Saturday, December 7, 2013

Skyla's Story: Father Pt. 1

As I walked through the gate and into the Shroud, I found myself filled with a sorrow that I hadn't felt for a long while.
I thought I had been over this, but I guess the pain was just lingering under the surface, a festering wound under a clean bandage.

I had never known my father.
That in itself was endurable. There were many others without fathers, and their lives were normal, or at least close to it...
No, I had spent a large portion of my life not only having an absent father, but also hating him with every ounce of my being.

I had been born in a small village, though a melting pot of other races. As long as I had remembered, I had only a mother... If you could even call her that.
I was nothing more than live-in maid, that just happened to also be her daughter. Cooking, cleaning, weeding the garden... that was my entire life, besides occasionally having a spare moment to myself to sit outside, wondering if this was truly what life was meant to be.
My mother barely did anything except for keeping up appearances around town, eating, reading trashy romance novels penned by some love-crazed Lalafell, and making sure I was doing what I was supposed to do. Whenever I would inquire why she couldn't take care of things, she would tell me that I needed the training, for a woman needs to be a good housekeeper. A part of me always thought she was just lazy, though I didn't dare speak my mind for fear of lashings.

Besides the fact that "a woman should keep house," one thing she drilled into me was that my father was scum of the lowest kind... That he had left us before I was even born, too lazy to be a man and support his family.
I believed her. Why else would she be so bitter and hateful? Why else would she treat me so poorly? Obviously I was the spawn of someone she despised, a constant reminder of someone who betrayed her trust.
And then everything changed.

The Calamity came, and though we were spared the destruction, everything I knew was turned upside down.
It all began with a man showing up on our doorstep, which was definitely odd. My mother had shooed me into my bedroom, and though eavesdropping would surely result in lashings, my curiosity was peaked. My mother had always expressed contempt or indifference towards the men in the village, so it was clear that she wasn't looking to attract any suitors. So who was this man?
With my ear pressed against the door, I had listened closely... Though I couldn't hear all of it, I could make out a few things.
"...regret to inform you... husband has passed... killed in action in Carteneau... belongings..."
My blood ran cold as ice as my mind raced. I knew the man was speaking of my father, but something wasn't right.
Why was my father killed in battle?
My whole life I had been told my father was a deadbeat who left us all those years ago, and hadn't been heard from since. No "worthless scum" would risk their life in battle to save Eorzea from the Empire's clutches.
It was in that moment that I had realized that my mother must have been wrong.

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