By Mercy Alicea Rivera
Here I am, in the silence of this quiet night, the last night of my life. And is so beautiful. Even when I can not see the full sky, it is beautiful. Tomorrow, by this same hour, I will be there, close to the stars, close to those I miss now, those I lost in my name and in the name of cruelty. By dawn, I will slowly become a memory…fading in my last steps. Will he be thinking about me? Will he regret my death? I guess I will never get an answer. He hates me now with the same strength that he once loved me. I know that but part of me dreams with the hope that he stops my execution tomorrow, and take me in his arms and give me another chance. This fate would be easier if I did not to love him. My mistake was that, to change a game of wealth, for a love story, the best story of my existence, the one who make me a mother, a Queen.
Life, life is a circle of ironies. This place, this tower, a few years ago I was here, shining like those stars up there. These walls, covered with silver and the finest tapestries, with our names entwined as symbol of eternal love. Now, the walls are empty, cold, the color of the stones covered the golden splendor of my days of glory — when I thought the world was mine… when I felt that I was… the most happy. It is over, everything is. This is my last chance to say goodbye to all that I lost and I can not recover. I must free my soul tonight, so tomorrow I can walk towards my death with only the comfort of my faith.
First, I must say goodbye to this land, to England. I was born here, my first light of happiness was lit here — a wonderful childhood, when I was loved for who I was, when I was still.. just a daughter, a child meant to be loved and protected. Farewell to that, to my beloved Hever, to my mother and… yes, to my father. He once loved me and treasured me, back when power was not important to him, when he was still… young and… human.
Goodbye Mary… my sweet sister. Please forgive me for all the harm I caused you. May God protect you and keep you safe. Live your life, because if you do, half of me will still live. Thank you for being always my companion, especially in our days in France. I always thought that I did good when I learned to be the opposite of you. Perhaps if… I would had imitate you, I would not be here like this. Being his mistress at least could save my life. You won Mary. You have a peaceful life with your children. You do not care of what people say. I envy you now so much dear Mary. You are free and I am dying. Be blessed, be happy, for both of us.
Farewell to my youth here…farewell to my first love… At least the first one that made know what love was. Forgive me, for leaving you, for change in your sweet promises for the game of a crown. Goodbye to the days when all the eyes of the court were upon me, when he noticed me and my game started. And there is a ghost marked in this era of my life — the Queen I helped to destroy, a woman I never cared to know — a woman who never caused me harm — a Queen I swore to honor and obey. I ended up speeding her death. I took by force and humiliation what was hers… and here I am now, slowly waiting for the dawn of my execution. Soon we will share the dust of England’s Crown. We will be under the same land, yes, under, because our King will pass the crown to a new one, she that will shine just after my blood soaks the scaffold. Forgive me Katherine. What I did to you was done to me, we are even but… I am still guilty of my actions against you. First I was moved my greed, and I regret what I did during that time. Love took over… I was fighting for happiness, for him, and for that I can not feel regret nor guilt.
I am sorry! I am! I can not scream it to the world but… I am sorry. Because I can not change what I did and at the same time… I regret less when it should be more. Forgive me. And I pray God… that someday your daughter Mary will forgive me, too. She is innocent. She always was, and now my daughter will live the same life. Both sisters will now be neglected by their father, suffering because of their mothers — two Queens, with the same failure.
Farewell again, to the land where I gave birth to my precious Elizabeth, the only pure thing in my life, the best I ever did on this earth. The only proof of my love, my feelings, my hope and my joy as a woman, and my only valuable jewel as Queen. This land, this realm, will watch you grow, become a woman and yes.. Queen, because I know you will be Queen my dearest girl, my beloved child. I will not be here to guide you in the path of life, but I promise, that my love will always follow you. It will keep you warmth when the sadness of my absence became cold in your heart, because I have faith that you will remember me with kindness, with tenderness and sweetness.
You are part of me, the clean essence of my soul, and there is no hate in the entire world that can destroy that. God Bless my princess, my love, my everything. Shine brighter than me. Rule England with the heart, with the true of your soul and the wisdom of your forefathers. And think of me in silence. Never dare to mention me. It is better for you to keep the love of your father the King. Praise his name and keep me locked in your heart, that will keep you safe, and protected. Please learn all you can from the darkness of this realm before you get trapped in the light of it. God forbid you get blind by the beauty and temptations of this Kingdom. Be strong first, then be the rest you must be. You are my precious jewel, my sweet Elizabeth.
Pretty stars, my dead ones are above, walking around them, waiting for me. Play sweet music for me Mark, when you see me. I want to be received by the gentle notes of your violin. My darling Mark, my friend, my confident, I am so sorry for all the pain you suffered on my behalf. I never wished that upon you. Forgive me, our friendship led you to your death, and I am sorry. Please, play the violin when you see me Mark.
I know I will see you, Sir Henry Norris. Your admiration for me was the key to your downfall. My charms condemned you. I ask your forgiveness and please, smile to me when you see me tomorrow. Please, show me that chivalry that I always liked from you.
You will also be there, Master Bereton. I never knew why you… always looked at me with such coldness. The strictness of your behavior towards me was more a hint of your disgust about me than respect for my rank. What I did to cause that to thee? Will you tell me when I get there? Or you will look at me with the same despise, with the cold disguise of respect?
