Embarassment that is what I feel at this very moment. I haven't felt humiliation or embarassment since I was a young child. It is a feeling that I thought no longer mattered anymore but right now it is flowing through me like the unending whining of a crazed dromo. No matter how hard I try to forget about the incident.....it still troubles me.
You see today was the first time that I struck my daughter Senna in anger. I remembered the one time my father struck me and promised that I would never do anything like that to my children, but like all my promises I broke that one too. I don't know which is worse the fact that I have become so much like my cold, heartless father or that my daughter fears me.
If she only knew what stress I was under.....why I am so on edge these past few days, she could understand and forgive me, but I could never tell her. If she knew the real reason for my distress, I know she would never be able to look at me again with any bit of pride or respect. She would only see a foolish idiot that was so easily outsmarted by a third-tier noble that could barely maintain his status at the Royal Court.
You see it has only been a few days since my one time ally Londo Mollari poisoned me. It was a two part poison with one part already in my system. If I don't follow Mollari's orders, he will see that one of his agents at the Royal Court administer the other half of the poison. I recently did some research on this poison and discovered the results of this combination would be a very unpleasant death.
Worse, Mollari told me to have no contact with Mr. Morden which was extremely difficult considering I gave Morden free access to almost all portions of Centauri Prime. He has been calling on me for several days and while I would like to inform him of my situation, I don't want to risk one of Mollari's agents catching me. I don't know who to trust now in my own entourage.
Anyone could be secretly working for Mollari and just waiting to whisper into Mollari's ear that I had broken our agreement. I haven't felt this alone in a long time.
With all this going on, I had to deal with my intelligent and loyal but obstinate daughter Senna. It was coming time for me to select a suitable mate for marriage. Already several lords had expressed their interest in making a match between one of their sons and my daughter. The business of negotiating marriages was a delicate art that could not be taken lightly. The fate of many a house has rested on an arranged marriage between two houses.
I had been able to keep the negotations secret for a time, but like all Centauri women she discovered the information through someone else. It had only been a week since I arrived back from Babylon 5 and already I was on edge. Morden had left several messages at my office and had paid a visit to my country estate. My servants told him that I was not here and that they had no idea where I was.
I only wish that Senna had not known where I was. I had retreated into my study racking my brain for some way to get out of this predicament. There had to be a way to overcome this situation....I was Prime Minister Antonio Refa! Mollari had to have a weakeness that I could take advantage of. What was it!?
Sure enough, Senna came storming into my study a scowl on her face. She was furious that I was deciding her future plans without asking her. What about my promise that she would have a say in her marriage plans?
I had drank a large amount of brivari to calm my nerves and was very intoxicated. I gave her my usual response that I was only looking out for her well being and that as the head of House Refa I was responsible for the continued vibrance of our house, but she wasn't buying it.
Again, she kept coming back to my promise that I had broken and what I had to say. Looking bck on it now. I realize that I was trying to avoid the truth that she was trying to get at....I had broken my word to her something that I had never done.
As the argument went on, my patience began to diminish. I was shouting at her and giving her angry looks trying to use my strength to make her submit. Despite all my tricks, she refused to yield and accept her fate. It was even more infuriating because she was doing what I could never do in my father's presence.....stand up to him.
It only took a few simple words to destroy all my restraint. In frustration, she screamed, "You're just like your father....."
BANG....it was so natural that I wasn't even thinking. For those few seconds, it was as if I was watching myself from afar unable to affect anything. This was what it was like to lose all control of yourself I only realized later.
I smacked her across the face and I grabbed her by both shoulders and brought her so close to my face. I could make out the small pupils of her eyes and see the absolute terror written on her face. I screamed at her in my coldest voice, "DON'T YOU EVER COMPARE ME TO THAT DECREPIT OLD MAN EVER AGAIN OR I WILL HAVE YOU THROWN INTO THE PALACE DUNGEON AND WHIPPED TO WITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR LIFE. YOU WILL MARRY WHO I TELL YOU TO OR YOU WILL NEVER BE FREE AS LONG AS I LIVE THAT I CAN PROMISE YOU."
I flung her to the ground like piece of trash and went over to pour myself another glass of brivari. I felt remarkably good and downed a small glass of brivari to hold onto the feeling. Senna was lying on the floor covering her face with her arms and sobbing. I let this continue for a few minutes until I tired of the noise.
"I hope that you have learned from this incident....to better respect your father who provides and cares for you. One day you will thank me for this Senna," I responded still avoiding her gaze, "You can leave now."
She rose with as much dignity as possible and in a strong voice thanked me for teaching her this lesson. Her response struck a nerve in me. I suddenly remembered an incident where I had been smart enough for Yanosh's liking and had received a smack on the head for my stupidity. As usual after throughly humiliating me, he sent me to my room to think about his lesson. It was just like before except now I was the father and my daughter was.....me.
I just stood there like a statue for several seconds fully fathoming what has just happened. I looked up at my father's portrait hanging above the fireplace. Was it just my imagination or was the picture smiling a little wider than before....like all those times my father humiliated me and took great delight in knowing that I had failed at something.
I hurled my glass in anger at the picture and realized that it was a futile gesture. Yanosh had left this life long ago but his presence would always be with me until the day I died. I grabbed another glass and poured a large amount of brivari in it. I wanted to drown my troubles in alochol and hopefully forget just for a short time.
As I leaned back into my easy chair and quickly drained the glass, everything came at me all at once Beyon's betrayal, my father, my daughter, Mollari. Then, I did something that I had not done in a long time......cried tears of pain and regret.
Posted in Theatrical Muse