Story and photography by Penny C.
Chrystopher. I am now Chrystopher, he told himself once more.
It had been a long time since he had done this . . . Reflect upon himself. Chrystopher promised a new beginning.
That was his hope.
He still couldn’t trust himself not to fall back into old habits–to fall back into his darker self. When everything was young he had been different; he swore that he had never been so evil. He had simply grown into it.
He hated that, but it was the truth. “I hate myself,” he murmured. Chrystopher wasn’t trying to be hard on himself, just honest.
Again with that? a part of him said in derision. Just forget it; it’s futile and you know this. Don’t disappoint yourself!
Perhaps that part of him was right?
“It probably is,” he reminded himself. It was him, after all. At that thought he allowed himself a deep chuckle.
“I was such a bastard!”
You still are! the cynical voice replied. That part of him was his darker self. Chrystopher didn’t have to like it, but that part of him would always be with him; he was better off accepting that now. Memories of the past flooded him with regret. Sometimes he wondered what his life would have been like had he woken up to himself sooner?
Would the king out of darkness still have his wife?
Would his son still have aligned himself with the opposing faction, and would he still have disowned and exiled him?
Would he have absconded his duties as a father, and would he have allowed his mistress to terrorize his children?
Would his youngest daughter be alive today?
When Marianna left he had hated her for it; she was unhappy, and because of that had left him and their children. Da’Kiri–his old self–had fallen into madness. That had been so long ago, he wouldn’t be surprised if she had passed into oblivion.
“Forgive me. I am a bastard.”