After my time with Helios on the beach, we began reconnecting. He often asked about Circe and desired reconciliation. I knew she had been around, so I contacted her to see if we could connect. We met in one of the session rooms on the rehabilitation floor of the GC. It was not as comfortable as I had hoped, but we did not want Circe to feel any more stress by meeting in Helios’ apartment.
“Helios, Circe, would you like some tea? They always have a good selection here,” I said, pausing at the counter, set up with a coffee pot and kettle. My brother and niece sat cautiously across from each other in the main room.
Helios smiled slightly. “Yes, please, is there mint?”
Checking the cupboard, I found a tin of teas and started the kettle. “Yes, Sol. Circe, tea?”
Searching for her voice, Circe barely managed a whisper, “Mint sounds perfect, thank you.”
I smiled back at my family, then returned to busying myself with my task. I set three cups and saucers down on the counter and added the tea just as the kettle whistled. Pouring the water into the cups, I returned the tin and placed the cups on a tray, carrying them to the seating area.
“Do either of you need sugar or cream?” I asked, feeling the tension in the room. I tried to send them calming vibes. I could feel how nervous Helios was and hoped my presence and inner calm was radiating into him.
Attempting to speak again, Circe answered, “Cream soothes my nerves.”
I smiled gently at Circe and returned for the cream. “Helios? Need anything?” He shook his head in response, and I returned with the container of cream.
Not wanting the tension to continue, I began as soon as I sat down, “I know this is hard. It took me months to even speak to Helios after his release. So I do understand. I am not sure how you left things when you were separated, but I do know that we are family, and we can and will overcome this.” Turning to Circe with a soft smile, I addressed her, “Circe, Helios has been in therapy for a few months now. He is working on coming back into the modern world and has made great strides to do so. He is not the father you knew, nor the man, but I truly feel he is better for it. Is there anything specific you would like to ask him?”
Circe’s face fell, and she looked at the floor, crimson peppering her cheeks. Her brow furrowed in fear of disappointment as she apologized for forcing his hand in banishment. “I am sorry, Father. I know you expected more from me. How do we heal from this? Will you forgive me?” Afraid of the answer, Circe rose from her seat and walked over to gaze out the window, unable to face his words.
Helios turned and watched her cross the room with a sigh, the weight of their past heavy upon him. “Circe, my dear, the past is just that…the past. I am not the man I was, and never will be again. As I am sure you have changed and grown, so have I. I made the wrong choice, and for that, I paid the price. All I can do is move forward and be the man I am now.” He paused and took a deep breath. “Can you forgive me? For putting you in that predicament to begin with?”
With the biggest grin she could muster, Circe spun around and flashed a reassuring smile. “Absolutely! The time on Aeaea cultivated the Sorceress you see in front of you! Like you, I am not the same person. I cannot describe how grateful I am! You gave me life in so many ways. My desire is to return the gift. How can I…. Is there anything I can do for you? I am here for you.”
Standing, I felt his heart fill with love and compassion for his daughter. He approached Circe slowly. “No dear, I am here for you. It has been too long, and all I want is to get to know you again. To be there for you,” he closed the distance between them and placed his hand gently on her shoulder, “and Selene. I owe you both so much. I only hope I make you both proud of the new man I am becoming and fulfill my end of the trade.” He searched her face for a moment before turning to look back at me. “I really owe you my life, Luna. Such as it is. And cannot thank you enough for this reconciliation.”
“Sol, you earned this, I simply arranged for it to happen. If Persephone hadn’t…” I trailed off as the appreciation filled me. “I am just so grateful for second chances.”
Helios turned back to Circe. “May I…may I hug you?”
Eager to say yes, Circe maintained her composure, coyly nodding at her father. This was a moment she never saw coming and was not keen on letting it pass too quickly. In his radiant embrace, she felt the light that connected them through time and space. As though nothing ever stood between them.
I sat, watching them with an emanating glow. The bond between them grew.. The reunion had gone as I had hoped, and I felt a sense of peace flow through me that I hadn’t felt in eons. Family, home, at last…
They joined me in the living room and sat together on the couch. We remained there for a few hours and caught up. Circe described her adventures for Helios . She told him that she had also spent time in jail for public indecency, and her only way out was through sorcery. “I was not about to remain in mortal captivity. Their weaknesses exhaust me. So, with the help of a few birds of prey and my wand, I re-created a 21st century Aeaea. Although the plan with this one is for healing more than me.”
Helios spoke of the things he was learning in the lab and how the equipment blows his mind. “Those things they look through that make everything so big and close is outstanding.” The return of his warmth and glow filled me with a joy I thought I had lost.
Chuckling, I answered him, “You mean a microscope?”
“Yes! That! How do they get that tiny thing to look so close? I may never understand. But I am enjoying the numbers and measurements Ms. Shelly tasks me with. The time does seem to just go by once I get started.” He was spilling over with excitement, and it filled the room.
I felt like I was watching a child as their exuberance bounded, sharing newly made memories and plans to make more. My thoughts drifted to Eos as I toyed with the bracelet on my wrist. I felt Helios nudge me, drawing me back to the present.
“Luna, stop. It is behind us now. Do not let it keep bringing you down. If therapy has taught me anything, it is that.”
We looked in each other’s eyes as our bond connected our thoughts. Smiling softly at him, I gave him a small nod and pushed it out of my mind, returning to the conversation at hand.
Family. Something Circe had never felt before. I could see her fascination with the strong connections between her father and me. She held my gaze as she spoke up, “Selene, thank you for bringing us all together! And yet, we’ve heard very little from you. Maybe this isn’t the appropriate time, and I hope to get to know you some more! As for my father, Helios, what you describe sounds quite intriguing, and maybe you can tell me more when we see one another again.”
A broad grin crossed my lips. “Circe, you are more than welcome to stop by the lab anytime you want. Helios is working there for now, and I am there often. You are always welcome to visit, dear. Do you use a mobile phone? We can exchange numbers and stay in touch whenever you like.”
Reaching for the pouch on her hip, Circe presented me with a cellphone. “I certainly do. I’m not crazy about this thing, but I do like your idea!”
I took the device and entered my number into it, handing it back. “Now you can call me up any time, and we can get together again.” I gave her a pleased smile. The day had gone even better than I could have hoped, and the peace in the room was palpable. This is what a family reunion is supposed to be…