesn't come to that. I couldn't bear this situation permanently. Four more months of this would ruin me.
I hope that we can find some path of reconciliation forward. I keep telling myself that I could give up on the hope of being friends again and settle for just being colleagues. As long as we could find peace between us, that's probably all I can realistically hope for. I hope we can do this together.
This last part I'm embarrassed to mention, but reality doesn't give a shit about what I'm going through. I'm facing a $2800 repair bill for my truck right now and I'm too broke to be replacing things. If you can find an opportunity, could you return my stuff to me? Especially the rice cooker and keyboard. The cooker was $500 and I haven't been able to use my home computer since I lent my keyboard to you. You can keep the food processor though. I bought that on the way over to your place when I couldn't figure out how to turn on my identical one at home. I don't need two of them.
I'm sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your help.