Disclaimer: Thomas and Paul Dutton, along with Forgive Durden, signed under Fueled by Ramen, own the rights to Razia's Shadow. May the genius live on.
He has our eyes.
Sitting here, watching the Princess, now Queen, walk through her garden with the young one is all I ever do now. It's the only way I can ever reconnect with you, my brother, especially now with you long gone and buried.
I still regret that day.
I knew that you two were perfect for each other, and I knew that great things were always right around the corner for you. But that didn't mean that I had to accept it. I was always the one to be left behind, to be groomed into becoming the ideal ruler of the shadows.
But I never wanted that. I never wanted any of it.
I once had dreams just like you did, dreams of finding my own romance and having my own grand adventures. All I ever wanted to do was throw down the heavy burden that belonged to the eldest, to me. All I wanted was to be free, free to make my own choices, my own mistakes, and to be able to find what I loved. To find out what I loved. But instead, I had my dreams beaten out of me, sometimes quite literally.
Mother and father always favored you, brother. And I always protected you from it all.
While I was shut away, learning everything that I never wanted to learn, you were out exploring, doing everything you so loved. While I was having my dreams beaten out of me, forcing me to accept the mantle of our forefathers and the throne along with it, you were out dreaming of the same adventures I once dreamed of, still naive of the true ways of the world. You were oblivious to it all. And often, I would ensure that you would stay that way. I never wanted you to face what I did. What I continue to face.
And although I protected you and our dreams, I envied you.
When you finally decided to step out, to escape this oppression that I still suffer, all I could feel was envy. I wanted to be like you, not having to worry about the future of our homelands and instead making your own fortune, fulfilling your dreams.
Fulfilling the prophecy.
I always wonder if I had gone out before you, if I was the one to escape, would I would have been the one fulfilling the prophecy? I wish I was. Knowing that ultimately, my hand was the one to kill you still tears me apart. I feel like I have lost something more than a brother, and I am still losing it. Maybe it's my sanity, maybe my will to live. I don't know, but it doesn't matter. Everything's inconsequential since that day, the day you died in my arms.
I wish I was the one to die, the sacrifice. Then you would be over there with Anhura and your child, bridging the gap better than I ever could. But instead, I'm still here and you're gone, while Anhura, bless her soul, handles the kingdom and your son single-handedly. And she does a beautiful job.
She still hasn't forgiven me, though.
I know I deserve her animosity. And I wholeheartedly accept it, knowing that it will never change. No matter how much I have changed over the years, no matter how close our kingdoms have grown since your death, she will always hold your death against me.
The fact that I tried killing her doesn't help matters much, either.
But I still wish things could have ended differently. I wish I had never followed you two, ultimately culminating in such tragedy. And though I hate it, I would have rather remained behind, stuck in my own personal hell than to not only ruin your chances at happiness, but also take away any chances for you to experience anything else.
I feel like a wretch.
But I know I will always feel like this, being reminded daily of my own transgressions. I will never truly live, I have accepted that, but I will always just be. Maybe everyone was right, maybe it is our destiny to be shackled to our lands, to the throne. You never truly escaped, you know, though I desperately wish you had. But it was meant to be.
The prophecy was fulfilled and fate drew us to the disaster.
I can't help but live in the past, despite your pleas to have us all push forward, towards a brighter future. I know Anhura has, if only for your son and his future. And she has her hands full with taking care of him.
He still doesn't know that I'm his uncle, though.
Anhura, always faithful to you and your love for her, has made sure that he knows of his father and what happened to him. But she made sure to never mention that your killer was also your brother. The one person who should have always supported you failed you. And so the child hates me. I barely even see the child, let alone speak to him. More than mere walls will always separate us.
I fear that I don't even want to know the child.
I'm too afraid that he will be like you, a naïve dreamer who will stop at nothing in order to get what he wants. I'm afraid that I may once again play the antagonist, the villain in this story.
And I never want the past to repeat itself again.
I wish I could do more than sit here like a coward, watching both him and the Queen from afar. But I know that's all I will ever do and all I will ever be: a coward. I wish I could be brave like you were, brother, but I know that it will never happen. It was beat out of me along with my dreams.
So I'll just stay here, their silent protector.
I'll let them live the life you never could, brother. Even if it means the loss of my own. But then again, that ended the moment yours did.
My last breath was yours, brother.
A/N: So this is just a blurb I had a while ago. It's rather stream-of-consciousness, I know, so if it seems jumbled and out-there, that's why. I hope you enjoyed!