“Mr. Bonnefoy, your wife may not make it after labor….” The doctor’s words hit Francis like a freight train at full speed. The thought of loosing his wife from giving birth to their only child was too much.
Francis came into the room as (y/n) prepared to start pushing. Francis smiled and held his wife’s hand and kissed her forehead softly.
Several hours later, their son Matthew was born. Francis was incredibly happy until he saw his wife’s face. Her skin was pale and her once shimmering (e/c) eyes were now dull and lifeless.
“Your wife wrote a few letters while she was getting ready to start. These are for you both” the doctor had a few letters addressed to Francis. And a few addressed to Matthew.
I’m sorry for not being able to live past delivery. My death weighs heavily on you, I know. I only ask that you care for our son as if I was with you. Give Matthew the love I can’t be with him to give. I know you’ll raise him to be a wonderful country like you. Give Matthew his letters when you think the time is right. I promise to watch over you both……I love you both very much…..
Francis gripped the paper tightly as he looked down at his small son in his arms. If raising Matthew was (y/n)’s dying wish, then so be it.
“Papa?” Matthew looked up at his father while holding his bear Kumajiro. Francis turned and smiled down at him.
“Oui, Matthew?” Francis leaned down and ruffled his hair affectionately.
“where’s Maman?” Matthew’s question froze Francis’ heart for a minute. Francis felt as though he could not breathe let alone speak.
“she’s in a beautiful place. She is watching over us both, you may not see her, but she can see you” Francis smiled and kissed his forehead.
“What does maman look like?” Matthew asked again. Francis picked him up and carried him to his study. He set him down before grabbing a framed photo from the mantel above his fireplace.
“That’s her….” Francis handed him the picture and Matthew’s face lit up brightly.
“She has (h/l) (h/c) hair that’s softer than silk. Her (e/c) eyes shine like diamonds. Her smile makes anybody smile back. Her kisses and hugs filled your heart with so much love” Francis described to Matthew what he saw in the photograph.
“Can I keep this papa?” Matthew asked.
“I have more pictures of her, so it’s ok. Just take good care of it” Francis patted his back as Matthew clutched the picture to his chest and ran out of the room with it.
Matthew rushed to his room and took the picture out of it’s frame and placed it inside his backpack so she could be with him on his first day of school.
Matthew held onto Francis’ hand as he was dropped off at school. The mothers and fathers all held their children’s hands as they introduced themselves to the teacher.
“Hello, you must be Matthew” The teacher’s name was Ms. Héderváry. She smiled down at Matthew who gulped and blushed out of nervousness.
“This is Matthew. I’m his father Francis Bonnefoy” Francis smiled at the teacher as Matthew shyly hid behind his legs.
“it’s ok Matthew, this lovely lady is your teacher. Be good and learn lots of things for me, ok?” Francis leaned down and kissed his forehead. Matthew shyly nodded.
Matthew glanced and saw a group of boys pointing and giggling at him. He turned his eyes and saw only the mothers kissing their children goodbye.
Francis waved goodbye as Matthew held onto the teacher’s hand. Matthew watched as his father walked away and towards the car. The teacher held his hand gently as she led him inside the classroom. Many boys and girls were chatting and talking in small groups.
“Class, this is Matthew Williams. Treat him nicely and hopefully you’ll all get along” The teacher chirped. Matthew quietly shuffled over to an empty desk and sat down.
When recess came, Matthew found a large maple tree. He loved the way the oranges and yellows mixed together on the tree making it look grand and elegant.
“Hey, your that kid with no mom!” a voice called out at him. He saw a group of boys looking at him. One had blonde hair with an upwards curve like his hair. Another one had spikey blonde hair and the last one had slicked back blonde hair. He recognized them as Alfred, Matthias and Ludwig.
“where’s your mutti?” Ludwig asked
“s-she’s in a beautiful place!” Matthew stuttered
“Why didn’t she drop you off? Did she abandon you or something?” Alfred asked
“N-no, my maman is gone” Matthew shook his head
“Oh, she’s dead” Matthias gasped
“I bet she was ugly and his dad killed her like in the movies!” the first boy laughed obnoxiously loud. The boys ganged up on Matthew. They started teasing him on his looks, then decided to take his backpack and look through it.
“This must be her” Alfred held up the picture of (y/n) and Matthias and Ludwig looked at it.
