42. 21.iii – Extract from Bthash Shadownight’s Journal
I hate him.
He is the only kind of father I know, but I hate him. He makes me call him ‘sir’, now. Before, we just used to call him Master Bartolomeo di Roma – because that was his name. But he’s changed.
He’s not our father anymore.
Today I had to help bathe one of my older brothers. I hate them too. They’re grubby and smelly and all they ever think about is how they’re going to kill each other in the Colloseum.
All they dream about is freedom.
Seven years, that’s how long it would take – to die or to be made free.
I didn’t know which was better.
I was never free.
I have to go soon, before sir finds me. He doesn’t like it when I commit word to page. My brother, Ethan, taught me to write and said that putting down my thoughts on paper might help when I want to cry (but can’t because they’ll all make fun of me) or if I want to break something (but can’t because they’ll all make fun of me).
He bought you for me, Book. Ethan is my only friend in the world, I think. I think he cares about me. He’s much older than me.
But he’s not a fighter. He said he used to be a poet, before he was brought here, to my home.
I fear he might die in the fight of freedom.
I don’t want him to. He’s the only person I like.
Sir is coming. I must go.