Calypso was standing in the ocean, just a couple feet away from the shore. The waves pushed at her legs and pulled at the bottom of her toga. She took a breath and walked forward, hand’s held out in front of her, fingers splayed and palms flat.
It was evening, overcast, clouds were rolling in and the wind was starting to pick up. There would be a storm later that night, Calypso thought, but probably not a bad one. She kept walking.
She hadn’t done this in some time. She used to, once and awhile, to test the boundary around her island. She had stopped when she finally gave up hope and decided that Percy had forgotten about her, a while before Leo had shown up. The water was past her knees, she hesitated.
She wouldn’t be able to go any further, in about one foot she would be stopped.
Another step forward, Calypso pushed hard and fast where the magic barrier should have been.
She fell face first into the water when the resistance she expected never came. Saltwater went up her nose and into her mouth, she coughed and splashed around for a moment in shock. She sputtered and pushed her dripping hair back out of her face as she stood back up.
This… wasn’t right. It must be further out then she remembered. Calypso put her hands back up, and kept walking further into the sea.
Now the water was up to her chest, salt still stinging the inside of her nose and throat. She put her hands on her head and started laughing, then she started crying.
She guessed she wouldn’t be needing Leo’s help after all.
It had taken her a while to leave the water. That had been the furthest away from the island she’d been in centuries. Her feet had been like cinderblocks, holding her there.
She smelled like salt, it was clinging to her skin and hair, she would have to bathe later. At that moment she couldn’t stay still. She had to get to work as soon as she possibly could. She ran down the beach back to her cave, shivering.
First she needed to make a fire to warm up, and change out of her toga, which was now soaked with seawater.
‘I’ll need to build a boat,’ she thought. Easy enough, she’d done it plenty of times before.
‘Where should I go?’
That… was a difficult question. One she wasn’t sure she had the answer too, yet.
She could look for Percy, or Leo, a familiar face. Or she could go somewhere new.
Oh gods, she was leaving.
She didn’t know what she was going to do.
Her breath hitched.
“Okay... breath, calm down,” she stood up and paced.
What was wrong with her. She’d wanted to leave for so long, now that she had her chance she was shaking in her boots.
“You can do this, you wanted freedom and now you have your chance,” she told herself. She cleared off the table, lit up a torch on the wall above it.
“You can do this,” she said. She pulled a piece of parchment down from the shelf, a stick of charcoal too.
“You can.” she said.
Calypso didn’t sleep that night.
By the time sunlight started shining into the cave, she had sketched plans for a raft that would get her off the island. She’d decided to focus on the how for now, and less on the where, (or when).
She needed to decide which boat would work best to carry her and the things she wanted to keep, she needed logs and other supplies. She’d need the logs to dry out, she’d need to make nails.
There was so much to do.
“Well,” she said, “I have all the time in the world.”
Calypso set out with her axe in the morning.
It wasn’t until the logs were all dried out that Calypso started thinking about where she should go again.
“Camp,” she said to no one, while laying out more logs side by side on the beach, “Has a lot of demigods that I could meet, and Percy is probably there. Leo too. But I’m not… totally sure I want to see Percy.”
She wiped the back of her hand against her forehead.
“I don’t love him anymore. He was a good friend, though. Gods, he’s probably quite a bit older now. I wonder if he looks different, and if he still eats blue food.”
She picked up another log, and dragged it towards the others.
“I’m still a bit mad at him. It would give me a chance to tell him, give him a piece of my mind. Plus, if I don’t go to camp, where else could I go? Back to Greece? I don’t know anybody in Greece. At camp I have two people that I know. They can introduce me to more people.”
She paused to drink from her water skin. “And...”
She sat down on one of the logs.
“I can leave, if I don’t like it. Whenever I want.”
She picked up a handful of sand, letting it filter through her fingers absentmindedly.
“Wow. That’s different.”
She laid back on the logs she had lined up, and stared up at the clouds.
“I’m going to go to Camp Half Blood,” she smiled, “And eventually I’ll get around to the rest of the world too.”
She was a bit more than half finished now.
It was a pretty simple raft, she’d built plenty before for those who ended up stranded on her island. She had to spend a lot of time singing, weaving magic into her voice and then into the wood so the raft would be able to take her where she wanted to go. At this point, she started packing up some of the things that she wanted to keep, there wasn’t much. Some clothes, jewelry, a couple of plants in pots, small things. She wouldn’t have room for much more than that anyways.
Packing was hard.
She guessed she was a bit afraid to leave. She had only vague outlines of what the world was like now from things Percy and Leo had talked about.
“It’s perfectly reasonable to be afraid. I haven’t been off of this island in so so long. It makes sense for me to be a bit attached to it, even if I kind of hate it.”
She rolled up a few of her shirts, and packed them in a small box.
“I might even miss it, sometimes. That’s okay.”
