I think I mentioned it somewhere in a post that when I was 16 I took a hell of a beating when out with a couple of friends. It was the early 80's equivalent of post code youth violence, but in them days no mobiles to be robbed of and knives were for show .. not use. In fact if you'd had a mobile it would have been a useful weapon. The boys I was with legged it whilst I stayed to remonstrate with a predictable result.
Some local residents called the police and took me in and I recall bleeding over the washing up in their sink whilst they tended my injuries. They must have known the opposing gang because a couple of arrests were made later.
My relationship with the boys was severely affected. One of them could have been classed as one of my best friends at the time, having known him since early school days. We both worked in offices and after this he chucked in his job and went back to school to do A levels, whilst I stayed in my insurance job. We quickly drifted apart and it was because in my head I had this overwhelming resentment that he should have stayed and took a beating with me. I would never had left him in the lurch if the situation was reversed.
He got in touch via a school reunion website a couple of years ago and we'd agreed we would meet up but never did. I was still pissed with him and things were left. I finally decided after decades this needed to be dealt with and last week met with him for a beer. The conversation flowed about things we have done over the years and it was as if nothing had changed. I had to tackle my resentment and brought up the subject of that night. I told him that I had been really annoyed with him that he ran off and left me to my fate. I think we both knew that the reason we drifted apart was this incident in our lives. He told me that for years he'd felt guilty of leaving me. That was was it - done, and I'm glad we met up. We work in similar jobs with the same client base and I've sent a few his way.
I think if we'd had the same conversation all those years ago we would have remained friends. We will be again - maturity means you become less judgemental. This is now case closed on those negative vibes I'd harboured towards him for nearly 30 years.