Note: No Rise spoilers
My dearest Lara
Lately I've been struggling with such feelings of regret. For being apart from you so much. For no doubt making it seem like my work is more important than you.
I swear that's not true.
You are the reason I do this. You, and so many others like you; torn from their mothers at such an unforgivably young age. It is a cruelty that if possible to eliminate, should be… It is exactly this that I'm trying to do, even as others scoff and ladle scorn on my theories.
I don't want to burden you with this. You're so bright, and growing so fast, sometimes it's easy to forget that you are still just a child. I am sorry.
If I'm being honest, I probably won't even send this tape. It's just that tonight, sitting alone in my tent with too much whisky in me, I feel an overwhelming need to get everything out. To expel the anguish like it's a poison.
Most of the time I experience a sensation of profound emptiness, but on occasion I find sorrow has filled me to the brim without my even realising it.
You see, I've been thinking about your mother a great deal lately. Brooding, Roth would say.
He's not wrong.
I don't think you can even remember her now. That alone is reason for bitterness.
I keep recalling the first few days after we lost her. You were so young. There was no way you could grasp what had happened, and you were constantly looking for her. There was nothing I could do to console you. You wanted her, and her alone. For the first time you fought against my embraces, bawling and pounding me with your fists. How I deserved it.
Yours was such a pure expression of grief; the same grief I felt. Every glance at your red, tear-streaked face was an acknowledgement that you would grow up without her, and it felt like a knife plunging into my chest, over and over. The only thing that hurt more was the day that you finally stopped looking.
Thank God for Roth. He refused to let me wallow, for your sake.
I owe him so much.
Your mother too.
She once told me, "Richard, it's noble to face adversity head on." I repeat that to myself every day. What she saw in this bookish, slightly balding history buff I'll never understand. But she inspired me to be stronger. Braver. A better man.
I see so much of Amelia in you, Lara. Her fire. Her fearlessness. Her heart.
Maybe that is the only way a soul truly lives on, and transcends death – through our children. I don't know. I hope not, otherwise all my work of the past decade or so – all my sacrifice – has been in vain.
Goodness, I'm rambling.
My greatest wish for you, Lara, is that you will never know such a feeling of responsibility for your actions as I have. Guilt is a volatile fuel, I see that. And yet, it has taken me so far. I hope it is far enough. Because I can't go back, as far as this path has led me into shame and darkness.
One day I hope you will understand – and forgive me for everything I have cost us.
May you always walk in the sun, my darling girl.