She stacked the box with the others. Those were the last things she needed to pack.
“There, done. That wasn’t so bad.” Calypso said. She started to cry.
“I can’t believe I’m gonna miss this stupid island. That’s… so stupid. I’m being stupid.” She wiped her tears away furiously.
“That doesn’t even make sense. I’ve been trapped here forever! I hate it here, I-”
Her breath hitched, she stormed out of her house and kicked at the sand outside before falling to her knees on the beach. She dug the heels of her hands into her eyes and tried to calm her breathing.
“This stupid island keeps messing with my emotions, even when I’m allowed to leave. What a cruel, cruel curse. I wonder if the gods have done this to me purpose. One last punishment.”
She knelt in the sand for a moment, and stared out at the horizon. The sun was setting.
“Even if I end up missing it, I’m still leaving this horrible place.”
The wind howled.
“Shut up.” she told it.
The raft had been done for two days, she’d been packed for a long time, but she still hadn’t left.
She’d spent hours wandering the island, (not that there was that much to see). She’d spoken to all of the birds that lived on the island, wished them well and told them she was leaving. Some of them were quite sad, she thought, they tended to follow her around.
She wrote a note, just in case, and left it in her cave that said:
Sorry, you’re a bit late. Last one to camp is a rotten egg.
Short and sweet, she thought, right to the point. Calypso had spent a lot of time wandering the island, thinking. She was going to have to have a talk with him, when she saw him again. Leo was nice and all, but in hindsight something hadn’t sat right with her about their short-lived relationship. It was almost like some unknown force had willed their relationship into existence when they didn’t really belong together at all. She had a feeling Leo would agree. They could be good friends, at least.
She found herself staring at the horizon a lot. She sat in the dirt in her garden, maybe for the last time. She knew she had to leave soon, there was no reason for her to stay. Her garden was going to be overtaken by nature without her there to tend it, she realized. That was sad.
It was a lot harder to leave then she’d expected it to be.
“I don’t need to rush myself, I have time. Lots and lots of time.”
Calypso leaned back into the sand, and stared up at the night sky. The moon was full, the stars looked like holes cut in a big black sheet with light shining through. Calypso spent a lot of her time on Ogygia stargazing. She’d been alive for so long that she saw many stars vanish over the years, they would blink out, just like that.
“I have been here for so, so long already,” she said to the sky.
“I’ve wasted so much time here, I’ve missed so much in the world. I’m going to miss this place, as weird as that is. It’s going to be strange to be gone, to leave and never come back. Because I won’t be coming back,” she sat up and ran clumps of dirt between her hands.
“I hope you understand, I need to see the world again. I need to see… whatever an apartment is, in Manhattan. And cars and trains and those sorts of things I’ve heard so much about.”
The moon stared down at her. She sat up, the raft sat on the shore, out on the other side of her garden. It was ready to go whenever she chose to leave. The moonlace glowed beautifully under the full moon. Calypso stared out at the horizon, beyond her garden and the raft, and blinked back tears.
She stood abruptly, and walked to her cave. She trailed her hand along the smooth walls inside, and walked to what used to be her kitchen. She pulled a stool from under the table, and stepped up so she could reach the ceiling. It took a lot of strength, but she managed to pull one of the glittering crystals down. She took a small jar from the kitchen and went out to the beach, placed the jewel in the bottom of the jar and filled it with sand.
“Something to remember you by,” she said to the island, “I can never come back.”
She got up and placed the jar with her other belongings on the raft.
“No man finds Ogygia twice, and I will never see you again.” she said.
The wind howled.
“I’ll miss you too.” she told it.
Calypso hardly slept, and woke up early anyways.
“Today I am leaving.” she said, determined.
She double checked that she had everything she wanted to bring with her. She walked through her cave a dozen times, and around the entire island a few times too. The birds followed her around the entire morning, singing, she sang with them.
By noon she had decided that she was definitely ready, that she hadn’t forgotten anything and was just procrastinating her departure. She pushed her raft so it was mostly in the water, and turned to face the island.
It was small enough that she could almost see the entire thing from this point on the beach.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about what I said to you yesterday, and I came to a realization,” she paused, as though waiting for the island to speak back.
“I was born on this island, I lived here for thousands of years, I probably know it better than I know myself. And, most importantly…” she said, “I am no man.”
It was quiet, other than the waves splashing against the shore.
“I’ll see you again one day.”
With that, Calypso pushed her raft all the way into the sea. She stood on it and faced back towards her island, her birthplace, her former home.
“I am going to find myself a new home.”
The island, unsurprisingly, said nothing. She liked to think it understood her all the same.
Calypso turned her back to the horizon. The raft floated out past the point that used to be the limit of how far she could get from the shore, she laughed, and she didn’t even feel like crying.
“Stop number one, Camp Half Blood,” she told the raft. “Let’s go.”
By the time she looked back, Ogygia was gone.