The forgotten son

Melancholy Musketeer part 3

Never judge another’s pain

Several days have passed since the 3 musketeers met at the Bugeaud the home of Athos noble friend. The musketeers heard news that Athos would be arriving shortly to be with them. Porthos summoned D’artagnan and Aramis to met quickly to discuss a strategy to help Athos seek revenge of the red dragon Cardinal Richelieu. They gathered in a secluded room of the Bugeaud in anticipation of thier dear friend Athos. After a lively debate on what to do the musketeers heard a servant run down the corridor towards thier room. A loud knock on the door stopped the musketeers in thier discussion “ Come in please my dear fellow” said Porthos who was always a gentleman to the people” Excuse me sirs , your Lord Athos has arrived”.
“How is he?” said D’artagnan enthusiastically but with caution as he paused… Aramis said in a nonchalant manner” He is alive , how else could he come to visit us?” Porthos spoke up in an emphatic tone “ we have to put our feelings and ideas to one side now and listen very carefully to Athos and be there for him, after he is human like the rest of us”.

Foot steps could be heard in the distance of someone who was walking rather slowly. Porthos walked towards the door and enquired if it was Athos walking down the corridor. As he glanced down the hallway he noticed Athos shoulders were sloping and his head was stooped forward with his eyes not looking straight ahead. Porthos could feel the atmosphere that something was wrong but he contained his emotions. “Athos it is great to see you are alive and well. I will tell your friends D’artagnan and Aramis you are here”. Porthos walked back into the room and confirmed that Athos has arrived.” Remember musketeer don’t jump to any conclusion let’s just listen to Athos story”.

Athos eventually came into the room but he looked different. The musketeers saw the body of Athos but it was a different person inside his soul. There was a silence in the atmosphere as the musketeers looked with pity on thier once brave and victorious friend. D’artagnan spoke first and said “ I am so happy you are alive and you are here with us today. Can I get you anything Athos , some food or a drink?” Athos looked up at him with a tear in his eye as a father would to his loving son. Athos shook his head and his expression of sorrow said it all as another tear dripped down upon his face. Aramis knew Athos longer than the other two musketeers and never seen him like this before. He knew something had happened to his dear friend this time which was different.

They all sat down together in a somber atmosphere. Porthos could feel Athos pain in his heart and noticing Athos never had direct eye contact with anyone. It looked like he was hiding something from his close friends. Aramis could sense a shroud of shame covering his friend persona but wasn’t sure what it was. Aramis relationship with Athos goes back along way in time. He could remember the high and low times of Athos life. The excitement they shared in fighting against thier enemies and the sad losses they shared. He remembered the time Athos lost his brother to his vindictive wife Milady de Winter. Athos was never the same after that devastating event with a whirl wind of emotions that engulfed his valiant armour of manliness. The intoxication of love was devoured by the storm of deceit and betrayal in an instance. Aramis never seen a solider so strong fall to the depths of melancholy through the days, then the months and years of turmoil. His rage and anger gave him the energy to face the fight to the death with no retreat of cowardly behaviour of his sword encounters with villains . After 3 years of internal conflicts Athos saw the light of day with new horizons and adventures ahead. But this time it was different, the resilience of a bear fighting for its cubs has faded again with a sense of loss and shame.

Aramis looked at his friend Athos and said “ what is on your mind Athos?”….
There was a long pause and Athos raised his head slowly and looked at Athos and he said in a child’s voice “it was me, I did it” he started to tremble with disgust on his face. I couldn’t take it anymore , my misery was embracing me more and more then..” He broke down and sobbed uncontrollably with the floodgates of heavens open with a torrential release of emotional pain. The other musketeers didn’t say a word but all could see there hero of a friend in a new light. He was always so strong and determined to fight his hidden pain drowning his sorrows with the liqueur of love and alcohol. The cascade of emotion filled the room as it touched the hearts of his friends and they too started to feel the tears and pain enveloping thier bodies. The inner voices of his closest companions wanted to say something but new it was time for Athos to release his tortured soul despite how difficult it would be for them not to rescue him from his grief.

