I was staring into space, thinking about my last night in Kennewick.
It was my sixteenth birthday, and I had been at Horse Haven Hills with my best friend, Joseph after going to see a movie. I had known Joseph since I was 3 years old. Over the years we had plenty of good times together, but lately it seemed like we were ready to go farther then just being best friends. He had decided to treat me to a movie and ice cream for my sweet 16. We were eating the ice cream on a bench in the moonlight, laughing about the cartoon we had seen in the theater; Joseph and I did stuff like that, going to see cheesy cartoons that were made for three and four year old's instead of those lame vampire movies and chick flicks and all of the inappropriate movies that other teens would go see.
Anyway, we were on the bench, finishing up our ice cream. It was ten thirty, our curfew was midnight. After we finished the last bit of ice cream and through out cups away Joseph yelled, "Last one to the swings treats next time!" I shrieked in laughter like a three year old and dashed towards the swings. He beat me to it, but I collapsed on the swing on top of him, just like I always did. We sat there, two best friends together, trying to catch our breath. Finally our heart rate was back to normal, and we began to speak.
"Joseph," I said. "Thank you so much for taking me on my first date. It means more to me then you could imagine." he smiled sweetly, tickling me under the chin like our fathers had done for years. "It was my pleasure." I giggled. I knew our relationship was going to be different now that we were both sixteen, now that we could both date. I felt that this was a person that I would love to spend the rest of my life with, the rest of eternity with. I didn't realize how all of this would change.
I curled up in his lap, just like I have done the past few years. We continued to converse softly, not on any topic in particular, but we somehow landed on relationships. This is when I knew nothing about myself, and nothing about my future.
"How would you like it if I married you after my mission?" he asked. I giggled, "Jo. you don't even leave for three more years, why don't we talk about it later?"
"Gracie," he said, adopting my childhood nickname, "I think I love you." I looked at him. I knew that I loved him too, but I didn't want to make things uncomfortable in our friendship, it was too good to ruin. "What about you?" he asked me. When I once again didn't answer he looked me in the eyes and said, "I know that I love you." and then he kissed me. That was my first kiss, on my first date, with my best friend. I knew I loved him, and I knew that he was the one I should marry, but we were still very young. It was the only kiss I have ever had, and it was complete bliss. I knew that my Joey boy was sincere, but this was the first all out affectionate thing we had ever done. I wanted it to last forever...
In the middle of our kiss, which lasted so long that my mother would have had a heart attack, something horribly dramatic happened. We were suddenly surrounded by something that I recognized from my grandmothers myth's, but couldn't pinpoint the name of what they were. They made such a ruckus that Joseph pulled away. His eyes widened, and I somehow knew that he was seeing something that was too much for him to comprehend. In a sudden moment the mood had changed. There was a man holding a bow and arrow. I was drawn to it, so much that I jumped off my best friends lap. I grabbed the bow and arrow, and without really knowing what I was doing, I knocked an arrow. Shooting blindly, I noticed others at my side, fighting against the horrible monsters. Finally the last one fell in a shower of dust. I scanned the few humans standing, but couldn't find Joseph. Scanning the few dead bodies that the monsters were killed, my heart broke as I saw the face of my best friend and sweetheart.
All at once my day was ruined. I lay over the body of Joseph, tears streaming down my face. At some point my father came to my side and picked me up like I was a baby. He placed me in the back of the car and drove away. I had left my best friend behind.
My parents explained what had been going on in the world, how I was a very powerful person in the place that I was going. As we drove across the country, I was in a daze. After a week of driving we ended up in Calais, Maine, where they registered me at someplace called Athens School for Demigods. What is a Demigod? I thought, but was too tired and depressed to ask.
I came back to reality at the sound of footsteps. Astrid appeared with a sorry look on her face, I looked away, not seeing her smile and Melody come out. Next thing I know Sophia is hoisting me up, and leading me away from the cove. We were on our way to Washington, and I was no longer excited about it, especially since we were going back to where I had had so many good times, then one bad time had ruined it all. We were going back to the death place of my best friend.