The characters belong to Tamora Pierce.
In response to Tammy Drabbles prompt 45 – Tabula Rasa (Clean Slate)
Guilt is like an infection – allowing it to fester only drags you down further. Arram knew that to be true and yet he couldn't stop playing it over and over in his head. He'd seen so much, done so little, and run away like the guilty man that he was. His name now held labels he didn't know how to shed: coward, thief, traitor. He thought that he could no longer bear the burden of that person he'd become – the one who had brought shame to his family, the one who had failed to save a young girl who'd turned and looked at him with eyes that might haunt him forever, the one who had betrayed his closest friend.
What he needed was a clean slate, a new name, and to get as far away as possible from who he had been before. From now on, no magic. His gift would be forgotten, for as long as he could manage it. He took his props and stepped out into the sunshine, painting on a smile. He would earn his meager living with illusions and juggling and not steal from anyone again as long as he lived, even if it meant starving to death. There was a woman in a fine dress carrying a baby on her hip. Her hair was as red as fire and she had lovely violet eyes. She might be good for a few coppers if he was entertaining. He threw the pilot ball into the air.