CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and THIRTY-ONE
Nelson didn’t respond so Blane kept talking.
“We were heading back when she admitted that she was homeless and pregnant,” Blane said. “She wasn’t even talking to me. She was talking to Jill. Well, you’ve met the girlfriends. She told them and I just said ‘You can live with me.’ I don’t know why I said it. Honestly, no idea. It just came out of me.”
Blane took the on ramp to the highway.
“Of course, she thought I was joking,” Blane said. “She’d been betrayed enough to know that people say things that they don’t mean. She gave me every opportunity to turn back, but I knew I was doing the right thing. She came to live at my house. I don’t know why, but I insisted that we own the house together. I even bought her the diamond ring she wears. We got married by my insistence. Seriously. It was weird, but everything was just so honest and true.”
“She is a Goddess,” Nelson said.
“No, it wasn’t that,” Blane said. “It was me. I wanted to do it, more than anything else I had ever wanted. When she moved in, she hadn’t even been in Olympia for … a thousand human years or more. I was in the middle of the Interferon treatment for Hep C, sick as a dog. She was about six months pregnant. I didn’t think I would survive. That’s when she told me about her mother and father.”
“What did she say?” Nelson asked.
“She told me that her mother was hiding from her father,” Blane said. “Her mother had been brutally abused by her grandmother. Of course, Heather’s grandmother adored Heather, which made everything more painful and complicated. I said something like, ‘Sounds like Hedone.’ And she said, ‘Yes. That’s me.’ I’m pretty sure she thought that I wouldn’t remember. I was that sick.”
“The next day, I asked her about it,” Blane said. “She wasn’t working, and I was off work for this treatment. I had her give me acupuncture just to keep me alive. So …”
Blane fell silent. They drove for a while before Blane sighed.
“She finally told me all of it,” Blane said. “Of course, it was literally thousands of years of living, but we had time. Weeks passed. We agreed to ask her grandmother to come to see her, you know, before the baby — Mack — was born.”
“Aphrodite,” Nelson said.
“Her,” Blane said. “When Heather’s grandmother saw that I knew, she told Hedone that it was time for her to shed her secrets. They made this agreement that Hedone would be honest about who she was and Aphrodite would no longer chase Psyche, Heather’s mother.”
Blane glanced at Nelson.
“Honesty,” Blane said. “It wasn’t easy, but it set Hedone free.”
Blane felt Nelson’s eyes on his face.
“Your soul longs to be free, Nelson,” Blane said. “You deserve to set this burden down.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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