Today was the day. The day I would be moving into the GC for real. It felt surreal that my home was here, the new Olympus, and not Atlantis. But the option hadn’t even occurred to me to go back. When I returned to solid form, to consciousness, I felt the disconnect with the ocean kingdom. I somewhat regretted not discussing my role in the kingdom with him before I moved in here. It just felt right. Opening Nymphaeum and trying to sort my place out within the family seemed to be the right move.
I was downstairs in the lounge, waiting for Alessa, who would be accompanying the movers. We had put up all the walls, portioned off the rooms accordingly, painted everywhere, and now it was installation day. My bed was arriving, the kitchen and bathroom were being put in, and everything seemed to be coming together. So why was I feeling so lost? The storm that had brewed when I met Alessa at her office a couple of weeks ago hadn’t dissipated the way I’d hoped, and the worst part was, I felt it growing. I knew that something was wrong, but I couldn’t place what. And for now, I had to focus on getting settled.
Tonight would be my first official night in the GC, and I was a little nervous. I had taken up a suite at Nymphaeum for too long, and it was time to give it to the customers. We were getting a steady stream in now. There were guests from all over the world booking with us, and we were building momentum. The most popular rooms were obviously beneath the surface, as all manner of sea life likes to play around. Ok, maybe I had asked them to, but the guests loved it. The online reviews were raving, and the thought of it made me smile. I stood up quickly as Alessa approached. Her blonde hair was up in a ponytail, and she was frowning.
“Alright, spit it out, what’s wrong?” I asked playfully to help diffuse the anger I could feel building in her
“The kitchen countertops, that beautiful lapis lazuli you found, they won’t be here for another week,” Alessa said quickly. I could tell that she was trying to keep herself calm to avoid the storm in my eyes, and I nodded quickly.
“It’s alright Alessa, is everything else ready?” She nodded and sighed. “Well then, I won’t be eating here. There’s a little bistro nearby that I’ve begun to frequent so I can eat there, it’s no big deal.”
Alessa chuckled with relief and waved to the foreman who was entering the lounge. “Alright, it’s floor 27, the door to the suite is open. Everything is ready for you to start,” she said authority in her voice. I just smiled and led the way to the elevator.
Once we arrived at my floor, I opened the doors and watched as the crew started bringing in all my furniture. We had already set up the Nymphaeum office to watch over the resort while I was here. I looked at the door. If I hadn’t placed a tiny conch over the panel to open it, I would never know where it was. And that was the plan. No one was supposed to know. It wasn’t on the floor plans, and Alessa was the only other one who knew that the suite was smaller than the original floor plan.
The kitchen and bathroom were the first on the list for installations since they were the most essential. My bedroom, living room, dining room, and everything else that easily movable would be arriving later in the day, and I was excited, tangibly, visibly ecstatic. It seemed my life was coming together, and as the day went on, my apartment suites began to take shape. The second floor was complete, and I made my way up to observe the rest of the work from the interior balcony above the great room. It was an open concept suite, and I loved it. It was all me. Soft blues and shimmering turquoises, bright teals and deep cyans were accenting every room. It looked like I was under the sea, just as Alessa and I had designed it.
“Amph!” I heard her call up to me. I looked over the railing and smiled down at the interior designer. “We’re almost done down here. Your television and internet are hooked up. Your kitchen is ready to go, minus the countertops, and the bathrooms are done. I think,” she paused as I came down the stairs, “I think we’re ready to call it a day.”
I smiled at her, the woman who had become my closest friend. “Would you like to stay for dinner? I’ll order something in, and we can enjoy a nice bottle of wine.”
Alessa smiled and nodded, her brown eyes sparkling. We had discussed the possibility of advancing our relationship once this work was done, but we had agreed not to. We enjoyed each other’s presence to be sure, but we chose to stay friends instead. I understood, my respect for her only grew, and it was a mutual agreement. I was still glad to have her in my life, my best friend. “Alright, Amph, are you in the mood for anything specific?”
I paused and smiled a little. “Some pasta? And perhaps a nice salad?” I couldn’t eat seafood, I just couldn’t bring myself to, but I wasn’t going to deny anyone. Alessa respected my decision, and when we’d eaten together, she had refrained from ordering seafood. I called in the order, topping the pasta with chicken and bacon, and we cracked a couple of bottles of wine while we waited for the food. Red for Alessa, white for me.
The night was beautiful, excellent dinner, sparkling company, and when it was time, I walked Alessa down to the lounge and made sure that she got into a cab. I wanted to keep my friend safe for as long as possible.
Once Alessa was gone, I made my way back up to my floor and locked the door behind me. My first night in my new space, and I was suddenly nervous. I was alone. And that was something I had feared since Poseidon and I parted ways. I debated contacting him. I missed him so very much right now. I had my phone out, and his number dialed when I stopped and put it down. I’d only end up reaching Kai. I knew that it wasn’t Poseidon I’d been talking to these last few weeks, even if Kai was too polite to say anything. I doubted he was even at the bar.
I pulled out the Queen’s Jewel, which hung around my neck, but stopped before activating it. My nerves were not an emergency. I was sure he was swamped being a king, being my king. Once things settled down, I knew that I would head back down to Atlantis and reaffirm my oath to King and Kingdom. Whether he wanted to keep me around, well, that was a discussion we would need to have at some point.
I made my way back up to my bedroom and flopped down on the bed. I was weary, not just tired from the move in, but from running into the family. Seeing gods that I hadn’t seen in over 2,000 years was draining me. I knew I would need time in the sea, away from civilization, which is hilarious considering I’d spent the last two millennia as sea foam. Even just a swim back home, seeing it again, would be rejuvenating. I made a mental note as I slipped into unconsciousness to visit Atlantis sooner rather than later.
The next morning I awoke in a sweat. The dreams faded quickly, but the feeling remained. A sense of dread washed over me and when I looked out the massive windows, the clear blue sky and bright sun were no indicators that anything was amiss. Perhaps it was just my fears of being alone, or maybe it was something else. I didn’t know, and I didn’t really want to get into it so early in the morning.
After finding a pair of comfy pants and a loose off-the-shoulder sweater to wear, I trudged downstairs and made my way to the unfinished kitchen. I made some tea and walked over to one of my larger chairs. I had it facing the windows, so I could look outside and almost feel like there was a balcony.
My phone dinged softly, and I smiled. Only a few people had my number, and they were all a cause for smiles.
Alessa: Amph, the countertops will be in today. I called and rained hellfire down on them for botching the delivery date. I’ll call later with a more accurate delivery time.
My smile got bigger.. My tea tasted better, the sky looked brighter, and I relaxed a little more. The storm clouds in my minds-eye dissipated for now.
As I looked around my nearly finished apartment, I sent a quick text to an old friend that I had run into a little while ago.
Amphitrite: Dion, my apartment is nearly done, come over one night for that dinner I promised you.
Once it was sent, I went back to looking out the window and relaxing my morning away.
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