The chimes of my doorbell being rung interrupted my meditation. I have often found that meditating calms my mind and helps me to recenter myself. Add the need to calm my mind and the stress of trying to be the goddess that everyone thinks I should be, and you could have one cranky deity. The doorbell rang again, and the irritation started to seep in. It rang a third time.
“Oh, for goodness sake!” I shouted. Now that my mind had been jarred from my calm place, I opened my eyes. I was lying in a hot bubble bath, attempting to soak my worries away. With a huff of irritation, I raised myself from the large clawfoot tub and grabbed a towel. Just as I wrapped it around my wet body, the doorbell chimed a fourth time. Quickly, I walked through the house to see who the hell had decided that they no longer loved being among the land of the living.
“If you ring that damned thing one more time, I swear I’m going—” I opened the door, and a rush of cool fall air blew in. I stopped immediately. My words cut off before I could finish my threat.
The flower bouquet was so large that I could barely see the skinny, pimple-faced teen behind them. The flowers would be beautiful if they were not so obnoxiously huge and colorful. It was too early in the morning for that much bright color.
The teenager froze, and his eyes became so large that I thought they might bulge out of his head. His curly red hair hung in a shaggy mess, and his clothes were what I presumed was in style, but who knew with the mortals? I swear I couldn’t figure out what they liked. It was always on to the next strange and trending fashion. Me, I’d take a pair of black pants and a tank top any day.
“Mmm…mmm… Ms. Athena?” he managed to stammer as he handed me the flowers.
“Yes, thank you.” I took the gaudy display and shut the door. The teen just stood there with a look of shock on his face. As soon as I set the arrangement on the kitchen counter, the doorbell rang again. I swore I was going to make him eat the damn thing if he rang it again.
I walked briskly to the door and flung it open again. Not paying attention to the towel that was loosely wrapped around my body. He stood there looking me up and down with an unsettling look in his eyes.
“Hey, junior, my eyes are up here.” I drew his attention back to my irritation at his gawking.
“Yes, ma’am, I just need your signature. Is Athena your real name? Parents like Greek Mythology? Man, I would love to meet a goddess for real. That would be something. Do you believe in the Greek Gods? I do.”
“More than you know,” I responded and waited for him to hand me the clipboard that he was clutching.
“My friends are crazy. They believe that you are really Athena. Like the billion-year-old goddess. I told them no way. The real Athena is taller and super strong. Not that you aren’t, but the real one…wow,” he continued to prattle on.
“Fascinating. Can I sign for the flowers?” I wasn’t going to lie and say that I liked them. He handed me the clipboard, and I signed before he could ask any more questions. Once he had his little clipboard back, I shut the door behind me.
“Mortals!” I huffed before going to get dressed.
A few minutes later, I was dressed and ready for my coffee. I squinted as soon as I entered my kitchen. The enormous bouquet was so bright and, to be honest, a little hideous. It was like someone threw every random flower they could and, voila, obnoxious flower arrangement. I knew how bitchy I sounded. I should have been grateful. I knew I should. However, after last year, I just was not in the mood. Recent events had left me painfully aware of how truly alone I was.
Everyone was so busy with their own lives that they forgot. I got it. It went both ways. However, I had realized that there was a hole in my life. One that I couldn’t seem to fill. It seemed like everyone was pairing off and making families of their own. Then there was me, always alone. I never realized how much I longed to be truly loved. I wanted to be someone’s first choice. I wanted that earth-shaking, heart-fulfilling love that everyone else seemed to find. Even if I ultimately had my heart broken, the need was so great that without it, I felt…hollow.
More than that, I wanted a family. I wanted children to love and raise. That was what I was missing, a family of my own. I craved to be loved totally and completely so much so that my heart hurt. Every beat left an empty echo in my chest. Those flowers only furthered my loneliness. Obviously, whoever sent them didn’t know me at all because I would never order anything like those.
I supposed I should see who this monstrosity was from. I plucked the bright pink card from the monstrosity and read, “There is a flower for each time that I thought of you. I hope we can meet up soon. Miss you, Jonathan.” The corners of my mouth twitched involuntarily. Maybe I’d judged the flowers too harshly… I hadn’t. They were hideous, but the thought behind them was sweet.
I could use a distraction. Perhaps I’d pop over to the precinct and invite him to some lunch.
A quick change of clothes and a makeup touch-up, and I was ready to go. The thought of driving there didn’t sound appealing. With everything going on, I didn’t want to be left alone with my thoughts. Too much bad to deal with, and even a goddess needed a break.
I teleported to his precinct and strode effortlessly up the stairs. I could feel the mortals’ eyes on me. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared. So that was what it’s like to be in a cheesy rom-com. I really wished they were a little less shell-shocked at my presence. The awkward stares could get annoying really fast.
I smiled at the clerk as I passed. She didn’t make an effort to stop me but did start punching numbers on her phone. She said a couple of words and hung up.
“Athena, radiant as always, I see.” Jonathan gave me one of his dazzling smiles. If I were a mortal, I would have gone weak in the knees.
“I received your lovely flowers.” Okay, so even I lie occasionally.
“I am so glad that you liked them.”
“I did. I wanted to know if I could take you to lunch?”
His smile grew at my invitation. “Yes, you can.”
Together, we walked out of the building, almost hand in hand. Everyone stared as we walked past. Maybe there was hope for me after all.