When we first met, you were just the next in line. I already had someone; someone better. Someone who got there first.
And I could never call you Dad.
Eventually, you grew on me. You took care of us, you loved her, and you became my friend. You believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself.
And I called you Dad behind your back.
When I said goodbye, you still had faith in me. When I told you, "I love you," for the first time, I meant it. As I left to fight my first dragon alone, I valued your loving wisdom.
And I almost called you Dad to your face.
But she will always be first in line to claim my fealty. And she should be the first in line to claim yours. That was your promise; your sacred, now-forgotten vow.
And I might have called you Dad.
As soon as you covered up her connection, I could feel the worst was coming. The moment you put them before her, I knew your thirst for a different reality was going to put her down.
And in denial, I kept calling you Dad behind your back.
But when she was forced to leave home to fill the holes you should have, my gut dropped and I tore down the wall of ignorance I had built for myself. She will always be the first in line to claim my fealty, and she will hold the key to my heart long after it stops beating.
Now I could never call you Dad.
So this is your call to arms: to be the warrior you promised you would. You think those ones are your brothers; you don't realise they drag you away from your true family. Your so-called brothers don't need you the way she does, and they shouldn't distract you this much.
You have swapped fiction for reality. Grow up while you still can.
Or you will never deserve anyone calling you Dad.