I didn't know for sure, but I knew in my heart that he couldn't have been the scum she said he was. No piece of "scum" dies in battle for Eorzea.
I defiantly crackled the door open and peered into the foyer, watching as my mother accepted a parcel from the man and shut the door.
She didn't spare a moment to even think of what had transpired, and instead rushed into her own room. I crept from my bedroom, anger and curiosity welling up inside me. She was in her room for just a moment, and soon emerged holding three things: a parcel under one arm, a wooden box that I had never seen under the other, and a lit candle in her hand.
It didn't take a scholar to put two and two together; she was going to dispose of every last trace of my father. My blood began to boil with a mix of betrayal and panic.
I scrambled back into my room and watched as she barreled through the back door like a woman possessed. She didn't even notice me in the doorway.
As I followed her to the door and peered outside, I saw her lay the items in the middle of the yard and hold the candle aloft...
The rage in me had boiled over and I tackled my mother to the ground. The candle fizzled out in the wet dewy grass, and I leaped over her fallen body to scoop the discarded box and package into my arms.
"SKYLA! What do you think you're DOING?" she spat as she tried to pick herself off the ground and stop me. I quickly ran away from her grasp as she tried to grab my skirt, and she fell back down into the dirt. With one swift motion I opened the box, and my heart nearly stopped.
There were letters inside, dated within the last year... addressed to US.
I turned to face her, tears streaming down my face.
"You LIED! You said he was SCUM! That you had no idea where he went! SO WHAT ARE THESE?!?" I screamed as I grabbed a handful of letters in my fist. My fingers clenched around something hard, and I let go in surprise. Reaching into one of the envelopes, I pulled out a 1,000 gil coin. Aghast, I looked up at my mother.
My mother was silent. I threw the coin to the ground, put the letters back inside, and slammed the lid of the box shut.
"You KNEW where he was all this time! You got PAID FOR HIS SERVICE! Why didn't you TELL ME?" I screamed.
"...he LEFT US, Skyla. You don't understand!" I had never seen my mother look so defeated. I almost felt bad for her, until she continued. "He wanted to 'save the world'... but I needed him," she spat. "WE needed him! He left us when we needed him most! What man leaves his family?!?"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "You LIED to me. All these years, I had no idea where he was, I hated him... all this just because he left to become a soldier for Eorzea? He wasn't scum, he was honorable."
My mother had burst into tears at this point. "No, no, no," she wailed, "he left me alone! He left me! He left us! Why don't you understand, Skyla? I needed him!"
I looked her straight in the eyes. It was like staring into the eyes of a scared animal. Deep inside, I knew there was no turning back. Her selfishness couldn't be forgiven.
I turned to walk back towards the house when I heard her speak.
"Skyla... where are you going?"
"I'm leaving," I said softly, unable to yell any longer. There was no point. She was insane.
"Wh-what," she squeaked, "NO! You can't leave me! You can't leave me alone!"
I didn't respond. I just kept walking, set on retrieving my bag from my room and leaving this place forever.
"SKYLA! Skyla, you get back here!" she screeched, her voice shrill with anger as I walked through the door. I grabbed my leather bag, stuffed the box and parcel inside along with a paring knife and an extra pair of shoes, and walked out the front door. I could still hear my mother screaming my name, anger turning to desperation.
I could have bet that even as I walked outside the village limits, getting stares from neighbors outside their homes, she was still sitting behind her house screaming in the same spot I had left her.