Zan Anderson looked curiously at the package in his hands. The postman had told him that it had been waiting in the post office for 17 years. The postman had been very curious about it, it had been nearly impossible to get rid of him. Apparently the package was meant to arrive on his 18th birthday. And here it was sitting in his hands. Zan pulled a pocketknife out of his pocket and cut the strings binding the package, and carefully unwrapped the paper.

He looked at the wooden box, wondering what mysteries it held. He pulled off the small piece of paper taped to the top of the box and opened it. He read the message scrawled on it.

My son Zan,

Today you are 18 years old, and I am overjoyed to think of that. Happy birthday. Now that you are grown and are an adult I felt it was time to tell you the truth and give you some answers that you may very well have been searching for your entire life. If you have any desire to know about your birth parents and where you come from than open this box. In it are letters from both your mother, who has passed on, and myself. There are also a few objects I thought you might wish to see. Happy Birthday my son, I love you.

Your father.

Max Evans

Zan stared at the piece of paper in shock. His birth parents? For years he had looked for even the smallest scrap of info on them, but hadn't even been able to find out their names. Answers… here was the chance to finally have answers to all the questions that had plagued him his entire life. And now, moments from finding out the truth he had so longed to know, he was scared. The man, Max, his father, made it sound as though finding out the truth would change his life, almost like it would end it.

He took a deep breath and slowly opened the box, and the fact that nothing exploded struck him as almost anticlimactic, but he pushed that thought aside. He looked into the box, and saw lying on the top were two envelopes. He picked p the first with trembling hands and began to read.

My beloved son Zan,

I am human enough to know that you will one day wonder about yourself and where you came from, who you came from. You may be a normal human boy, and you may not. But either way I know that you will dream, you will have dreams of the place you were born. In your sleep your subconscious will let you see the place you were born and spent your first year. It is a part of our makeup, which makes us completely aware of everything from the moment we are born, not a human trait. You most likely will only have a limited awareness, but that will still be more than most humans.

I know you must have so many questions, and most likely Max will mess up answering them. He embraces his humanity too much, but maybe that will make him a better father than I was a mother. I never embraced my humanity, until the day you were born and I held you in my arms. That moment changed me, for the first time I felt a true human emotion; love.

I will never see you walk or hear your first word. I won't be there for your graduation or wedding; but I wish I could be there. You must know that the reason I am not there is not because I don't love you, I'm not there precisely because I love you, more than anything in this and any other universe.

I may have given birth to you, but it was you that gave me life. You gave me a reason to live and in the end a reason to die. I haven't done much good with my life. The only truly good thing I ever did was bring you into this world. Your life is so precious, to me and the universe. You will do great things, I know it. But I knew that if I lived I wouldn't be doing the world any good. I knew that my living on would most likely cost me you, a price I wasn't willing to pay. With my death I hope and pray that I have bought you safety and been able to save your life. If I have than it all was worth it; I served my purpose, I know that now. I was created to create you. If I lived a thousand years there is nothing I could do that would be better, than giving my life to save yours. I love you, I will always love you. You are and will always be my everything. And as long as you are alive a part of me is alive too, the only good part of me.

I'm certain that your father has told you many terrible things about me, and I don't deny them. I can only say that you changed me, and that I loved you. Please do not hate me, I couldn't bear that. I can only hope that my final actions can in some part make up for my past. Regardless, that is the past. And now I look to the future, and I pray that yours will be bright. I pray that with my death I will be able to give you the life you deserve. I love you my son, always. You are the light of my life, the little prince, and the one good thing I've ever done. I love you, always.

Your loving mother,

Tess Harding

Zan stared at the letter in his hands, and noticed that it now was smeared with small splashes of water. He reached up and was surprised to find his cheeks wet. He sat still, trying to think. But his mind was whirling, more confused now that before. What did she means with all the strange little side comments like "not a human trait" or "embraces his humanity" it almost made it sound like she wasn't human. He just couldn't wrap his mind around what he had just read. His mother was dead, and from what he could tell had died trying to save him, but save him from what?

Zan sighed and reached in the box and grabbed the other letter, hoping that this one might hold answers, for the old questions still remaining and a few new ones now too.