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I didn’t know what to say. My mind went numb; I melted

onto my bed, and cried.

This morning, four months after receiving my mother’s letter,

I was home. I got up at six to walk my brother Zen to the

herbalist plantation, he reminds me of my father every time I

see him. Afterwards, I headed down to the ceremony hall,

where even the walls were alive from the energy being put

into my coronation. Then I saw my mum, who had relaxed

into an armchair, watching the efforts.

“Good morning,” I laughed, partially sneaking up on her.

“Oh goodness, Shu. I didn’t see you there!” She smiled.

It was the smile, the one that I hadn’t seen for years, that

gleamed again, that melted my heart.

“Happy 16th birthday, my dear!” She whispered, and then

swiftly headed off. Her pride was palpable.

Watching the preparations, smelling the smells wafting

in from the kitchen, hearing the cheery laughter of the

guards, my nerves danced on my tongue. This day will be

a memory I will never forget, that I will cling onto, more than

anything. The one I will feed off, giving me strength in times

of pain. And as I become king, I hope that I will craft many,

many more like this.

By

Thomas Bainbridge

(First Year)

Artwork:

Euan Miller

(Fifth Year)

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