V. Sun Rising on Anger
I saved the worksheet Professor Brown had assigned us and then searched ‘Harry Potter all characters,’ desperate to finish my English essay so I could forget about Apoll- Professor Donahue. But with every word I wrote in my notebook, I could hear his voice. I expect nothing but perfection from all of you. You must put your best foot forward and continue to surprise me or else I will not hesitate to drop your grade by the letter.
The room that I was in was beautiful… the walls and furniture were white, and on the right side of the bed was an enormous glass window. They had knitted some upholstery with rose yarn and embroidered some of it on red silk. The entire night had passed after Ap- Professor Donahue had dropped me off and I wasn’t any closer to forgetting what had happened in the car. I just couldn’t forget what he had said. I’m sorry. I… can’t.
Why couldn’t he tell me?! He knew why I had suddenly had a surge of power, but he said nothing. He knew why I had the tattoo on my left wrist, but he said nothing.
He. Said. Nothing.
I was already regretting coming here. I groaned and focused on my essay. It was better to distract myself from the betrayal I felt.
I methodically wrote the names of each character in Harry Potter and then searched for the origins. I sorted the names into distinct categories. Latin names. Flower names. Astrological names. Names which had personal meaning to the author. Organizing the information for the essay was soothing. Once I had all the information, and a few quotes from J. K. Rowling, I began drafting the essay.
I was a quick drafter. I usually put in so much work into my research that drafting the essay was nothing. But somehow, despite not caring about the Professor anymore, I wanted to impress him. He was one of the first people who defended me, told me I amounted to something, didn’t reduce me to be my father’s daughter or anyone except Morgana.
The memory of my name on his lips was painful. Why had he chosen not to speak a word to me after I muttered the two syllables I thought every Professor would want to hear? Explain. That was all I said.
I pushed these thoughts to the side and continued working on the essay. It took me an hour, but once I finished writing it, I opened my inbox and checked the mail with my homework update for the week.
Monday, 6th June–Professor Donahue–Language Arts: English
Write an essay on the names in the book/series of your choice. Word limit: 3000 words. Impress me.
Monday, 6th June–Professor Minerva Brown–Mathematics
Worksheet attached. My guess is most of you won’t be able to finish it. Prove me wrong.
Friday, 10th June–Professor Millicent Cavanaugh–Psychology
Write an essay on the impact of birth order on people. Word limit: 2000 words. Show me how you think.
Friday, 10th June–Professor Ivan Volkov–Art
Take inspiration from your favorite artist(s) and design a piece. No limits on the medium. Go big or go home.
Friday, 3rd July–Professor Hermes Martin Jackson–Film
Produce, direct, film, and edit two episodes. No limits. Surprise me.
The way I had finished Professor Brown’s task satisfied me, so I attached the PDF in a mail and sent it to her. I ran my eyes over the essay for Professor Donahue’s class, but I still wasn’t ready to send it, so I pressed the save button after making minor changes. I was feeling too restless to finish Professor Jackson’s or Professor Cavanaugh’s task, so I decided to draft something for Professor Volkov.
By the time I had a concrete plan for the art piece, I would make for Professor Volkov—inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe—the sun peaked from the horizon. I placed my art supplies back on the desk and turned off the light, sitting near the French window.
The sunrise was more beautiful here than anywhere I’d seen it. Teals and pinks were spread out through the sky, and where they canceled each other out, it was grey. The sun was a small white speck. I observed the gardens than encircled Esme Estate. There were flowers, and trees and shrubs, all in shades of red and pink. I could see a maze-like set of paths that cut through the foliage. It was messy; it was organized. It was beautiful in a way only nature—and love—could be.
I opened one window and rushed to my bag, taking out my camera and wondering why I hadn’t thought of it the moment I saw this spectacle. I twiddled with the settings and then snapped photographs of everything. The sunrise. The sky. The plants. The scene was so gorgeous I wanted to hold on to each aspect as tightly as I could.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” a melodic voice asked, and I jumped in fright. If I hadn’t put the camera around my neck, I would have dropped it.
“Good God,” I muttered, turning around to see a woman with curly black hair and pink eyes. Her robe matched her eyes and the surrounding room. It hugged her figure and spread out on the ground in a beautiful mess of silk. “Aphrodite,” I curtsied. It could be nobody else.
“Love! You’re my daughter. Call me mom!”
I winced. I didn’t want to go through the negative connotations to that word, so I was a little frigid when I said, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know Olympus had the culture of calling people who were missing all their lives mom.”
“I heard what happened with Apollo,” she sighed. “I came to explain since he was too… well, Apollo to do it himself. Coward,” she muttered. “You can call me… Call me Aph. Everyone does.”
When she realized I would not say anything, she sat on the bed. I put the lid on my camera lens and set it on the bedside table before taking a seat near the window on the floor.
“You are in your homeland. Your body reacted to being in its element, so that’s why you feel powerful,” she said. “A little ambrosia and nectar and you’ll be invincible. As for the tattoo…” she sighed once more. “There is no non-offensive way to say this.”
Sensing her discomfort, I rushed to her rescue. Sometimes, I was too nice for my good. “Whatever you say in the next minute, I will not judge you.”
“Thanks, love.” She sighed. We’re on a roll. That’s the third time. “It’s actually my son Eros’s doing. After the whole Hera/Zeus fiasco and the whole me/Hephaestus situation, Eros did the werewolf thing by assigning soulmates. Identical tattoos and half a quote.”
I rubbed my forehead. I cannot believe the Greek gods and goddesses. “Wait, a second. So, you’re saying, that someone out there has the second half of this quote–” I motioned to my left wrist–“on their wrist and that they’re my soulmate and I’m only getting this because I’ve ‘returned to my element’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and have accepted my position as your daughter?!”
“Umm… it sounds weird when you say it like–”
“Yes. Or. No?” I snapped.
“So, who’s my soulmate?” I asked, pressing my back into the window.
“Um… he’d want to tell you himself,” she said, and then it all fell into place.
“Oh, I know who it is all right,” I said, my voice dangerously low. “I want you to call him here as soon as he’s done doing whatever the hell he’s doing. He and I need to talk.”
She swept her gaze over me and knew that she couldn’t argue. I hadn’t made an unreasonable request, and although my motivations were less than stellar, I’m sure a part of her understood.
“All right, love,” she sighed (Good lord…) “Breakfast?”
“Yes please,” I said, and we talked no more until later that day.
Seven crows perched on the windowsill and they cawed before dispersing. I couldn’t help but remember the rhyme mum used to sing to me.
One is for sorrow,
Two are for mirth.
Three for a wedding,
Four for a birth.
Five for silver,
Six for gold.
Seven for a secret
Never to be told.
Curse me for being superstitious, but someone here was hiding something. I just had to find out what.