Medea clutched her chest as another sob wracked through her body. She almost didn't want to believe it, but sure enough, here she was heartbroken, betrayed, and not sure what to tell her two children.
Boys, your father decided we weren't good enough for him and left us for a young princess with jewels instead of brains.
Medea shook her head in disgust. When Jason came to her and told her what he did she was so enraged she almost strangled him. After everything she had ever done, everything she sacrificed for him, and this is how he repays her; abandoning his own family.
Medea looked up at Nurse. The feeble old woman was ringing her hands and frowning at her. Concern etched in the wrinkles around her eyes. Medea didn't say anything and Nurse took a breath, "King Creon is here to see you."
Medea scowled and looked away from Nurse. Of course, he was. Medea had no doubt Creon came to warn her against reacting to this situation. Medea was aware of her reputation and how people in Corinth thought of her. How they all whispered about the barbaric sorceress from Colchis, who murdered her own brother, convinced the daughters of Pelias to murder their own father, and was exiled and named murder, all for a man. A man they all now know doesn't care about anything but himself.
"Mistress, he's waiting," Nurse said, and Medea decided to spare her nerves, knowing none of this was her fault.
"I'll be out momentarily," Medea said and turned towards her mirror. Nurse took the dismissal for what it was and nodded her head and left. Alone again, Medea peered at herself in the mirror. Eyes swollen, face red, and hair tangled from her anxious pulling and twisting. Let Creon see her for what she was. Medea no longer cared what the King thought of her; she no longer cared what anyone thought of her.
The walk through the halls was unusually silent. The children knew something was wrong, even if they didn't completely understand what was happening, and they avoided her. Not that Medea paid much mind to them in her devastated state. Medea didn't even know how many days had passed since Jason left her crying in their bedroom. What did it matter anyway?
When Medea exited her house, the first thing she noticed was how bright it was outside. Creon was sat upon a tall stallion waiting for her just as Nurse said. He could wait a moment longer, Medea decided. She closed her eyes and turned her face toward the sun. She had been locked in her room for so long she forgot what natural light felt like. Before she could bask for too long, Creon cleared his throat.
Medea opened her eyes and stepped towards him, "How are you doing, Creon?"
"Good and yourself?" Creon asked as he slid off his horse, and the four guards he brought with him followed suit.
Medea smiled at him."I've had better days."
Creon almost looked uncomfortable for a moment and then squared his shoulders.
"I don't doubt that," he said and stepped towards her, "Medea I know what you've been saying. Talk of revenge and justice. I cannot allow you to threaten my daughter and her husband no matter how slighted you feel. I cannot say your rage is unjustifiable, but I know I'll do whatever it takes to protect my family."
"And what exactly does that mean, Creon?" Medea felt her annoyance rising, but she tried to calm herself. She wasn't surprised word of her outburst when Jason first told her got back to him. Medea doesn't remember much of it, to be honest; just the white-hot fire that burned inside her, and later, Nurse told her, she kept screaming that she was going to make Jason pay for this. She'd destroy his whole life - no matter the cost.
"I've made my decision, you and your children must leave Corinth at once. I cannot trust you, Medea," Creon said, and his guards tensed up in anticipation of her reaction.
"Is banishment the typical punishment for expressing sorrow or am I just special?" Medea asked, and he shook his head.
"Don't play innocent with me. I'd be a fool to underestimate you," Creon said and turned away from her.
"Wait!" Medea grabbed his arm, and his guards stepped forward, "What about my children?" Creon motioned for his guards to stand down and pulled his arm out of her tense grip, "What about them?"
Medea's brain was working a mile a minute. She knew to carry out her revenge she'd need more time. She fell to her knees and grasped his hands.
"Creon, banish me. You fear me for things I cannot be blamed for, and I understand why you act so rashly. But do not make my children suffer. They are my heart and soul, and if we're to be banished tonight, they will surely die. Give me one night and day to find arrangements for them. I promise I won't stay a moment longer. Please, Creon, you're a parent have a tender heart," Medea begged him. Creon stared down at her, and she feared he wouldn't waver, but he sighed and guided her to stand.
"You're to be gone by tomorrow night." He dropped her hands and climbed back up on his horse. "Not a moment longer."
Medea watched him and his attendants ride off. The grateful smile melted off her face. She couldn't believe his audacity. Approaching her in such a way - careless. Disrespectful. Medea stormed back into her house. She paced back and forth across the room.
"What an imbecile. He actually thinks I'd get down on my knees in front of someone so low as him if I had no benefit?" Medea laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of it.
"What did the king want?" Nurse asked, and Medea stopped her pacing. Right, she has errands to run.
"We're leaving Corinth. Me, you, and the children are leaving tomorrow night," Medea told her and Nurse's eyes widened.
"Where will we go?" She asked, confusion shrill in her voice. Medea didn't answer her and just swept past her into her bedroom down the hall. Nurse jumped when the door slammed shut behind her fuming mistress. Nurse knew what kind of anger Medea was capable, and it was anyone's guess what she's planning. Nurse worried for the children the most.