We arrived in the South West on Saturday at lunchtime and spent the afternoon with Helios’ parents. The main subject of conversation was Apollo and Maia and details of the dim and distant past. For the sake of Apollo and Maia, I won’t go into details. I will say that I will reserve judgment for their sake as well.
Helios and I had some time alone as well. We had dinner Saturday night and breakfast together Sunday. We had organised with Apollo to meet him (and perhaps his sister too) between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. There was an inevitable toing and froing of times and places but we finally saw him in front of the Disney store by the sundial. He looks like a skinny, blond version of his dad – they both have beautiful green eyes. He said that he’d been up all night at a friend’s house and hadn’t been home yet. I know my mom would have gone mad with me if I behaved in such a way but he didn’t seem to care. I can’t condone it but I know my rebellious side was still in full swing by the time I was 18. The fact that he had been awake for so long means that he did look a little worse for wear. I promptly forgot to take any photos (possibly subconsciously?) because I knew he’d been up for so long and partly because I didn’t want to scare him off.
The plan was to go and get a coffee but he didn’t fancy it so we started walking. At first it felt a bit awkward but the longer we walked, the more comfortable I felt. We wound up in a bookstore where we passed books back and forth saying you should read this one or you should read that one. It was a lovely experience. I couldn’t help but think that he likes me and was trying to impress me. At one point he said something about 19 syllable words so I looked at him and said “antidisestablishmentarianism” and he said “That’s the largest word in the English language.” Yes. I was impressed. I hope when Apollo realises that this is a compliment indeed because I have high standards, bearing in mind he’s Helios’ son. I had high expectations.
Apollo impressed me and then proceeded to disappoint me. He doesn’t seem to have the confidence in himself that I instinctively have in him. It struck me after he said it but he’s unsure if the Army will have him. I think they’d be crazy not to take him. He’s young, fit, driven and works hard. It would be good for him to gain the confidence he’s lacking and I think the Forces can give him that. Now all I have to do is pray that he will get into the kitchens and not be in the line of any fire…
We passed Apollo Maia’s birthday card and some painfully sour sweets. Unfortunately she didn’t come out but we have positive news there – see below.
The three of us talked and walked for a good three hours. Helios wasn’t expecting us to spend quite so much time together but it was a good experience and I didn’t really want it to end. Despite the rain, it was just lovely. When all the shops closed we parted company. I gave him a big hug and squeeze. As much as I wanted to say many many things that day, all I managed was whispering “It’s good to meet you,” when I hugged him. Funny, now I can’t remember if his arms were around me too. I don’t suppose that matters. He’ll get a hug from me if he likes it or not. Later that evening I sent him a text to thank him for coming out and to send love to his sister. It’s a polite thing to do and I tend to do it a lot. He replied politely saying “Ditto and will do”.
I wasn’t expecting to hear from him again that weekend but Helios received a mobile text message about the painfully sour sweets. Consequently, there was yet another conversation that was had that night which consisted mainly of “I’ve lost the skin on my tongue” and “Why did you have so many?”. I was immediately delighted that contact obviously wouldn’t stop just because we’ve finally seen him.
As I’d feared, Maia didn’t make it but I’m sure we’ll see her on our next trip down. I can’t say I’m not disappointed but I’m delighted that she’s still keen to meet us. Since the weekend, we’ve been in touch with her a few times. I hope that we will get the chance to see her next time we’re down. In the meantime, I’ve got the gossip that she’s had a good 17th birthday. I know she and Helios have messaged each other since as well and I’m just delighted that contact with the both of them will continue.