The end of March was rough. Between the whirlwind trip around the world with Dion for Dionysia and running into my father again, I felt run ragged. So naturally, the tides had to be in full swing as well. I’d forgotten that Spring Tide was the 30-31. Normally I would have sheltered beneath the waves and let the energy flow through me and around me. But I forgot, and if I’m honest, I’ve been reluctant to shift into foam or take on the sea since I returned. I’m afraid of losing myself and never returning. I hadn’t voiced these fears to anyone. What would I say?

I lay in the water off the coast, as just me. No special forms, nothing elaborate, and felt the shifting of the moon. The full moon rose a couple of days ago, but I still felt her power and her strength filling me. Life was crazy. I needed release and time. I had been erratic this last week at Nymphaeum, uncooperative, almost to the point of rudeness. It was inexcusable, and when I finally made the connection to the Spring Tide, I removed myself from all human presence. I hadn’t even spoken to Alessa this week. All I did was text to let her know I was disappearing for a couple of weeks while I dealt with some personal stuff.

Same with Dion. A text, and that was it. And really, it was more to tell him some good news. Earlier this week, Sel had texted me and asked me to meet her and Artemis at Nymphaeum to help plan their wedding, which I was ecstatic to host. I could have brought in the wedding planner we kept on retainer for it, but I wanted my hands in this pie. I wanted to make sure this event went off without a hitch. It was more important to me than the grand opening, and I prayed to everyone I knew that it would be better attended as well.

I met with her and Arty, planners at the ready, and began working out decor details. They had chosen soft pink peonies and gardenias, offset silver and midnight blue draping. I had a few ideas up my sleeves on accents, but would keep those cards close to my chest until the wedding. Things seemed to be winding down until Selene cleared her throat and looked at me. 

“I have another question for you, Amph. One a bit closer to the heart.” I could tell she had been chomping at the bit to get to this part.

I turned to look at her, tilting my head a little as Artemis lowered her eyes with a knowing grin. “What’s up, Sel?”

Selene smiled brightly and met my gaze. “Would you be my maid of honor?” My jaw hit the floor as I stared at her.

Artemis looked between us excitedly as Selene giggled. I leapt up and hugged her tightly. “Yes, of course, I will. I would love to!” The question had caught me by surprise. I had never expected to be considered for the role.

Artemis clasped her hands as she watched us, Sel’s glow returning as she hugged me back. “I am glad. I am so glad you are here. I missed you so much,” Selene commented. I could hear the sadness and joy radiating through her voice, and I felt it too, more than I realized.

“I have missed you, too.” As I released her and went back to my seat, I felt the shift, the tidal changes approaching. I keeled slightly to the side before sitting back down. I loved Selene dearly, Artemis too, but I needed to finish my portion of this planning session. 

We talked about our fathers and the distance between them and us. I felt bad for both Arty and Selene, neither of whom had seen their fathers for such a long time. I felt ashamed that Nereus and I had recently reconnected because they hadn’t had that luck yet. 

So I began plotting a casual coffee between my father, Sel, and her father. I couldn’t do much for Artemis, which made me sad. I wanted both of my friends to be happy, and it saddened me to think that they may not be on the day of the wedding. We spent the rest of the time chit-chatting. A few more divine bodies dropped in, some literally, and we enjoyed reconnecting. 

As the week went on, I dragged. My movements became erratic, then sluggish, then fevered. I felt like I was chasing a high to a drug I’d never taken, crashing randomly and then soaring back into the stratosphere. I needed to hide, and there was no better place than in the middle of the ocean. I texted Dion, Alessa, and Mathieu and told them I would be back, I didn’t know when, but I would be. I debated on telling Pater, since if I did let loose, he was the only one who could reel me back in if needed. But I didn’t want to worry him unnecessarily.

So I left. I put my phone in my office and walked into the surf, not far from where I left Mathieu when I headed back to Atlantis. The notion that I hadn’t been back there since my incident in the Trench hadn’t escaped me. I would need to return soon, but not when I was already so chaotic. It would do Atlantis no good for her queen to be a mess, and I loved my home too much to subject her to my madness once more. 

I sighed, closed my eyes, and just floated. It felt good to release control, to let the currents take me wherever they wanted. Flotsam on the surface of the world was I, and I basked in the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean. I could feel the moon pulling on us, stretching the planet slightly. I chuckled at the memories of two young Titans just coming into their powers, just beginning their dance. Selene and I were sisters through more than blood. I knew that whatever problems I faced, I could so long as she was around. It made my heart soar that she had found love. 

The thought of love brought me back to my senses, even if only a little. I wished I could share this world with Nisos, to bring him home with me and show him the splendour of the sea as only the sea deities could know. I had begun to feel a tear in me. A need to choose between Atlantis and the surface. I think deep down, I knew I would have to give one up in the end. I also innately knew I would be unhappy with whichever choice I made.

I began to sink, the weight of indecision, guilt, and fear pulling me down. The indecision was obvious, even if it wasn’t a choice I had to make immediately. That brought on the guilt. If I left the surface, I would be leaving Nisos, and my heart, up top. If I relinquished my throne and ties to Atlantis, who then would I be? My sense of self was intricately tied to the underwater realm and her king. Who then would I be without them? The guilt was harder to trace, and it was here, contemplating this emotion, that the whirlpool began. No storm raged above, yet I rested at the bottom of the great maw as the ocean whipped around me. I sat there, the energies of the Spring Tide, the full moon, Dionysia, all converging upon me. I realized I wasn’t guilty. I had no reason to be guilty. I had found love. Nisos loved me as fiercely as I loved him. I had my own business that brought people happiness and taught them about the importance of the oceans. I had my own space, which given all my sisters and brothers, was in short supply. I was free. Not just untethered from past attachments, but from my past self.I no longer worried about the storm raging inside. I opened my eyes and looked at the controlled chaos around me. The whirlpool was beautiful, and I soared around the vortex, relishing in its simple joy. I imagined this was what flying felt like. I leapt from one side and dove through the other, laughing wildly as the gulls circled overhead. All manners of sea life had come to investigate the new whirlpool, and I could feel their beady little eyes on me, judging me. I didn’t care. For once in my life, I didn’t care what they thought, what they reported back, or to whom. Tell the rest of the ocean I was off my meds. I didn’t care. For whatever reason, I finally felt like I was moving on with my life after returning from two-thousand years of slumber. I was free.

Amphitrite (Natalie Bartley)
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