it all boils down to one more word
one last line (let's hope it's a memorable one)
a last ditch effort
an added embelishment to an already drawn-out excuse
"the dog ate it, miss"
and "a three-legged dog, miss"
"i gave it my best"
and "i can still be better"
"give me one more chance"
and "it will never happen again"
"but i love you"
and "but you said you love me too"
always something extra to prolong that strand of hope
a little detail, a hint of a promise
nothing to change the truth of the outcome.