One Day

[02.09.00] » by Astarte

Its funny how people are. We never appreciate the people in our lives until they're gone. We walk through life with this carefree attitude, taking everything and everyone for granted. We assume that just because we love them, they must be there for us always. So we make excuses not to say how we feel, we forget to show our appreciation, we pretend that we have all the time in the world. One day, we promise ourselves. One day we'll spend more time with them. One day we'll say I love you. One day.

One day.

We're always too busy. I have a job, we explain, responsibilities. They know how I feel, we think, why say the obvious. I appreciate them, we lie to ourselves. There's always tomorrow, we believe without ever stopping to wonder if its true. Our loved ones have always been there and it never occurs to us that this is a rare and precious gift, not a permanent fact of life.

Reality is different that desire. The truth is that Life only gives you so many chances and its patience is limited. If you decide to waste all them all, Life is quite willing to teach you the cold and ugly truth. You were too busy? Too bad. You want one more chance? Too late.

One Day is a lie.

Take me for example. I wasted my chances in a kind of irresponsible bliss, missing every opportunity that Life had ever given me. In retrospect, Life was quite patient in my case. It has its limits though and I guess I pushed it too far.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that it was too late. Raine is dead. I'd spent the better part of a year being everyone's hero but hers. I should have returned with Ellone but I didn't because I believed in One Day. I thought I had all the time in the world. I thought that Esthar needed me more than she did. Somewhere along the line I took her existence for granted. I forgot that she was a frail mortal, like everyone else. If I had gone back, at least I could have seen her one more time. I could have had one more chance to be her hero, to say "I love you."

I could have said goodbye.

But I didn't. I lost my one opportunity because I was too busy helping other people to be there for her. My belief in One Day left her to die alone, never to hear me tell her how I felt, how much I loved her. Some will say I was a foolish idealist, others will point out that I was trapped by responsibilities. A rare few will call me selfish. I think those are the ones that are right.

One Day. One Day. The ultimate selfish act.

Life had an even harsher lesson to teach me. I suppose that it wanted to get its point across. I have a son. He has her name, not mine, kind of a cruel joke on Life's part. Someone out there didn't think that I deserved to be a part of his life, not even in name only. I guess I can accept that. What have I done to deserve him, anyway? At least I know the place where he's staying, I met the people who run it. They're far better parents than I could ever hope to be.

I thought about going there and bringing them here to Esthar, my little Ellone and my newborn son. I get this feeling though, one I can't shake, that I'm just being selfish again. Ellone would never be safe here, not so soon after Adel's overthrow. As for my little boy, I want to see him so badly that I'm tempted but is this in his best interests? Am I taking things for granted again?

Living with other children, with Ellone and the Kramers to love him, he's bound to be happy there. That little stone orphanage has more to offer him than I could ever give. I know myself too well, what would eventually happen. My duties as President would get in the way. I'd start believing the lie again. I'd start thinking that there's always tomorrow, that one day, I could spend more time with him. One day I would give him the attention a little boy needs. One day I'd tell him that I love him. One day. Eventually I'd realize my mistake but then it would be too late, he'd be gone, either in body or in spirit. I would have to live with the truth that he had grown up alone and unappreciated.

So to honour my wife I have to let my son go. It's the only thing I can think of to show my appreciation of her, what she did, who she was. Life taught me this lesson well enough in the end. I can live contently, knowing that they're both safe and happy, that they'll grow up loved and appreciated.

My only wish is that when my son is grown, he doesn't make the mistake I did. I hope that when he meets his soulmate, he doesn't take her for granted, that he appreciates the gift he's been given and that he says "I love you" often and truly.

I can only pray that he never, ever believes in One Day.

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