Do you know what it's like to have your heart ripped out of your chest, stepped on, then spat on?
Of course you don't, otherwise you'd be dead, and you wouldn't be reading this. No mortal would be able to be dead, yet alive, at the same time. Although, if you were the daughter of a Titan, that'd be an entirely different story, now wouldn't it?
Well, that was Calypso's story.
That was her life. Every day she woke up alone, save for her invisible servants, on a magical, uncharted island in the middle of who-knows-where. The island, unreachable by those who intended to go there, had been her home for ages now: Ogygia, it was called.
It wasn't the loneliness that got to her; it was the fact that those who came to visit her never came back to see her again. You see, according to the stupid high and mighty Greek gods who had put this curse on her, every so once and a while, Calypso would be visited by a man. Not just any man, though; oh no, the gods were vicious and merciless, so each man that visited her was a handsome, strong hero. Naturally, her curse, or maybe it was just her own stupid heart, forced her to fall in a desperate, undying love with each hero who washed upon the shore. It had happened with every single young man who washed upon her shore: he arrived on her beach, lost, confused, and shaken up; she nursed him back to health out of kindness and curiosity in the new boy; she became filled with an unwavering affection for him; he left her.
And nobody was ever able to come back twice.
She supposed she shouldn't blame the boys themselves. It was usually that they had to return to whatever war or tragedy that they'd come from. After all, they were Greek heroes, dedicated to saving the world and those meddlesome gods all the time. Either that, or they were already in love with someone at home. Sometimes it was a combination of both situations.
Unfortunately for Calypso, it was usually the latter of the two reasons. The hero was always very kind and gentle in his explanation, so she tried to remain strong during his departure, but after his raft appeared off of Ogygia's shore, she would allow the tears to flow.
Who could blame them though? Whoever they left was probably much prettier than her anyway. WAIT- was that the problem? Was she not pretty enough? She'd always hated her almond-shaped eyes: she thought they were weird and squinty. And her hair- ugh, her hair- it was oddly smooth, but to the point where it seemed to her like it was oily and greasy, the caramel color making it seem almost... sticky. Her clothes, which she'd always thought of as natural and simple, now made her seem dull and lifeless at the idea. Could that really be the problem? Was she that unattractive? Maybe she was really a very ugly person, but each hero who she'd met had been too kind to say anything.
That was it, she decided. She'd lost each of her loves due to her hideous appearance. What is wrong with me? she thought to herself as she collapsed onto a rock nearby, bursting into tears. The fat drops slid down her tanned face and landed, one by one, with a delicate plop on her ivory dress. She was faintly aware of her servants, whom she could hear and sense more than see, bringing her a soft, lotioned tissue.
Where did they get a Kleenex with lotion out in the middle of nowhere? she thought incredulously to herself as she attempted to wipe away the tears. Who cares anyway? she thought bitterly. All that matters is that my loneliness and bitterness is my fault. If only I had more curves... If only I was wittier... If only I was smarter... If only I was prettier... I've lost so many people I love because of this stupid curse.
From Odysseus- the first- to Percy Jackson- the last. Although her affection for Odysseus, or, more accurately, the memory of her affection for him, had faded, there was still a massive hole in her heart with Percy's name written on it. Over the past few years, Calypso had managed to pretend like she had moved on from him, forming a temporary scab on the jagged wound that crisscrossed her heart, leaving a hideous white scar; now, though, a flood of blood burst from the wound in the form of tears from her eyes. They fell silently at the thought of his name, his face, his lips.
True, she'd never kissed Percy before, but she had dreamed about him every night since he'd left her island. Usually the dreams were pleasant, soft, and gentle, filled with visions so vivid that she could practically picture herself in his arms.
Those dreams were the highlight of her day, the highlight of her life since Percy had left. As sad and pathetic as it was, Calypso couldn't deny how much she looked forward to going to sleep each night in the hopes that Percy's presence would grace her dreams once more. The nights that he did, her sleep was peaceful, and she felt warm and strong, as though she was wrapped in his muscular arms like the nights that they had lain by the campfire on the beach, staring at the stars above and naming constellations that they recognized.
Those had been heavenly nights (no pun intended), just the two of them enjoying the completeness that the presence of the other gave them. At least, that's what Calypso had thought it had been like. But once Percy had started hinting at his decision to leave, she'd begun to think that she was the only that really needed him. Her worst fears had been confirmed when Percy had brought her the bad news that he had to leave. With a heavy heart and what she hoped was a light smile, she had let him go.
