I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back, pulling my knees to my chest. The decision to come and make new friends was a good one. My vision was right. Visiting Hestia was a good choice, and now I had a group of friends that I felt connected to. Maybe I could expand my decision to trust others. There was going to be more to this evening, I was sure, but I was happy to settle in and have another drink.
They were quick to welcome me, encouraging me to join them for a Star Wars marathon. While my weakness was for Battlestar Galactica, I didn’t see a problem in joining them. Perhaps I would be able to lose myself in the movie and not give in to the vicious voice in my mind.
“What did I miss?” Aphrodite said as she came back into the living room. Under one arm was a basket of muffins, the ones I had made in vain to save my kitchen. She had whipped cream on her nose and cheek, and in her right hand was a can of the processed stuff. I had no idea why Dite liked that crap. She always says it’s fun, whatever that means.
I stood with Hestia and picked up my food while Mano settled back around my neck. “I’ll come with you. If you’re worried about something, you may need a fire hose.”
Hestia slid her hand over her face. “Only if it’s Dite trying to cook something. That girl can burn water.”
My gaze flitted to one side and then the other before I decided to use some questionable skills I had picked up in my time away with mortals. They were both good and bad influences. I was going to find what I wanted for muffins, and I wouldn’t let something as simple as a locked door prevent me from reaching them.
Perhaps I was giving in to the dramatics I had come to love from mortal media. But there was something about his startled cry when he saw me sitting in the near dark, playing an athame between my fingers that made me almost giddy.
I hadn’t talked to her in two years, ever since I sent her back to her husband. The sound of her voice still made my heart race, and I was flooded with memories of times past when things had been good between us. But this was hardly the time for a trip down memory lane. “This isn’t a good time, Aphrodite,” I whispered.
Though I plotted and planned, I knew it was too soon to put those things into motion. I had considered resuming my search for Hephaestus. It had taken years to destroy our relationship, and I knew it could take just as long to fix things between us. However, no one wanted to tell me where he was, and I still had to figure out who had his number. Then I had to convince them I only had the best intentions, so they would let me have it.
Callie’s tears had slowed, and I could see her body was dragging her back into sleep. I stroked her hair again and whispered, “Rest. We will deal with everything else later.” And we would, but her ex just might not survive me dealing with it. I still had a little goddess wrath within me, and I had plenty of frustrations to take out on him.
The pain troubles me, reminding me of what I am and that I am not what I should have been. Have I not suffered enough? My wife does not think so, and nobody speaks to guide her or to restrain my recalcitrant brother and his grievous behaviour. They would do well to remember that I could deal with the matter if I so chose, as I have been forced to act before. The day may come when I am left with no option.
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?
As I enter, the world stops. For one brief moment, bright light is everywhere, but I am unsure whether I truly see it or whether it is some other type of experience. It seems the light is behind my eyes, as if all of my body, and all that there is, is composed of it. Then it disappears, and the world begins again.
The answers I seek cannot be found anywhere else. Going home means making amends, and I am prepared to do that. Whether it be by humiliating means or good deeds, I know it must be done. I am hoping to avoid the former, though.
It is unfair. Why must I be the one to endure this? Why must I live in pain, alone, ugly, and unloved? Why do others get to enjoy existence? I am so tired, in every sense. So very tired. At last, I feel the pills take effect unless it is my imagination. The pain still seems to be there, but I find I care less. Perhaps I can sleep.