I stand atop a tower overlooking the endless sands. Above me, the night sky is full of stars; they too seem to go on forever. Peace steals over me as I am reminded of another time when I stood here, though I was not alone. It was the time I said goodbye to my twin. This is no simple tower, made of sweat and stone, it holds a memory. Not so long ago, two roads were laid out before my brother and I. One path would lead one of us to freedom, the other to responsibilities; and it was all decided by the toss of a coin.
The fate of two men rested on that two-sided, silver piece I hold so dear to me. Time seemed to stand still, and the wind seemed to hold its breath as it flipped through the air, the moonlight glinting from it. When it landed in the palm of my hand, I already knew the outcome. I Edgar Roni Figaro was given the responsibility of an entire kingdom, and my brother Sabin Rene Figaro was given his freedom. I would not have had it any other way.
On the day of our birth, my father had a two headed coin fashioned in honor of it. My two sons, he had said, so alike in appearance, yet so different in personality. The flip sides of a coin. Before he died, he passed it on to me. It is my most cherished possession, and I never go anywhere without it on my person. For me, it is a reminder of my father, of his dream. His greatest wish had been that Sabin and I would rule Figaro Kingdom together, side by side. It was simply not meant to be. Sabin could not stand the responsibility, the inactivity, and the trappings that come with being a king. I knew this. I used my coin to give him his freedom.
I understand that Sabin will never view Figaro castle as I do. To him, it is nothing more than stone and mortar, a place that holds memories he would rather forget. To me it is the embodiment of everything that I stand for; generosity, kindness, love, hard work, and a sense of knowing who one is. This place, this kingdom, is my heart and soul, the very center of my being. I know every mark on the furniture, every depression in the stone. It is not merely a refuge from the outside world. To me it is living and breathing and the memories it holds within its walls are precious to me. They remind me of a time when things were very different. This castle is home.
Perhaps I have always known that I would rule the kingdom. Of the two of us, I had always been the most responsible. At times, I resented Sabin for that. While he expressed his grief alone, I was the one who comforted our father after our mother's death. While Sabin left for parts unknown, leaving anger in his wake, I sat by our father's bedside, watching as he slowly died from the poison tainting his body. I paced outside of my father's doorway, waiting for word from the doctor. I discussed the future of the castle with the Chancellor. I made the decisions when my father was too weak to speak any longer. I did it all because someone needed to be strong, someone needed to bear the responsibility, and for Sabin's sake, I took that role.
When our mother had died, Sabin had taken her death the hardest. At least, that is how it may have seemed outwardly. Inwardly, I hurt just as much as he did, but I was better at holding it all inside until I was nearly bursting from it. I let him express his emotions aloud, while I listened. I made certain that I was the one the Chancellor came to with news of our father's health, and with news of the kingdom. Though part of me was angry with Sabin for this, the reasonable part of me understood that it was simply too hard for Sabin, too much for him to bear.
I knew I could not ask him to stay here, to rule the castle by my side because it would be like fencing in a wild animal. But I knew he would not let me willingly sacrifice my own chance at freedom, so I used my coin to set him free. One simple word...tails, and I could have been the one wandering free with no one to answer to and nothing to hold me down. I loved my twin too much ever to do that. I know not if Sabin ever suspected what I did, but it does not matter now. We had both gotten what we held most dear.
Sometimes when I stand at this very tower, and look out over the sand to the world of green beyond, I envy my brother. His life allows him to go where he pleases and do what he likes; I have no such privilege. I am not only responsible for my own life, but the lives of countless others. They all depend on me to make the laws and enforce them, to see that they live in peace and harmony, and to ensure that they are well fed and comfortable. From the moment I awaken, to the time that I lay my head down upon my pillow, my mind is filled with my duties. If my decisions are the wrong ones, I am not the only one to suffer.
This knowledge, this role was forced upon me at a young age. In one defining moment, I had to grow up and become a king. I remember being frightened, more frightened that I had ever been in my entire life. The question of whether or not I would be a good king did not matter after that; I had no choice. This massive castle and all of the people within were mine to rule, and they all looked to me, a mere boy hovering on the brink of manhood, to make all their decisions for them. I knew that if I was a horrible king... that the consequences would be severe and the penalties more than even I could comprehend.
It took every ounce of strength I possessed not to let my responsibilities bury me alive. I did not want to become a tyrant, nor did I want to be so lenient that my people looked to me as merely an ornament, a king in name only. I needed to form a lasting rule, a rule that would govern the people fairly and establish me as more than just Edgar Figaro; I needed to become King Edgar Figaro. I will not tell you that road was an easy road. Even now, I am still walking it. I believe I will walk it for the rest of my life. There is no such thing as perfection. It is a goal so unattainable. It is not even worth reaching for.
Some days, I walk these halls with a heavy heart, wondering if what I am doing is the right thing. But outwardly, nothing shows. I am the capable, competent king, ever ready with a disarming smile and a jolly laugh. My worries are my worries alone, not even something I deign to share with the Chancellor. Perhaps my people take heart from this, or perhaps my enemies find me an easy target because of this. Whatever the case, I know that I can never let the weight of my burdens crush my spirit. I knew from the moment that I took this title that I was no longer viewed as just a man. I was now a king. Inside, I am still a man. I have the same wants and needs as everyone else. My job is to somehow incorporate those two.
When I first became king, it was difficult for me to separate my personal feelings from my royal ones. It was exceeding easy to let all this newfound power go to my head; to let all the courtesies bestowed upon me flatter my ego. However, with the aid of the Chancellor, a man who had served as an advisor for my father, and through hard-learned lessons, I came to understand the makings of a true king. I would like to think that over the years, I have become a good king, but that is not for me to judge. That estimation belongs to the people I govern.
