2. The Invitation

2. The Invitation

Anything could happen in our school. One day you might see Aphrodite and Zeus together, and the next day Hera got into bickering contest with Aphrodite for “whatever reason”. You might hear Apollo reciting a love poem to someone he liked, and then the next day he would walk away like he cared about nothing on the world, not even the girl who he had promised eternal love.

Eternality did not exist.

I went back to my dorm room after school. My roommate Calliope was sitting on her bed.

Calliope was a real knock-out. Her long blonde hair was braided back, so that her neck and shoulders were bare. She was, apart from Aphrodite, the only person who could rock every style without looking stupid—I, on the other hand, was only confined to jeans and T-shirts. No wonder she had, once upon a time, stolen Apollo’s heart.

“Wanna come to the party on Friday? Zeus’s hosting,” Calliope said quite happily.

I wasn’t a party-goer. I didn’t even like going to places where a lot of people were. But it was Calliope who was asking me, and besides…

“Who else is going to be there?” I asked.

“Um, Zeus invited everyone.”

It was exactly what I wanted. “Yeah, I’ll go.”

Calliope flashed a big smile at me, looking all beautiful with her pale skin and lipstick.

_____________________________________________

Today was Friday, and so I wondered about tonight, naturally: What I should wear, What makeup should be done, what hair color I would go for, et cetera, et cetera. They weren’t the sort of questions I would ask myself everyday, but tonight, there was Poseidon!

When the bell rang for the end of school, Calliope shot into my classroom and, grabbing me by the wrist, yanked me up, and dragged me out of the class and straight to our dorm. Once inside, she pushed me down onto a chair and said solemnly, “Right, let’s see what should be done to you.”

I was suddenly terrified at the thought of a makeover administered by Calliope.

When we were done, Calliope and I left for Zeus’s party. It was set in a common room that was barely enough for everyone, but to some extent it helped me find the person I wanted to find.

There was Poseidon, standing beside the window and drinking from a glass. He looked so sorrowful that I wanted to go to him, to comfort his soul. Maybe he was going to fail his Exam (everyone would take this exam that would give him or her a title; Aphrodite had passed and acquired the title of Goddess of Love).

Then Aphrodite appeared out of nowhere and started her usual flirting procedure with Poseidon. Poseidon smiled and laughed and looked at her dreamily; I did not doubt for one second that I could not make him like that.

I turned away, thinking to come back later. I would find someone else—

Hades.

The name just popped into my head, but I quickly shook it away. Hades was asocial; he wouldn’t be at this party, would he? Grabbing a nectar drink, I headed toward the terrace that overlooked the canyon.

“Hey, beautiful.” Without even turning around, I knew that playful voice—Apollo. He recognized me all right, so I guess Calliope’s makeover wasn’t so bad after all.

Apollo moved closer. I could smell a faint scent of chocolate, or maybe that was the odor of the nectar, which could change its smell according to the drinker.

“What’s wrong?” he whispered.

I paused.

“I think you’re better this way,” he continued. “Come with me.”

So I accepted his invitation.

Pause

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