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She looked older, and lot more frailer than I remember, but without a doubt I really was looking at my mother, or to be precise, Jason's mother. I was bot sure what I was feeling at the moment, and I was not really willing to take any more steps forward. This entire situation was so unreal, and weird, but still that smile, that knowing look, it's the same as I remember. This woman really is my mother.
I went over and sat on the chair opposite her, Bobo and Soren stood behind me, keeping a wary eye on our surroundings, and the woman in front of me, that looked like an older version of my mother from earth. She sat there, looking at me, as her hands kept walking, sewing for intricate patterns on the cloak resting on her lap. Her hands moved really fast, too fast to even be considered normal.
"How has your life been. I'm sure it's not been easy, but I believe you've made your best out of your second chance. Right?" She asked with a soft voice.
"I have." I answered, trying to keep the trembling out of my voice
"Ever since your father died, we never had a serious or even a normal conversation. I don't know you did it, but we didn't talk to each other for six straight years until you moved out at 17. And after that we never spoke again, the last time I saw you, I was burying your body. You must still hate me right?"
I didn't answer, I couldn't. Because it wasn't until she started asking me this question, that I realized I really did still hate her. I resented her for all of the pain she caused my father, how her choices broke our family. My heart ached fiercely with anger and pain, but yet I couldn't bring myself to tell her that I still hated her.
I felt like I was stuck in the middle of telling her I hated her and everything she stood for, and yet I didn't want to hurt this woman in front of me. Before I started to realize and acknowledge the disaster that was our home, I had fond memories of her. She loved and cared for me, read me bed time stories, and passages from the bible to, instill good values and the fear of God inside of my young soul. I like to believe that my death would have hurt her pretty badly, that at that point even though I've not spoken to her in ten years, she still loved and missed her son.
"I don't expect you to forgive me after all this time. I can't imagine what kind pain you've had to go through due to choices of both me and your father. We ruined your childhood, and set your future in stone. And it was not a happy one, not one bit. I loved your father, I really did. I just didn't love the life we lived, it wasn't enough for me an I wanted more. I was the wife of a pastor, someone that a lot of people looked up to for both emotional and religious guidance. It was a noble responsibility, but it was one I was not willing to have. My love for life and all of it's carnal pleasures was untamable.
The best thing I could have done was divorce your father, let him move on with his life while I pursued what I wanted. But your father was a rock for me. Someone who loved me, with all his heart and would support me no matter what. Because I knew the world was cruel and wild place, I couldn't let go of the two things that gave me stability, and that was you and your father.

But I also couldn't let go of the life wanted, and just like an angel, I fell. And as I did so, I already doomed our home. Your father eventually found out, and because he loved me too much and was also not ready to let go, he turned his pain, his anger and his frustration on you. I didn't know your father had found out about what I was doing, I just thought that the sweet man I married had changed and turned into a demon, and as revenge I became even more brazen with my affairs.
And then he died, and unlike you father you were not gun shy about telling me what caused our family to fall apart. I was horrified, and I felt guilty. And the worst part of it was that, I couldn't make amends for my mistakes, because he was already dead, and to you, in your young heart, so was I. I'm...…"
"Is there a point to this confession of yours. Because just like you said, it's too late, two whole lives, and seven universes too late!"
I was crying, and I was angry. I didn't want her to confess, because I knew that unlike my previous life, as Kael I would actually listen to her and forgive her. This was the anger and hatred I've been carrying with me the longest, everything I am today, came about as a result of my mother fucking up my life, all because she wanted to be young, free and wild. To live life to the fullest, and experience everything that being the wife of a pastor couldn't afford her. But did she have to destroy the lives of my father and I? The only crime we committed was loving her.
"There's no point to it Jas.....Kael. I want to make amends, and I need to give you some closure. That's why Earth has placed me here for over three hundred years, waiting patiently for you. I know what it is you have to do, the huge and yet monumental responsibility that's been placed in front of you. You can not be a king, if you're not ready, if your heart is not strong enough." She said to me
"My heart is plenty strong enough, mother!" I said to her.
"Is it. You want nothing more than to fall into my arms and cry, and tell me how hard your day has been just like you used to do as a child. You want to forgive me, yet you're still holding on fiercely to your anger, because you feel forgiving me would be an insult to you father's memory, and that it would mean the way you lived your life as Jason would have all been for nothing. You're warring with your true nature, just so that you can hurt me, even after I'm dead." She said to me, as she leaned back on her chair.
"You're dead?" I asked her, with both equal parts horror and surprise in my voice.
