"The loneliest moment in someone's life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Darcy Rae Bradbury was born on August 12 in Essex, England to Elise Bradbury and Zeus. Rae's mother had been a model for a while up until she met her father which is where Rae gets her beauty from. Elise met Zeus, who went by the name Brad Smith at the time, a year prior to her birth in a small, rundown pub in the suburbs of London where he offered to buy her a drink. Elise and "Brad" immediately clicked. Some would say it was love at first sight. They started dating not long after. You could say that things were moving fast. Three months later, Elise was excited to find out that she was pregnant with Rae. "Brad", however, was less than thrilled. He hadn't planned on having a child with Elise, let alone revealing his true identity. This complicated things for him. Without a regard for the wellbeing of Elise and his soon to be child, he fled without saying goodbye. Elise was devestated. She had never imagined having to raise a child on her own. Elise decided she would push through and raise her soon to be baby on her own. Rae was the only thing Elise had left of "Brad". As pathetic as it sounds, Elise was still head over heels for her child's father, hoping he would return someday. Actually being pregnant with Rae was the easiest part of raising her, believe it or not. It wasn't until after Elise gave birth that she realized how much she really committed to. Elise did her best to provide for her baby daughter, but this proved to be difficult as the best job she could get was as a barista and waitress.
This was when Noah, Elise's brother, decided it was time to fly back to his hometown in England to help his sister raise Rae in fear of Elise falling back into her old habits of drinking without any support from the stress she was facing. Elise had a bad history with alcohol, before she had met Rae's father. She ended up having to spend a few months in rehab before meeting Zeus where she learned to control her habit. Noah was there to watch over Rae when Elise was out late working double shifts to provide for her family. All was going well, and it finally seemed like the small, screwed up family was coming together. This continued until Rae was six, going on seven, years old. Elise was finally able to convince Noah she could manage on her own from then on out having gotten a promotion. Noah reluctantly left his sister and niece and left back to live with their mother in Pennsylvania. At this point in her life, Rae was going to school regularly, using the bus to get to and from school. WIth Noah gone and Rae spending most of her time at school, Elise began to fall back into old habits. At first, it was innocent. Only a drink or two when she had time off at the bar. Elise quickly became addicted to the feeling of being drunk, however. Elise began staying out late, only coming home around 3 in the morning in a drunken state. She used the money Noah had given her before he left to hire a nanny to take care of Rae until she went to bed almost every night. Elise rarely saw her daughter, and when she did Elise was too drunk or hungover to acknowledge her. Rae felt utterly neglected. She felt as if her mother didn't love her. She felt like all she was was a burden to her.
Rae can still remember one night in particular, however, that occured 9 years ago when she was eight. Rae had woken up to the slam of a door. Her mother was utterly wasted. Normally Elise would do a better job of covering it up and being quiet when she got home. However, this night was the worst one yet. Elise was only thinking of her previous lover as she drank. She thought of how much she missed him, when it hit her. If she wasn't pregnant with Rae, he wouldn't have left her. This made her furious. Rae innocently made her way downstairs to see what the loud noise was, only to be greeted with her angry and sad beyond measure mother. Rae can still remember it vividly. Elise began shouting and screaming at her, "it's your fault, it's all your fault". Rae was paralyzed with fear, tears streaming down her face. She had no idea what to do. Rae began to step backwards slowly in attempt to escape from her scary mother in her room, but Elise would not have that. Elise chucked the beer bottle in her hand at her helpless daughter. Rae narrowly dodged the flying bottle. She ran upstairs to her room as quickly as she could, cutting herself on the broken shards along the way. Rae locked herself in her room before limping to the connected bathroom to pull out the glass shards. Rae cried herself to sleep that night, the sound of her mother's wails haunting her. This incident however was the first of many. It became habit for Elise to throw things, even slap Rae.
Rae refused to tell anyone in fear of getting her mother in trouble. She was young and vulnerable, afraid to be separated from her mother no matter how terribly she treated her. Elise didn't get away with this for long, however. Rae's 13th nanny, Eleanor, wasn't stupid. She was quick to figure out what was going on. She reported Elise's behavior to the authorities. Much to her dismay and relief, Rae was ripped away from her home and her mother thrown in jail for child abuse. Rae was sent to live with her brother and his girlfriend in his new home in San Diego, California.
