Today was Sunday, and that meant no work for Athena. Sundays meant Athena could sleep in and do fun stuff, but this Sunday was special. Today was Mother’s Day, the second since she had returned to the country, and Athena was determined to make it a better one than the year prior.
She started with her choice of attire. In lieu of her normal yellow suit, Athena chose a black blouse and skirt, although she kept the opaque black stockings. She also chose a pair of solid black flat shoes over her normal white boots. All of this clothing was chosen for the place she would be visiting.
Before leaving her apartment, Athena was sure to take the bouquet of yellow flowers she had been keeping for this day. Athena had asked her friend Juniper, who was well-versed in the language of flowers, just what kind of flower she should choose to show her love for her mother. Juniper had suggested lion lilies, which symbolize the bond between parent and child in the language of flowers. It was perfect for Athena.
Making her way to the cemetery was simple enough for Athena. It wasn’t raining or windy, so she didn’t have to protect the flowers. When she arrived at the cemetery, she knew exactly where to go. She had been to her mother’s grave last year, after Clay Terran’s funeral.
When she finally saw her mother’s headstone, Athena felt her chest tighten. Clutching her arm with one hand and carrying the bouquet in the other, she slowly approached the site, acutely aware of the sounds of her footsteps on the grass.
When she stood in front of her mother’s headstone, she knelt, and gazing at the engraving, she murmured, “H-Hi Mom.” She cleared her throat, as she felt a lump developing, and tears pricked her eyes. “I wanted to come see you. I’m… doing fine.” Athena felt her heart sink as she read the engraving on the headstone:
Metis Cykes: Loving mother and friend
Her hand ghosted across the engraving, particularly tracing the letters of ‘Loving’ as she did so. It was only a few months ago when she learned the truth, that her mother had loved her more than anything in the world. She had spent her whole life wanting to believe that, but now she had evidence: Widget and her earring.
“I want to give you this,” she murmured, and carefully rested the bouquet of lion lilies at the bottom of the headstone, as though they were extremely fragile. “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the best mom I ever could have had, and I won’t stop loving you.” The tears flowed out of her eyes, and she bowed her head. Beneath the earth in front of the headstone was most likely where her mother’s casket now rested. With one hand still clutching her arm, Athena rested the other on the grass, now indistinguishable from the rest in the cemetery.
This was the closest she would ever get to her mother now. Well, except for one time, on the day after she met Maya Fey. Maya had agreed to channel Athena’s mother for her, and for about an hour, Athena had seen her mother in front of her. They embraced, they talked of their regrets, they cried, they laughed, but most importantly, they got the closure they needed, after Metis was taken from this world.
Athena smiled with tears in her eyes as she thought back to that day. It was truly the best day of her life. She has a mother that undoubtedly loves her, and she has never felt closer to her.