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.
She points to the pillows next to me, and I grind my teeth to keep from snapping at my mother for setting me up. Clio’s face goes red when she sees me, and her gulp is audible even as she takes the seat beside me. Her back is stick straight, every inch of her body on edge. Her voice is frosty. “What is it you’d like me to do, Aphrodite?”
“I’m doing something different for my family,” I murmur, coming to my mother’s side, kissing her forehead. “I will always love you, Miteras, but I won’t make your choices, your mistakes. Things will be different for me, for Clio.”
I came up behind her to stop her, but she cut me short. “No, Nike! This needs to be said…” blah blah blah. All I could think was calm thoughts in hope to calm the room. The both of them were talking about Heph.
“You will never say anything about her in a demeaning or degrading way, am I clear? She is a beautiful woman who deserves respect. If you cannot treat her or anyone who comes into my office with a modicum of deference and respect, you can go right back to that cabaret where I found you.
I looked at him, incredulous. “You need my help? Well, let me mark this down on my calendar. The great Hephaestus, the great forge master, needs help from his brother, the god of war. Whose butt do you want me to kick for you, brother?”