Hey there Dad.
I don't know you.
So, uh, how is your day coming along? Were you able to get any other letters besides this one? I hope you did.
Okay, so before anything else, let me just get one thing clear. It was never my intention to join this contest but my friends can be very... persuasive. I was told that the letter had to come from the heart and Olympus knows I'm not that good when it comes to writing feelings down on paper....but here goes nothing.
I'd like to start of with a simple sentence; four words, four syllables:
Confusing? I know. As you read this, you must be thinking "How could she not know me when I'm her father?" Give me a chance to explain myself and my four word sentence.
I've heard a lot about you, mainly stories from Mom and from my lessons on Greek Mythology back in school. I know about how you were born, your childhood, your role in wars and a lot more; even your love life and affairs are known to me ...although, truth be told, I think I would have been happier not knowing about this aspect of your life. I know you as Apollo, Greek god of the sun, of medicine, healing and plagues, of bachelors, archery and poetry. I know you as Mythology portrays you... but nothing more. I don't know you as "Anthony", the man my mom fell in love with sixteen years ago. I recognize you as an all-powerful being who can probably blast me to ashes... but not as the man who helped give me life.
After Mom gave birth to me, not once did you visit us; not even a single 'hello' was heard from you. You weren't there for any of my birthdays nor any of Mom's, not a single Christmas or Easter or even my graduation from Elementary; not when I felt alone and needed someone to talk to. Worst of all, you weren't there when I needed a father's love, support, and guidance. For years I waited for you to come back, waited for any sign that you were still alive, that you remembered the little family you left behind. I will admit that you answered my prayer... but only after 15 years had passed. You sent a letter, nothing more.
When I arrived at Camp, my life changed considerably. I was now at a place where people accepted me, somewhere I belonged. I felt so close to you. I thought things would change and I'd finally, finally, get to meet you, but it seems even here, you don't show yourself to me... even here it feels like you ignore me.
Months passed and that inevitable time came when I'd find my first love. I wonder if you heard about that, Dad. Your little girl finally got herself a boyfriend. Mom was simply ecstatic when she found out. His name was Michael Mendes and he was a son of Palaemon. Michael was sweet, kind, caring. When I was with him, I felt happy, carefree and I could forget about most of my worries. It was how I imagined my first love would be...
...but then, Michael died... murdered, to be exact, by a member of the Broken Covenant. My small world of happiness came crashing down on me. I felt as though I was suffocating, drowning in my sorrow and grief. I cried for days, maybe even weeks, hoping that it was all a bad dream... but I knew it wasn't. In that short moment, I hated you; despised you with my entire being. I knew that with a flick of your hand or a snap of your fingers, Michael would have been healed of his wounds and he'd still be here. You claim to know all, see all. I'm more than sure you saw his death, even if it was just a glimpse of it... and yet, you did not bother to warn me of what would happen, of how badly my entire world would be shaken.
Luckily for me, I had my friends to pull me out of my depressing state. It took a while but I was soon up and about like I usually am. I never forgot about Michael but I learned to move on. I began to trust in you again. How that happened, I honestly have no idea. It's like the anger inside me just... disappeared; vanished. Perhaps, time really does heal all wounds. I continued on with my life, training, practicing, even going on a few quests here and there. Deep down inside, I guess I was hoping you'd notice me. When I became Lieutenant Counselor, I was truly hoping you would, at the very least, give me a small 'congratulations' greeting... but you didn't. By then, my trust in you had began waning.
After a month or two, I heard you visited someone here at Camp... my half-sister, Maia, to be exact. You were so close; so very close and yet so far. I won't lie, Dad. I felt bitter, like I wasn't worthy of your attention. You visited but didn't say hi, you came to Camp but didn't see me. I was jealous of them, you know, those half-siblings of mine who got to meet you in person. I felt bitter and even resentful... but most of all, I felt crushed, unimportant. A small thought began forming at the back of my mind. No matter what I did, or how good I was, it would simply never be enough to get your attention. I felt as though I would never have a place in your life, no matter how hard I tried. I was more than sure you could have gone on without so much as a glance in my direction; I was sure that you did not care.
That feeling that you didn't care only strengthened when Cél died. I'm not really sure what happened anymore. I just opened the cabin door one day and a wind nymph tells me that my half-brother, the one person I've confided secrets in and shared laughs and tear-jerking moments with, was dead. That was another important person in my life who had been taken by Death. Unlike with Michael though, there was no hate, only a feeling of emptiness. Cél had never believed that you cared about your kids....and I began to think that he was right.
With all that had happened to me, I know that I have enough reason to be angry at you. I know that, had I been someone else, I would have hated you, would have come to resent you with every fiber of my being... but no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to bring myself to hate you anymore. I don't blame you for the actions you took (or did not take) and the consequences that followed them. I know, somehow, deep inside, that you truly could not do anything about them.
