I left. The idea still upsets me, three years later. I, Maximum Ride, abandoned my flock of avian hybrids for the greater good. At least that's what I tell myself.
Here's how it happened:
Four years ago, Brigid Dawyer made a threat to my family's well being. She told me that if I stayed with them much longer, they would all be torn apart. Being the stubborn, arrogant person I am, I ignored her. Four months later Mr. Chu captured all of us, and presented me with an ultimatum: either I work for him, or one of the other flock members die. I thought it best to skip over both options, so we escaped yet again. But, as always, our freedom was short-lived. While I was on watch about a week after we left Mr. Chu's lab, Jeb kidnapped me. He took me to a secluded little area beneath where we were hidden, and gave an extremely long lecture on the safety of not only myself, but my flock. He said that the only way to protect everyone was to cut myself off from my family. He gave me a month's notice, urging me to do the right thing; he then sent me back to our hideout where the flock slept unknowing.
Over the next month I did everything in my power to teach everyone to be independent, preparing them for when I left. I taught Nudge all I could without being too obvious about looking out for the younger kids, and comforting Angel. I stressed again and again how Angel was such a help, such a 'big girl.' I harped even more on Iggy and Gazzy, begging them to learn some responsibility. And while I wasn't doing that, I was spending time with Fang. Out of the entire flock, he was the hardest to leave. I loved him with everything I had, but to keep him safe I had to let him go; leave him to care for the family I could no longer be responsible for. It was all part of the bigger picture, to save the world. God, I sound just like Jeb. But even if it was to save the world, I still didn't like the idea of leaving my only family. I lasted an entire month without any of them discovering my plan. It was difficult, keeping my thoughts in check while I was around Angel and not spilling everything when I was alone with Fang, but I did it. On the night I left, I wrote a letter to Fang. Only Fang, because I couldn't handle writing goodbye six times; but I owed him an explanation, otherwise he would get hurt trying to find me.
I'm sorry. I know this is hard for you to understand, that I would leave on my own free will, but this is the way it has to be. A month ago I was faced with the most frightening idea I could ever imagine: the possibility of losing you. You know as well as I do that your safety and the safety of the rest of the flock overshadows everything else for me and for you as well. So, when I was given my true destiny; my future, I realized that in order to keep you safe, I have to leave. If I know you, and God knows I do, you'll come looking for me: don't. Please, for the sake of the flock, don't try to find me. I can't bear to say any of this to you in person; I'm too much of a coward. I wrote you this letter to explain why I left, and to be sure you didn't hurt yourself trying to find me. Tell the flock that I love them, and that I left for their sakes. If ever it's safe for us to be together, I'll come and find you. You have my heart, Fang, never forget that.
All my love,
I set my letter by Fangs head. When he woke up in the morning he would find it, and hopefully do what I asked. As I jumped off the mouth of the cave and my super speed drove me as far away from them as possible, a single tear fell from my face. One single tear. I then promised myself that I would never cry over my flock again, because it was my choice to leave them, and it's my duty to be strong. I left them to save the world, and I would fulfill what was asked of me. Crying would not help me do so in the slightest.