I was torn between the letter in my hands and the letter in my pocket. How much longer could I prolong the inevitable? It was better to let everyone down now before making promises I could not keep. No one needed me. Not my team. Not my family.
But it would be rude to just leave Hestia high and dry. She deserved a face-to-face explanation, just like my team did.
Oh, this was going to hurt.
After being away from my mind for about sixteen hours, the Revolt House was slogging its way back into my thoughts. It was nice to forget about it for a night and just enjoy the return of my mother and Hestia, making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones. But forgetting problems did not lead to solutions, and the problems would persist until a solution was forced upon us or found.
“Sweetheart. Even if it does not matter whether or not this world knows your name, I already know that you are someone that people are going to talk about for generations to come. You know why?” I shook my head. “Because you love just as hard as you fight. And you fight hard for those you love. And those are the people who go down in history.”
I completely ignored the question as I charged into the room and threw my arms around her, clinging to her like I did when I was so much younger and a lot less independent. “I’ve missed you so much,” I muffled into her shoulder, trying so hard to hold back the tears.
I wanted Phobos to yell back at me. Like Dionysos always said, our family was the most normal it could be when we were yelling and railing and fighting. It was when we all went silent that something was truly wrong. And when Phobos gave a hard glare but didn’t say a word, I knew that I had fucked up.
That’s how I found my brand of inner peace. I would go for a run when I was frustrated, and I wouldn’t stop until all the anger was gone. By the time that happened, I was often in a new place. This time, my meditation led me to the catalyst of my current nightmares. I stared up at the warehouse with its broken windows and exposed brick exterior.
One by one, I laid the lilies at the eternal resting places of my friends and comrades in arms. I only spoke in my head, not yet comfortable with letting Kimmika hear what I had to say.
I’m sorry. I miss you all. We were supposed to save the world together. How the hell am I supposed to do this alone?
Wait. Two hands, with five fingers each. Two arms… Two legs and two feet? The sheet covering my lower limbs raised and bumped unevenly, showing the lack of symmetry beneath my torso. I threw the covers back, wanting to know what was wrong with my leg.
Most everyone joined in the cheers, but gradually, they all started asking the same questions I had. Who had invited all of us, and why did we all come if we had no clue who our host was? The only person who could answer any of these questions was the odd man out.
As I stood over the frying pan, I asked myself the big question. How am I going to be spending this sentence of mine? If I was disallowed from working for a full seven days, I needed to find some other way to spend my time.
Your brother and sister-in-law couldn’t agree on what this extra room should be. Clio thought you should have an office, but Eros wanted you to have a sex dungeon. I ultimately decided to leave it blank until you come to me with your specific requests. Think about what you want for this room as well as the rest of the apartment. This is your home away from home. So make it your own.
Besides, if they needed to depend on me as heavily as I feared they would, was I doing them any good? Was I really teaching them anything? I couldn’t follow anyone in the group when they decided it was time for them to leave the house and pursue other goals in their lives. They didn’t need me to take care of them. They needed me to teach them to take care of themselves.