Kirin glanced at Ryan’s profile and anger surged through him again. He abruptly stood up. Saven looked up questioningly at him. They exchanged a couple of words in their own language before Kirin left the home. Ryan looked at Saven inquisitively. The Felinian flushed and looked embarrassed.
“He uhh…he said he can’t stand to be in the same room with you and that he had to get out and do something to work off his anger.”
“I see,” commented Ryan. “Nice to know I made a new enemy today.”
“He’s not a bad person,” Saven explained to Ryan, “but he’s got a bit of an anger issue…not to mention a hero complex…” Again Ryan gave a quizzically look. Saven sighed.
“A hero complex is when one feels compelled to help others and make all right with the world. While it’s not an awful thing to be, it makes him put everyone else before himself, not caring if he gets hurt or killed in the process. Honestly, it’s amazing he’s still alive. He was always a reckless kitten and has had more broken bones and injuries than any other I know. Our mother must have rolled over in her grave a million times over his antics.”
“Your mother?” questioned Ryan. Saven nodded his head with a small smile.
“He is my younger brother,” Saven explained.
“You don’t really…” Ryan trailed off.
“Look alike?” Saven asked. Ryan nodded, feeling embarrassed, but the two really did not look similar. Saven was a ginger color with cream colored markings, almost like a tiger’s stripes. His eyes were a deep green color and he was on the short side, shorter than Ryan’s 5’10” anyhow. Kirin, on the other hand, was gray with black markings, if Ryan had to classify him as a type, he would call him a tabby. His eyes were a piercing bright yellow and he was tall and muscular. He had a very serious look about him. Ryan wondered if he always looked like that or if it was just because of the current situation.
“We have the same mother, but different fathers,” said Saven. “It’s not uncommon here as men tend to outnumber the women but in this case, my father was killed and my mother sought comfort from his best friend. They ended up marrying and he became Kirin’s father.”
“I’m sorry,” Ryan said knowing the pain of losing a parent. Saven gave him a sad smile.
“Thank you, but I was very young when he passed and I don’t remember him much. Kirin’s father Samus, has always treated me well and took me in as his own son. It was much harder when our mother passed away.”
“When was that?” asked Ryan. Saven sighed.
“Let’s see. I was 13 and Kirin was 11 so about 9 years ago. That was when Kirin’s hero complex kicked in.”
“Why is that?” questioned Ryan although he had an idea of the answer he was going to hear.
“As you can see, our valley here is very green and lush with vegetation. It’s due to the way the water collects here when it rains. There have been many occasions over the years where the river has flooded. Sometimes it comes up quickly, without much warning. The currents then are very strong…” Saven trailed off for a moment, lost in his thoughts. “Our mother and Kirin were down on the river bank. Kirin was fishing while our mother was cleaning some clothing. She was standing in the water, her dress hiked up and tied as to not get wet. She was beating the clothes against a large rock. The flood appeared in the blink of an eye and she was swept off her feet. Kirin dropped his pole and raced to save her. He waded in the water as far as he dared while holding onto a tree branch that hung over the river. He grabbed our mother’s hand and tried to hold onto her and bring her to the shore, but he was only 11. Just a child who’s strength was no match for that of an angry swollen river. She slipped from his grasp and continued down the river. She must have hit her head on a rock in the process and drown. Kirin has never forgiven himself.”
“But…he was just a child!” Ryan exclaimed.
“I know, but understand that this is just how he is. He will always carry the burden and guilt in his heart. Many of us have explained to him over the years that there was nothing more he could have done and that he was lucky to be alive, but he always says it should have been him and not her. Now he feels compelled to save everyone and everything. I guess he’s trying to make up for not being able to save our mother, but I’m afraid he’s going to get killed in the process.”