She did her best.
I stare at my wine, watching a bead of condensation slowly slip down the glass. It splashes on the table, darkening the wood, and my thoughts drift to tears.
She did her best, and I never even wept. What kind of daughter does that make me? As the illness ate at her, as they lowered her into the ground, as I negotiated her affairs, nary a tear, just a hollow, empty ache.
She did her best, but so did I. Perhaps I have run empty, like the well eventually did, depths plunged too deep to dredge up anything beyond exhaustion.
A cheer rings out inside the tavern, followed by a roar of laughter. I feel a pain of longing, a sudden urge to join the throng, to make them laugh and love me. It always was the easiest choice. It always was a quick escape.
But she did her best, and so now must I. I am grown now, or so I am told. I have my doubts, but… but perhaps adulthood is more about the choices I make and not my age. Maybe I'll grow into it.
The wine loses its appeal. I leave the glass untouched and gather my things. A flash of afternoon sun in a warped pane of glass catches my eye and I find myself face to face with my own reflection: short and scrawny, with eyes like mud and hair like straw. Calloused hands, chapped lips, windblown cheeks. A sardonic laugh bubbles up unexpectedly - this is the face of a future ruler?
Still… perhaps there's hope for me. I'm grown up, now. Anything's possible…
She did her best, but I can do better. I just pray it's good enough.
Looking for more on akalia the charmer needs more feedback soon so maybe intensively or move ahead with discussion.