The same image of Lennie constantly plays through my mind. His giant body is standing before me with his hands behind his back, and his eyes holding back tears. His bottom lip sticks out slightly, hiding the words that he badly wants to say. His glassy eyes stare me down, but I can't find the strength to look back. Slowly, the words utter out of his mouth, "I know I did bad George, I didn't mean to. I never meant to do anything wrong and I tried to stay out of the way, and", by now there are tears running down his face. "I…I didn't mean to ruin it all for you George." "Lennie", I say gently, but by then he is already gone. There's nothing I can do or say to change what I've done.
The worst part about it is the guilt. Everyone's telling me I did the right thing by shooting Lennie, but I can't help thinking that I was the one who took his life away. Lennie was a good man, an innocent man. All the plans that Lennie and I had together, all of his dreams, the rabbits, all gone. In only a few weeks Lennie, Candy, and I had plans to move out of the ranch and buy a nice place a little ways away. It's as if I can still hear Lennie saying to me, "And I get to tend the rabbits, right George?" The rabbits meant so much to Lennie, more than anything. Candy and I still have plans to move out next month, but I know it won't be the same not having Lennie with us.
What I most regret is how impatient I'd get with Lennie sometimes. The times when I'd lash out at him whenever he got on my nerves. I feel so ashamed for yelling at him all those times, and telling him how much better life would be if I weren't stuck with him, and how I wished to be a "free man". What still questions me is that, if Lennie's gone does that really make me a "free man"? Maybe we're just not free people. It's funny, that without Lennie it feels as if I have less freedom than before. I know it shouldn't be this way. I keep telling myself, "I should be happy", but it doesn't seem to be working.
I know in my heart that I'll never forgive myself for what I did to Lennie. The only person there is to blame for Lennie's death and for all of Lennie's mistakes, is me. I know that I'm the one who was responsible for the time when Lennie was drowning. I was the one responsible for what happened in Weed, for Curley's hand injury, for the death of the puppy, for the death of Curley's wife, all these things that Lennie had done were my fault. I know I should have kept better watch of him, I shouldn't have been so harsh on him, if only I would've cared more for him, none of this would have happened.
This is all my fault.
I can't go unpunished for what I've done.
I can't go on living like this anymore.
I'll never forgive myself.
I'll be miserable for the rest of my life.
This is my end.
It may have been too soon for Lennie, but not too soon for me.
George Milton 1894-1937