Was it all a dream?
I woke up. It had all been a dream. But how could I still see his hand in mine as he tugged me closer to him? I could feel his breath on my neck. Those luscious lips on mine took my breath away. His hazel eyes looked me up and down, and that sweet smirk that quirked up one side of his lips. The images flickered through my mind, and the memories felt so real. Bia had said it felt like a spell.
What’s wrong with me?
My mind tossed until I opened my eyes and sat up, looking around the room. Teddy was lying next to me, curled up close. He stirred, but settled back to sleep. I saw it was still dark out. My head hurt as the room spun. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to steady myself. When I reopened them, I saw a glass of water on my nightstand. The clock read 2:30 AM. 2:30? That’s all? I thought I’d slept longer. My eyes burned as I swiped at the tears that had fallen, covering my mouth so that my siblings couldn’t hear my whimper. I exhaled slowly and slid off my bed, heading to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror. My hair was frizzy and my make-up had smeared mascara tracks on my cheeks from all the crying. I was just so exhausted. I don’t even know why I’m still crying over this, I admonished myself.
I needed to get out of the house. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, stopping to look back at my sleeping son before I left the flat. He would be alright and the others would watch over him. Teddy may look the size of a twelve-year-old, but he was still a baby to me.
I went downstairs and didn’t even remember getting into my Maserati, but then I was driving. I sped out of the city heading…I didn’t know where I was going until I was at the cliff. It overlooked the city and the sea, the view breathtaking. I got out and went to the edge, letting the sea air fill my lungs. That’s when I heard her voice.
“It’s alright, Nike, you are alright, sweetheart,” a woman’s voice whispered in the wind.
I turned to see if she was there, but she wasn’t.
“Mother, please help me. I can’t… I don’t understand why this hurts so much.” The tears streamed down my face.
It was only a dream. I turned back to the sea and sat on the ground, bringing my knees to my chest. My wings opened, and I wrapped them around myself. It started to rain, which seemed fitting. I wiped at my face, trying to clear the hurt and sorrow I felt at the loss of something, no, someone so dear to me. “AHAHAHHHHHHH!” I screamed. This was so dumb. Why was it so easy for me to help others win what they needed but for me, I just couldn’t? I curled up into myself and just allowed myself a good cry.
I was glad I came out here. My son or my siblings didn’t need to see me like this. After a while, my crying subsided. The rain lightened up, and I opened my wings, letting the rain wash my tears away.
I had loved before, but always from afar. I admire the mortals so much. They can love and let go all in a short time. Sure, there are those that the sting of love affects longer, but they can move on. I try to convince myself that I want to be the same. The clouds moved on as I watched. They blew from one end of the sky to the other.
As I sat there on the ground, I wondered what made me hear my mother’s voice. I hadn’t heard from Styx in a very long time, and I focused on how I was feeling, on how much I missed her. I wished she was with me. I closed my eyes and the memory of her voice filled my mind..
“Nike, dear one, the river is always flowing. You will not experience the same water flow twice, but I am always there, always moving. Remember that, my sweet,” Mother said to me. “You are part of this river.” She held my hand to her chest. “It flows through you. Your feelings are deep and you will feel things differently than the others.” She brought me in for a hug, turning me to face my siblings as they were preparing for our move. “You are my heart.” She gently kissed my forehead.
I remembered that day. That was the day before we came to help Lord Zeus. My mother, Styx, brought us here, away from our father Pallas, and the uncles that wanted to rule the world. This was a bittersweet memory. I stood and closed my eyes, taking in a cleansing breath, clearing the memory from my mind.
I opened my eyes and looked out around the city. Olympus had modernized herself. Fancy solar lights were lighting up Olympus Boulevard, leading right past the warehouse where all this started, the source of my heartache. I decided to return there to see if I could figure out what had happened.
I flew around the building. It was the same as it had been the night before. The old brick and mortar building, the windows were still busted out. The smell of ambrosia lingered in the air, and that puzzled me. I didn’t remember there being anything like that served at the party.
I floated down to the door, where there was visible damage from where Kratos had forced it open. There was a great big hole in the building’s side where he must have punched it, trying to get in. There were lots of marks in the gravel, footprints of someone running away. I went into the warehouse to see what else there was to be found.
As I made my way further in, I had to stop and allow my eyes to adjust to the dark. I looked around and saw the curtains were gone, as were the bars and tables. There was nothing left of the party. On the floor, I saw my blades and my shoes in a pile about where my brother had found me. I picked up my daggers and paused to study them. They felt the same as always, but I noticed one wing had a light green gem in the middle. I stared at it, confused. Where did that come from? Weren’t these shaped like angels before? I fell to my knees, realizing I was looking at her blades. I closed my eyes and shook my head to remove the memory from my mind. I didn’t want to remember that moment because then his face would…and then it happened I was back there, back in that moment… holding him one last time. As I stood up, I trembled, and all I knew was that I needed to get out of there.
