It's A Generation Thing...

It was in the smooth line of his neck and throat.

It was in the hollow of his collar bone and his determined jaw.

You could almost see it in his eyes but the shadows were always there, warning you off before you got the chance.

It was in the set of his wide shoulders, his smooth, resolute stride and slim hips.

It was designed to terrify when he stared at you through the locks of dark hair.

He did that a lot, stare, I mean. His eyes were unreadable. I've tried to see beyond the aggressive, private façade, everyone has, but it doesn't work.

Something in those amber eyes tells you to stop.

So you do.

That's what makes him a leader. What makes him our leader.

We could have chosen anyone to lead our campaigns.

The pretty ones.

The smart ones.

The self-proclaimed activists with the loud voices and bravado.

The quiet ones who sit in the corner, plotting.

The ones like me, not loud or quiet, who just sit there watching and waiting. Sometimes knowing better, sometimes not knowing at all.

We could have had anyone, but we didn't choose just anyone. We chose him.

With the amber eyes, the intelligence and beauty, with the aura of power and with our respect.

Nobody quite understands how he was chosen.

One day we were a rabble, arguing amongst ourselves. The next he was there, rallying troops, sending out spies, devising plans.

He was there, with his utterly untouchable soul and his absolute power.

He was there, with his quiet, fierce gaze and fiery purpose.

He was there and he became our leader. We didn't vote or consult. We just knew.

Knew he was the one that would lead us to victory.

We didn't question where he came from because we knew where he was going.

We didn't question his motives for choosing us – he could have gone anywhere! – because he was taking us with him.

With him to victory.

With him to glory and with him to the end.

Perhaps it didn't even matter to us anymore.

That we might not gain victory. The others were good, really good.

They were fast and sly. They were rich and unforgiving. If something went wrong and they were caught, they'd transfer. Their daddy's would pay.

If something went wrong and we were caught, we'd be expelled. University hope lost, hello fast food chains for the rest of our lives.

Did he feel the pressure?

The pressure we were putting on him?

Maybe he accepted it when he put himself forward as our leader. He wasn't the sort to just ignore it.

He was a thinker. He would have thought it through.

The pros and cons. The possible ends to possible means.

It would have been there, running through his thoughts before he took the job, so to speak. Or maybe not running.

He wasn't the rushed sort.

Perhaps it was drifting languidly, rolling about in his mind so he could see every angle, every aspect.

Yes, he would have thought it over. He knew what he was doing.

I guess it isn't a job though, because you can leave a job. He can't leave this.

Sure, he could walk away. We'd never see him again, he'd never see us. But he could feel it.

Feel how he'd abandoned us. Feel the spot in his heart where he had kept our trust echoing. Feel the shattered respect.

Ours and his. He wouldn't be able to respect himself if he left us.

If he left us weak and leaderless. Helpless.

Sure, we'd rally again. Elect a leader, a figurehead, but it wouldn't be the same.

They wouldn't have his charisma, his power.

Even the rich ones, the others, respect him.

We have a fighting chance now, with him.

Traditions must go on.

It's a generation thing.