Date: 02 Jun 2013 04:21 Title: Chapter 28
This chapter would have to be the one that hits home to me the most. A lot of this is beyond my life experience … making families, falling in love not only once, but twice, figuring out dynamics with children and their parents, being at a birth, holding a child of my own in my hands, making love … I know nothing of these things. Well, not nothing, but certainly I have no firsthand experience. But this chapter I do have firsthand experience with … this chapter was about forgiveness. Was about coming clean and fessing up to the dirty, nasty things you’ve done.
Very much like Doug here, I was wholly resistant to the idea and put if off for years. I would rather avoid the subject, bury it, and was desperate not to talk about it. Very much like Doug, I had someone near and dear to me convince me that the truth was better told, not matter how horrible it might be, no matter how poor it might reflect on me … and very much like Doug here, I thought the worst of myself and my actions, I thought the worst scenarios would come to pass. They did not for me. They did not for him.
Out of all the things you’ve captured in this story, the need for forgiveness and telling the truth, taking responsibility for it, had made itself clearest to me. This chapter spoke to me, Doug spoke for me in many ways, and I thank you for it. You could have taken the easy way out, written the easy paragraph bit here about how he had his moment and got his forgiveness, you could have summarized the hell out of it but you didn’t. You let it play out, every anguished confession a little less tough, a little easier, and you made sure that in the end Doug got his … well … happy ending. Well done.
I humbly thank you.
Q had to show these scenes to Lili so that the reader would know that Doug is telling the whole truth here; otherwise, there's no confirmation, and you'd be left wondering if he were whitewashing things somehow, despite how terrible everything is.
The MU is often played for laughs (and I often make the Empress the butt of jokes), but it's tarted-up totalitarianism, I feel. It is a brutal place. Have you ever read Hobbes? He says life is nasty, brutal and short, and that is the mirror all over. It is harsh and it is unforgiving. But it is also a place with precious little justice. So Doug has gotten away with all of this, and has had no one to apologize to, no one to confess to, no one to atone to, and no one to even serve a sentence for.
And then he gets here, and he suppresses it as being in the past (in all fairness, Lili is complicit in that, at least to start, as denying the past is easier, often, than facing up to it, as you are well aware). Doug goes along with it, he continues deferring to her (although he has said he won't do that quite so much anymore), and he is giving her all of the keys to the kingdom, but it's not helping him come clean. This is what, truly, makes me come clean, and become cleaner, and better. This is what makes the family survive, and this is a much better foundation for forever.