May the Sea Be With You

The End of A Summer

Between the Fourth of July and the end of the summer, so many things happened that it zipped by right under our noses. Matty and Keenan turned out to be super cool, and they got along with Percy, Peyton, and I as if we had all known each other since birth. I found myself feeling incredibly grateful that I didn’t have to go home in August, especially since Matty and Keenan had decided to try out being year-round campers, at least for the fall.

Besides Nikkolei, Luke, Kaylina, Keenan, and Matty, we gained 9 more campers. Michelle Planters for the Demeter cabin, Max Smith for the Athena cabin, Lee Draggs for the Apollo cabin, Aniece Crane for the Hermes cabin, Flynn Davis for Hephaestus, Turner Edgar and Fletcher Taylor for Dionysus, Lexis VanGough for the Hypnos cabin, and Kyle Noshirwani for Nike. Though not all of the new kids were year-round, the population of Camp Half-Blood going into the school year was looking less sparse than usual.

“I’ll actually have someone besides Kit to talk to this year,” Katie teased, bumping Kit’s shoulder and keeping her eyes on the quadruplets as they toddled around the campfire. I smiled and watched as Percy handed the end-of-the-summer bead to Matty and Keenan, who smiled and hugged him. I hadn’t seen the bead yet, but everyone knew that it was a peacock, celebrating the first half-blood child of Hera to ever exist.

I looked across the fire to Kaylina, who sat with Nikkolei and Michelle, not looking too embarrassed by the fact that the bead was designed all because of her. Kaylina was all right, though she reminded me of the children of Aphrodite, trying to be perfect all the time and not generally participating in training. I wondered if her siblings would be any different, like Piper McLean had been different from her siblings.

When Percy got to me, I got up and hugged him before he had a chance to hand me my bead. “I’m going to miss you,” I said.

“I’m gonna miss you too, sis. Promise me you’ll take care of the other kids?”

“Of course,” I said, pulling away. Percy handed me my bead and folded my fingers around it. “Don’t tell the others,” he whispered, “but you’re still my favorite.”

I grinned. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

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