"Are you sure about this?" A solitary figure drops down from the balcony above, landing next to me. I ignore the question. "Already made up your mind I see." I turn to look at her, her blissful white sports jacket fits her perfectly on every edge. She parts a strand of her long, blonde hair, revealing piercing teal eyes.
"You know, I should have picked a better time to ditch this place." She shrugs before positioning herself in front of me, her figure catching a few beams of morning sunrise.
"Well, six AM is a good time to leave if you don't want to see anyone else. But after four years I would have expected you to realize that I'm always up this early." I turn and look away from her. "Adrian look. I can't say we need you here, but lots of people want you to be here. Heck, I want you to stay." I laugh, but it comes out as more of a scoff.
"Fat lot that does, you don't want anyone to leave the Castellum." She places her hand on my shoulder and I half-heartedly attempt to shrug it off.
"You know that's not fair. You're family here, and more importantly, you're my friend," she says as I prop off the wall and walk below the underpass. She follows in silence behind me. I come out the other side and see the sun peeking above the horizon. Somewhere, I imagine, a rooster is crowing. She comes up beside me and we watch the morning sunrise. The piercing sound of gossip emanates from two girls passing by. I turn and watch the two go by, recognizing one of them as Shelly, a first year.
"Don't worry about losing me. There are a lot of new first years coming in all the time now. I'm sure you'll find a replacement for me in no time at all." She continues to watch the sun.
"You know it's not the same. Every being is unique, nobody can replace someone who's been lost. You're one of a kind, even if you might not think so." We stand in silence for a long while. I lean against a wall and look at her.
"May I leave now your highness?" She waves at me and sighs.
"There isn't anything I can say to change your mind, is there?" I shake my head and begin my trek towards the Entrance Path. She stands for a few moments before following in my path.
"You won't be able to stop me, there isn't a point in coming."
"I'm not trying to stop you, I'm just going in order to say goodbye." I pause for a half-second before continuing, but she was already aware of my hesitation. "Where are you going to go?" I shrug as we pass by a couple of teenagers making out on a bench. I notice them stop and stare at us as we passed by, most likely wondering what we're doing.
"Honestly, I don't know. Anywhere, everywhere, it makes no difference to me." We pass through the Castellum and head along the Main Path until we reach the lake. I stop at the lake's edge and turn towards my follower.
"I see that you're going to the Honaristia on the Insualle. Good to know you keep to some tradition." I laugh at her joke.
"We both know that anyone that leaves the Castellum has to pay respects to the Family at the Honaristia." She nods her head and pokes at the water with her foot.
"I guess this is where we depart from each other."
"I guess this is where I thank you." She smiles and curtsies.
"You're welcome." We stare at each other as a gentle breeze roles by. "Before you go, I have to ask. Why? Why are you leaving?" I frown and turn back towards the lake. I knew she was going to ask that eventually. I let a few moments pass before responding.
"It's just something I have to do. I'm tired of living this life over and over, only getting to witness the lives of those outside the Castellum during missions. I want to travel I guess, but most importantly, I want to experience life for all it's worth. What's the point of going through our lives if we don't live it the way we want to?" She comes up from behind and gives me a bear hug.
"You know our kind can never have that. Other beings, Hunters, the whole lot of them will always stop us from ever achieving something stable out there. We just aren't able to do it. Out there you'll run out of a viable source of blood before you know it, and what then? We all know how that will turn out." I shake my head with frustration and push myself away from her, stepping a few feet into the lake.
"I'll go dry and I won't let anything or anyone catch me." She laughs, but I know she has good intentions.
"You'll go dry? You?"
"If that's the price I'll have to pay to live a normal life, then so be it. I can and will do it for myself." I wade out into the lake as I prepare to swim to the Insualle.
"I believe you." Her response stuns me and I turn back to face her, the strands of morning light illuminating her entire figure in a shine of bright white glow.
"Maybe I'll see you around then."
"Maybe you will. You're always welcome here, you know." I nod, but I can't tell if she sees me.
"Ευχαριστώ φίλε μου," I muster as a sign of honor from what limited knowledge of Greek I know. I turn both my body and my thoughts away from her and my home as I head out to the Honaristia, away from this place, and on to the start of my new life. The one I want to live.