Great, just great. Kaliopi pinched the bridge of her nose and counted to ten.
''I can't use a damn one of these. None of the shots are good. What the hell Kaliopi?!''
She couldn't blame the photographer, they had worked together before. She was having an off day, scratch that, an off year. She didn't get the same satisfaction anymore being captured by the lens. She stepped off the bicycle prop and looked back at the male model that was sharing the set with her. He was beautiful, perfect even, with his golden skin and chiseled abs. Nothing. She felt absolutely nothing when she looked at him. What the hell was wrong with her? A year ago, she would have been set ablaze by the sheer thought of his hands roaming her body. She cursed silently and walked away, finding her clothes and dashing into the bathroom. She stood with her arms on either side of her, holding onto the counter. The mirror told her what she already knew. The woman staring back was not happy.
''That's great brother, I am so happy for you both.''
She hung up and sat back in the deep fluffy couch. She turned the television off and was thrown head first back into her thoughts. She was so happy that Ash had found the right woman, now with their daughter Eliana, the trio were in utter bliss. She however, was not. She had left the photo shoot, vowing never to return before she figured out why she was in such a slump. She had an idea, but didn't want to admit to herself that she had made a mistake. A horrible mistake. She had left the love of her life push her away. He had been so hellbent on her happiness, that he had failed to understand that he was all she needed to be happy.
She had been waiting for a chance to be a model for years, almost giving up hope until her agent got her a small job posing for underwear. A talent scout had been at that particular shoot, had seen her and had recruited her on the spot. She had been working overseas the past six years, traveling from one corner of the world to the other, meeting new people and enjoying life. Enjoying it alone. That was the problem. Her boyfriend had not been able to leave his family's side, his father had been unwell for a long time and he was supposed to take over the business. She loved that he was so family oriented but he had decided to push her away towards her dreams while he stayed behind. She had been heartbroken, and by the stories she was able to gather from friends back in Greece, so was he. After a few years, she had heard that he had met someone else and had moved away. Kaliopi had never been with anyone else, she hadn't even been with him in that way. They did almost every sexual thing together, but she was still a virgin. They had wanted to wait until marriage, seeing it as a gift to each other. What hopeless romantic fools we were. Adonis was married and she was alone. Since she moved around so much, she didn't even have any close friends. What am I going to do?
As the doors automatically opened, she was hit by an intense heat that made her sweat instantly. Ah, beautiful scorching hot Greece.
She had visited a few times over the past year so she could spend time with her close family. There was also that one incident where Eleni had almost hemorrhaged to death, leaving Kaliopi in tears. Her brother would never had recovered from the loss. She had prayed to whatever entity could hear her, pleading with them not to take his soulmate away. She had become friends with Eleni so easily too, seeing right away what his brother was attracted to. She was a strong and beautiful woman, and for the past two months, she had returned to night school to get her degree in child psychology. She was determined to help little ones, something Kaliopi admired about her. Kaliopi waved a taxi down and was soon on her way to her family's restaurant. She hadn't told them that she was coming to visit, let alone stay indeterminately. She knew it would come as a surprise to them, pushing aside her dreams and coming back home. She needed them to understand that her dream was now a thing of the past, she was back to find herself again, whatever the outcome may be.
Kaliopi was pulled into a tight hug, feeling the warmth envelop her. It's good to be home. She sighed and pulled back. Her aunt, Angela, had tears in her eyes, they hadn't seen each other in a few months. No matter how many days, weeks or months she was away, her aunt always greeted her the same way. She hugged her again, bringing her head down on her aunt's shoulder, feeling her old hands massaging her back gently.
''What is it agapi mou?''
Kaliopi smiled at the term of endearment. Sweetheart. She loved her aunt so much, the woman had given her everything of herself. She had loved her as her own, and for that, Kaliopi was forever grateful.
They sat down in the kitchen area, Angela bringing her a plate of grilled octopus slathered in lemon juice. Kaliopi's favorite. She thanked her and smiled warmly at the woman she loved above all else.
''I feel like something is missing from my life.''
Angela looked at her softly, but a glint of something flashed behind her wise eyes.
''It took you long enough to realize.''
Kaliopi looked down at her sleeping niece and smiled. She brought her hand slowly to her little head and brushed a strand of blonde hair aside. Her brother was one lucky man, having found his other half and having this little angel in his life. From what they told her, she truly was the best baby they could have hoped for. Their marriage was strong and Kaliopi felt a twinge any time she thought of them. She wanted what they had. She wanted to be so in love that life wasn't worth living without that one special person. She had felt that once in her life and she had not fought enough to keep it. She knew why Adonis had done it, she would have never left if he hadn't said the things he did. It still hurt to think of their conversation, even after all the years.
Someone cleared their throat and she turned around, breaking out of her thoughts. Ash stood beside her, stretching out his hand. She took it and they walked to the kitchen, where a fresh pot of tea awaited her. She smiled as she sat down, determined to not let his small act make her cry. She loved her brother so much, they had been through everything together. He was a strong shoulder to cry on any time she had needed him to be. He brought her a steaming cup and sat down next to her. Eleni was already asleep, she had been up the entire night before with a sick Eliana. Ash looked just as worse for wear, but he said nothing while he waited for his sister to talk.
''I want what you and Eleni have. A love, a baby, a happy life. I don't want to be touring the world anymore, if it means being alone.''
He nodded and brought his hand to her cheek, wiping away the single tear she had been unable to keep hidden.
''I hope you find the same happiness that I have. You deserve nothing less sister.''
She sipped on her tea and let its warmth fill her with peace. Her brother watched her slowly, choosing his words carefully.
''Do you want to see Adonis again? Is that part of it?''
She didn't know what to say. Just the thought of seeing him again made her nervous. Would he remember her? Of course he would. Would he want to talk to her? Probably. Was he still married? Who knows. Once he moved away, her friends had been unable to get any more information to give her.
''He is part of it, but I have no way of finding him. He moved away before you even came back here.''
Ash looked pensive for a moment, clapped his hands together and stood up.
''I know just who to ask.''