The Best Way To Say Goodbye
I woke with a start. I looked around my cabin.
“Frankie? Elise? Are you here?” My voice sounded tired and weak.
I hated being weak.
“Frankie! Elise! Please answer me!” No one said anything. A couple of my siblings looked over at me with sorrow in their eyes. As I looked around, something hit me. Every single one of us lost someone who was very close to us. I freaked out.
“Dean! Dean answer me!” My voice rang out as I cried for my sister.
“Hunter, I’m here. I’m here for you. I will never let you go.” Dean came running over to me and hugged me. She kept whispering sweet nothings and rubbed my back in a comforting way. I willed myself to hold everything in.
Yet as much as I tried to hold it all in, it couldn’t be contained. I had been strong for to long, and it was time to let everything out. I cried and cried until my throat hurt. Until my voice had gone from strong to raspy. By the time my tears would no longer come out, Dean’s shirt was soaked. She saw my gaze and smiled weakly.
“It’s okay Hunt. It’s just a shirt.” I nodded and hiccuped. She stood and helped me off of my bed and continued to hug me, even harder than before. Jason was talking to Riley about something, but I couldn’t hear, not over me breathing so heavily.
I closed my eyes and tried to stop. I eventually did and Dean and I sat back down onto my bed. Jason cleared his throat and we all looked over at him.
“Today, is a grieving day. Today, is when we say goodbye to our loved ones, our family, our friends. Today is when we wish them good luck once they get to the Underworld. It is the day when we say goodbye to the ones who died in this war.”
Today is a grieving day. We would be burying the people who died in this stupid war. Even Mr. D, who I thought didn’t care about any of us, was trying his best not to cry. I didn’t know why he was doing that until he burned a shroud for his youngest daughter.
“I can’t take this. I need to get out of here!” These thoughts have been swarming in and out of my head for hours. I decided to listen to them and walked away from the burnings and burying.
As I walk, I think of everything that has happened in these past few months.
“Why? Why does stupid crap like this always happen to us? Why can’t we ever get a freaking break?!” I met friends, and I lost them. Just like that one day. I realized who my real friends were, and I lost them, just like that.
“It’s because we’re demigods. We can never get a break.” I looked up and saw Bradley. I gave him a weak smile. “It seems that you always see me when I’m in a vulnerable state.” He pulled me into a hug that I was not expecting. My arms hung limp by my sides.
“If you want, you can cry.”
“I’m not going to cry.” But even as I said that, a tear fell like the traitor it was.
“Lier. I told you, I’m good at these things.”
“Can you let me go?”
“Yeah.” He let me go. I felt my knees weaken and I crumpled to the ground. The grass and dirt. I hated it. I hated her.
She was the source of my pain. She was the mother of these monsters. She killed all of these great people. My friends, my family.
“I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have no one. Everyone special to me is gone! I can’t talk to anyone, I can’t trust anyone!” I screamed at the ground, tearing up some of the grass and dirt.
“You do have someone. You have Dean. You even have your mom. You have everyone else in this camp. No matter how different we are, we all have to stick together.” He stated as he kneeled on the ground next to me.
I cried out and threw my arms around him. I cried and cried on his shoulder and he didn’t complain at all. I heard the conch shell blow, signaling the time for food. He stood and grabbed my hand, pulling me up with him. I clung to him like second skin. “No, I don’t want to go there. Not now. Not like this.” I cried. He was taller than me, and that made me feel small. But for some reason, I liked the way this small feeling felt. I cried even harder. He chuckled. I looked up at him.
“You’re cute when you cry. You’re not like those stereotype girls.” He wiped one of my tears away and I pressed my check into his hand. His hands were large, and they cupped my cheek with no problem. Tears were still dripping from my eyes, but they were silent now.
I stepped back from him. He looked down at me, and I had to look up at him. he searched his pockets and brought out one of those small packet things of Kleenex. He handed it to me and I cleaned my face. He peered into my face and smiled.
“I can see your face now.” I blushed and turned my face to the ground. He squatted down and looked at me from there.
“You’re not getting away from me that easily.” He stood up and I followed him with my eyes.
“Why are you so nice to me?” He smiled.
“You remind me of someone who was romantically close to me. She died, and seeing you run into my cabin looking for your mom, something fired up in my heart.” I tilted my head up to look at him.
“Bradley, I—” He pressed his lips softly to my own. It was nothing like I’ve ever experienced in my life. I pressed into him and our bodies fit together like puzzle pieces. All of my sorrow and grief blew away like leaves in the wind. I was in bliss. I couldn’t help by feeling guilty at that moment. Why was I happy, when everyone else was feeling sorrow?
He pulled away from me and smiled sheepishly.
“That was… Something.” The tone of his voice made me realize my errors. That was just a pity kiss. I reminded him of someone who he had loved in the past. He didn’t really like me, he still liked her and I was just an image of her.
I would always be second place. I put on my poker face.
“Yes, it was. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go.” I walked away but he grabbed my hand.
“Where are you going?”
“Let me go Bradley. And to answer your question, I’m leaving camp. There’s nothing left for me here. Dean and I have been talking about it, and we discussed it with Mom. It was very nice to meet you Bradley Collins, and I hope to meet you again in the near future.”
He stood slack jawed as I walked away.
“Hunter! Hunter!” I continued to walk away. I ignored Bradley’s calls and kept on walking.
“Julia! Don’t leave me again!” I stopped walking. I could hear my heartbeat inside of my head. I turned around.
“What did you say?” He looked at me with determination in his eyes.
“I said not to leave me again.” “Yes I understood that part, but why did you call me Julia?”
“Because you remind me too much of Julia. She left me and broke me. I don’t want us to repeat that.” I laughed.
“Us? I barely know you. You barely know me.” I seethed. “This is exactly what happened. This is what happened to my last boyfriend, and I’m not talking about Nico. I fell in love and he broke me. I’m not going to let history repeat itself with some random stranger.”
And with that, I stalked away.
Inside the place I had called home for the short amount of time, I started to pack up everything I owned once again. I took off my camp shirt and looked at it. The orange and the black went well together, and on the shirt it read Camp Half—Blood. The camp logo, which is a pegasus, was in black. Beneath the winged horse, Long Island Sound was sprawled, also in black print.
I didn’t think I would be able to part with it, so I folded it and placed gingerly in my suitcase. I pulled out my Superman tank and put it on. I grabbed my hoodie and placed it on my bed. I took my shorts off and put on a pair of ripped jeans. I then placed my feet into my boots and finally shrugged my jacket on.
“Are you ready?” Dean asked me. I nodded solemnly and she took my arm. We walked out together.
“Wait! Hunter, Dean, you can’t leave!” Jason, Piper, Percy, Annabeth, Nico, and everyone else came running down to where we were. I smiled sadly. “We have to leave. There is nothing left for us here anymore. We have been running because we were scared of being alone in the world. Being here, we realized we would only get hurt more. It’s better this way. We hope to see you again in the near future.”
We walked down the hill and saw Mama Storm standing by Thalia’s tree. She waved at us and we ran down to met her. She engulfed us into a hug and we left the camp forever.
Sometimes, the best way to say goodbye is to not say anything at all.