At times, as the years slowly passed, I longed for the company of my father. He would know which was the right decision and which was the wrong. He was no longer with me, though. My being king was proof enough of that. With that realization, I also longed for my brother. Sabin would not understand, nor be overly interested in the problems of the kingdom, but I know he would at least listen to me until I could talk no more. However, twins though we may be, we were now leading separate lives; each having nothing to do with the other. In those small moments, I wondered who I hated most for this, my father for dying, Sabin for leaving, or myself for resenting either.
That is not to say being king is all a bad thing. I love this castle and I love my people. Everything that I do is with this kingdom in mind. Yet, there are still moments when I covet a taste of that wild freedom my brother so easily possess. I, too, would like to feel the wind on my face and the ground beneath my feet, and know that I had no other obligations than myself. Long ago, two roads were placed before my brother and me, and by my own hand, I chose the one I now live. So it is not right, nor fair of me to envy him, or to resent what I so willingly gave him.
I will admit that not every bit of my time is spent being King Edgar; sometimes I am simply Edgar, the man. Like every other man, I have a weakness. My weakness is a woman with a quick mind and an equally ready laugh. I have enjoyed the company of many, and many the company of me. This gives me the reputation as a philanderer, but I suppose I am lucky my people are willing to tolerate this. Still, I am no fool. I know that she is with me because I am King Edgar, not because I am a man. If I ever am fortunate enough to find a woman that loves me because I am a man, I will make her my queen.
As each day passes, I am ever aware of my mortality and the future of this kingdom. Should I forget, the Chancellor is always ready to remind me. I am now 27 years old; perhaps that is not old to many, but when one is a king, an heir becomes an important issue. I will not marry for the sake of the throne; I am still only a man, not an animal to be bartered away to the highest bidder. When I marry, I will marry for love alone. If it takes me another ten years to accomplish that, then so be it.
Perhaps it is selfish of me to want happiness in my marriage, because should I die, the kingdom will go to Sabin, and I know he does not want it. God forbid Sabin should die as well, then the kingdom would be thrown into a turmoil that would likely tear it apart. This is only one of the many things weighing heavily upon my mind when I wish that sleep would claim it.
There is also the question of the Empire. I know of its foul deeds and true nature. I am a willing supporter of the Returners, though only in secret. Outwardly, I remain loyal to the Empire. It chafes, this passive stance of mine. I would like to fight actively against them as the true Returners do, but I must consider the fate of my entire kingdom, not simply the wishes of my untamed heart. It will always be this way. From the moment I accepted this title, my world as I knew it ceased to exist.
I watch the Empire slowly devouring everything around me, taking what it pleases and leaving death and destruction in its wake. There is nothing to justify what they have done, and at times, it is hard to keep the facade. I do this for the sake of my kingdom, to keep the Empire from consuming it as well. Yet, I have seen those who claim to be loyal to the Empire destroyed just as I have seen those that fight against it decimated. So perhaps what I am doing is cowardly; perhaps instead I should fight back, and at least lose knowing I refused to bow to them.
The line between right and wrong is sometimes so fine, it is difficult to tell which side one is standing on. As a king, I often have to do things I would rather not and make decisions that go against my principles. I do not like it, but I have no choice. All these things, I carry inside of me like poison, and if I cannot learn to let them go, they will slowly eat me alive. It seems though, as each day goes by, it gets harder and harder to keep my spirits up and remain cheerful. I am afraid at some point, something has to change... or I will.
It is hard to imagine, but it has been ten years since that fated coin toss; ten years since I last seen my twin. I am afraid that there is such a gap between us now, that we could never fill it. I mourn the loss of the closeness we once shared as happy, carefree children, but that was long before mother died. It seemed with each horrible thing that happened to us, instead of growing closer, we grew apart. Were we both such ignorant fools then, that we thought the other could not possibly understand what each felt inside? How different would things have been, if we had both just opened up to the other, if we had just tried to understand? I curse myself for the role I played in the loss of my twin.
I ponder all this now, as Locke Cole and Terra Branford sleep in the castle beneath me. They have come, seeking refuge behind Figaro's walls, and as a friend of Locke and a willing supporter of the Returners, I would never refuse them. This Terra...there is something about her that catches my interest. It is not simply her beauty, for I see that in all the women I meet. No, it is something more, something familiar. Like me, she simply wants to be loved for who she is, and like me, she is lost. Perhaps she cannot sense this of me, for my reputation precedes me, but I sense it of her and feel the need to watch over her. Though I may never let her in to my inner world, for few go there, not even my own twin, I will try to help her in any way I can. Even if it is with a small gesture like housing her.
I wonder too, if I will go with them when they leave. Perhaps the time has come for me to make a stand against the Empire, to attempt to stop them before there is nothing left for me to fight for. Maybe, in my travels, I will find him again. For it has been ten years since we last spoke, and the rift between us is enormous, but that can change; all things can change if I simply have the strength and determination to alter them. For the first time, I realize that perhaps I am not alone. There is Locke, there is Terra, and there will be others. Perhaps one of them, will be my brother.
Edgar is one of my favorite characters from FF3/6. I felt that in the game, it only tells of the past surrounding their father's death and the coin toss from Sabin's point of view. So I decided that I would write what I felt that Edgar would have been thinking. Also, being a king is an enormous responsibilty, one that isn't really explored by the game. I've always felt that Edgar is far deeper than he is percieved, and that his cheerful, carefree veneer simply hides the complex man beneath. I find his character has endless possibilities when writing, and I just wanted to explore that a bit. Hope you've enjoyed it. All comments welcome.