(1310-10-25) In The Event of My Death
Summary: On the eve before a naval engagement, Alcibiades Rousse pens a final letter to his lover.
RL Date: 27/10/2018
Related: Black Sails
alcibiades 

October 25, 1310 — Off the Coast of Kriti, Aboard The Dancer


Isabelle,

I should begin by apologizing to you. Clearly, I am dead. I am very sorry about that.

I do hope it was a good death. If I fear anything about my end, it is that it shall be an ignoble one. I would prefer not to be remembered by you as a craven or a braggart. I would prefer that, when you think of me, you remember a courageous man who wrestled giants. I would prefer that you think kindly of me.

I have often thought that I am the loneliest man alive. It is, of course, a selfish thought — I have Jaime, and always have. But to all the world, I have become the role and not the man: Alcibiades Rousse, the chancer, the scoundrel, the consummate sailor. What of Alcibiades Rousse, scorned by his father? What of Alcibiades Rousse, who yearns so deeply to know that his life has meaning? What of Alcibiades Rousse, who might have been a great man if only… if only… if only…?

Who knows that man? Who knows those secret parts of me, the pain and the exultation that I have kept so carefully hidden from my crew and my captain?

You do.

I wish that I could tell you what our too-brief time together has meant to me. I am not a poet. I do not have the graceful manners of a courtier. I am too much the salt, too much the caricature of myself, to know how to thank you properly for what you gave to me. I hope that, by my death, I have delivered you safely. I hope that you will remember me with a smile, knowing that my end came in battle and that I died with the bitter parts of me turned sweet. You gave me that.

I hope that you will forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for all of it. You could not have stopped me with manacles.

In death, with all my love,

*signed with an outrageous flourish*
Alcibiades Rousse

Postscript: Jaime Daur is to receive a yearly annuity from my estate, generous enough to sustain him. The rest will go to my family. I trust that you know a lawyer to arrange this.

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