As he left, he had promised to find a way to set her free from her prison. He'd said he would make the gods change their minds, let her go. Then she had let him go. He'd gone back to where he belonged: home. To his friends. To his family. To his demigod responsibilities. To his crazy world.
The other half of Calypso's dream were inhabited by Annabeth (Percy had said her name often in his sleep, and had consciously spoken about her just as much). They were terrible, awful nightmares that always forced her awake several hours later, only by the sounds of her horrified screams. The dreams happened so frequently that Calypso wasn't even surprised anymore when she discovered herself drenched in an intense cold sweat, breathless and panting, or sometimes even dotted with red beads of blood which were laced on vicious claw marks where she'd unconsciously raked her arms.
The nightmares that involved Annabeth torturing Calypso ranged in a variety of terrors, many of which Calypso had forgotten at this point but the memory of which still were a nightmarish shadow in the back of her mind.
Sometimes, her dreams were even plagued with unappealing images of Annabeth inflicting the same kinds of torture on Percy: poor, sweet, lovable Percy, who would just stand there and stare at Annabeth, disbelieving, as she would cut his throat or yank out a limb or two. That was worse than the Calypso-being-tortured dreams: her own pain she could handle, but seeing the person that she loved most in the world being tortured, even if it was in a silly dream, and being unable to stop it was the worst feeling she could imagine. The horrors that the Annabeth in Calypso's dreams inflicted upon her and Percy were ones that nobody should ever have to witness.
Other times, just as frequently as the other nightmares, Calypso dreamed of Annabeth stealing Percy from her. Those visions were almost worse. Annabeth would appear, that smug, intelligent look on her face with an evil glint in her eyes, and she would stand in front of Calypso, doing unimaginable things to Percy that made Calypso want to throw up. Vulgar things, ones that she knew the blonde didn't have the right to do.
It was odd, and funny, in a sick, scary sort of way: Calypso had never seen Annabeth before in her life, and yet, when the girl appeared in her nightmares, she somehow knew exactly what she looked like: tanned face, blonde hair, intelligent grey eyes. Her face would be as vivid and real as Calypso's own, so recognizable that she thought she would never forget, but whenever she woke up, she was always frustrated to find that she couldn't recall the girl's features in any way. It was if she was only allowed to visit the outside world in the imaginary world of the dream plane, not in the unfair realm of reality.
Ever since Percy had left and the nightmares had started, Annabeth was usually the main source of Calypso's hate in the world. She hated Annabeth with a fiery passion that burned deep inside her. She had never hated someone so much, even the countless number of people who had wronged her somehow. She hated her more than she hated the Greek gods, whose judgement and sense of justice she had once respected and protected with a blind innocence, who had imprisoned her in this beautiful prison. She hated her more than she hated her father, the Titan Atlas, who had abandoned her in her hour of need when she was young and sent to live in this hell disguised as a paradise. She hated her more than she hated Odysseus, who had been the first man she'd ever given her heart to with that much trust and understanding, only to have it be smashed in her face as he left her. She hated her more than she hated Percy, who she had long ago realized she felt towards in equally disturbing levels of undying love and bitter hate.
In short, Calypso hated Annabeth Chase.
Why else would she have put that curse on her as Percy left? As he'd been pushing off of the shore of Ogygia in his makeshift raft, Calypso had sent down a curse on Annabeth, forcing as much pain and suffering into the words as she could. She now felt guilty about that curse, but there was nothing she could do to lift the curse off of the girl. Calypso was ashamed of the way she had acted: so immaturely and irrationally.
With a start and a rush of shame as harsh as a slap in the face, Calypso realized that those emotions were the exact same ones she still felt towards Annabeth: hate on an unhealthy, obsessive level. She felt so nasty and guilty on the inside, like someone had colored her pink heart with a grey crayon that clumsily shaded her thoughts to darker ones, so that she could no longer see the sunny, lighter side of life she had felt around Percy.
Something needed to be done about that. She had to move on, or else she would never be happy. It's what Percy would want: for her to be happy and live life to the fullest, romping through this world and enjoying the moments she had, instead of being dragged through life by time until she faded. She was immortal, at least for now, so what would be the point of existing for so many years in a miserable state? There was no point, so she wouldn't do that.
