I walked among the graves, careful not to step on anyone's resting place, until I found the one I'd wanted. Rachel's grave still had the flowers from the last time I visited.
I pushed them aside and placed down new ones. I sat back on my heels and sighed.
This should never have happened to you, I thought. I'm sorry.
It was all Triton's fault. Red hot anger clouded my vision and threatened to choke me, but I swallowed hard. It was over. All over.
Standing, I went to Mark's grave next and did the same. Then I went to Luke's, pausing a moment. Luke took care of me when I was little, helped me after I ran away. I don't think I ever thanked him enough for that. He was always like a brother to me.
I made a fourth and final stop. Placing the remaining roses down, I felt tears running down my cheeks, but I didn't try to stop them.
Born August 18, Died June 15
I'd been told the story later by Thalia. She and Nico had gone to my hotel room only to find a crumbled note with an address on it. They called the cops and gave them the address, knowing Percy and I were in danger. By the time the cops came, Triton was gone. They weren't, however, expecting his mother to be in the equation. She'd confessed to everything later on.
Quick and painless, she'd promised. That was how Percy had died. He was found with a broken neck and moved by the police before I could see his body. I remember screaming his name, asking everyone where he was, if he was okay . . . and they all had turned away with tears in their eyes. That was when I knew he was dead.
Triton had knocked me unconscious for a while after announcing Percy's arrival. When I finally came to and heard Percy's voice through the open door I'd started screaming at the top of my lungs. I'd heard the sirens and felt so relieved. Finally. Percy and I would be okay. It was over. Until I heard the sound of something heavy falling to the floor and everything going quiet.
Triton and Amphitrite didn't get far before they were caught. They'd stolen an old couple's vehicle and had planned to leave New York before they were found and pulled over. Amphitrite didn't resist and went quietly; Triton hadn't.
I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. Thalia. I'd forgotten she and Nico were here, too. They'd come to Percy's grave first.
Thalia and I wrapped our arms around each other and cried while Nico just patted and rubbed our shoulders. I was glad for them. They were a huge part of Percy's life, and a big one in mine. I don't think I could've made it through without them. Together, we stood at Percy's grave and said our good-byes for the last time.