And there it is, the brightest star, the one that comes when dawn is near. There you are my sweet George, my darling brother. Oh the pain of seeing you die! It burns my heart! I felt your agony deep in my bones. I have that image carved in my soul. My dearest brother, you are the only one who really knew me from the start — the one who never dared to betray me. You were my comfort and I was your courage. Since we were children it was always like that. George, my gentle George, do not despair. Soon we will be together again, open your arms for me when I get there, and hug me with all your strength. Give me the pureness of our brotherly love, that sincere and innocent love that was cause of our doom.
How can they twist something so clean, immaculate and transparent like the love between brother and sister?! They are the impure ones, not us, never us! Wait a little longer my brother… Soon I will be back to you. Soon.
And there, a little far from the brightest star, two small ones, with a tiny spark, I am sure those are my two dead sons, my princes that I never had the chance to hold, soon my little angels, soon we will be together. I will hold both of you, and this time, we will share eternal life, in peace.
Farewell to the souls of those I helped to crush and destroy… Cardinal Wolsey, the one who used to call me “The Black Crow” and the “Silly Girl”… the man I thought that had a pride higher than mine. Sometimes I thought I was wrong even when I never liked him. He was loyal, like a father to the King. He was a man whose birth was low… and worked hard to climb to the top of this realm. Where was the wrong in that? Now I wonder.
Sir Thomas More… he hated me and I him. He was so stubborn, just like and me and my kin. He died for his faith, for his beliefs. He was a great man, beloved friend of the King. I feel his death marked the start of my downfall. Farewell to poor Bishop Fisher…another man who died for his faith. Why did we turn our wish for the Truth and staine it with blood? That was my first criminal sin, to help in the production of a bloodbath in the name of Reformation and Power. This is how I see it now.
Farewell to my still living enemies. Mary, Lady Mary. Your hate towards me is justified in all the senses. To remember the reasons will not change anything nor make you forgive me. All I hope is that you become in time a protector of your poor little sister, who now will share your fate. May God help you to love her and cherished her. May the force of blood be stronger than the force of your hate for me. Forgive me Mary, even when what I did to you is unforgivable.
Cromwell… someone I helped to rise and now I am a victim of the power that he won towards me and my family. I underestimated you, and now I am here. I won your hate and that was my greatest mistake. All I can say to you is… enjoy the power while you can. I am sure that… being as proud and ambitious as you are, it will not be long when your head falls from the scaffold.
And you, Chapuys, you who represent all the faction here in England and Spain that hate me as much as you do, be in peace… the witch will be dead tomorrow. Spain can rejoice. All my enemies will rejoice, but do not smile too much. My death will not bring the glory and peace to England… it will be just a pause until the next horror comes by the hand of the tyrant King Henry.
My last goodbye is for you Henry. I wanted to hate you when you changed me for Jane, when you forgot all we were for her, when you ordered my arrest, imprisonment and execution under those corrupted and false charges. I can not hate you. My love for you is stronger than my desire to despise you. And it is strange because… I remember I fought so hard to avoid loving you when all started. I failed… I loved you when we met, when we danced for the first time, when I was Perseverance and you were Honesty. I was yours since that day…I refused to admit it but… you captured me, totally. I learned what passion was in your arms. I learned that lust was far from sinful in the power of your kisses, and I loved the sweetness of every caress you gave me.
You can tell the whole world that I am a whore, but you know I became a woman in your bed. You can whisper on Jane’s ear that you love her, but you know that you will never feel with her what you felt with me. I know this sounds…vain but I know that… you will always remember me, even if you hate me now, you will never be able to erase me from your heart. Forgive me my King. I know I broke a promise. Believe me it was painful… I wanted to give you a son with all my heart, with every part of me and I am sorry. I am so sorry for my failure.
In the end, I can see your love was not unconditional like you once whispered to me. I was the fool because I believed it. I disrobed my pride, my will and my strength before your words, your touch and your charm. I die as an innocent, and my blood will always stained your actions from now towards the end of your days, that is my silent prophecy for you my love. Joy will not find your place again, you will never be the same after tomorrow, is painful for me to feel this, but it is what it is… You do not deserve happiness after what you have done.
Farewell my love, my King. I never knew you and I loved you like no other woman will, not even the fair and innocent Jane. I am sure that if she does not please you like you expect, you will drag her down and replace her. You are loveless man now, a King and not a man. Power overcame you. I take with me the satisfaction that I enjoyed your human part, the one that will totally die with me tomorrow. Part of you will die with me, the best part of you, and to that part with myself, I say farewell.
And here comes the dawn… Farewell to the stars, I will join you tonight and I will come down just to watch the dreams of my darling girl. Farewell to the last night I live here on earth. Hello to my last dawn. Farewell to the rage, the scorn, the malice, the regrets, the pain and the intrigues. Farewell to the joy, the illusions, the dreams, the hopes and the love. Farewell to everything I knew and never will. Farewell to the words I said, the things I did and the love I gave. May all that I destroyed be fixed, and all that I created remain. Farewell Life.