Mr. Upchurch, she fumbled. I?.?.?. I must take my leave directly. But before I go, allow me to say how sorry I am for the callous way I treated you in the past. I regret it most keenly. His heart squeezed even as he felt his brows rise. Do you? She swallowed. I was wrong about you. I was wrong about a great many things.
In reality of everyday occurrences I've had to submit to people in order not to lose them. It's less the submission that bothers me, I guess, than how it makes my life miserable. And what happens if I can't forgive myself for making that choice? And what if, in order to keep on living, I have to continue to accept myself? What am I supposed to do? Conclusion: It'd be best if I'm destroyed. The best thing is for me just to vanish.
When Olivier had been taken away Gamache had sat back down and stared at the sack. What could be worse than Chaos, Despair, War?What would even the Mountain flee from? Gamache had given it a lot of thought. What haunted people even, perhaps especially, on their deathbed? What chased them, tortured them and brought some of them to their knees? And Gamache thought he had the answer. Regret. Regret for things said, for things done, and not done. Regret for the people they might have been. And failed to be. Finally, when he was alone, the Chief Inspector had opened the sack and looking inside had realize he'd been wrong. The worst thing of all wasn't regret.
Why do we remember the Boys of Summer? We remember because we were young when they were, of course. But more, we remember because we feel the ache of guilt and regret. While they were running, jumping, leaping, we were slouched behind typewriters, smoking and drinking, pretending to some mystic communion with men we didn't really know or like. Men from ghettos we didn't dare visit, or rural farms we passed at sixty miles an hour. Loving what they did on the field, we could forget how superior we felt towards them the rest of the time. By cheering them on we proved we had nothing to do with the injustices that kept their lives separate from ours. There's nothing sordid or false about the Boys of Summer. Only our memories smell like sweaty jockstraps.