At least I didn’t give in to temptation. I got through packing up the house without imbibing a single drop. No spirits passed my lips. As much as I had wanted to travel with Tori and Micah, I knew I had to let them go ahead. They would make the arrangements for their residences as well as informing my former patients about my imminent return. I didn’t think I could let them oversee the arrangements at the God Complex. I’d just have to let them do what they could to make my life easier. Though easier would’ve been them traveling with me, keeping me from hiding away, and ensuring that I made the trip back to Olympus.
But I let them go. I was glad that they were so excited to start the new adventure and that they were willing to help me so much. At least they could set up my office for me. For my sanity, it felt like a better decision not to have the office in the God Complex. It would make it easier for me to get through my work without being consumed by my anxiety. I’d found a building nearby that seemed far more peaceful, and decided to settle my office there. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be staying in the God Complex, but I could at least give it a shot, see if I could stomach being there with everything that I had yet to work through.
Even with all that worry filling me, I managed a decent bit of rest. When I woke, the house was empty, eerily silent. Micah and Tori had flown out that morning after I convinced them I’d be fine on my own for a day or two. It was strange to wake without the sound of Micah’s footsteps thumping closer to my room with my morning coffee, Tori trailing after him, listing off my schedule as if he didn’t have my routine down. I never thought I would miss something so simple, so normal. Why did those humans mean so much to me? There it was, my old mentality returning as soon as they left.
I shook it off and got up to go find my own coffee, not trusting that my abilities were back to their normal state. The last thing I needed was to accidentally boil myself with scalding coffee. That didn’t sound like the best way to have my morning go. My mortals had been kind enough to teach me the joys of ordering food, or in this case coffee, on my phone. What was I going to do for two days without them? A scowl tugged at my lips as I put my order in and thought about how much I depended on them. What good was it to fight it, though? Once more, I shook it off and searched out a snack to go with my coffee, which I hoped would arrive shortly.
It did. And I was at least going to start the day well. I just had to try to find the will to begin my journey back to Olympus. The boxes had been shipped, most of the food and their belongings had gone as well. Only the basic items had stayed, along with the furniture, in case I came back for a visit. It was likely, and it wasn’t the only home that I kept outside of Olympus.
I only wasted a single day before starting home. With my uncertainty over my powers, I was forced to travel like a human. At least I could travel like a mortal in style. Still, I knew I wasn’t quite ready to go to the God Complex to see certain people. And what of those that might not want to see me? There were so many people I wanted to talk to, but I wasn’t sure that they would ever let me near them again.
I groaned and raked my fingers through my newly darkened hair. The blue was fun, but I figured the solid brown that was nearly black was far better for my professional image. My patients probably wouldn’t care if my hair was still that turquoise color, but I felt better going back to an appearance that had been one of my favorites over the years. Perhaps I would pull that azure hair color back out when I got too bored.
Since I didn’t want to go straight to Olympus, even with layovers, I went somewhere that was even more important. Where my existence began. Sure, it differed from what it had been then, but that ocean was still home to me. The water lapped at my toes as I stood at the edge, letting the waves tempt me to go deeper. I dropped the sandals I’d opted to carry, letting them bury themselves in the sand as I waded into the water. It chilled me, but it also soothed. The heavy weight in my chest, and the trepidation knotting my stomach, disappeared as the calming embrace of the sea wrapped around me. It was the calming embrace of what I could only think of as my mother. It had been the source of my creation, my beginning, and I was drawn to it as part of my new start. My birth had been in those waters. Why shouldn’t my rebirth have the same beginning?
I had been so lost in thought that I hadn’t realized that the water was already at my waist. I stopped, taking in the sounds of the ocean, the feeling of contentment that I had only ever found there. Who cared how I would look when I arrived home? Perhaps it was another sign of my growth, my lack of caring over my appearance. I dove under the water, feeling freer than I had in months as I just floated beneath the surface. It felt like a true rebirth as I stood, the saltwater dripping down my body, washing away my irrational fears. Perhaps they weren’t completely irrational, but I felt better thinking of them as such.
I could feel the salt clinging to my skin and clothes as I got to the God Complex. It was a quick trip inside at least, carefully avoiding everyone as I quickly showered, changed, and dropped what bags I had with me inside. Dark, wet hair clung to my face and shoulders as I hurried to the office. I was sure my two humans had already begun making it to my liking. I wasn’t disappointed as I stepped inside, nodding in approval. Everything was dark woods, cream, and burgundy materials. There were blankets and throw pillows in an array of those colors, which I knew my patients would make use of. “I knew I could trust you two,” I told them, smiling at the proud looks on their faces as they continued unpacking. My eyes went to the door, the black plaque with silver writing, my fingers brushing over the etched letters. Dr. Dita Onasis. It was an amusing name I had chosen, and it felt wrong to change when my patients knew me as that. I could live with it.
I looked around and wrapped my arms around myself with a sigh. I was making sure that the space for my patient’s healing and personal journeys was perfect, comfortable, comforting. And yet, I was psyching myself out to make my anxiety skyrocket ever higher with each passing moment. It was going to be a long, humiliating, painful journey, and I just couldn’t stop reminding myself of that. I wasn’t prepared to debase myself, to beg for forgiveness, to openly admit to my sins outside Dr. Frost’s office. There just wasn’t any more time to prepare. I was home, which meant I had to do what I had left New Mexico.
Tori’s amused smile as she approached pulled my attention to her. “The dark hair looks incredible. I’ll miss the blue, though.”
“I was considering putting a dark blue over it, a more subtle look. Perhaps once my patients are all settled and comfortable with me once more.” What could a dark hair color that was blue in certain lights hurt after all?
“Fair enough. Let me know if you change your mind, boss lady. I might be rusty, but I’ll find you a good stylist.”
“Thank you, Tori,” I murmured. Her full name was a mouthful to any that wasn’t fluent or familiar with Greek. But I called her by her preferred name. It was the least I could do for one that made my life that much more tolerable. “I take it you both found suitable living arrangements?” I took them at their nods of agreement. They wouldn’t lie to me. If they hadn’t, one or both would’ve looked abashed and asked me to help them fix it. But they were capable enough and could do what needed to be done on their own. I was glad that they didn’t need me to fix their problems anymore. Once, when we had first met, I had fixed plenty, but they had both grown so much since then. And considering the messes they were when we first met, as was I, I never thought that I would come to depend on them.
“As soon as you both have finished, go eat and rest. Take tomorrow off to explore and get familiar with the area. I will have assistance if I need it,” I assured them. It took little to get them to agree. They were exhausted from their journey and getting my life in order for me. “Perhaps I will gift you another day off,” I murmured, knowing I would most likely give them as many days as they needed or until I needed them back.
I left the office and sighed as I started back for the God Complex, steeling myself for what I needed to do and for the search that I had to begin.