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Rekindling the Sun

This is impossible, a prank, a gag somewhere along these lines, or worse a sick joke created by the Fates themselves.

But there she was climbing out of the moving van and skipping into her new home.

Why does this nine-year-old girl bother me? Because she was my lover in the past.

Now before anyone points any fingers it was a long time ago. Over a thousand years to be exact. Back then she was around seventeen or so and I was immortal. To be more precise: a god. Back then I was-.

“Allen, come inside for lunch!” My mom called out to me.

That’s my present name. My past identity was the Greek god of the sun, Apollo. Yes, the Apollo. Flying around in the sun chariot, blessing people with music and poetry, and wooing the finest women. But as I said before, that was my past self. Now I am Allen, nine-year old mortal, yet still devilishly good-looking, boy.

How could a god be a mortal you may ask? Well, in the past we were living comfortable lives as revered deities of the Greek and Roman people, then Christianity came along and our worshippers abandoned our temples. With no one to give us offerings anymore we had no reason to exist. We gave up our immortality and reincarnated ourselves as mortals. Though we’re mortal we still have our memories from our past lives.

Seeing as the girl was not leaving the house anytime soon, I backed away from our white picket fence and went inside. Mom was dishing out peanut butter sandwiches and carrot sticks on the table. My sister Amanda was there, reading sport magazines. Oh, by the way, Amanda was actually Artemis in her past life. In every life we’ve lived in history we always ended up reborn as twins. I don’t mind, but it gets kind of annoying having to grow up with my twin sister every century.

The T.V. was on in the living room. A talk show featuring Aphrodite’s current life was giving romance advice to bitter couples. Some of the other gods have been reborn as famous people. Ares is enjoying New York as a famous quarterback, Poseidon is a professional surfer, Athena is the president of the United States, Hades is enjoying a quiet life in Canada, and even my father Zeus is a celebrity movie star. Artemis and I are currently no-name kids enjoying a quiet, suburban life. Or at least it was until a girl from my past moved in next door.

“Did you see our neighbors, Allen?” Mom asked me.

“Sort of,” I mumbled taking a bite of my sandwich.

Mom continued gushing about them. “They moved here from Boston. I don’t know much about the parents, but I do know they have a girl your age.”

I know. I just saw her. I didn’t want to say it out loud. Amanda gave me a questioning look.

Her work cell phone saved me. Apparently they needed mom back down at the office right away. So she grabbed her coat, gave each of us a kiss on the cheek, and then left out the door. As soon as she pulled out of the driveway, Amanda closed her magazine and crossed her arms at me.

“Alright what’s up?” She said.

“Nothing,” I averted my eyes from her stare.

She tugged a strand of my sandy blonde hair. “Ow!” I cried.

“Come on,” she frowned. “I know something about the neighbors is bothering you so spill it.”

I pursed my lips. Her blunt and stubborn behavior hasn’t changed, but then again I’m not one to talk.

“She’s here,” I muttered. “I guess she was reborn too.”

“Who?” Amanda asked.

“A special girl to me.” I stared down at my half-eaten sandwich.

Amanda raised an eyebrow, “You’re going to have to be a little more specific.”

“Cassandra!” I raised my voice. Why do sisters have to be so annoying?

She blinked in surprise, “Oh, her. And this bothers you?”

“Yes,” I told her. “She didn’t exactly live happily ever after.”

Amanda rested her chin on her fist. “Well you didn’t exactly help by cursing her so no one believed her prophecies.” She went back to her sport magazine. “If you didn’t curse her, the Trojans would’ve still been around.”

“That’s not my fault! She refused to accept my gift of prophecy and my love,” I exclaimed. “Can you blame me for being angry?”

“Well let’s face it, as gods we were very temperamental,” she pointed out. “Not to mention, you don’t exactly have good history with your former lovers.”

I didn’t find anything to retort. She had me there.

Back when I was a god, my love affairs with mortals was as famous as Zeus. However, some didn’t always end well. There was that time with Daphne, and then there was Coronis, Hyacinthus, plus the time with Leucothea and her sister Clytia. Let’s just say my list of relationships extended past my arm, with most of them ending up dying and turning into various trees and plants. What can I say? Even by god standards, I was a stud.

But Cassandra…she was different. I regretted what I did to her. I couldn’t undo the curse, once a god has bestowed a gift it can never be taken away and since it was a prophetic gift I can’t take it back. So instead I watched over her. When the Trojan War started up, I sided with the Trojans to keep her safe. I listened to her pleading to her family about the dangers she foresaw, but not one believed her because of me.

After the war she was taken to Greece as the king’s prize and ended up murdered by his queen.

Since then I’ve always regretted what I had done. The laws of death were within Hades’ realm, I was forbidden to bring her back to life.

Now in this day and age I see her again. The same long, auburn curls, her beautiful blue eyes, and the happiness in her smile before I cursed her.

Amanda sighed, “If you’re that worried, then don’t see her. Just keep your distance.”

Easy for her to say. The next day I caught my sister (the traitor) playing soccer with the revived Cassandra. I glared at her through the white picket fence whispering, “Pst!” before she finally separated from her to come over to me.

“Problem?” She asked.

“Why are you playing with her?” I motioned my eyes in her direction. She was watching us while alternating the ball between her feet. “I thought we agreed to keep our distance?”

“Uh, you agreed to keep your distance. I said nothing about me having to.”

Our eyes kept locked on each other before I broke away mumbling, “So what did you find out.”

She sighed deeply. “First of all, her name’s Cassidy. Second, she likes to play sports. Third, she thinks our hair is pretty.”

I quickly brushed my hair smiling a little at the thought. I flinched when I heard Cassa-I mean-Cassidy call out to my sister, “Amanda, do you still want to play?”

