“Think about your family, Yousef. This is not just about you.” Father had been pleading with him for an hour and Yousef was having trouble stifling his frustration.
“I realize what I have,” Yousef replied. “God has blessed me with a wife and our daughters but a family is not a reason to run. It is the reason to stay and fight, if it is anything!” Yousef crossed the room and closed the door. He knew his daughters would be listening anxiously in the next room. He lowered his voice. “This is not the time to run away, father. Please understand.”
His father stood up. “I would understand if it were just you, Yousef. You would stand alone and fight the entire world. But this is not the case. If you choose to fight now, you will having three girls fighting alongside of you. Remember that, Yousef.”
Yousef walked to his father and stood before him. “But not you, father? I would not have my father and mother standing beside me as well?”
His father turned away. “No, Yousef,” he whispered. “You would not. I cannot stay and watch you kill yourself. Your mother… your mother would do whatever you ask of her but this is something that you cannot ask her to do.”
Yousef remembered growing up in a bright and crowded house, full of the love and support that only a mother and father in love can give to a child. He knew that his mother would wish to stay.
“I won’t ask her to stay,” Yousef said. “But I didn’t think that I would have to ask you.”
“This is not my fight, Yousef. Nor is it yours. I just don’t understand why you believe that it is.” His father walked to the window and looked out at the brilliant persimmon landscape. “When my father – your grandfather – came here, this was a planet filled with promise and opportunity and potential. The land was a blank canvass on which to imagine and create, to wonder what a clean and peaceful life could be, and to make that life where before there was none. Now look at us. We are fleeing already. First we fled Earth, and now we are forced to leave here.”
“That is precisely where you are wrong, Father.” Yousef was accustomed to his father’s proselytizing. “This is still our planet, and this is my fight. It’s your fight and mother’s fight. It is my daughters’ fight. I will not allow this to become just another Earth where warring factions murder each other over land and beliefs and the garbage in the air. We must not let one man take from us what Grandfather sacrificed so much for!”