She’s my sister. And I’m still trying to figure out if I can trust her.
Sure, she’s saved my life. She’s even gone out to look for me when I was kidnapped. And she helped me design a new dress for my role in New Heliopolis as the Daughter of Knowledge. But I really don’t know if she cares about me. That’s what’s keeping me from getting closer to her.
I mean, E’steem she says she’s different. She says she’s changed. But whenever I look at her I still see the same she-demon who tried to kill me twice over a hundred years ago. Sure she may be my sister. But I don’t know if I want to be her friend.
I have a seat on the foot of the bed, slip off my sneakers, and look out at the tall, voluptuous, almond colored woman clad in the pink spaghetti strapped tank top and red pajama pants dancing around my bedroom to the song playing on her iPhone. It’s hard to believe this vivacious, happy-go lucky goofball was one of the most feared she-demons in all Hell. If anyone knew that woman and met this one they’d swear it wasn’t the same person.
What’s keeping me tense is waiting for the reptile-eyed monster to show her ugly head and bear her fangs. This whole happy-go-lucky act could be con; a way to get me to drop my guard so she can have the perfect opportunity to rake her razor sharp claws across my throat and achieve that Ladyship she’s always aspired to achieve through killing a god.
E’steem catches the somber look on my face as the song on her mp3 player ends. She eases the buds out of her ears, brushes her long silky black hair out of her face, and flashes a playful smile at me.
“Er…Is all this brooding and sulking going to be a regular thing for you?” She asks. “Because if it is, it’s gonna put a real damper on the weekend-”
“You know you don’t have to stay.” I snarl.
“I really don’t think you should be alone when you’re upset like this-”
I catch myself before I say something cruel I know will hurt her feelings. Maybe she means well. Maybe she’s trying to help. I just don’t know her well enough to know if she’s here to support me or add to my problems.
“I’m not upset. I’m just disappointed.”
“Hey, there will be other jobs-”
And now she rubs salt into the wound. I look over at the rejection letter on the night table I got in the mail from Columbia University this afternoon and I’m stung by the pain of not getting my dream job again. Even with a word in from my best friend, one of Spelman’s most prominent professors, I still couldn’t get into the Ivy Leagues. Maybe I’m not the great teacher I thought I was.
“This one would have cemented my career as a teacher-”
“Maybe God has something better for you-”
“What’s better than teaching at Columbia? It’s one of the top universities in the world-”
“Maybe He wants you to teach someone someplace else. Somewhere where you can make a difference-”
“I’d like to think I could make a difference teaching at Columbia. There I’d be working with some of the top students in the world-”
“I really doubt the top students in the world need the help of a goddess.”
“Who would need my help then?”
“Isis, think about all the work you’ve done working with everyday ordinary people. How you made a difference in the lives of women at Spelman College and like the ones you taught in the sorority your former alias founded, the Alphas-”
“Still, we go where we’re needed-”
That last statement strikes a nerve in me. “We? Since when did you become a goddess?” I snarl.
“Er…Since I was a deemed a child of the gods by Seth.” E’steem jabs back. “That’s technically a goddess.”
“Please. You’ve been a demon for the last what four, five thousand years-”
“Actually I was a demon for four thousand six hundred twenty one years.” She jokes. “And I’ve been free from that bondage one year and eighteen days now. So I’m back to being a child of the gods.”
“Again, you’re a goddess. In the technical sense.”
“I’ll take a tiara any way I can get it Princess-”
“Is, everything a joke for you?”
“What’s your problem?”
“My problem is you. When did you become this big, goofy, joke cracking idiot?”
The smile on E’steem’s face twists into a frown. “What, I’m not supposed to be happy?”
“Not after all you’ve done.”
“Look, God forgave me for all the evil I did. The Elders of New Heliopolis pardoned me for my crimes. Your father forgave me for all I did to him. I thought you did too-”
“I did forgive you-”
“Then why are you so tense around me?”
Since she knows how I feel, we may as well get things out in the open. “Look, I just keep waiting for you to try something-”
“Try something? I think you need to try to apply the Word of God to your life-”
“I just don’t know if you practice what you preach yet.”
“I am practicing what I preach. And right now, I’m applying the patience of Job in putting up with you-”
“So you admit you’re just tolerating me?”
“I just want to get out of the frenemy zone-”
Great she’s making up her own slang. “Frenemy zone? What the heck does that mean?”
“Well, we’re not actually enemies, but we’re not actually friends.” E’steem continues. “Things are kind of at an impasse between us. It’s sort of like everything is on hold regarding our relationship.”
“And you want us to move forward.”
“Yeah. Sisters shouldn’t be like this.”
“I just don’t know-”
E’steem’s eyes fall to the floor. “Look, I’ve always liked you. Ever since I first saw you on the island I always thought we could be friends if you weren’t related to your father.”
That could be why she always said she felt different about me than Osiris. But it doesn’t change what she’s done. “But you tried to kill me-”
“Look, that was over a lifetime ago-”
“What’s to say you won’t be like that again in this lifetime if I push your buttons?”
“All I’m asking you to do is give me a chance-”
“I’m sorry I don’t know if I can do that just yet.”
“Look, I’m your sister. You can trust me-”
Yeah, we may be sisters, but I don’t see us being all chummy like she wants us to be. “Yeah, you’re family. But I still don’t know if I want you to be close family.”
“Isis-”“I’m gonna go take a bath. If you want to have your little sleepover tonight, the couch is yours.”
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