No. Just with the old man, Mr. Bellows. My father has some good poles and rigging in the shed at home, but he only took me fishing one time. That was two years ago when I was seven. He got mad when I made mistakes. He doesn’t know how to make mud balls. He didn’t catch any fish, either. Mr. Bellows catches many fish. He’s a much better fisherman than my father.
She looked saddened rather than encouraged. Dad wants me to apply for a business degree at St. Andrews.I made a face, my stomach twisting with the thought. No. No way. Vicki, you have to pursue fashion. You’re amazing at it.
Mum agrees. She gave me a tired smile. Which is why she and Dad have been arguing a lot. Dad thinks it’s all a waste of money.I don’t get it. Your dad was always so supportive.Well, now reality is setting in and he realizes it’s no longer a hobby. She shook her head. Never mind. It’ll work out. I’m sorry about Steph in English. I was hoping we’d sit together.
I moved with the abrupt change in subject, although I was concerned Vicki had been dealing with this all summer and hadn’t told me. And probably wouldn’t have told me if I hadn’t felt the tension in the house. Did Steph know? It bothered me to think Vicki had confided in Steph and not me.Forcing the worry away I just nodded. You seemed cool with her at lunch. Even though she’d made our ears bleed talking about the upcoming impromptu audition and complaining that it was unfair for the teachers to have them give unpolished, unpracticed performances. It was only the first round of auditions, however, and she’d get a chance to practice for the second round if she made it.
Neither Vicki nor I had gotten a word in edgewise, but Vicki hadn’t seemed that concerned. Not that she was really a drama-llama anyway.
Life is too short to get annoyed at Steph when she gets like that. She shrugged. Still, I could have used the break from her in class. Plus, I hate that you’re sitting on your own.I sang of Hyacinthus, the most handsome of men. The West Wind Zephyros had also loved him, but I refused to share even a moment of Hyacinthus’s time. In my jealousy, I threatened Zephyros. I dared him, dared him to interfere.
I sang of the day Hyacinthus and I played discus in the fields, and how the West Wind blew my disc off course—right into the side of Hyacinthus’s head.To keep Hyacinthus in the sunlight where he belonged, I created hyacinth flowers from his blood. I held Zephyros accountable, but my own petty greed had caused Hyacinthus’s death. I poured out my sorrow. I took all the blame.
I sang of my failures, my eternal heartbreak and loneliness. I was the worst of the gods, the most guilt-ridden and unfocused. I couldn’t commit myself to one lover. I couldn’t even choose what to be the god of. I kept shifting from one skill to another—distracted and dissatisfied.My golden life was a sham. My coolness was pretense. My heart was a lump of petrified wood.