Sequel to Pure Half-Blood
Not So Sweet Sixteen
“Happy birthday dear Peyton, happy birthday to you!” Gods, goddesses, demigods, witches and wizards sang cheerily in honor of my birth, a day which I deeply regretted.
The chorus of the familiar song lingered in the air. The only reason I could muster a smile was the irony of that day. Being sixteen is so not sweet, despite its misled reputation as ‘the best year of our young lives’. Whether you’re mortal or way too powerful like me, being a teenager is never as easy as it’s made
out to be. And Happy Birthday? Is that supposed to be a joke? Okay, there is one positive: a birthday marks one year closer to death. Hey, would you really want to live forever if sometimes you couldn’t live with yourself for one more day? Be honest, do you even want to live forever as it is?
I pasted a totally fake, but hopefully convincing, grin on my sullen face as Mom and Dad placed an intricately decorated cake in front of me. Sixteen chocolate layers stacked neatly into a tower shadowed the table. Cerise icing was sculpted to perfection into seemingly real roses. My eyes scan across the crowded room as I wonder which one of my godly relatives was responsible for the masterpiece dessert. Or perhaps it was Professor Flitwick, one of my mother’s co-workers. Honestly, who cares? Not me.
Everyone ate and talked and danced and had a brilliant time, with the exception of me. I opened my gifts, and was actually impressed with the One Direction album Up All Night, thanks to Apollo. Other than that, nothing of interesting occurred.
There were a few reasons to be happy, but I just wasn’t feeling it. At this point, I had a strong desire to crush the house into a million pieces, a task of which I was perfectly capable of. Opting not to take the risk, I stormed out of the room. I wondered why tears weren’t flooding out of my stinging eyes when I remembered that vampires couldn’t cry. Even my tears have been taken away from me.
As I expected, Mom and Dad were right at my heels. Part of me wished they wouldn’t try to comfort me like that. I know they mean well, but that’s just the problem. I want them to have a happy, problem-free life together, and I’m just adding onto the burden.
Mom started the dreaded conversation. I predicted what she would say before it escaped her quivering lips. “Honey, I know you’re having a tough time right now.”
I scoffed at her understatement.
“Plus, now you’re worried about where you’re going to go to school or if you even want to. That’s a huge decision for someone so young, and we just want to be there for you, whatever you decide.”
“How can I decide? Do I even have any options here?”
“Of course,” Dad replied. “If you want to go to a regular school again, there’s McKinley High in Lima, Ohio. They have a terrific musical theater program, and you’ve always had such a beautiful voice. If you don’t want that, there is always Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood. We could pretend this whole incident never even happened. If you don’t think either of those will work out, there’s always homeschool.”
Mom nodded. “I think starting over in Lima sounds nice, don’t you? Your new friends won’t know a thing, and they can’t judge you for something they don’t know about. Whether you want to tell them about your past is your choice.”
Were they for real? “Next you’ll tell me I can move to a magical land of rainbows and unicorns,” I retorted sarcastically, rolling my eyes.
“Is that what you want?” Dad asked, seeming genuinely serious. “Because I can make that happen in a heartbeat.”
“No! I just want to live in a world where there are people like me!”
“Demi-god witch vampires?” Mom challenged. Maybe it was just my imagination, but her voice sounded disgusted as she spat the word ‘vampires’. Great. My own mom didn’t even appreciate who I was.
“I knew you wouldn’t understand!” I yelled, and ran up to my room. I slammed the door, not caring about the ear-drum shattering noise thundering throughout the house like a lightning bolt. I wished with my lifeless heart that there could be just one person (excluding Anthony; I was fed up with thinking about him) would not only look past my flaws, but embrace them.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Mom and Dad don’t understand a thing about what I was going through. I could never look in the mirror again without seeing scarlet eyes and a lifelessly pale complexion. I would never be able to sit in the sun with my friends because my skin would dazzle in the daylight, and right away, they’ll notice there’s something unusually different about me – and we all know how humans feel about being different. There is no place in the immortal world where I’ve felt as if I truly belonged, and I certainly don’t belong in the normal world.
That’s why, the following day at the reaping, I would volunteer myself as tribute in the next Hunger Games.