It was not an admission of guilt, but a cry for help.
Words didn’t come easy to Simon. Most children learnt early that a ‘Sorry’ whether meant or not would alleviate situations that otherwise might end with a slap. Sorry was a get-out clause written into childhood law. Sorry was the most perfect word ever created, one I used with over-eager indulgence. Simon, however, couldn’t say sorry no matter what the circumstances. I often thought he wanted to though. The word would sit on his trembling lips like a bad-tasting vegetable, perhaps, a turnip or a jagged broccoli.
When Simon did what he did, the world went crazy. Yet even then, his fate could’ve changed. I’ll never forget the look on his face as he stood in the courtroom. He could’ve said it then and made things right. He could’ve, but didn’t.
I’ve often wondered if his old sorry phobia resurfaced, if it had ever left, or if it was the plain and simple truth that the others had always touted: Simon was nuts.