Imogen rolled her eyes. Her brother hadn’t changed much since he’d rolled his toy tank through her Sylvanian family. When Imogen dragged their mother in to arbitrate, he explained that a bunch of rabbits and mice were collateral damage in his struggle against Skeletor, who had been on the other side of the room.
“How can you get to forty-five years old without a few regrets?”
Perhaps she hadn’t changed either. She should have let it go with the eyeroll then as she should now. Her question was more eloquent than a flood of tears and a run to their mother, but both responses only encouraged him.
“Easy. I understand why they’re a waste of energy. I’ve made the choices I’ve made and here I am. What about you? Do you let regret consume you?”
“I have regrets, sure, but I wouldn’t say I’m consumed. I try to learn from them. They stop me repeating my mistakes.”
“There!” Malcolm sounded as if he’s scored a point. “That’s where you’re going wrong. No regrets, no apologies. That’s the way to live.”
“What, you’ve never made a mistake? You?”
“A mistake is something you regret so no, never made one. No regrets, no mistakes.”
Imogen caught herself pulling her bottom lip. It was something she did when she was thinking, and Malcolm’s raised eyebrow showed he knew it.
“What about the car crash?” She asked. “You must regret some of the booze you had before you stacked into that tree. Poor Hope was in hospital for weeks, and her back’s never been right since.”
Malcolm winced. “Did you have to bring that up?”
“Why not, if you don’t regret it?”
Malcolm’s pause betrayed his search for a reason why not that wouldn’t admit to a regret.
“Oh, fair enough.” He hadn’t found one. “No, I don’t regret it. It happened. I dealt with it. I moved on.”
“Hope’s never moved on. It put an end to her marathons for a start.”
“That’s up to her. I can’t control whether she has regrets.”
“She can’t control the state of her back.”
“If she wants to hold herself back, all I can say is that I choose not to. I choose not to regret it.”
“Sometimes, Malcolm, I envy you.”
The burning question
Do you have a Malcolm in your life?