4. Unwilling

4. Unwilling

I did not expect to see Apollo waiting for me outside my room.

Calliope had not mentioned much about her relationship with Apollo when they had been together. Apparently, for her, her relationship with Apollo had not meant much.

“Hey, Persephone,” Apollo said, smirking a little.

At this precise moment, Aphrodite and her group of girls went past us; the goddess of love was so shocked that she almost dropped whatever it was in her hand, but she quickly recovered herself and went away. The other girls sneered; I recognized some of them as Apollo’s ex-girlfriends.

I didn’t know what to say to him without making myself more awkward. Calliope, on the other hand, was grinning in an I-knew-it kind of way.

“Hi, Apollo,” I said.

It then occurred to me that Poseidon’s room was on the other side of the hallway, and he would pass my room on his way to breakfast. Butterflies flipped in my stomach when I thought of him, and when I did, I thought of Aphrodite at the party last night, and then I got angry at myself for thinking about Poseidon and Aphrodite. I wished Poseidon wouldn’t come this way; I wished he was already out of the dorm; I wished he wouldn’t come here in another hour—

Of course nothing turned out as I wished. What a typically nice day for me!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Poseidon come out of his room; he locked the door and strode toward us, everything happening so painfully slow.

“Free tonight?” Apollo asked.

“Um.” I really hoped my voice wasn’t shaking so much.

When Poseidon came close, he only glanced at us and walked away. Of course he wouldn’t linger long—why would he?

Apollo smiled at the nervousness in my voice, quite oblivious to the fact that he didn’t cause that nervousness.

Suddenly I wanted out of here. This wasn’t right. I shouldn’t be with Apollo.

“No,” I denied him, surprising myself and Apollo and Calliope.

Apollo was taken back; maybe he had never been refused before, but I didn’t care. I walked past him into the hallway, stopping to ask him, “Do you want to come to breakfast with us?”

His eyes still dazed, he stared at me, then Calliope, then back, and he shook his head, muttering something about ex-girlfriends.

(featured photo by Natalia Petri in the collection Mujeres inmaculadas)
Denial

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