I rushed to my room the moment we got home. I took of my shoes off and tackled the books. I searched everywhere for Ophiuchus but no luck. I had one book left and I prayed to Virgo that I could get something out of it. I flipped through the pages carefully and slowly so I wouldn’t miss a thing.
I had been doing this for hours and now I was almost done with the last book. I got nothing, I told myself. I tried to forget about it but something about Ophiuchus was so familiar, it almost made me feel nostalgic.
I have to get out of here, I thought.
Also, I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore, I had to tell my friends. Maybe they can help me.
I stopped at Tristan’s house, I knew Lyra was there studying. I basically blurted everything out to them and I sounded like a total idiot. I slowed down and asked them to come to the library with me. Amara was there the last time and I hoped she hadn’t left. We walked through the freezing cold weather to the library and Amara was just about to leave. Lyra stopped her and I dragged all three of them over to a study table in the corner. Tristan was smiling brightly.
“I see that you’re all excited about this.” I teased as I pulled out a chair next to Tristan.
“Yes I am, now tell me. What did you find?” Tristan questioned.
“Yes, please explain why you made us run all the way here?” Lyra was out of breath and so was Tristan. Amara just looked worried and confused. I sucked in a breath and blurted out the whole story. By the end of it they all exchanged looks and seemed scared an shocked but I knew there was a spark of excitement.
“If it helps....” Tristan broke the silence. “I found something in our Astronomy book” He took a book out of his bag, opened it to a marked page and passed it to me.
“Read it!” Lyra exclaimed. Amara was blowing on her hands to keep and fingers from falling off because of the freezing cold.
“Okay” I breathed and focused on the words in front me.
“It means ‘serpent bearer’ in Greek.” and next to it there was an icon of the Constellation.
“Tristan,” I sighed “This isn’t much information”
“But look at the icon” he pointed. “Does it look familiar?”
I nodded my head. It does look familiar. “I’ve seen that somewhere” I told.
Without thinking I rolled up my sleeve revealing the Signs of my Constellation. The first was Virgo, the one I had from my Dad. And the second I got from my mom but I didn’t know what it was called. Granny once told me that Virgo was stronger than my other Constellation so I was more Virgo.
Granny always made me wear long sleeved shirts and whenever I wore a revealing dress she covered my second Sign up with makeup and powder and made it look like there was nothing there. I had been sworn to secrecy to never speak of it. But it’s not like there was much I could say, I didn’t know a thing about my mother’s Constellation. I never thought about researching about it either.
“They match.” Lyra exclaimed.
“What?” I knitted my eyebrows. I stared at the icon in the book and the Sign on my wrist. They did match.
Lyra gasped. “That’s Ophiuchus!” she breathed.
“You’re half Ophiuchus?” Amara asked.
“I think so.” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
If I’m half Ophiuchus and I inherited Virgo from my Dad then Ophiuchus came from my Mom.
“Belle? Snap out of it!” Amara snapped me back. I didn’t realize that I spaced out.
“Shhh! Someone could hear you and Annabelle. If your Mom was a part of Ophiuchus then you are part Ophiuchus!” Lyra gushed. This is a lot to take in.
“Don’t tell anyone though.” Tristan said immediately.
“Because,” Tristan thought for a moment. “Keep it a secret. Maybe there’s a good reason no one in your family talks about Ophiuchus.”
“I won’t tell anyone” I promised.
“What happened here, stays here” Lyra said.
Lyra’s mom came to get her from the library, Tristan walked me home.
“You want to come inside?” I offered.
“No, Mom is waiting at home” Tristan said. He let go of my hand and walked away. I entered my house with a bit of hope in my heart, something that I had not felt in a very long time. Dad did not like to talk about mom and neither did Granny, so I stopped asking a long time ago. But this time I had hope, Tristan really helps.
“Granny? I’m home.” I yelled. No one was here, I checked the living room, the kitchen all the bedrooms. Where did she go?
“Granny? Where are you?” I shouted.
“Annabelle, I was downstairs” Granny said coming up the stairs that lead to our basement. I don’t go down there much, it seems creepy.
“Oh, there you are. I was getting a bit scared.” I breathed in relief.
“I was just looking for something, that’s all” Granny explained.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” I asked. “Umm......yeah...yes, yes I did” Granny hesitated.
“Okay, isn’t Dad home yet?” I worried “No, he’s working late. Do you want dinner?” Granny says “Well, I am hungry” I said.
“I’m on it” Granny rushed to the kitchen.
While she cooked I showered, I changed into my night suit. I stargazed for a little while, played around with my Stars. My tattoos burned up as I did. I rubbed my right thumb on my wrist as I stood on the balcony, just then Granny sneaked up on me.
“Here you go” Granny handed me a plate with a turkey sandwich. It smelled delicious. Now was the perfect time to talk to Granny. She tried to move around a few stars but she was a little weak. That’s what happens when you grow old.
“Grandma, can I ask you something about my Mom” I broke out. Granny didn’t say anything for a while.
“What do you want to know?” she spoke up. I did not expect to hear that. “What was her name? Her full name?” I asked with excitement. I wanted to confirm what her name was. It’s not that I didn’t trust what Tristan had told me, it’s just that I wanted to see if Granny told me the truth or not.
Granny thought a bit and she breathed “Annabelle, sweetie. I don’t think that you should know about this. Ask your Father, if he thinks that you are ready...” I cut her off “You know what? Never mind” I practically shouted. I walked out of the balcony and into my room.