"I am, and I've spent the past three hundred years waiting for you. I love you, regardless of what name you have now, of a different face or skin color, I love you. And because I love you, I will always keep paying for my mistakes. But where is it written that you have to let those mistakes define you, this is your second chance, and quite frankly you don't need that kind of baggage in your life.
I know how much I've hurt you, how much my actions broke you. But baby I need you to let go, as a human and a mother I was far from perfect. And I was not willing to put my love for you first, instead I focused on my live of life. And in the process I lost the two people who gave my life meaning, and then I died, old, cold and very much alone.
I don't want to explain how I got to be here, but please allow me to make amends. One day when you become a father, you'll realize there's nothing you wouldn't do for your child, but also that there's no manual to being a parent. Sometimes you get it right, and other times you fail epically, and would have no other choice but to pick up the pieces and try again. Please forgive me."
I felt like I was being tortured all over again. She was so right, and I was angry that she was. But my anger stemmed from the pain and hurt, I was forced to live with because of her choices, that I am still living with. But I don't think I cam keep carrying this torch anymore, it's been a really long time, and if I had to get technical, it's been thirty years. It was time to patch things up, if not for anything, but for the fact that my father would have some sort of closure. He was a complicated man, but he loved his family beyond all measure, I'm sue seeing us like this would hurt him.
"Well first of all, I'm already a father mom. And quite recently too. Their eyes are this beautiful shade of green, and they like to sleep a lot. Let me show you a picture."
And then I walked over to her side, squatted down, as I showed her a photo of Cassiel and Michael, and one of their mother's. The pictures were actually held in a device I had forced Malek to make for me. This way even though I was gone for long, and couldn't communicate, they would always be close to my heart.
But after that, I showed her pictures of Teluna, Gus, Kodak, Asare and everyone else. I told her of all my adventures, my trials, my fights, and everything I've had to go through so far just to get here. I told her of my losses, and I cried when I told her about Nisi and Varsessa. I told her I still had six comatose not vampire children in my infirmary, still waiting for me to find a way to save them.
We spoke about a lot of things, even thing that weren't important, and for that moment, everything about my past seemed to have fallen away. My past, did not seem to have a hold on me, and I made peace with myself and my mother. Because I realized that, she was not the only one I hated, I also hated myself, for what I did to my father. I had to realize that it wasn't my fault, and that I had to learn to let go and make peace with it. I felt really light, and free, and happy.
"I have to go now." She suddenly said to me.
"Seriously? So this really is like the movies, you were just conveniently placed here for me to find closure." I said incredulously.
"I guess so, but it's not all that bad. Even though I feel like earth is manipulating you and playing at something else, I know it's for the greater good. And this was a chance I couldn't turn down, even though I had to wait three hundred years for it." She said to me as she suddenly stopped sewing, and snapped the thread she was using.
"For the greater good? More like for the greater earth." I grumbled in annoyance.
"Hahaha, doe's it matter? Earth is our home, without it, everything goes to hell. This is a responsibility, one that you need to wholeheartedly embrace, regardless of who gave it to you. That's the right thing to do Kael, not just for yourself, but for your entire family, and for your people."
"I understand mother." I said to her as I gave her a well deserved hug.
"Here give this to your children, it will grow with them, and protect them. Since I couldn't shelter and protect you, let me make up for it this way. And send my love to their mother's, though I have to admit I never took you for a two woman kind of man." She said to me as she handed the cloak she was sewing to me, but instead of one big cloak, I was holding two baby sized blankets made from dark blue clothe, and gold and white trimmings on it's edges with a hood.
"Well I never knew I was a two wan kind of guy either, it just sort of happened." I answered her.
"Well there's no problem with that, as pong as you're happy, and they're happy, I'm okay with that. Take care of your family Kael, and do a better job of it, than I or your father ever did. Goodbye son."
"Good bye mom."
I felt like crying, but I held on. I was a man now, and to be honest I felt embarrassed. She had already seen me cry, I don't think she needed to see more of that as she leaves. Her body became transparent, and she faded away, turning into specks of light that fell on my forearm. And as she did so, the tattoo grew wings, large fearsome wings that hung close to it's body. At this point it truly looked like a dragon, rather than a strange snake.
I looked around with a smile and a still heart. There was clarity and peace, plus this place looked really nice. It looked nothing like a temple, but it served it's purpose. Somewhere at the back of my mind I worried if all I just saw was an illusion, but I ignored it. Illusion or not, this was something I really needed. Well I guess there's only one more temple left.
"Alright Bobo, Soren, let's camp here for the night. Tomorrow we find the soul dragon and.......well we'll deal with whatever comes next."

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