There are tons of events which I can use to hold against you, Dad... but there are also those small but important events in the past years which I cannot -and will not- overlook. The first was Mom. I know, I know, it was years ago when you met her but, if you never loved her, never felt something for her, then I wouldn't be here. I don't believe Mom was just a mortal to you because if she were, you wouldn't have developed a relationship with her. You could have easily had a one-night stand but you chose to have a relationship instead. You made Mom laugh when stress was getting to her. You made her forget about her worries, just like how Michael made me forget about mine when I was with him. You made Mom happy, and for that, I'm grateful to you.
I wonder if Mom ever crosses your mind, Dad. You most certainly never left hers.
Next, few monsters attacked me and I got to Camp safely. Most demigods often get attacked during their childhood but for me, it was more of monster sightings, not really much attacks. On my way to Camp, I was safe. I know that it's usually getting to Camp when demigods are attacked more, uh, viciously. It's like a monster's final attempt at having a nice meal. You must have been watching over me all those times. Maybe you hid us from the monsters as we made our way to Camp. Maybe you're the reason why no monster attacked me on that journey to my new safe haven. If we ever meet, perhaps you could tell me if the fact that I arrived safely at Camp was your doing.
Thinking on it, there were actually a lot of events that I could state but then, this letter might get too long so I'll just skip over to the most recent one... and probably the most important.
The last involved my half-brother, Célestin. Just hours after the wind nymph told me he was dead, I found him in his room, completely unharmed; safe. He was fine, if not confused. He told me what happened, how he did die.
It was in that moment that I realized you saved him. You gave him a new chance at life, even going so far as to making him a music spirit. Thinking on it, all the music, light and healing nymphs and spirits who were once half-bloods were given second chances at life... all thanks to you. You were watching over all of them; all of us. You cared for Cél, even when he didn't believe in you... so that must mean that you care about all of us. We just never realized it... or you're just really good at hiding it.
What happened with Cél opened me to what I like to dub as "The Epiphany". I realized that the gods, in all your power and glory, were never perfect. You have your own flaws. You were bound by laws and oaths that, if you had broken, would have probably brought disastrous consequences to us, your kids. I realized that, by staying away, you protected us. It's actually quite confusing, really, but that's life, I guess. It never fails to confuse us all, especially when we are vulnerable.
I think I've gone past the length limit already so I'm gonna wrap things up here. I want to tell you something, Dad, because I might never get this chance again. There are better parents out there and truthfully, most of them are mortals but that doesn't mean you haven't been a good father to me and to my half-siblings. If you don't get the title of "BEST DAD", it wouldn't matter to me because in today's time, there will always be someone who will surpass us. People may think you don't deserve the "Best Father" title but the mere fact that you care about us, your children, shows that you're on the way to becoming a great dad. I want you to know one thing... you may not be the best dad out there but, if I could choose one person to be my dad, it'd be you... and only you.
Happy Fathers' Day, Dad. I love you.
So it all begins with Apollo meeting Kylie somewhere near the Forest, where few people would see the god. Their first destination would a small clearing on Long Island where they can work on the first activity: "painting". To save time, Apollo teleports them to the clearing where Kylie had everything set up already.
It all starts with a simple "project", involving a canvas or a thick cloth (preferably the cloth) big enough to support about 2-3 dozen or more balloons filled with paint. The simple objective of the "art" is to pop the paint-filled balloons with darts and let the paint do it's work. Yes, similar to what Mia and her mom did in "The Princess Diaries" only there are more balloons, no protective clothing and the cloth will be strung in between two trees, adding to the challenge. It'll be a bit awkward at first, with neither of the two saying anything, just staring at the canvas/cloth where more than two dozen balloons filled with paint are taped/pinned. Each of them are given a total of only 13 darts each.
Person 1 suggests that they get started. The two begin "painting" which was actually just randomly throwing darts and, of course, hitting the balloons with precision despite the lack of effort. After throwing three darts, Person 1 strikes up a conversation and the two begin chatting. In the middle of peaceful painting/talking, both of them run out of darts. Apparently, there were far too many balloons. Person 2 offers to take a few darts from the cloth/canvas and Person 1 helps.
In the middle of retrieving their darts, one of the balloons come loose and its contents rain over Person 2, splattering the poor person with pink paint.
Person 1 makes a sarcastic remark regarding the color and basically laughing about what happened. Person 2, having been unamused, took a nearby balloon and dumped its contents over Person 1. A few words are exchanged between the two and, soon enough, a little paint war ensues. Apollo, noticing that there were too few balloons to keep up a paint war, discreetly summons more, some attached to the cloth, others randomly scattered on the ground, hidden by the grass.
The paint war will last for about 20 minutes and will result to both parties being splattered head to toe with paint. Approximately 30-35 minutes would have passed, by then. After this would be a 10 minute clean up (because getting paint out of your hair and clothes is HARD and would normally take hours but since you have a godly person with you, cleaning becomes much easier). They pack up the stuff then leave it underneath a tree, to be picked up by Kylie the next day. After that is a a ten minute walk to the nearest town for some ice cream (because having a paint war with a god can take the energy out of someone). A light conversation will begin again so that the walk won't be so awkward. By the time they reach town and finish their ice cream, the first hour has passed.
