Have you ever been so desperate for something that you would do anything for it? Would you kill for it, rape for it, steal for it, die for it? Would it be for love? Friendship? Family? Honour? Religion? What makes you willing to do what you must for it? What do you get in return?
Altruism does not exist. It is not in the natural state of man to be selfless. It is man's nature to horde, to obtain, to consume. Man pillages for pleasure, thieves and lies to reach a goal. If man is willing to give something up, he must get something in return. Even with seemingly selfless acts, he always expects a reward, whether it be peace of mind, or a balm for the troubled soul. Nothing is done for nothing.
My sacrifice was to be no different. I hid my selfishness behind altruistic motives, claiming that I was sacrificing myself for the good of all. Like Jesus. And even Jesus wanted something in return for his sacrifice. He wanted mankind to believe he was the Son of God, and that God was good and holy, willing to sacrifice His own Son for the sins of man. Even Jesus, the epitome of selflessness, was secretly selfish.
What I wanted above all else was to feel. To feel something, anything. For the last two hundred years I have felt nothing. No love, no hatred, no shame, no sadness, no joy. Nothing. I wanted to feel something again, and would try anything for it. I had tried everything for it, to no avail, and the only option left to me now was death. And I was willing to die to feel, even if all I felt at the very end was pain and fear. It would still be more than I had now.
But it didn't happen as I had planned. My sacrifice was ruined by the coming of my vampire child, Eric. He came to save me from death, and in so doing condemned me to life. I had never thought that Eric hated me until that moment, when he took away what I so desperately craved. He said that he did it out of love for me, out of a desire to keep me with him. But you only destroy a person's last hope if you truly despise them to the core of your being. I know ‒ I have ruined many people that way, by extinguishing their hopes. Hope can be a fatal thing.
As I was pulled further and further away from my planned sacrifice, I started to feel disappointed with Eric, but even more so I was disappointed with myself, for letting myself be so easily drawn away from my sacrificial plans, as if they didn't matter. But the sacrifice really wasn't the important part; it was merely a convenient excuse to give myself over to death. What was important was the act of dying itself, and I would still have it. From sacrifice to suicide. The two really aren't so different, if you think about it.
So I decided to wait, wait for an opportune time to die, and in the interim I played the part of the conscience-in-crisis vampire who had made a stupid mistake in giving himself up to the Fellowship of the Sun ‒ a character which was easier for the others to understand, rather than trying to explain to them that I had wanted to kill myself for the infinitesimal hope that I might feel even the tiniest hint of an emotion before I died. Even to me that sounded rather ridiculous; and it was just simpler this way, this acting, for me and for them. I played at repentance, made all the apologies, agreed to all the necessary clean-up measures, and pretended I had no more desire to die, until the time would come when I would be free to try for death again.
Yet somehow, somewhere along the way, Eric cracked my facade. He saw under my pretense at life, saw my longing for death. He looked inside of me, stared down into the dark, empty abyss of my being, and was frightened. Frightened of my desire. Frightened of that gaping maw that had at one time been filled with the essence of Godric, of the Godric that Eric had known but who existed no longer. He was frightened of me.
I was nervous, for the shortest moment, that Eric saw everything. That he knew the true reason why I wanted to kill myself, which could throw a kink into the smooth progress of my newly developing plan (he would never accept my need to feel as a satisfactory reason to kill myself ‒ it wasn't meaningful enough ‒ and he would stop me at all costs. I know my child, and I know that he could more easily accept a conflicted conscience as a meaningful reason to die, though he would still be reluctant to let me go). But I realized that he did not see it all. To him, and to everyone else, as I had wanted them to think, the black hole inside of me was the swirling confusion of my morals, rather than a sociopathic shadow that had swallowed all emotions and empathy; and my attempt to kill myself was the way I hoped to escape this moral ambiguity, rather than simply a possible way to feel. He could see my continued desire for death, but he could not perceive its true purpose. After two thousand years of practice, I can fool even those who know me best.
But, though he did see my death wish, Eric was still determined to keep me alive, even if it was against my will. He had this strange obsession with torturing me, with forcing me to live ‒ he would constantly watch me with careful eyes, and observe my every move, lest I try to leave when his back is turned. He refused to let me out of his sight, and accompanied me everywhere. He was not going to leave me alone to let me die.
So, I was going to have to make him watch me die.
...make him watch me die...
Make him watch me crumble into non-existence.
Make him unable to keep me alive.
And then, maybe ... just maybe, at the potential expense of Eric's sanity, and at the expense of my life, I would feel something. Anything. Nothing.
**the part about Jesus is not intended as a comment on Christianity. I did not put it in to offend anyone, so I hope no one is offended :)