'Listen, don't worry,' I said. 'I forgive you.'
'I forgive you. I just thought you should know that.'
'Yes but you've forgiven me for what?'
'Forget about it. I've forgiven you and that's all you need to know.'
The man looked at me square in the face.
'But I don't want your forgiveness,' he said.
'But you have it. We Madeley men are a forgiving breed. You can't take it away from us. Forgiveness is in our blood.'
'So you forgive people even when they don't need your forgiveness?'
I smiled in a way meant to assure him that whatever he could do, I would still forgive him.
'Look,' he said, his now face flushing hot red. 'I knocked on your door and asked you if you wanted double glazing...'
'And you said, “no thanks, we're not interested”.'
'And just as I was turning away, you said what exactly?'
'I said that I forgive you.'
'So you're forgiving me for knocking on your door?'
'I can forgive you for that as well if you like,' I offered, cheerfully.
'I really don't care,' he said, perspiration breaking out on his brow. 'I just want to know what I'd originally did to warrant your forgiveness.'
'Does it matter now that I've forgiven you? You should just feel relieved.'
'But I've done nothing to you!'
'That's the spirit,' I cried and began to shake him by the hand. 'Forgiveness cleans the soul. Doesn't it make you feel whole again?'
He grabbed his bag and turned his back on me. 'Absolutely mad!' he cried as he reached the garden gate. 'You're absolutely mad!'
'Don't worry,' I shouted after him. 'I forgive you for that too.'
With that, I closed the door and began to luxuriate in that feeling of undeniable pleasure that comes from forgiving people. But if you doubt me, that's alright. I forgive you too... No, no... I really really do forgive you.