After many minutes of mourning Athos looked at his dearest friend D’artagnan and said “ he was just like you” then he started to cry again. In between his tears and mourning Athos mumbled a few more words “he is….” The musketeers couldn’t understand what Athos said because of his sorrow and shame. He spoke the first few words in sorrow but the last few words so quietly as he was trying to hide what he wanted to say. Porthos was the most attuned musketeer he always listened to not just the words but how it was said and with the animation or lack of in the narrative. Porthos waited until it was silent again and sensed Athos was ready to engage.” You said he is … we didn’t quite hear the last few words Athos. Please can you tell us what you wanted say again.” Athos looked straight at Porthos and shouted at him in anger and disgust” he is BLOODY DEAD”. Porthos didn’t react to Athos anger even though he could feel it running through the atmosphere. He waited for a claim moment and said to Athos “who is dead?”. Athos raised his arms to the ceiling as he was talking to God and another tsunami of emotion rushed into the room “ my son , he is dead”. As he spoke those words he screamed as though he was just been thrust through his heart with the blood of his soul escaping along the deep cave of no return.

The 3 musketeers were in shock because they never knew he had a son. Now at this critical time in Athos life his friends didn’t know what to say. They had some many questions inside thier minds about this new piece of information but kept the questions to themselves at this crucial time. Aramis looked at his friends with an intriguing face as to say to them with visual contact did you hear what Athos said he had a son. Aramis looked at Athos and said to his fellow musketeer “thank you for sharing this devastating news with us today. It took courage and bravery to come here and to disclose this unfortunate event in your life, I mean the death of your son. Do you want to talk about him today?” Athos looked at him as a frightened child not sure what to say. He always trusted Aramis because he was honest when he needed to be with him. But there was an hesitation from the now childlike musketeer” I’m too frightened and ashamed “ then he started to shiver in fear. The other musketeers never seen this child part of Athos which has been lurking in the shadows of his soul. Porthos looked at Aramis to say visually can I say something now. Porthos had a warm tender voice because he understood the feelings of a man and the feelings of a child he was very aware of people different states. He could comfort you with his warm face and embracing body language then with his authentic words of reassurance. “ Don’t be frightened Athos we want judge you… Please talk to us and nobody is going hear about this conversation I promise you”. Athos looked at Porthos like a timid child would do to a loving and kind father. Athos said quietly and slowly “ it is the grandson of Cardinal Richelieu,I never new the mother real name. She told me that her father was an important man who was always working. I fell in love with her immediately, she was like a flower in a meadow with her shining smile which was so irresistible. I used to call her my Italian flower , I think her name was Catherine. We had a secret rendezvous which only lasted a few weeks , I remember the embrace of her sweet kiss on my lips as we became intoxicated with each other under the moonlight. Then Athos demeanour change with a glow of passion in his eyes as he recounted his story.

Cardinal Richelieu was ordained as a bishop at the young age of 21 in Italy and had an affair with one of the daughters of the Medici family at that time. She secretly had the Cardinal child a daughter came to live in Paris with her father Cardinal Richelieu who secretly disguised her as a servant.

D’artagnan was amazed by the uncovering of this news of Athos who kept this secret news of his love affair. D’Artagnan was impetuous and wanted to know more about this lost son of Athos. D’Artagnan knew that Athos started to bear his soul to his closest friends and was waiting for the right moment to ask one of the million questions in his young fertile mind. Despite his eagerness to investigate more about Athos pain and shame he held back his inner drive to plunge into Athos fragile state. D’artagnan asked the question they all wanted know “ how long have you known about your son?”. Athos was now beginning to compose himself back to his manly state.” I found out about 6 months ago at a party with friends. Someone told me a young man called Blaise was looking for a musketeer who was excellent with the sword but also knew he was valiant and brave.
Aramis said “ you are saying that your son was looking for you? Was this first time you knew about having a son?” Athos replied quickly “ of course , I didn’t believe the rumour , I thought it was another plot against me”. Athos continued angrily the Cardinal Richelieu knew about him all the time but forced his daughter to keep it from me or he would kill the boy and her”. Porthos now said”it must of been devastating news that your son which you only new for a short time had died. Do you want to explain what happened to him or shall we talk about it another time?” Athos started to cry again and was so angry at the same time becoming very violent” I couldn’t save him , I was there fighting and trying to stop the bastards but there too many and they killed him. I managed to get away a hid in my room. I couldn’t take the pain anymore of losing my only son so I decided to kill myself. That’s when D’artagnan found me lying on my bedroom floor with my dagger next to me.”

to be continued

References below

Recognizing the Red Flags of Shame – How Do You Feel?

Cardinal Richelieu


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