My mother died I when I was pretty young. That kind thing has a drastic effect on a boy. Even more impacting was how my father handled it.
You see, my father was a pacifist and a leader in the Church of Unity. They’re a hippie organization that wants everyone to work together for common good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an ideal goal, but embodied in my father caused me to resent the church quite a bit.
I think my mother’s death caused him to feel a bit of guilt about his own beliefs. My father hadn’t raised a finger as my mother was slaughtered, and it’s something I’ve never forgiven him for.
Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t stand his way of life, his casual liasons with the women of our town or his suave and debonair personality. Half the girls in my class were madly in love with him and the other half would have been if it was deemed socially acceptible. My Dad was educated, well spoken and emotional in an attractive way.
There were quite a few times where his charms got him into trouble with married gentlemen of the Guilfort. Always, always he backed from confrontation, even begging for mercy and whinning. That combined with his lack of respect (in my opinion) for my mother culminated in my loathing of my father.
I guess things aren’t as bad now that I’m no longer home. I don’t have to watch him in action any more. I don’t have to see the drinking, the women and his obsession with poetry. Perhaps that, and something insightful Tulia mentioned. “Nan, Carolynn’s death hit him just as hard as it did you, probably worse. What if those are things he does when he’s in pain?”
Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. The only thing I knew was that I was never going to live his lifestyle, I would never refuse to lift a hand to protect someone I love because of my beliefs.
And that, Lady Arilynn, is why I disguised the burr seeds on your chair so you wouldn’t see them. That is why I was sloppy enough that I would take the punishment. I did the right thing protecting a friend from undue punishment on your part. You embody a much too strict law, where you refuse to acknowledge the spirit of the law, but rather the wording of it. I refuse to apologize for defending a friend and requite myself of your teaching. I will learn as needed on my own. You may test me if desired, on Gramm’s wishes.
— Nan, Apprentice of the fourth order