Giara, his mother, asked of him,"Oh dearest, Avien, take this letter and present it to Juman in front of the old ministry. I have packed you five days worth of bread and water to make the journey," she wrapped her arms around him tightly. Letting out a quiet sob, she said,"Cover your tracks, be quiet. Must you venture into open ground, travel calmly but swiftly." Entrusting him to be safe, she fled to the bunkers, Avien's sisters followed suit quietly.
With a shaking breath, he peeked around the edge of the wagon, tightly grasping the letter that determined his family's fate. Soldiers were patrolling in the distance. Avien's body was shaking with fear.
He must risk getting caught for the future of his family, of his fate. Was he willing to go back now? No. Juman would not fear anything. His mother is depending on him. His priorities have already been set. With no hesitation, Avien bolted for the entrance as fast as he could. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as he pushed faster and faster off of the pavement.
"I mustn't fail. I can't let my family down," he instantly thought. Quickening his strides, he slipped through the nearest alley and into a hatch underneath a dumpster. Breathing heavily, his heart pounding roughly against his ribs, he kept moving. Refusing to lose sight of the task.
Avien knew what weight he had to carry. At twelve, journeys like these will be constant. The fear of being caught would forever reside in his conscience, but you must be courageous for those you love.
Feet plodded behind him in the distance and he immediately froze with dread.
“Hey!” someone had seen him. They began to run. Avien forced his feet to move, moving through the corridors of the market with precision. Every corner was crowded with pedestrians, slowing him down.
“I’m almost there, I can make it,” Avien chanted to himself, his movements consistent and clean. An image of Juman replayed in his mind, an image of the stories he knew.
It all happened in slow motion, he was unaware of the mistake he had made. Unaware of the obstacle that made him lose his balance. It was a blur when he turned the last corner and cried out a scream of despair once the ministry was in his sights. His heart stopped as his body plummeted into the tiled ground. His limbs tucked in as he endured the impact of the fall.
All he could feel was the pulsing blood in his veins, a cold realization hit him just as hard as he hit the pavement. The letter was crumpled in his hand, his nails puncturing his palms by his painful grip.
He felt hands force him off of the ground. His head jolted up and he felt a piercing pain from his head. Refusing to give up he thrashed about in his captors hold, pushing and fighting their iron like arms off.
“Hey! Hey! You're alright! We've got you!” a voice as smooth as silk spoke calmly.
“You have done well, Avien Havonia, your mother will be proud of your courage.”
Avien bursted into a fit of tears, a dropped into the man’s arms.
“Father, this is for you, from mum,” Avien gasped as he handed the letter to his father.
(Juman Havonia, your strength is our strength. Your love is our belief. Return to us. You can journey home with pride.)
All courage is derived from inner strengths and love.