The Wrong Words for Goodbye

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.

Dear family,

What the shell to say. Stefyr had written many, many versions of this particular letter and the wording never seemed to come out right. How does one close a door when that door will always lead to a piece of your heart that you can never really hold again? The memory is different than the being. It was time to let go, though. Even though he hadn't let Mum go on believing he'd be back intentionally, he also hadn't written sooner when this decision was made months ago, if he was honest. He began, in earnest, letting the words flow from heart to pen, without filter, without overthinking.

Please know that I love you all and miss you every day, but I won't be returning to the farm. I know you hoped this would be a temporary change, just until I saw what a mistake I was making, but… I haven't made a mistake in coming here. I'm sorry I'm not the man you wished I would be, part of your legacy. The eggs are getting harder every day and I will be on the sands when they hatch. If there's no dragon for me this time, then I'll stand for the next clutch, and the next. I know you'll think I'm just that too little boy with too big dreams that you remember being knee high or coming to you with the small hurts of the heart that feel just too big when they happen, but I'm not that boy. I haven't been for a long time, but I didn't know until I stepped into this world and started finding the man I was already becoming.

I will carry with me the lessons you taught me. I will hold them close and try to remember everything, but I'm changing. I'm becoming something more than I was, and it's good. I'm happy here. I'm sorry for everything I left undone or unsaid. If I can, I'll come to visit some day, and maybe you'll be glad to see me then.

He stopped, he stared, he worried. Rather than writing more, he stopped, ending it with a simple:

Until then, be well and don't worry about me.
Your loving son,

He straightened, stared. It was done. Done. It wasn't great. It wasn't even really what he wanted to say, not exactly, but no words would ever seem right when the words signaled an end to something important. These would have to due. He waited for the ink to dry, folded the message neatly and sealed it before sending it on its way home to somewhere he'd always be from.

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