I don't cry when the time comes to say goodbye. Crying shows weakness, a denial of positivity.

Adam has tears running silently down his cheeks as Mother, stony faced and silent, rips the left side of his shirt, in a symbol of being outcast. The whole of Terringbourne stands there, hands folded in aprons, watching my brother disgrace himself by sobbing as the clock strikes twelve.

'As the matriach decrees,' my Mother says.

'As we do,' the crowd finishes.

'You, Son of Adam, are no longer welcome here. Your manhood is unclean, and the word of the matriac decrees purity. As the matriach decrees.'

'As you do,' Adam whispered.

'Return only on the eve of your twenty first birthday. That night you shall be given a wife, and the next morning, you will leave forever. Do not dirty our thoughts with your words, but journey to the sea where the waves will cleanse your soul. Fight for the kingdom, leave for the matriach.'

Mother turns away, and the crowd copies her movement. My heart aches for Adam; he is but a child. He knows nothing of what awaits him beyond the mountains, and neither do I.

By the time I turn around, my brother is gone.

Happy Birthday, Adam, I think.

The End

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