At this point, Rae was more corrupt than any 10-year-old should be. Although she was saved, it was too late. Rae was damaged beyond measure. She would only talk to her Uncle Noah, who she'd still only give short worded responses. She was sent to a therapist, but this was no help. Rae became cold. She was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rae wasn't able to go to sleep at night without having nightmares about her mother. She became no stranger to panic attacks and extreme mood swings. As a result of having lied to everybody while her mother was abusing her, Rae became a pathological liar. The countless amounts of "I'm fine" and "I fell down the stairs" took a toll on her. It was at this point that Rae swore she would never drink an ounce of alcohol in her life. Noah sheltered Rae and trashed every single apology letter she sent to the two of them.
Rae was enrolled in school as a 6th grader, now 11-years-old. This is where she met a saytr by the name of Forrest. Rae was extremely closed off from the world at this point and had no friends. Forrest was no friend either, really. Despite his multiple attempts to get through to her and begin a friendship, she pushed him away despite his many warnings that she'd need him. One day, Forrest was being particularly persistant. He followed Rae all the way home from school, trying to start a conversation with her and get to know her despite her multiple glares, huffs, and sighs. Once the pair arrived at her house, Noah opened the door to greet her, not expecting to see a boy standing beside her. Shocked but thrilled, Noah decided to invite Forrest to their day long camping trip on Saturday, much to Rae's dismay. Noah had been encouraging Rae to make friends for the longest time and thought this would be a great opportunity for Rae to do so despite her numerous protests.
Rae, her uncle, Forrest, and her uncle's now fiance Sally all set out for a day in the wilderness the next day, sure enough. It was miserable, to say the least. Everything was going along normally however up until after the group ate lunch. Rae heard an unusual growling noise coming from the woods. She wandered towards the sound, curious to find out what it was. Forrest had glanced over at Rae to tell her something, only to be greeted with empty space. Realization crossed his face as he saw her making her way towards the woods nearby, the grumbling noise still apparant. Out of instinct, Forrest bounded towards the girl as fast as he could and pushed her out of the way just as a giant, black dog bounded out of the trees, a nasty snarl on its face. It wasn't just any dog, however. It was bigger than Rae and had glowing red eyes: a hellhound. Noah and Sally sat at the picnic table, mortified. Forrest screamed out for the two to run away. The couple didn't hesitate as there was a giant black beast not far away. The Hellhound slowly turned around to face the frightened girl as Forrest ripped off his pants to reveal his goat legs. Before Rae even had time to question anything, Forrest swiftly scooped her up as he ran as fast as his legs could carry him, the beast right behind them. Forrest was sure that they were doomed as he realized that they were at a dead end, trapped between a giant boulder and the barking Hellhound. Rae thought it was the end, when she heard the engine of a car and headlights zooming towards them. Sure enough, Noah and Sally were seated in a pick up truck, coming at the dog at full speed. The dog had little time to react as the car ran into the beast, knocking it out cold. The group ran away from the destroyed truck and unconcious Hellhound to their car as they drove away as fast as they could.
It was then that Forrest explained everything to them. From his goat legs to the recent encounter to Rae's father being Zeus. Although she was hesitant at first, Rae believed Forrest as there was no logical explanation for any of this really. Forrest told the three about Camp Half-Blood. He told them it was the only place where Rae would remain safe from any other encounters like this. Noah and Sally thought about it long and hard and decided it would be best for Rae to stay with them in San Diego and continue her therapy as they weren't sure she was mentally stable enough to leave yet. Little did they know that Rae never would be totally steady. Because this was such a risk with her growing older, Forrest gave her a bobby pin that turns into a celestial bronze sword she could use to fend herself from any possible monster attacks. Forrest ended up staying with Rae to protect her until she was ready to go to camp. For the next 4, almost 5, years, Rae had a few other monster attacks ranging from minotaurs to a cyclops.
On her 16th birthday, Noah decided enough was enough and it was time for Rae to go to camp where she'd be protected from any danger. Rae and Forrest booked tickets for the next flight to New York. Their travel went smoothly, Rae being a daughter of Zeus and all. The pair took a taxi to the strawberry fields of Camp Half-Blood, Rae using all of her pocket money to pay the driver. Rae was shocked at first of how many other demigods there were. She was quick to adjust to the new environement. However, this doesn't mean that Rae made friends. Rae is far too damaged mentally and will never be the same. She doesn't let anyone get close to her and pushes people away, lying about her past life. In fact, no one at camp actually knows anything true about her past. Her lies range from her mother owning a record label in New Zealand to her being friends with the president's daughters. Noah and Sally visit New York to meet up with Rae once a year. Rae remains indifferent about her situation. She couldn't care less where she ends up at this point, whether it be at Camp or in Brazil.
"What's depression like?" he whispered.
"It's like drowning, but you can see everyone around you breathing."