After our run in with the nymph all four of us were reluctant to go anywhere without the Elite. However, the four of us also wanted to have a good conversation between us only, which is why we had gone on that first walk in the first place. After the scare I was apparently as pale as ever, and they all forced me to lie down. After she was sure that I was on my back, Melody left to join the other Elite members. Soon after that my 3 trusty companions joined me in my small, makeshift tent. To make room for all of us, I sat up. Flare gave me a cautious glance, but let me be.
"So," Flare said, "in answer to your question earlier, I personally highly doubt it." she looked at Sophia, who said.
"I agree with Flare. I have hardly any confidence at all, if that crazy old loon thinks that we can do it, I really doubt it...unless we could get a really, really good leader." I noted that she glared at Astrid during the last part. She still believed that she would be a better leader than Astrid is. Astrid shook her head.
"Grace," she said, "I know it seems hard, but we can't give up. Just because things seem impossible doesn't mean that they are!" she paused, letting her words hang, "believe me when I say this, I know that we can do this if we try. If we are the last hope of the war, then we're the last hope of the war! If we fail, the world ends, so what! We need to try, you can't fail unless you try, and you can't decide if you're a failure unless you try! We've done impossible things before, and we can do them again!" I stared at Astrid. It felt like her inspirational speech had been directed to more than just my comment from earlier in the forest. It felt like her speech had been directed to my whole life since I arrived at the school, directed at my whole life since that disaster. That speech made me know that I had to try, and to begin with I needed to quit being sick.
I stood up quickly, stumbled a few steps, then fell onto my hands and knees, my vision going blank.
"Grace!" Flare yelled. As my vision slowly cleared I saw all three of them gathered around me. "Are you okay?" I looked at her, and slowly nodding. I was dizzy, and slowly things were registering once again in my mind.
"My attempt at getting better failed." I thought. Astrid, Flare and Sophia all burst out laughing. It took me a few seconds before I realized that I had said it out loud, and not thought it. Flare took me by the hand and said,
"No, I don't think it did. Lie back down and just chill for an hour or so. Take a nap...you'll be better in no time. I promise we won't do anything without you." then she walked out, Sophia right behind her. Astrid stood to leave, but I looked at her and she stopped. I needed to talk, and she saw it.
"What's up?" she said after the others were out of range. I sat there, staring at her, wondering how to tell her what I was about to.
"Uh, well, about your speech. It was great, and it touched me." I paused. "I know this is going to sound stupid, but it felt like it was directed to something other than our upcoming task." Astrid nodded, urging me to go on. "Well. It felt like you were willing me not to give up on myself, not because of the villains, but because of something else. Something that happened about a 6 months ago." Astrid nodded.
"You came to the school 6 months ago. I remember you being introduced in history." I nodded.
"Well, it was the night of my 16th birthday." I began my story shakily. "My best friend Joseph had taken me out...on my first date. We were in the park, Horse Haven Hills, the one we visited before we met Alys. Well, we had been growing closer every day, and that night..." I stopped, this was the embarrassing part. "that night...we sort of confessed our love. We kissed...and while we were kissing there was an attack. The monsters killed Joseph. I wanted to give up that day, and as we progress in our journey I keep remembering. And now we have this impossible mission. I want to give up again. I don't feel safe without him to rely on." I stopped, knowing that if I cried now then I would never stop, never get better. "Most of the time I don't feel like I have anybody to rely on." Astrid stared at me.
"You have me." she said. "I know how you feel. Something like that happened to me. My boyfriend died, and it was my fault..." she trailed off, not wanting to get into detail. "You'll always have me." I stared at her. The tears came, I had no control anymore. I sat up again, and hugged Astrid. I was not completely ready to give up and forget Joseph, but I was ready for a new best friend.
"I know," I told her, "Thank you." and then she left, with a warning that if I didn't lie down I wouldn't get better. So I did, and I went strait to sleep. With my burden somewhat lifted, my heart was light, and I was ready to avenge my loss. I think that Astrid was too.