Deep, soulful brown eyes stared at him. She didn't want to grant him his wish. Those blue eyes held too much innocence and yet, they looked at her with eagerness. She has asked him. It was she who was to blame, after all.
"You've been so kind and generous. How can I reward you?"
His lips broadened in a big, hopeful smile. "I want to be a pilot."
Her heart went cold. No, she couldn't do such a thing; send him to his inevitable death. And still… when was the last time that she encountered a hero? He was the embodiment of values that seemed lost in a time that was in sore need of them; chivalry, nobility and valor. Holding her tears at bay, she remembered her father's words.
We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; and where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
That sweet boy in front of her reminded her of those wise words. In all myth there is a hero. Myth was a sacred story, and the word sacred means "to be full of power." And she, better than anyone, knew that appearances can fool you. She was tired and she was utterly alone in her fight against evil; against that sickness that was taking hold of the galaxy. The boy was giving her the strength to go on with his eagerness, with his rebellious and impatience desire for adventure. Heroes could be found in unlikely places, even in far away farms. And looking at those eyes that were as bright as a cloudless sky and seemed to swallow her whole, she was sure she has found a hero.
It was in the tip of her tongue to tell him 'go home'. This strange urge of protectiveness taking hold of her, asking her to take care of him and to hide him in a safe place, away from the horrors of reality. But he has been called. It was pointless to tell him to go; fate wouldn't want it otherwise. The hero's journey actually begins with the call to adventure, asking him to leave behind his family and his home. She didn't want to be selfish; however, she needed him beside her. She sensed that their paths were intertwined; their destinies will converge in conquering the forces of darkness. She tried to smile.
"Do you know how to fly a ship?"
He shrugged a sheepish smile on his lips, "I'm not such a bad pilot myself."
She approached him, "You have to promise me something."
She lifted her hand to rest it on his cheek. It was a physical need; to feel the warmness of that face. "You have to take care of yourself." She knew if something happened to him she would surely die.
"I promise." He smiled sweetly at her.
And she believed him.
- - -
A/N: The italics' words belong to Joseph Campbell, 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces.'