“See, I told you, you don’t care who you hurt,” a voice said.
“What? Who’s there?” I shouted as I took off in the direction I thought the voice had come from.
I flew through the interior of the building, my heart pounding in my chest. I was moving so fast but stopped in front of the mirror that had my name on it when I could find no one. The only trace was a burn mark on the wall and glass. There was glass all over the floor. I picked up a piece to see what it was made of, and a chill went through me like magic was still in the glass. My heart raced, and I flew out the door to the roof to catch my breath. What the heck is going on, Nike? I said to myself.
After I had slowed my breathing and my heart stopped racing, I saw my bag from the corner of my eye. I had left it behind when I went to the party and had forgotten all about it. I picked it up, putting my blades and shoes inside and the piece of glass as well. I noticed the stars had come out and the crescent moon shone down on me.
“Thanks, Selene.” I laughed, grabbed my bag, and headed home. It was now close to 6:40 in the morning and everyone was still asleep. I changed out of my clothes and headed for the shower. The steam formed around me from the heat of the shower. I let the spray help relax the muscles in my shoulders. A beautiful, hot shower always helped me to relax, and I stood there soaking in the heat, letting my mind relax.
“Victoria, we need to leave if we are going to go and meet your parents,” Jacob called to me.
“I’m coming.” I turned to see him standing in the doorway, his eyes roaming up and down my body.
“How angry would your mother be if we were a bit late?” He smiled with a gleam in his eye, pulling his tie loose.
I blinked a few times as the image faded, and I was still in the shower. I put my hands over my eyes. “Why do I keep seeing him? I asked myself as I shook my head. “No, stop, please make it stop.” I slid down the wall of the shower and sobbed.
“Nike, are you alright?” my sister’s voice filled my mind as she grabbed a towel and joined me in the shower. She wrapped me in the towel and turned off the water, holding me as I sobbed uncontrollably.
I pressed the heel of my hand to my eyes as anger rose in me. “Why is this happening to me? I hate this.” I tried to catch my breath between each word.
“I don’t know, little one, I don’t know.”
Teddy was standing in the doorway as Zelus and Kratos entered, pushing him out of the way.
“We need to get to the bottom of this,” Kratos said.
“It’s her heart; it’s breaking,” Teddy spoke up.
Zelus and Kratos looked at Teddy.
“Can’t you feel that? She feels defeated that she did something wrong, and caused harm where she didn’t mean to,” Teddy added
“How do you know this?” Zelus asked as he glanced at his nephew.
“I can feel it, like a vibration hitting me right here,” he said as he pointed to his chest. “Can’t you feel it, Uncle Zel?
Zelus turned back and I could tell that seeing me balled up in the shower wasn’t easy for him.
“Zel?” Bia called
“Zelus, is this true? Can you feel this?” Kratos asked
“Yes, but I thought it was pain. I felt a surge when I was carrying her back, but I thought it was the fact she was bleeding and hurt. Not that she lost something.” He knelt and reached for my hand. “Honest, little one, I would never, you know me?”
I reached out my hand to him. “I know, Zel, I know.”
We all sat there for a moment.
“You should get dressed and back in bed. I’ll call the aunts and see if they can offer you something to get past this. Alright, Nike?” Kratos said.
Everyone except Bia left me to get dressed and back in bed.
“Really, Bia, I’m alright.”
“We will see, little one. But first, let’s get you back in bed and well-rested,” she replied as she put out my favorite pajamas.
The smell of bacon and eggs wafted in my room. “Mmm…Francisco must be here.” I had crawled back into bed at my siblings’ insistence. They would have sat on me or even worse, sent for Mom to come, and I knew I didn’t want that.
Francisco had brought in a tray with a good, hot breakfast and some soothing tea.
“You need your rest, Ms. Nike. We can’t have you not at your best with the Olympics getting ready to start,” he said as he placed the tray on my bed.
“Oh, my Gods! How could I have forgotten about my ultimate contest?” I went to get up to grab my laptop.
“Get back in that bed, young Goddess. Don’t make me call Lady Hera.”
“No! You are to rest. You can look later. They can wait. They have waited this long. One more day won’t hurt them,” Bia exclaimed. I caught the others giggling at me, including my son.
“Gee, Mom, I didn’t know they bossed you around.” Teddy giggled.
I tossed a pillow at them. “Shh, you. You wait till I’m rested. I’ll be myself again, mister, just you wait. Come, eat with me.” I motioned for him to sit on the bed with me.
“No, his is out there. You eat up, and I’ll be back to take this out,” Fransisco directed.
“You too? What is this, a revolt?” I tossed up my hands. “I concede to live and fight another day,” I said, sliding under my blanket as everyone laughed.
“Rest, Nike, I mean it,” Kratos said as he closed the door as they all left.
“Fine, you win this one. A good soldier knows when to retreat, you know.” I laughed at them.
Looking down at the breakfast. “Hmmm, bacon,”