The one positive of that night is that I’ve restarted my relationship with Khione. It feels good to have made up with her, to have her help. We parted on good terms, knowing we could always turn to the other if we needed them. And when it comes to the possibility of Seth rearing his ugly head again, that could be a very big advantage for me.
“Please,” she whispered, and it was all I needed to hear. After all, consent was the sexiest word in any language. Quickly, I grabbed her arms and spun her so that I had her pinned against the wall with her hands above her head. I parted her legs with my own and started grinding against her in the most intimate places.
“Look, Darnell, it doesn’t give me any glee to be doing this, but this looks like an enormous scandal. I’ve got to be on top of it. I’ll give you forty-eight hours, then I’m reporting, with or without your comment. Trust me. I think you’ll want to respond.”
I have trouble focusing, though. Tonight has been a sharp reminder of where I am in my life. How difficult it has been for me recently. I am trying to be better, even though my past actions still haunt me, especially because they still do.
In some cases, the ease with which I give a dishonest answer is always going to serve me well in this race. But, of course, there is some level of accountability. If I tell lies all the way to city hall, then when I try to do anything I want to, people are going to notice. I am trying to do something good here, and I would like to get elected on the back of that if I can.
It takes a while, but finally, the crate is dug up and eased out of the hole. The workers shift back as one of them wrenches off the lid. It looks past the box’s top and then turns to me. It can’t speak, but there’s something in its features, something I don’t think I like. I step past it, every fibre in my body jangling. I think I’m ready for what I’ll see.
Whoever did this to me did it to them, too. If it’s true, that is, which I’m still not entirely sure it is. Suppose I am the Primordial Eris, if there was only one Eris all along. It won’t just affect me, and it means that all this time, Atë has been…my child. Eros and Clio don’t even really know the real me, either. No one does. This could destroy every bond I’ve fought tooth and nail to establish.
I seethe at my reflection, my chest rising and falling in sharp, ragged movements. I grind my teeth together, knowing full well the voices are getting to me, and I’m only making it worse. I am in control. I am in control. I utter my supposedly soothing chant, trying to ignore the cackling it invokes from my unseen tormentors.
Lily breezes past the little desk in the corner of the flat, the random scattering of paperwork lifting as she does. She’s such an untidy person. So opposite to me. I think that’s what made us work so well together. As she steps past the tiny sofa, I notice her toenails are bright red. It’s not a colour I’m used to on her. I find it alluring. There’s so much I want to say, but so little I can.
Eros looks me up and down. “I want you to realize that you’re trying to change the past. You think you weren’t strong enough, and we lost our daughter.”
I open and close my mouth a few times, looking at him. I…I didn’t realize. Is that really what I am trying to do? Prove that I am strong enough now to protect our unborn children? I look away from him, staying silent.
She wouldn’t put our children in such danger, would she? It’s not just her life, which is already invaluable, but it’s our kids too. How dare she put herself in danger like this? We’re supposed to be married. Share everything. I have no secrets from her. She’s seen me at my darkest. My lowest. She saw me give up. And she kept this from me?
The entire walk has me thinking about tomorrow and what I am to do. I have no plan in place for what I am going to do when I meet L. What if I am captured? A shiver runs down my spine. That is a worse case scenario.