Letter to Hwîn

To Hwîn Dimh
To dearest mot
Dear m

To mother

I hope that you're wel I was meant to write this letter a long time ago, but I didn't and saw no reason. Even if I had written it, you never would have gotten it. This letter will go nowhere, but I'll have no rest until I write it. Why, I don't know. I don't know many things, but this you knew. 
Many times you tried to fix me and make me understand, but I wouldn't listen. I didn't have the time to listen, because I was too occupied learning from father, your husband. A man who loved you so dearly. 
While father approved of me and my studies, I know that I was not a son that you wanted and I failed you.  I didn't listen to the wisdom you tried to give, as a mother does. You knew I was wrong and tried to prepare me and I didn't listen. I kept to father's side, raised by books. I always thought I was and would be like him.

I was told to write to you, to tell you of my life here now and how I've been doing. I wish I could say that you would be proud of what I've accomplished here, but the truth is the opposite. You would be ashamed
I've set up a new infirmary in a land that goes by Bree-land. It's a simple land with no Kings or Lords, the soil rich and farmers many. They have a large town here, but it's no city. I don't believe they have a proper city here. 
I've done what I can to continue father's work and help the people here as much as I'm able. Foreigners are rarely regarded highly here and me less so now that I've angered one of the local women. 
You and father made it look easy and I envy what you had. A local woman suggested a courtship and despite my better judgment and warning, I accepted to try. She didn't understand and I never understood, but this you know. 
When she suggested I should write this letter, I recall her wanting me to mention her. That I had a girl. I've nothing to say now, she's not mine and maybe never was. I've been told that I were a dog on a leash and meant to do what he was told. At times, when I think on this, I feel they were right. She was happy when I agreed and did what was expected of me, when I gave her things and didn't do my work.  
She gave me a choice, one she took herself before I had time to think it over or talk with her again. In the end, it'll be for the better. Everyone says so, I can only believe them until they admit otherwise. I wish I could say that I regret it all, but that would be a lie. It did teach me many important lessons and that I need to be grateful for. 

Thinking back, I'm reminded of the song you would sing while you cooked. One you taught me and brother. I don't remember the song, I recall the words. Knowing the words without the song, it's a poor memory. 
I've tried many times to write this, even when I know it holds no purpose. It bothers me, many things bother me. I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for many things now and half of them I don't know why. It's feels like I'm always apologizing for what I do. Like you did. 
I read the letters that came to you from the neighbors and I heard when they complained. I know now it wasn't easy for you. I was wrong and you couldn't fix me, no matter what you tried. I know that you cried, I heard you and saw. When you learned about the birds, you hid away in your room. I should have comforted you and told you about it, should have told you why, but you didn't ask. I know I caused you a lot of grief. I'm sorry. 

You were angry when brother died, that I couldn't do more. No matter how I explained, you didn't understand. I was frustrated and you were angry, you hated me. I know you loved him dearly and I know you would have preferred it if I had been in his place, I heard you that night. You claimed to father I didn't care, you didn't understand I had already said my farewell to him, I knew it would happen and I prepared. I still have his clothing. They've wanted to fix them, but I've refused. 
I was prepared for father's passing as well, but not yours. I was given no time to prepare for it and now, I sit here and write a letter that has no destination. Yet I need to write it, I don't understand why and no one can give me answers. Getting answers from people is hard, they always refuse to tell you. They hide it and make you guess and when you are wrong, they get angry. I'm tired of guessing. 

I've lost a friend. I'm still trying to understand how to deal with it, I've never had to lose a friend before. It was simpler before, can't lose what you don't have. You tried to find friends for me, but their parents would warn them. They were right to do so. 
I don't know what the woman has been telling people, but I doubt it's anything good and gossip travels quick through such a small town. It's at least bad enough that the dwarf,  the one I first named friend in these lands, has taken a step back. He has not spoken to me for long, he doesn't know, except what she's told him. Perhaps her words are correct and more shall follow the dwarf's lead, he and the other one are close. It's only natural. 

I've already failed a promise I made to you and I'm sorry. I fell into temptation and for a short time, I didn't feel wrong. I've learned from this mistake and I will not forget myself again and listen to my head.
You are unable to forgive me now.

There's much more I want to write, but there is no point. It was suggested that I write to your sister about the portrait and if I should get it to hang here. It's a long way to go for a simple portrait, but she tells me I should, because I no longer remember how you, father or brother looked like. 
I remember you had hair as black as ink, I was always told I had gotten it from you. Your eyes were green, father would often say how they reminded him of the fields that his grandfather would tell him about. Many said you were a beautiful woman, but I don't remember and I can't see you or father. 
I was given a portrait from the woman who asked me to court her, but I lost it when my logs fell into the water. It was a loss then, but now it's for the better. I should not remember her.
The sellsword that brought me home is here and I've taken to training a young woman towards being a barber. It seems like fitting work for her, would give her a purpose, and I think she would be good at it, given the right encouragement. 

I regret now that I didn't stay. It was hard to see your mind broken from grief, the words you would say to me and the look you'd give. I want to say I miss you, but it would be a lie. I missed what you used to be and I wish you hadn't broken. Wish I could have prepared for this instead of having your sister's letter follow me like a shadow and arriving at the worst time. 
I'm sorry I couldn't turn out like you had envisioned. I'm sorry that I wasn't the child you wanted and I'm sorry that I've not been as successful as father or made advancements. I'm sorry for being how I am, for being born wrong. I'm trying to fix it.

Best regards
Well wishes

Your son
Elias Wulf Dimheim.


The doctor stared at the letter he had written, the wet ink dripping down and smearing the words underneath it. His hands trembled when he folded the parchment, slowly crushing it into a small ball and tainting his fingers with ink. The light flickered when a small night breeze slipped through the cracks of his home, disturbing the still flame of the candle lighting his desk. 
He looked to the fire and brought the balled up paper closer, setting it ablaze and watching as the hungry flames slowly consumed the simple parchment. The flaming ball was placed into the ash-filled bowl, where the letter burned up within moments.
The young doctor stared at the blackened leftovers, slowly crumbling into the pile of ash underneath and the last embers dying out.
He sighed, reaching for a new parchment and setting it down in front of him, pen in hand to start the letter all over again.