They say you regret the things in life you didn’t do more than you regret the things you did. But…
I regret telling my brother one day that our make-believe world we built out of laundry hampers and dreams wasn’t real. The look on his face when adulthood smacked him, hard, was torturous and I wish I could take it back.
I regret those middle school dances where I stood off to the side, not allowing myself to have fun because none of the boys thought I was pretty enough to dance with. I can still taste the loathing I had for myself at the back of my throat. I can still hear my mum telling me words should never hurt me.
I regret the time I hurt her out of anger. I regret lashing out at the only person who had ever tried to love me like a sister.
I regret falling in love so easily when I was fourteen; his hair was the colour of sand and summer and his eyes reminded me that infinity had a feeling.
I regret the fact I loved him for years to come. I regret giving him everything I had only to have him throw it back in my face. I regret the day I burned the picture I drew of him after I had left it, tear-stained and ripping, in my room for months; a beacon of foolish hope.
I regret the first time I decided I hated myself and the decisions I made afterward. Every mirror is a painful reminder of how I took something whole and halved it to try and fit into everyone’s lives seamlessly.
I regret so much of what I’ve done, and yet I can think of more regrets I hold for ghost words I left unspoken:
I should have told him I loved him earlier.
I should have said goodbye.
I should have told my reflection that she was enough.
I should have told my brother we could make a new world together.
I should have told my father I loved him more.
I should have called one last time.
I should have screamed your name louder.
They say you regret the things in life you didn’t do more than you regret the things you did. Maybe that’s true, but in the end I find it hard to regret anything. My mistakes led me here.