Questions of Love
Summary: Faramir muses about whether his father truly loves him. Faramir's POV.
I have always wondered whether my father truly loved me. Boromir never asked these questions. He tells me, "Of course father loves us. What makes you think that he doesn't?"
Father always loved Boromir. My brother was my father's pride and joy. My father may have never said out loud that he loved Boromir but he did not need to say it. He loved Boromir because he was the eldest son, the legacy of my mother. Me? I was only a shadow of what he hoped that I would be. My tutors always said that I was smarter but to my father being intelligent meant nothing. What use would a son be if he couldn't fight? Fighting brought honour to him. For me, fighting brought death. I hated killing but I killed only if I was forced to. Like survival. But sometimes I find myself thinking that I would rather die. My father wouldn't care. No big deal. He would probably just be disappointed that I didn't die properly, like in a battle or something. Nothing I do ever pleases him, it make him loathe me even more.
Not that my brother doesn't love me. Boromir always protected me and helped me. But he can't make father love me. Boromir could not hide the answers away from me. As I was an inquisitive child, I would turn to the servants and the guards for answers to my questions. Anyone.
I once asked a servant this. She looked at me sadly but then smiled. "Of course he does dear." I knew she was lying but I pretended that I didn't know. I wanted to believe a lie, even if it isn't the truth. But as I grew up, I wanted to know.
"Does my father love me?" I asked my tutor, who became my mentor as well.
"Why do you ask, Faramir?" My tutor replied compassionately. He always listened to whatever troubles I had on my mind.
"I want to know the truth. I don't want to believe in a lie," I had replied.
"If you want to know the truth, you should ask him." My tutor said wisely but his voice held a hint of sadness. He would not speculate on the answer though perhaps he had not wanted to lie to me. My tutor had known my father too well, he had served as the steward's advisor for some time.
I asked my father once and I never asked him again. I needed to know if he loved me. I was young and foolish enough to ask him.
"Father, do you love me?" I had asked.
After a long pause, I knew that my father wouldn't answer me because he turned his face away.
"Do you love Boromir?" I boldly asked again.
"I suppose that I am fairly fond of him," he replied. I remembered that he did not say that he loved him. No, he loved my mother. It was the only person that he reserved this word for. Denethor would not say that he loved anyone again, not in front of another person. He had loved her in his own fashion and he always loved her.
I had not thought that my father would not answer me. I always hoped that he would say yes, I told my mentor. My mentor, astute as always, told me that my father did not say that he didn't love me either. I dream that my father will tell me that he does love me. I hope for my dream, yet it is unrealistic.
All the nights I laid in my bed, curled up, crying myself to sleep. Boromir was a deep sleeper, he never heard me. Or perhaps I had muffled the sobs with my hand. I had pressed my palm to my lips, willing myself not to make a sound. The tears fell silently, my shoulders shaking. They were tears of longing – for my father, for his love.
I had found acceptance in Mithrandir, he took me in as his pupil. Yes, acceptance and maybe even love. But it would not be the same. Even the great Istari could not take his place.
Could Denethor not lie to me? Am I so ugly that he would not want me as a son? I yearned for his loved, yet the more he ignored me. I know that he spoke little, even to Boromir. But it hurt when he would not even address me as his son. Could he not pretend to love me, in front of others? He could not even give me a false hope. I had no comfort.
What is there to stop me from taking my life? I have nothing to keep me here. I am nothing to my father. My father is everything to me. I lived for my father. But to him, I am merely another servant, not even a warrior in his eyes.
How I wish I were Boromir. I do not wish to take what is my brother's away from him. I merely wish I could have what he had and still has. Surely, my father could spare a bit more love? But then, he loves no one aside from my brother. He never had to tell Boromir that, not that he would but he never had to. He had only ever told my mother he loved her. I am not special enough to be any one. Not special enough to deserve his love.
I am wasting my time, dwelling on desires that cannot be fulfilled. All I wanted is my father's acceptance and love. All I got is rejection and indifference.
"Do you wish, then, that our places had been exchanged?"
"Yes, I wish that indeed," said Denethor.
If it had pleased you, I would wish death on myself. Would it have made you love me more? I would die to bring Boromir back to make you happy. You forget, father, I loved him too. Was Boromir not as much of a brother as he was your son? We are family. Are you not my father, Denethor, Steward of Gondor?
Mithrandir gave me comfort, "Your father loves you, Faramir, and will remember it ere the end. Farewell!"
I can only long for the day the end would come that my father might love me as a son. "Father, do you love me?" I would ask. I would not need his words as a reply because I would already know his answer.