I snort derisively and see her face change. I quickly explain myself lest I awake in a pigsty. “I mean you no disrespect.” In fact, I suspect that she is more than capable of doing what is required if the need arises. “But this business of sword fighting, it is something beloved of those like Ares. I have never been convinced of its utility.”
That may even have been the first moment I bought into my own illusion because I wanted to believe it. I’d finally had a version of our relationship that worked for me. One that I could navigate successfully. I was never what you’d call mother/father/non-gendered parent of the millennia, but a partner in crime? That I could do, and so I did, for many years. Now that’s all over.
I have taken some other food as well, for it is not the done thing to simply have a large plate of bacon. It is better to have other food, even if it is to remain uneaten. Choosing only one foodstuff and consuming it to the exclusion of all else makes people uncomfortable. In my thousands of years among the mortals, I have mastered some small points such as this.
The image of when he left me plays through my mind. My back was against the cold stone tiles as he stumbled from the cell and out of my life for a thousand years. The silent cries I tried to hide for years afterward. The feeling of being completely alone and knowing he wouldn’t come back, and he hadn’t. I had said damning things there too, and this was just the same. I had pushed and pushed, and it worked. He will no longer be here if I keep this up, and it breaks me. It hurts me more than I want to admit.
“Looking for this?” a male voice said from my chair. My sword was being held out to the side by an arm covered in black leather. “Rather careless of the God of War to leave his sword casually lying around, isn’t it?”