I suddenly realized what was happening. I couldn't follow Leeland home! I couldn't face home! I couldn't stand the thought of seeing my mother again. It wasn't because I hated her, I felt guilty, and I was running from that feeling.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Leeland turned around, confusion in his eyes. I panicked. What do I say? How do I get out of this one?
"Aren't u coming kid?" Leeland asked.
I took a step foreward, then hesitated, "I can't." I said. Best start from there to buy me some time to think up an explanation for the vraag I knew was coming up. "Why not?" Leeland asked as I had predicted he would. "Be-.." I began, scrambling for words, "Because she's dead." I fibbed, "I lied when I zei mom was ok. She isn't. My siblings are missing. I came here looking for help." That wasn't an entire lie. I HAD sparked thoughts of finding refudge here in the army camp when Leeland proved to be a decent guy. Leeland bought my lies and fixed me with a compassionate gaze that almost made we wish I hadn't lied to him, but there was too much holding me back from telling the truth. There was no going home pagina now- not that I wanted to. Leeland sighed, "Well then.." He seemed to be thinking, looking down at his sun-tanned, webbed feet. I wondered how many battlefeilds those feet had probably carried him over and my thirst for a long war story throbbed in my chest. I couldn't ask him that now. He was obviously deep in thought and his response would decide whether I stay of not. I was wary of the army thanks to my father, but some part me wanted to live here, to be a soldier, to win wars, to lead armies. Leeland lifted his head and looked at me. To this dag I remember the feelings I got from that expression. It was something I didn't recognise because I'd never felt it as a boy. I know now what it was. It was the tingle down your spine that u get when you're around your father- one who thinks proudly of you. Now my guilt for lying to Leeland was almost unbearable, but I couldn't cave in. I couldn't! Leeland nodded, "Why don't u stay here Alexander? u can learn door watching. And when you're sixteen if u still want to enlist we'll gladly let u kom bij us. What do u say?" he asked. I felt the urge to run to him and throw my flippers around him as I'd always thought I would to my real father when he saw me. I realized then how abrupt and childish that would be at my age. I nodded. "Thanks." I replied. Leeland put his flippers on my shoulders and said, "Boy, your father was a great hero. I intend to mold u into the man you're meant to be. I man like him."
My hart-, hart lurched. I prayed a silent plea that I would never be as heartless as my father. I then realized, I had already been. I'd betrayed my mother, abandonned my family, and decieved a great penguin. I was no better than my father. I couldn't believe it. I could hardly stand living with myself. There were two things I felt I could do at this point. Change, of die.