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Mail_690_05_14 00:12:05

To my son:

When you see this letter, I might be on my last breath. Maybe I can't even remember who I am. Shortly after you and your mother Alyxia left, I was diagnosed with neurodegenerative dementia. Don't worry though; I wrote this letter when I'm still in the early stages of the disease. I might forget some words; my description of things might not be 100% clear; my thought might not flow smoothly. So, I had grace help me. The letter you are reading now was basically co-written by Grace and me.

First of all, I would like to apologize to you and your mother in place of my irritable self back then. Due to my fear and my ignorance, I was a childish fool that did nothing but blame others for my personal mistakes. The biggest, most irredeemable mistake I ever made was losing you and your mother. I owe Alyxia so much, far too much. I don't even know how to put that into words. I cared only about my work. I had no control over my emotions and often vented my frustration on her. I took her forgiveness for granted countless times. Now that I think about it, I don't even have the courage to apologize to her and atone for my mistakes in person. If Alyxia is still alive when you read this letter, please tell her, "Thank you for raising our son. Colin may have a failure of a father, but he is lucky to have the perfect mother."

The Neumann family is a noble family from Node 13. We have a close relationship with the A.R.C.'s senior committee members. The chip that I gave you is a family token that has been passed down for centuries. Our ancestor, Rald Neumann, played a very important role in the rebuild of the world's order. In the past few years, I've been attempting to unveil its secret, but I failed utterly. However, someone as talented and smart as you might have the possibility of doing what I can't.

Throughout the years, I've heard plenty about what you accomplished outside this home. It seems like yesterday when you are still the little boy who only knows how to play catch. Now, you are an independent, highly-acclaimed archaeologist, capable of publishing papers that point out the mistakes in A.R.C.'s research. When I saw that news, I was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time extremely conflicted. So many colleagues have told me that I should be proud of your accomplishments. On one hand, as your father, I am indeed very proud of you, but on the other, I deeply regret the harsh and unrealistic expectations I placed on you in the past.

If one day, you finally returned to this home and saw this letter. Please know that dad only wants to tell you this, "I'm sorry, and good job." The Neumann family will always be proud of you.

Your father
Colin Neumann Sr.