“My mom’s way hotter!” Alfred cackled
“Give her back….” Matthew growled and the boys froze
“nobody needs to look at an ugly chick like this” Alfred grinned as he ripped the photo in half. Matthew snapped and pounced on Alfred and punched his square in the jaw.
“Teacher! Matthew punched Alfred!!” Matthias ran towards the teacher. The teacher rushed to see Alfred punching and slapping Matthew while he was pinned to the ground.
“Alfred Jones! Matthew Williams! To the principles office! Now!” Ms. Héderváry hissed.
“I see, I’ll be calling both of your parents in to tell them about this” Principal Rome nodded.
Alfred’s nose was bleeding but Matthew had bruises and scratches all over him.
Matthew and Alfred sat outside the office as Francis came in. He saw Matthew and gasped. Then another man came into the office and Francis recognized him.
“Arthur Kirkland…..I should’ve known” Francis glared at him as he walked up to Alfred.
“Francis Bonnefoy…..long time no see” Arthur smirked
“Gentlemen, may I-a speak with you two?” Rome asked as both men entered the office.
“It seems Alfred was picking on Matthew. He teased him about his appearance and ripped a picture he had. Matthew became enraged and fought back” Rome explained
“a picture?” Francis asked and Rome handed him the torn picture of (y/n). Francis clutched his hand into a fist and turned to glare at Arthur.
“If I may ask, who is the bella ragazza in the photo?” Rome asked
“(y/n), Matthew’s mother and my deceased wife” Francis choked out.
“I see. I’m sorry for the loss. Arthur, I believe Alfred is going to be suspended from school for a week.” Rome cleared his throat.
“what!? Just because of a stupid picture!? Matthew’s not the only one who lost his mother! Alfred lost his too!” Arthur snapped and slammed his hands down on the desk.
“Then maybe your brat should think before he decides to pick on someone” Francis sneered.
“Bloody frog!” Arthur hissed and lunged at him. Both men were fighting and throwing curses until Rome split them apart.
“Gentlemen! You need to set an example!” Rome chided the grown men like children.
“Alfred is suspended for physical harm he inflicted on Matthew” Rome added
“That little runt made his nose bleed!” Arthur yelled
“Matthew fought out of self defense. Anyone would be enraged after seeing something precious damaged” Rome spoke firmly and looked at them.
The two men nodded and left. Francis carefully picked up Matthew and walked out. Behind him, Arthur was swearing and yelling at Alfred. Francis continued walking.
“Papa, are you mad at me?” Matthew asked quietly as he sat beside him in the car.
“Non” Francis shook his head.
“Really? Why?” Matthew asked again
“That boy tore up your picture. He damaged you and your property. You were defending yourself.” Francis explained
“what about maman?” Matthew looked up at his father
“I’m sure she’s not mad. She’s probably more worried that you got hurt” Francis remarked and gazed down at him.
Francis carried Matthew inside the house as Matthew leaned against him.
“I think it’s time I gave you something” Francis murmured and handed Matthew an envelope out of the drawer of his desk inside his study. Matthew carefully opened it and read it. Francis watched as Matthew’s purple-ish blue eyes scanned the letter over and over again. Matthew looked up at him and smiled.
“Merci, papa” Matthew scurried out of the room, holding onto the letter.
Matthew remained quiet the whole night. He silently ate his dinner without complaint. He placed his dish in the sink then bathed and dressed himself for bed without help.
Francis sat in his study. He gently placed tape along the rip of the torn picture. He carefully re-framed it. He silently walked into Matthew’s room and found him fast asleep hugging Kumajiro close to him.
Francis gently placed the photo on the nightstand next to Matthew’s bed so it faced him. He leaned down and gently brushed Matthew’s wavy blonde hair out of his face before gently kissing his cheek.
The letter caught Francis’ eye. He carefully picked it up and read it.
I can’t believe you’ve grown up so much to be able to read this. I miss you immensely, mon bebe. I hope you’ve been a good boy for Papa. Listen, I know life may seem hard without me to be there for you. No matter what Matthew, be strong. I will always be with you. I am a part of you, so remember that you’re never truly alone, my little maple baby. My sweet Matthew, I hope you’ll do good in school and work hard. Always remember Matthew,
Je t'aime de tout mon cœur~ (i love you with all my heart)
Francis smiled and placed the letter back next to the photo. Matthew turned in his sleep and softly grunted. Francis quietly smoothed his son’s hair before leaving him alone to sleep.