"Mother, why are you looking so sad?" Emilio asked. Tulia forced a smile and ruffled his hair.
"…Do you remember what I told you a couple months back, about what I said would happen when you turned older?" she replied. Emilio nodded and sat on her lap.
"Yes, Mother." He replied. "You said I'd have to go somewhere to learn to be a good soldier like Leo and Gryphyn." Tulia kissed the top of his head.
"That's why I'm sad. I don't want you to go." Emilio cocked his head to the side and looked up at her thoughtfully.
"I can stay if you want me to Mother. I'll stay and take care of you when Father's not here." Was his sincere reply. She hugged him.
"You know I very well can't be selfish and keep you home for myself. It would be dishonourable. It's your fate to train to be a soldier. All the men in your family have been great warriors. It's expected of you to follow in their path." Emilio looked from his perch to the wall were his grandfather's, and grandfather's before shields hung. It was tradition that once one of the men of the family died in battle his shield was hung up on the wall.
"Do I have to become a soldier?" Emilio asked softly. Almost as if, he knew his answer. Tulia sighed.
"Look, Emi, for years the trade of your father and fathers before determined what you became once you were older. If your father was a scholar, you'd go to school to become a scholar. If your father was a smith you'd go to another smith and be his apprentice. Your father is a soldier, a great general in the army. Your oldest brother is captain of the guards, and your other brother is still in training. It's an honour to be a soldier. Besides, you know that of all the jobs in the state, to be a soldier is the most admired and celebrated. You should be proud." Was his mother's warm reply. Her son just nodded and rested his head on her chest. He knew better then to question further.
Emilio tried to imagine his life as a soldier. Warring with other nations. Camping out on foreign land. The part of visiting new lands and exploring unfamiliar areas appeased the romantic side of him. He was an inquisitive young boy and longed for answers to his questions and more knowledge. He tried to put out the thought of war and battle. He would much rather explore and study the land and creatures around him.
He didn't want to disappoint his mother, and certainly not his father. He'd work hard in training and accomplish the task set out before him. He had to. To get sent home would be a great disgrace. He remembered hearing the adults gossip about one of the sons that had been sent home. He had played around too much at school and had been sent home for it. The townspeople shunned and scorned him like a plague. Some even rumoured that his family had disowned him. Emilio did not want to end up like him. Not at all.
He got off his mother's lap and smiled, then kissed her cheek. "Don't worry Mother. I'll be ok." Tulia smiled and looked at her son tenderly.
"I have no doubts that you'll be a good soldier." She replied. And it was true. She had confidence that her son would become, quite possibly, the best soldier in the whole country. He had the wit, strength, and heart. She watched him leave the room to the courtyard were he'd greet his father who was to return home. Soon the house would be filled with family members and friends. They'd celebrate the boy's birthday, and then see him off the next day. She would stay strong and write him letters. Just as she had his brothers. Of course she would worry about him and keep him in her prayers and thoughts, but she knew she couldn't stop the inevitable from happening. He would face many hardships in the course of his training and during his life as a soldier, but that was all a part of becoming a good warrior. She'd watch her son grow and mature into a fine young man. Hardened by work, but with that same sweet nature and scholar like mind he was born with. This was in his blood. This is what he was meant to do. Just like his father and brothers before. Emilio was a soldier.
This is the introductory part of a story I started on years back. I decided I'd like to share this. No, you may not copy this, though I know not why someone would want to. If you do find this well enough and wish to share it with others please remember to put my name on it and give me the proper credit. I'm a very vain and proud person. I'd hate to have to go hunt people down, but I will. (^_^) And with that being said, I bid you adieu and thank you for reading and (hopefully) enjoying this little story.
(Don't forget to R&R!)