Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside
Inner Sanctum Actress
Breakfast was fairly uneventful, for a change. I didn’t have a meltdown. I was refreshed yet exhausted. I recognized the irony of the paradox, but didn’t fully understand it.
Last night was the only time I’d ever confided in anyone and I slept better than I could recall in recent memory, yet I was profoundly tired.
I suppose, carrying everyone’s world up a mountain can have that effect after my first night of rest.
Conversely, psych guy was wide awake and ready for me, with his hair combed in place, wearing a suit without a single wrinkle, and eyes bright and alert. He greeted me with a beaming smile, “Good morning, Nyx.”
“’Morning,” I mumbled and plopped into my usual seat wondering,
Why do I always feel like I’ve been sent to the principal’s office?
“Well, it looks like sleep was not a friend to you last night,” he jabbed, tossing my own words back at me.
“On the contrary,” I quipped resuming yesterday’s calm demeanor, “Aergia dropped by for a visit and I’m still recovering from the night’s effects.
“Aergia,” he repeated, obviously rifling through his repertoire of Greek mythology.
“Yes, I said, “We enjoyed a long, lazy, girls night of chit chat. It’s so rare when our attentions are not pulled in other directions by obligations and commitments,” I prattled on, emphasizing ‘commitments.’ She is an ever present fixture, if not exactly vigilant,” I explained.
“Oh, lazy, sloth, Aergia. Got it.”
“Perhaps not entirely,” I countered, “She’s a spirit, one of several who guard my son’s domain. Aeriga is spirit and a goddess. Do you know what that means?”
Psych guy shook his head, speculating about what I would come up with next.
“Spirits, by definition, affect other souls with like qualities,” I explained, “Aergia is the spirit of laziness. She is infectious in that way. I’m just recuperating from a night of supremely indulgent laziness.”
“What sort of home does your son have? He must be very rich,” he stated petulantly, “to require that much security.”
“It’s a deep, dark, rocky, cave,” I said, with a mother’s tolerance.
“A cave,” he replied, “A cave that Aergia guards. What exactly does she guard, pray tell? Does he expect looters to steal his stash of rocks?”
“I would imagine, much the same things you do,” I shot back at him.
“I see,” he said thoughtfully, scratching his chin, “How so?”
“She, among others, guards his home and his well-being. He resides in a dark cave next to his twin brother, Thánatos, in the underworld.”
“He does,” his voice was a mixture of appreciation and incredulity.
I didn’t even slow down. Trying out my imitation of a purely maternal voice, I continued, “He does not see the changing of days, the rising or setting sun, or even the moon,” I frowned slightly for effect, “His peace lies in tranquility, the quiet; his own and that which surrounds him. His home has not as much as gates that may awaken him with creaking.”
“Really, a deep, dark cave in the underworld, where he brought his wife to live, next door to his brother,” He challenged me, “Who is Thánatos?”
“He is god of death.”
“You must be very proud,” he smiled derisively as he shot his dig at me.
“Well, admittedly, it’s not every mother’s dream but,”
“Hypnos lives with his wife, Pasithea,” he repeated, testing my knowledge and trying to figure out how to best me, “in the underworld with his twin brother, death,” he interrupted.
“Do you expect that I am uneducated about my own family? Do you think me unfit?”
Our eyes locked in a battle of wits and wills as tense silence filled the room.
Just to annoy him further, I continued, “As I was saying, it’s actually quite lovely. The River Lethe runs through it, and Pasithea has such a sweet countenance. She’s the deity of hallucination and relaxation. She’s so good to Hypnos and good for him,” I sighed clasping my hands over my bosom and smiling like an oblivious mother, brimming with ignorant joy, then caught myself thinking,
Cripes, I just made myself want to hurl!
“And what does all this mean to you, Emmaline?”
His question startled me back to reality and I stumbled, “You asked!”
“Good! Very good, Emmaline! I did ask, Emmaline. What did I ask?”
“You asked me who I am,” I shot at him, suddenly realizing I’d let him get away with addressing me by my real name, “But I still don’t know this Emmaline you speak of,” I added, attempting to put things to rights, “Perhaps you will tell me about her one day?”
“I believe you will discover her,” he explained kindly, “and you will be a better mother to her than she has known in the past.”
I turned a confused face to him while attempting to hide startled eyes, but he imparted nothing more.
Instead, he finished with his usual, “Come again tomorrow at noon. Good day, Emmaline.”
I opened the door to leave, took a step, and found myself face-to-face with the lost girl I had noticed yesterday. Again, she looked much healthier than I had witnessed while being admitted. I couldn’t help myself. I touched her shoulder gently, smiled, and said, “Way to go, girl.”
She smiled back, quietly saying, “Thanks,” and stood waiting.
“Emmaline,” I introduced myself, extending my hand.
“Maya,” she said taking it.
We shook once and I turned away as she opened psych guy’s door.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved