Brothersong (Green Creek 4) - Page 281
The bird healed.
It gained strength, and on a sunny day, he took it outside. He set the box on the ground and told it that it was free, that it could go home.
It flew away.
Joe watched it until it disappeared into the trees.
Then he turned to me and said, “See, Daddy? See? It just takes time.”
How momentous that moment was. How humbling.
It just takes time. I’ve never forgotten the lesson my son taught me.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Joe is sarcastic, a byproduct of his brothers. If God exists, he or she must have a sharp sense of humor to give me such mouthy children. They are aggravating and make me want to pull my hair out at times. But then they’ll look at me with the same eyes as their mother, and I’ll know they are our greatest creation.
He’s quick and smart, more so than I gave him credit for.
He will make a good Alpha.
And I wish he could be anything else.
I often wondered who would see him for who he truly was. Who would see beyond the title, beyond the crown to the very heart of him.
I could never have expected it would be someone like you.
I know you, Oxnard Matheson.
I know you.
But there are times I still wonder who you are. How did you become the man I saw just this morning? How did you prevail over all life threw in your path? I won’t be so self-centered to think we played a major part in any of it. No, that honor goes to your mother. She, like you, like Joe, weathered all that was flung upon her and still made it through to the other side. And what’s more, she did it because she knew you were counting on her to do so. I hope you realize that. Once you finish this letter, and if you haven’t done so today, tell her you love her. We never know when it could be the last time we can say such things.
Whatever you decide, I know you’ll be part of Joe’s life, and he will be grateful for it. You are your own man, and the world is a wild and wonderful place. I just hope you remember that no matter where your travels take you, we’ll be waiting here for you if you ever decide to come back.
Who are you?
How are you the way you are?
There is no magic in your blood, no wolf underneath your skin.
And yet I see you, and I think only one thing: Alpha.
Is it the immensity of your heart? The strength of your humanity? I know not, but I don’t think it matters, even if it’s a mystery I wish to solve. Beyond that, I am struck by a simple yet powerful desire: I would have you call me father, if you could. For you are my son, just as Carter is. Just as Kelly is. Just as Joe is. It would be a great privilege. I understand if that’s not something you can do. It’s a lot for anyone to ask. But know that this desire is not contingent upon whatever decision you make, be it Joe or whoever you choose. I will always be here, ready and waiting.
Which is why I must say this last:
I dream of a future where everything is joy and nothing hurts. Life doesn’t work that way; if all we knew was joy, we would lose appreciation for the quiet moments whose profundity can be overlooked. Oh, but I dream of such a day regardless.
I don’t know what the future holds for us. Much is hidden from me. There are people who would take all that I have built. They’ve tried before and almost succeeded. I have seen destruction in its many forms. I held my father as he took his last breath, my claws in his heart to accept a gift I wasn’t ready to receive. I looked into the eyes of a beast as he promised me his loyalty. I stood by a witch whose heart and mind were twisted as he embedded marks into the skin of his son. And it was this same son that I failed when I took everything away from him, worried that he was more like his father than I thought. Destruction in its many forms. It comes for us when we least expect it, from a direction we never thought possible.
You have a part to play, though I hope I’m wrong. And I would keep it from you as long as I am able. You don’t deserve to suffer from the mistakes of others. None of you do. I’ve thought (more than once) of keeping you from this. To shun you. To send you away. What does that make me? I don’t know. What does it mean that I can’t find the strength to do so? I don’t know that either. Damned? That sounds like it could be right. Damned either way.
I will do what I can to prepare you for whatever may come. I will give you my everything, because that is what a father must do. You’ve heard me say that an Alpha puts the needs of his pack above all others. You are my pack, Ox. You have been from the beginning.
I was wrong earlier, when I said there was no magic in your blood.