“You should have talked to me,” he said.

“Thomas.”

“You should have trusted me,” he said. “Dammit, man.”

The memory of those desperate hours hit me hard. I felt so helpless. My daughter had been taken away from her home, and for all the times I had gone out on a limb for others, no one had seemed willing to do the same for me. The White Council for whom I had fought a war had turned its back on me. Time had been running out. And the life of a little girl who had never known her father was on the line.

“Why?” I asked him tiredly. “What would it have changed? What could you possibly have said that would have made a difference?”

“That I was your brother, Harry,” he said. “That I loved you. That I knew a few things about denying the dark parts of your nature. And that we would get through it.” He put his elbows on his knees and rested his forehead on his hands. “That we’d figure it out. That you weren’t alone.”

Stab.

Twist.

He was right. It was just that simple. My brother was right. I had been self-involved and arrogant. Maybe it was understandable, given the pressures on me at the time, but that didn’t mean that I hadn’t made bad calls of colossal proportion.

I should have talked to him. Trusted him. I hadn’t even tried to consider anyone other than Maggie, hadn’t even thought to start seeking support from my family. I’d just moved right along to the part of the plan where I hired one of the world’s premier supernatural assassins to whack me. That probably said something about the state of despair I’d been in at the time.

But it didn’t say as much as I had about my brother. He was right about that, too. It wasn’t something I had ever consciously faced before, but I had told Thomas, with my actions, that it was better to be dead than a monster-a monster like him. And actions speak far more loudly than words.

I always thought it would get easier to be a person as I aged. But it just gets more and more complicated.

Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Cold Days.
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