With a sense of finality and closure, her resolution set, Calypso stumbled off to bed, so tired that she didn't bother changing out of her white and gold dress or pulling her caramel hair out of the tight French braid it was weaved in. She lay her head on her fluffy pillow with a slight yawn and a tentative smile on her face. For the first time in years, she did not want to dream of Percy; she hoped that she would sleep through a dreamless, uneventful slumber and wake in the morning with no more thoughts of Percy.
Of course, she had to dream of him anyway.
That night, Calypso's thoughts were filled with old ones: not new ones of wonderful, unrealistic moments with the boy, not horrid visions of Annabeth's wrath involving torture or guy-stealing, but memories that had not crossed her mind in forever. Although she had succeeded for- what? two, three years now?- it seemed that she could only push the memory of her first encounter with the boy away for so long.
Calypso's morning ritual of drinking jasmine tea in her rose garden was interrupted by an enormous boom of energy.
She looked to the skies, which were mostly a wonderful pink and gold sunset color, save for the streak of black that was hurtling toward Ogygia. What could it be? A stray bird, perhaps? Calypso wasn't surprised; fowl that had lost their way after a long flight at sea were often wounded in their journey during a storm of some sort and usually wound up on her island, where she would nurse them back to help.
Frowning, for she hadn't finished her tea yet, Calypso calmly set down her delicate china teacup, which she knew her invisible servants would take care of, and set off down the beach to help the poor animal.
She gasped as the approaching animal came closer; the animal she had mistaken for a black bird like a raven or crow, was not a flying creature in the least.
It was a boy.
She broke into a run as he hurtled towards the beach at an alarming rate, not sure what she would do if she reached his destination in time. Fortunately -or unfortunately- she didn't have time to make that decision, nor a chance to, for the boy crashed into the sandy beach before she could reach him. She faltered for only a moment once she reached him before bending down to attend to him. Her almond eyes swept across the young man as she called over some servants and began to rip her gown so as to dress his wounds.
He looked fifteen, maybe sixteen if he had just turned that age. He was fairly muscular for a guy her age. He had the look of a demigod...that certain sparkle. His jet black hair was swept across his forehead, singed at the tips and containing specks of... were those ashes? What had this boy been through? His arms and legs, in fact, Calypso realized with some embarrassment as she began to undress him, his entire body was horribly burned. Had he been in a fire of some sort? If that was the case, why had he been hurtled into Ogygia like he'd been shot out of a cannon? Most heroes that arrived on her shore just washed up on a raft or a piece of wreckage from a ship. She suddenly wondered if his face was soft. It certainly looked soft, despite the ashes on it. She reached out with a hand tentatively to stroke it...
The boy opened his eyes with gasp, and Calypso scrambled backwards, partially from shock, and also at surprise at his eyes. They were so... green. She had never seen eyes quite like that... so aware and full of life, though at the time, they just looked completely confused as he stared up at sky while trying to raise himself to a sitting position. He moaned from the pain.
"Stay still," Calypso said suddenly, realizing just how long she had been staring at the boy. "You're too weak to rise."
With a cautious hand, she placed a cool, wet washcloth over his hand, which one of the servants had brought to her at some point. She leaned over him as she spoon-fed him some ambrosia and nectar, which a servant had also brought to her. She usually saved the gods' food for emergencies, but, well, this guy looked like he counted as an emergency.
She began to sing a sweet tune that her mother, a nymph, had sung to her when Calypso was a little girl. She was self-conscious about singing in front of the boy at first, but grew confident towards the end as she saw the peaceful smile on his face as his wounds healed. Already the burns were fading to a bright pink from the angry red they had been previously. When she was done, he looked up at her and tried to talk.
"Who?" he managed to force out. Calypso just shook her head, telling him not to.
"Shh, brave one," she soothed. "Rest and heal. No harm will come to you here. I am Calypso."
Calypso's dream was ended abruptly by a screaming noise, like a bomb flying through the air, whistling as it sailed towards the ground. She scrambled out of bed, still in her sleeveless white dress and her hair somehow out of its braid; maybe one of the motherly servants had pulled it out.
She ran outside of her cave to the garden, just in time to see something- no, someone- crash into the table set up on the beach by the servants for morning tea. The china set flew everywhere, breaking into a million pieces. The table and chair collapsed to the ground with a crunch that made her cringe. The person stumbled to his feet, something gold glinting in his hand.
"What are you doing?" she cried furiously. "You blew up my dining table!"