"I wonder if Skylar and Dareth got the news. You think they'll come?"
"I think so," Cole responded. He put a comforting hand on Jay's shoulder, consoling with his best friend.
"I hope so." Jay sounded tired. He had been through a lot in the past few days, losing Nya was an unexpected and painful shock to experience. "I hope everyone knows what Nya did for them."
The two friends walked down the hallway of the monastery, bowls of water in hand.
Jay spoke again. "The least they could do is show up and pay..." He lost his words when he saw the sight outside.
Skylar and Dareth had both shown up, along with almost everyone they had ever come across on their adventures; Mysako, Jay's parents, Kai's parents, Antonia, Ronan, Gale,
too many people to count. They were even lined up on the steps past the doors of the monastery, probably even farther down the mountain.
Jay, Cole, and the rest of their team were lined up in front of a large basin, each of them pouring a bowl of water into the basin.
Wu gave a speech. "We are gathered here today to honor the memory of Nya. Inventor of Samurai X. Ninja. Master of Water. And, our dearest friend."
Kai poured his bowl of water last, a somber feeling had washed over the setting. He missed his sister.
"Her courage and strength," Wu continued, "Have saved us, time and time again. And although we... we..." His voice broke. "Were unable to save her... We will always remember her.
And wherever she is now..." He paused. "...she is in our hearts."
Jay let out a weak sob. He felt so broken without Nya, he loved her to an indescribable extent. Even though it had only been a few days, he still missed her with all his heart.
He couldn't even imagine how everyone else was feeling right now, especially Nya's family. Nya really was the rock of the team.
It was a quiet Monday morning, the cool and crisp air of the mountain met Jay's face when he opened the sliding doors to the empty courtyard.
Jay sat on the steps, peering around the center of the monastery at nothing.
Everyone was still asleep, as it was six in the morning. But Jay's mind wouldn't let him have any peace of mind. He heaved a heavy sigh, one burdened with guilt and pain.
Jay buried his head in his arms and curled up into a ball. He felt vulnerable and alone without Nya there. And then, for the first time in weeks, he began to cry.
"Do you hear it?"
"Hear what?" Jay whispered to no one.
"The sea, it's so loud."
Jay stood up, tears streaming down his face. He whimpered into the cool morning air, it echoed softly across the walls of the monastery.
He didn't want to accept that she was gone. She wanted to leave him. She didn't know how much it would hurt. She chose the ocean over him.
He stood in the middle of the courtyard, seething.
Jay heard the sliding door open behind him. "Jay."
It was Cole. He looked like he had been crying. "I heard you. Are you okay?"
Jay turned to face him slowly. "Cole." He could barely choke the words out. "No, I'm not okay."
Cole nodded. "I understand. I miss her too, Jay." He went to him and hugged him tightly, which only made Jay cry harder.
"Hey, it's okay. It's okay." Cole spoke softly, comforting his friend in the best way he knew how.
"She could've at least s- said it back," Jay stammered. "She could've said she loved me back."
Cole didn't say anything, he just kept hugging him. Jay felt Cole's shoulder's shaking with sobs, too.
"You miss her too. I- I'm sorry, I didn't realize you still..." Jay's voice trailed off.
Cole released his grip on Jay. He spoke softly. "I had gotten over that a long time ago. But when she left, those feelings really did resurface, I guess."
They both sat on the ground next to each other, the rising sun glinting off the head of the gold dragon in the center of the courtyard.
"We didn't even say goodbye." Jay ran a shaky hand through his curly brown hair. "There's so much I wish we could've done, now we won't be able to do any of that."
Cole stayed silent, listening to his friend.
Jay spoke even softer. "Well, wherever she is, I hope she's happy with being with a bunch of whales, or whatever it is that water spirit- goddess people do."
Cole chuckled softly. "You always have some sense of humor, don't you? I admire that about you."
Jay leaned his head on his best friend's shoulder. His breathing had calmed a bit, he felt a little more calm with Cole around.
"I miss her." Jay looked at the ground. "I don't think I could find anyone else as perfect as Nya, she's so lovely. I really wanted to kiss her, when she was about to leave. I didn't though.
I don't know why, it just wouldn't have been the same as all the other times."
"I get that. " Cole sighed. He paused, thinking about something. "I... I kissed Vania the other day. I didn't really like it, to be honest with you.
It wasn't the kiss itself, it was the feelings that resurfaced with it. There was someone else before her, I don't think those feelings have ever gone away."
"Really? I mean you do like her, don't you?" Jay asked.
He was mildly surprised, Cole had never really talked about relationships like that before, other than their occasional quarrel over Nya when they were younger.
Cole heaved a heavy and uncomfortable sigh. "Yeah... I really do like Vania, but I told her I'd have my own feelings to deal with first. I guess we both have a bit of healing to do."
They had both dried their tears, now they both sat in silence with one another. The sun had risen above the horizon now, Jay closed his eyes as he felt the gentle warmth of it on his face.
[Part of chapter five]
Jay was at the beach. He couldn't think of anything except Nya, his mind and body hurt from everything that had happened in the past few days.
He had gone to the hospital to help better recover from breathing in seawater, but it turned out Nya had fully healed his lungs.
Now, Jay stood alone at the beach, his feet slightly submerged in the small waves. The water was clear near the shoreline, the setting sun glimmered like a red- hot coal on the horizon.
Stars were beginning to appear, the air was pleasantly warm.
Jay didn't even have the strength to cry anymore. He stayed silent, he tried to focus on the waves quietly lapping at his bare feet.
"Where did you go?" he whispered softly. His heart ached, he felt weak in the knees.
He fell onto his knees, causing a splash where he fell. Then finally the tears came, he couldn't keep them in any longer.
He cried until he couldn't cry anymore, his tears mixed with the cool spray of the ocean on his face.
"Come back," he whispered weakly. He remembered trying to hug Nya to stop her from leaving.
She had gone straight through him like he wasn't even there, leaving him soaked in sea water and without the comforting embrace he needed.
She didn't care, he thought. She doesn't miss me like I miss her. She doesn't know...
Jay suddenly felt angry. "She didn't care. She didn't care!"
He broke down crying again, angrily splashing the water in front of him again and again. He tried to scream, but he could barely make a sound.
He picked up a small rock and threw it with all his strength into the water, it landed a few moments later with a ker- plunk! noise.
Jay was soaked with sea water now, but he didn't care. He sat down again in the water, letting the warm liquid flow over his legs and hands with the tide.
His blue t-shirt had gotten wet too, so he took that off and threw it back onto dry sand.
He began to wade farther into the water, he had regained some composure. Once he had waded deep enough, he briefly dunked his head underwater.
The ocean felt warm and welcoming, he felt significantly calmer now. The sun had almost fully set now, but he stayed in the water.
He didn't want to leave; the salty, fresh scent of the ocean air reminded him of Nya. He knew she did care about him, he realized that he had let his thoughts get the better of him.
"She's probably happier this way anyways," Jay said to himself. "She wanted to go."
And then he smiled; a sad, warm smile. She's happy.