Magician's Journey:

Chapter 56

Future Thomas glared at his past self. “…Look, kid. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, because the tendency to waste time fluffing up ugly truths with pretty words is one of the reasons we don’t like humans. We do not belong anywhere near inherently sapient species. Aside from Erline, none of them know how to stop thinking. Whether it’s morality, friendship, language, emotion, or any other abstract concept they can get their hands on, they have to turn it into a damn math equation. It’s like…” He sighed. “It’s like if they can’t prove it, it just isn’t real to them.There are so. Many. Rules. Nobody knows why the rules are there, but they follow them anyway. Why? Because following rules is what humans do! And the way they – The way they…”
The expression on Future Thomas’s face froze in place, returning to a more relaxed state after a matter of seconds that felt like hours. “I’m getting sidetracked. Sorry. I don’t really want to get into it, but something happened… happens to us. I’m mostly recovered from it, but it will be a fair bit longer before I’m over it completely.”
“Okay…” A vacant expression floated across present Thomas’s face, as he pulled Pallo slightly closer. “Is there anything you can tell me that would prevent this thing from happening?”
“If there was, I would have told me already back when I was you and you didn’t exist yet. Except you did, because I was you, and I couldn’t be someone who doesn’t – ” Future Thomas threw up his hands in frustration. “Time travel is complicated, okay? It’s complicated and it sucks, because I didn’t turn out anything like I thought I would, and looking at you, and seeing the look in your eyes – the way everything I am crushes all of your hopes and dreams and ideas about who you thought you were… It just… sucks. It really sucks.”
Future Thomas took a deep breath. “I mean, I don’t hate who I am. I know that I turned out fine, and I know that I’m a good person – at least in my head I do. But I just – I just can’t help feeling like I failed somewhere along the way, like I took a wrong turn somewhere, and everything would have been exactly like I dreamed it would be if I’d just done something differently. It isn’t true though.”
Future Thomas looked his past self right in the eye. “It isn’t true, and I want you to remember that. We are who we are, and if I’d kept trying to pretend I was some perfect little angel, I would’ve gone mad. Because we aren’t perfect, and we never will be. Even if things had turned out like we’d planned, we’d still be a mess, we just wouldn’t know it. As long as you can still hear that nagging little voice telling you you’ve made a mistake, you know there’s still good in you. All we can do, all anybody can do, is focus on figuring out what the right thing is now, and doing the best we can. Dwelling on past mistakes won’t get rid of them, but doing everything you can to make the world a better place can make up for them. So don’t worry about your future or your past. Just focus on now.” He took a deep breath. “Finally, I want you to remember this: Nature is there for us. Every spirit, every plant, every animal, every god… and Pallo. Especially Pallo. The elements too, I guess. They all care about us, about me. So, hey! Chin up, alright?”

 

A note from the author ninja:

I don’t really have anything to add to this one.

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