“Yeah, hold on,” Amanda turned her attention back to me. “Look, it’s up to you whether you want to be close or not.” She paused. “In case you were wondering, she doesn’t have any memories of her past life.” Then she bounded back to Cassidy to continue their game.

The words sunk into my heart. She doesn’t remember. I should feel happy, I am, but this shouldn’t go to my head. I haven’t forgiven myself for what happened to her. I have no right to get close to her.

And so, for the past few days I’ve done nothing but stay away. It was hard though, seeing as how she and my sister have become best friends. Either they would play at her house or play at ours. Our mom adores Cassidy and makes cookies every time she comes over. Curious to know what they’re doing, I occasionally peek around the corner of the hallway in Amanda’s room.

Cassidy was braiding Amanda’s hair while she talked about the beach. Cassidy caught my glance. I twisted around the corner feeling my heart beating out of my chest.

“You know your brother,” I heard her say.

What? I listened closely.

“What about him?” Amanda asked.

“He’s kind of…”

What, what? Handsome? Cute? Extremely good-looking?

“Weird.”

My shoulders slumped. OK, that hurt a little.

The week after I kept my staring to a minimum. Her comment stung, but it made me more aware of how to act around her. My mom and her parents then took us to South Shore Beach. It was the last week of summer vacation. Alameda, California may not be as popular as Los Angeles beaches, but the weather was beautiful enough to trump it. There were wind-surfers and boaters already out on the water. Teenagers enjoying the sun, kids our age writing in the sand, and dogs chasing after seagulls and gofers.

Our parents walked down the beach just talking. Amanda, Cassidy, and I played Frisbee. The wind was perfect for the Frisbee flight. Amanda threw it so hard I fell backward into the shore. Cassidy burst out laughing as I spit out salt water. I found myself chuckling with her. I liked her laugh. In her past life I never got the chance to hear her laugh.

A half hour later we rested from our game and counted all the ducks we saw floating on the shimmering water. A few giggles were coming from behind us.

“Hi Allen,” I turned around to see a few girls from my class walking toward us.

I immediately stood up and smiled at them. “Hey girls, how’s your vacation?”

“Good,” A girl with pigtails giggled. “We went to see Hollywood.”

“Cool,” We then talked about how our summers were going. I caught Cassidy staring at us. When our eyes locked she quickly turned away and talked to Amanda. The girls noticed Cassidy a little later. For some reason they didn’t seem as happy as they were earlier.

“Amanda, Allen!” Our mom waved us over. Cassidy got up before one of the girls grabbed her arm and said, “Hey wait. We want to talk to Cassidy. So you’re from Boston?”

We hesitated until we ran toward our mom. “Cassidy’s parents are offering to invite us to a barbeque later today. Do you guys mind waiting here while I quick trip home to grab our stuff?”

We shook our heads. “No, we don’t mind.” We said in unison.

She gave us a kiss on the head then headed over to our car. Amanda had some money on her, so we decided to get some ice cream. Amanda told me to ask Cassidy if she wanted some too. I nodded then went back to where the girls and Cassidy were. But neither she, nor they were there.

I jogged around the beach searching for them. I was about to turn around the corner when I heard one of the girls in the group say, “You’re such a liar!”

I peeked around the sandy hill to see the girls frowning at Cassidy, whose back was turned from me.

“It’s true though!” Cassidy protested. “If you keep walking that way a crab’s going to latch on your foot.”

“Look,” the girl with pigtails sneered. “You better stay away from Allen. He hates liars.”

Then third girl dumped a pail of seaweed over Cassidy. The girls cackled at the damp seaweed dripping and sinking around her toes. “That’s what happens to liars!”

“Hey!” I shouted. The girls flinched when they saw me coming and ran away. I glared at their retreating figures. If I still had my powers they would be toast, or at least turned into mice.

My eyes flickered over to Cassidy. Seaweed covered her hair and shoulders. She sniffled, fighting back the tears that threatened to pour. I felt awful seeing her like this, and helped remove the seaweed from her hair and shoulders.

She mumbled something under her breath.

“What?” I asked.

She looked up at me. Her eyes were rimmed with red. “Sometimes I see bad things happen to people before it happens. I told a friend of mine back in Boston that if she went to play on the jungle gym during a snowy day she would break her arm. She called me a liar and ended up in the hospital the next day. It kept happening that people made fun of me and teased me.” She then glared at me. “But I suppose you think I’m a liar too for telling you this?”

At first, I didn’t say anything. The curse is still with her even in this life? My heart wrenched with guilt.

I realized I had waited too long. She trudged back down the beach. I reached my hand out to her. “Wait!”

She glared at me. Tears were already streaming down her face.

“I do believe you. You’re not a liar at all. You just have premonitions, that’s all.”

“I have what?” She said.

Right, nine-year old way of thinking, premonition is a big word. “It means that you have a sixth sense for these things,” and mostly because it’s my fault that she has it.

She blinked, “No one’s ever said they believed me.”

Our thoughts were interrupted when a loud shriek was heard. The trio of girls were running around kicking their legs. A couple of crabs had latched onto their feet. They desperately tried to kick them off while crying and squealing.

“I told them,” Cassidy sighed, but then giggled. “But I’m not sorry.”

I chuckled. It was good to know that she’s cheered up. “Hey, come on. Amanda’s going to buy us ice cream.”

Her face broke into a wide smile that made my heart skip a beat. “Okay!”

She grabbed my hand and the two of us ran over to Amanda. She laughed the whole way.

I may have regretted what happened to Cassandra in the past. But right now, I’m looking forward to helping Cassidy in the present and making sure she keeps smiling at Allen.



The End





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