“Granny, I didn’t ask for you to help with murder, I asked my mother’s name” I whimpered, near tears. I just wanted to cry? No, I will not cry.
“I know you have a right to know. But your Dad should be the one to tell you” Granny yelled. I sat down on the edge of my bed. Granny left and I ate in silence, when I was done I did a bit of homework.
If I wanted to know the truth I needed to talk to Granny. I have no idea what she was doing in the basement but she did not want me to find out about it because when I walked downstairs she stopped whatever she was doing,
“Granny, what are you doing?” I said breaking out the silence downstairs. Granny was looking through some boxes, she obviously didn’t know I was down here because she jumped in surprise. “Anabelle, you frightened me!” she yelped “What are you doing down here” she added “I was looking for you, what are you doing down here?” I questioned “Nothing, just going through old things” she said. Granny almost pushed me back upstairs to the living room. “Granny, why are you pushing me?” I asked falling on to the couch. “I am not pushing you, you’re sitting on the couch. I am going to my room” Granny hesitated, with that she left. Now what do I do???
I paced in my room and tried Granny again. She was in her bedroom.
I knocked on the door.
“Come in” she yelled. I walked inside she was reading sitting on her chair.
“Granny, please, please tell me something about my Mother” I begged. Granny rolled her eyes and stayed quiet. She went back to reading, I gave up.
“Annabelle, you should not know about this. It’s dangerous and....” Granny started explaining but I stopped her. “You know what? Just forget it” I shouted “Why is it so dangerous for me to know about my Mother? You just don’t want to tell me” I argued then stormed out of Granny’s room.
I laid in bed until Dad got home, I didn’t want to talk to him either. I fought my sleepiness because I knew that closing my eyes meant that bad dreams would flood my sleep. I didn’t move from my bed until I heard an interesting conversation between Granny and Dad.
“She should know the truth, she deserves to” Granny said to Dad loud enough for me to hear. “Keep quiet! She might hear you” Dad warned. They obviously didn’t want me listening but I wanted to listen. I slid down my bed and crawled to the door, opening the door would give me away but I could hear enough with the door closed.
“Annabelle, cannot know about her Mom. She would be devastated” Dad fumed. This conversation was making no sense. Why in the world would I be devastated to learn about my Mother? Anger flushed my face and tears pricked my eyes. I just wanted to throw myself on my bed and dramatically sob. I managed to get on my two feet then Granny said something that made everything click.
“You can tell your daughter about her Mother. It’s not like the King would find out about it!” Granny hissed. The King. What did the King have to do with this? He’s already ruined life for this generation and may more to come, what else did he do?
“We cannot risk that, to even speak of that constellation is forbidden. I stopped the King once I cannot do it again.” Dad said harshly. Dad stopped the King, from doing what? I yanked open the door and Granny stopped talking. I stared at Granny, then at Dad. They both remained silent and I approached the kitchen. I needed a snack, I found some microwaved some popcorn. And the two people outside were still quiet. I popped my head out the door and said, “Don’t mind me, continue with your conversation”
“Annabelle, we can explain” I recognized Granny’s voice and I turned around to see both my Grandmother and Dad. “Explain what?” I inquired. I waited for one of them to say something but no, nothing came out of those mouths. “Annabelle, listen. You deserve to know about your Mom” Granny admitted “Obviously” I said in a dark voice “Mother, stop. She cannot know and she will never know” Dad shouted “Antonio!” Granny yelled back. I opened my mouth to say something but Dad spoke first
“Why won’t you just forget about your Mom?” Dad inquired in a calm voice. But I couldn’t control my anger at this time “Because I can’t” I argued. “It’s like she is living inside my head” I added. “Alright, then that psycologist is going to help with that. The sessions start next Friday” Dad explained “How many sessions will it take?” I ask. There is a long pause.
“As many as it takes” Dad says.
“Annabelle, I am sorry. I really tried to tell you” Granny apologized. I could see that, Grandma had never argued with Dad. I didn’t even know that she cared.
“I know, I didn’t know that you wanted me to know I thought you didn’t even like Mom. Since we never talk about it” I said.
“That is not true, I loved her like my own daughter” Granny’s voice was getting wobbly. Was she going to cry? I gave her a hug and locked myself in my bedroom with a buttery snack. After munching all of the popcorn I decided that it was time for bed.
I feel asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Bad dreams took over me, and I couldn’t fight them.
At first I’m on the roof looking at the stars, then I see Ophiuchus. A voice calls my name,
“Annabelle.....Annabelle...Annabelle” It whispers.
I recognize the voice, it’s the same thing that happened before but I don’t see anyone.
Suddenly I smell a very familiar scent which smells like the perfume I use. The scent is stargazer lilies the ones that grow in our garden. I found them in our garden a few months ago, everything in our garden was withered and the plants were thirsty for water and since there is no sunlight they needed stardust. I took care of the flowers and Granny helped, in a few weeks they were blooming.
“Who’s there?” I whisper into the cold air. If no one was going to give me answers I would have to find out myself. “Do you know who I am?” I say.
I look back at the stars, the one little star that catches my eye is the one in Ophiuchus. Was the star talking to me? This is ridiculous. The smell of stargazer lilies gets stronger and I turn to see a women standing in front of me with a half smile on her face. She is dressed in a white nightgown her hair travels all the way down to her hips and it is as straight as a line, she’s barefoot, her eyes are amber colored and she’s a redhead. She is like a different version of me but a little taller than me. But before I could say anything, the dream dissolved into stardust.