For My Son, Oberyn

My Dearest Darling Little Boy,

It will be several years before you are old enough to read this letter, to understand the meaning of its contents. But I am confident that when you do become of sufficient age, that your mother will be kind enough to read these words to you; either before a bedtime story that I will not be present for, or while you sit on her lap next to a fireplace that I did not stoke.

It pains me to know how many moments of your childhood that I will miss: your first words, your first steps, your first dreams. I think of you in every moment, wishing that I could be there, to be a real father to you. But my darling boy, I fear that may never come to pass.

I hurt your mother immensely and in doing so, ruined the sacred bonds of holy matrimony that bound us together. She has every right to keep you away from me. I was a monster to her and while I make every effort to amend my ways, I would only be a horrendous father to you.

I missed your birth as a result.

I have not seen what you look like–the color of your hair, your eyes. I hope that you have your mother’s emerald eyes. But it is selfish of me to dwell on what I have not and may never see. To spend precious moments with you and your mother, the three of us happy, is as distant a possibility as a second Imperial excursion to Jovian space.

But you are too young to understand the reference. Please forgive my rambling.

My darling boy, how I wish to be a father to you, but as I cannot be in person, I can only leave you with a lesson to live by. My dearest Oberyn, as you grow older, do not follow in my footsteps. Everything that I have ever done has only brought pain and misery into God’s world and I wish to spare you that agony. Live a life emulating not my own but your mother’s. Do not be me. Do not commit my sins. Though it saddens me that that is all I can leave you with given our separation, it is also the single most important gift I can give you. I wish for you to be surrounded with love in your life. Never take it for granted. Cherish those around you.

Brush your teeth, wash your face, and be the gentleman that I could not be.

Take care of your mother for me. I love you both very much.

Your loving father,

Reginald

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