So…well, Sasha’s dead.
I feel like an asshole.
That’s all for right now.
Okay Journal, this is about the worst I’ve felt in a long time, and that’s really terrible, because I’m not the one who gets to feel crappy right now. Katya just lost her brother, Ursandova lost its baron, and here I am feeling responsible for it all because of things I did or didn’t do.
First off, I didn’t see the danger when I should. A forest of giant mushrooms growing in a pit? Of course that’s something unnatural, and of course it doesn’t belong. But did I sound the alarm? No. I kept my mouth shut because I was afraid of looking stupid. I just let Sasha walk in there.
Then I didn’t save him when I had the chance. The thing that came out after him—whatever it was—wasn’t an animal. It didn’t care about my bolts. But even knowing that, seeing that, I still hung back and shot it at a distance. I should have been up there with Dyimi carving it up, that was the only way we brought it down. To make things worse, my aim was bad, my reactions were slow, and by the time I figured it out what needed to be done it was already too late. How am I supposed to forgive myself for that?
And then I totally failed to deal with it. When we pulled Sasha’s body out of the thing’s belly, Katya became inconsolable. Dyimi went pale. Me, I was all business. I don’t know why, but my mind totally refused to accept it. My friend died in front of me, and I didn’t even have the decency to break down. And so while Dyimi and Katya grieved, I just ended up telling everyone what to do. I was thinking about ways to convince Dyimi to step up as Baron before we had got the old baron back to Tuskendale. What’s wrong with me? Am I just totally heartless?
What really gets me though…what really just makes this the worst…is that the last conversation I had with Sasha ended in a joke from me about having succession to the throne lined up. That’s right: the last time we ever talked to Sasha, I was making light of his death. I practically invited the reaper in.
I know that no matter how hard I gnash my teeth it’s not going to bring Sasha back. I know I have to press on, both for Ursandova and myself. My dad always said, “You can’t get out from under a problem that you’re dwelling on top of.” Well, that’s what I’m trying to do. These kind of thoughts are selfish, burdensome, and ultimately fruitless. That’s why I’m only going to tell you about it. Katya and Dyimi don’t need to hear it.
Here’s the other thing they don’t need to hear—I have doubts. Let’s be honest, Sasha was the force holding all this madness together. This was his kingdom, his plan, and his throne to rule it from. He knew what he was doing. I only felt comfortable pushing back as hard as I did was because I knew Sasha could handle it. I’m not so sure I have that luxury anymore. I have to be the force Sasha was meant to be…I have to make it work. I’m not sure I’ve really got it in me. Maybe I just need to grow up. Maybe now I have to be the responsible one.
Sasha and Dyimi have their own burdens. It looks like Dyimi is going to step up as Baron, and Katya’s going to end up much closer to the throne. We’ll have to shuffle everyone around, and then try to get the constitution ratified in the middle of it. Plus we’ve still got trolls and gods know what else to deal with on our Southern border. We’ve got rabble rousers in town. And then there’s my sister…
…did I just call Marcy ‘my sister’? Crap.
The funeral for Sasha is tomorrow. I’ll be in the front row. And then, I’m off to the North. I get to break the news to the rest of the Kingdom. That’ll be easy compared to what will come next.
Sasha is dead, and all I can think about is rough things are going to be without him.
I feel like an asshole…
…and maybe I should.