Then, for the next 25-30 minutes, the two will have a little "spin" in the sun chariot (disguised as the same Maserati in The Titan's Curse). It will be a bit awkward in the first few moments (because really, spending time with someone you haven't seen in 16 years isn't exactly "easy"). Person 1 then turns on the radio and Song 1 comes up. Not long after, both Person 1 and Person 2 are singing along. A series of random songs play afterward (see the Song list for more info) and what happens is that a mini-car party starts. The only difference between this one and regular car parties is that this one happens in the sky. Small conversations strike up at random moments, either before, in the middle or after a song. The main point of the conversation is for Apollo to address a few points from the letter. An apology would also be given sometime after all the songs have ended (kindly refer, once again, to the letter for more information on the cause of having an apology). Once the sun chariot flies over somewhere near Pittsburgh, the two decide to head back to Long Island. Apollo merely transports them again, leaving the sun chariot in a sort of auto-pilot mode. They reappear in the town near Camp.
There would still be 30 minutes remaining when the two get to the Nearby Town. They argue a bit on where to go: the Coffee Shop or the Park. Person 1 wins and they head to the park. It only takes a few minutes to get there. Upon reaching the Park, the two will have a leisurely stroll, ending up at the playground where a couple of kids are playing. The swings are empty and Kylie suggests they stay there for the remaining minutes of their time.
For the next five minutes, the two do nothing but people-watch and well, swing on the swing set. A few comments are made here and there but the two are mostly silent. Now, with only 14 minutes left, the two have a heart-to-heart conversation about the letter. After the talk, Apollo presents Kylie with a gift, a simple gold charm bracelet; something to commemorate her 16th birthday and something to remind her of this little outing.
Now with only five minutes remaining on their time, Apollo transports both of them to Camp, just a few meters inside the Forest so that none of the Campers would panic at the sudden appearance of a god. There, in the forest, the two say their final goodbyes to each other. Once the two hours are over, Apollo flashes away to finish his duties as the sun god and Kylie returns to her Cabin.
Too long; didn't read:
- 5 minutes: Apollo arrives near the Forest to get Kylie; they teleport to the clearing
- 30 minutes: Painting project turns into a paint war
- 10 minutes: Clean up
- 10 minutes: Walking to the nearest town for ice cream; a light conversation starts
- 30 minutes: Riding the Sun Chariot/Mini-car party until they fly over Pittsburgh
- 5 minutes: Teleport to the Nearby Town
- 2 minutes: Choosing a place to go to; Place chosen: the park
- 3 minutes: Getting to the Park
- 5 minutes: They take a leisurely stroll, ending at the Playground.
- 5 minutes: People watching and swinging with short conversations/comments
- 9 minutes: Conversation and Presentation of Kylie's birthday gift
- 5 minutes: Getting back to Camp (via teleportation again); Final Goodbyes
TOTAL: More or less 2 hours
In some parts of the outing, I used Person 1 and Person 2 instead of being specific on which character does what. This is because it is up to the admin to choose which role he/she would prefer or would be more comfortable with.
- NOTE: These songs were chosen in random and have no connection with one another. :)
- United State of Pop 2012 by DJ Earworm
- It's Time by Imagine Dragons
- Red by Taylor Swift
- Heaven Help Us by My Chemical Romance
- You Found Me by The Fray
- Closer to the Edge by 30 Seconds to Mars
Song Theme: You Found Me by The Fray
"....It's about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and it can be overwhelming..... It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest..." - Isaac Slade, lead singer of The Fray
You Found Me by The Fray was basically my song theme for writing the letter. I had began writing the letter while listening to this song and it seemed, as the song unfolded, so did the letter's content.
The line "Where were you when everything was falling apart?" was where I thought I'd start. It all begins with Kylie's pains and heartaches; how her father basically failed her and let her down in the past 15 years of her life. The second verse from the song inspired me to add in what happened to Michael, Kylie's first boyfriend.
Then there's the last line of the chorus: "Just a little late, you found me, you found me." I realize that this line speaks of being too late, about letting go of hope... but for me, it's about finding hope. Despite being "late", the person was still "found". This interpretation was portrayed in Kylie's "Epiphany". She had begun to lose hope that father had ever cared but then, the event with her half-brother changed everything. Her trust in her father was restored. Not only that, she had come to accept the flaws of her father because even all power beings are not perfect.
The letter may not have followed the meaning given by the song writer exactly but this was only because I wrote the letter based on how I interpreted the song. "You Found Me", as I understood it, speaks of the hidden hope which one has and refuses to let go of, despite all the wrong that has happened in the past.
THE SECRET BEHIND THE LETTER
I didn't really write the letter to show that Apollo was the best among all the male gods. To be honest, that was never my intention, though it did cross my mind every once in a while. I wrote the letter while imagining myself in Kylie's shoes; a teenage girl who would be contacting her father (through writing) for the first time in 16 years. I imagined that I was Kylie, what it is that I would write down, what I'd tell that the dad that never was. Basically, the letter was written, not to prove that Apollo was the best dad, but to tell the god what his daughter thinks of him.