So Many Times
So many times I've tried to tell you. So many things
I had to say. Yet something always held me back, although I knew you should be
told. And now, even though it's too late, I'm writing to you. To tell you something
you should've known an age ago...
30th Day of Relaxing, Year 8
I don't know what to write. I've written this
letter over a thousand times and still the ink won't come out right. I know
what I want to say, what I want to tell you, but I don't know how to... say
You remember all those days, right? When you
were a great journalist, writing articles for the Neopian Times like it was
easier than breathing, and when I was your faithful editor. You remember everything,
including the day you snapped your pen in half. The day I told you your articles,
short stories, series... everything was dead. You didn't say anything, just
broke your pen and left.
I lied. Oh, Seraphina, I lied. I was jealous
of your success. You were everything I wanted to be: an awe-inspiring author
with a loving family and absolutely beautiful. Who could possibly not be jealous
of a faerie Kougra who could eat ice cream at every meal and not lose any luster
in her coat? But I won't make excuses for myself.
I, Listeria, earth faerie, lied to you. I ended
your career prematurely. You weren't ready to quit, not by far.
You were fresh, and I was dull. I cannot tell
you how much I hated you for being everything I couldn't be. I was a faerie.
Faeries do not have owners. We can't be recognized for our great works of literature,
because we're supposed to be caring for all of Neopia, not writing frivolous
tales. I was told I could never dream of being an author, for everyone would
scoff at me. What could a simple earth faerie possibly have to write about,
other than the consistency of plant growth and flower sprouting?
That special article you were writing, celebrating
50 issues of the Neopian Times wasn't anything like I said it was. It was magnificent:
clean-cut, humorous, and detailed. It was everything the publisher of the Times
could hope for. It was everything I could ever wish to be. So I lied.
Yes, I lied. I watched you day by day. Going
around with your owner and visiting exotic places: exploring tombs, climbing
mountains, trudging through sand dunes, swimming in the ocean. You even got
to fly up to Faerieland, where I have been forbidden to go until my task here
upon the ground of Neopia is completed. I wanted what you had, and I ruined
both of us.
I was found out in my deceit, but not by you,
obviously. The faerie who had trained me as a youngling noticed a strange gleam
in my eyes when she spoke with me a few days later. I refused to tell her what
was going on, so she spelled me to tell her the truth. I told her everything:
my hatred of you, my deceit, and my happiness over my destruction of your writing
I have tried and tried to forget that day.
The disappointment and hurt in my mentor's eyes. I had fallen from grace, and
so was stripped of my wings and powers. I became a grey faerie. I cannot describe
the terror I felt at what was happening. I was defenseless and alone. There
would be no forgiveness. I had done the unthinkable, and I had to be punished.
Perhaps they punished me in that way to give me a chance to repent, to see my
sins clearly. But I would not see it. In those last moments as a true faerie,
I hated you still, Seraphina.
I was cast into exile, far beyond the boundaries
where normal Neopians tread, into the wilds. For a little over a year, I sat
there, brooding in the dense black forests of the northern lands. I wanted my
revenge. But now, so very much later, I see the truth at last. I don't know
what brought me to realize my wrongs, but I see them now.
I have a million excuses, but none of them
matter. Seraphina, you might ask me what changed my mind, what led me to admit
my wrongdoing. I was betrayed, in the same way I betrayed you. I found a fellow
grey faerie in the northlands. We became very close. Her name was Ghatana. Together
we searched for a way to regain our wings. For a long while, I did not dare
to hope, for fear of being let down when the stakes were greater than I could
bear. Ghatana was always hopeful, even when she shed tears of frustration in
the quiet of the night when she thought I was asleep. When I lost sight of any
reason to help her search, she would encourage me, even though I knew of her
own insecurities. We promised each other that no matter what, we would both
regain our wings: some how, some way. But when the day came, when I stumbled
upon the ancient manuscript that would solve the puzzle, Ghatana stole it from
me and fled. I never saw her again, and my hope for wings went with her.
It was then I realized what I had done to
you, Seraphina. Your writing had been as precious to you as my wings had been
to me. It was part of you, the one thing you could always count on to bring
joy. And I had snatched that away from you. I had been cruel. Selfish. Ignorant.
I hated myself for what I had done.
And so I write to you, even though it is too
late. The day when your wonderful article could've been shown to the world is
long past. I'm two hundred issues late. But there is still hope for you. You
were the brightest writer I ever had the pleasure of editing; few could compare.
Please, I beg of you, begin again.
I know what I have done is unforgivable, yet
I ask the impossible: please forgive me. I have been blind, like so many others.
I have no excuses for what I have done; I never did. It was all a bundle of
lies, tied up with threads of jealousy.
I learned something out there in the wild
forests. One cannot dwell on past sins forever. You must learn to let go. But
I cannot tell you that, Seraphina. What I did to you was unspeakable; you have
the right to hate me for the rest of your life. Yet I hope for something I have
no right to hope for: forgiveness.
Seraphina, I do not know how long it will take
my letter to reach you, or whether you will want to reply. I remain your humble,
My other impossible hope: my wings. I want
them so badly that sometimes it hurts to hope. But if I can ask for forgiveness
for an unforgivable thing, perhaps it is not so bad. Perhaps, I can still cling
to my dreams. Maybe I can still learn to hope for those things I tucked away,
deep inside, and told myself they were impossible. Maybe nothing truly is impossible.
Maybe hope is not so foolish after all.