Somehow I had been hijacked by the ancient Greek goddess Io to accompany her on a quest to find the ancient god Io once revered by Pacific islanders hundreds of years ago so that he or she could assist the old gods of Greece to be worshipped once again. Now before you say I am crazy just remember I was the one that was hijacked! For previous episodes just click Io in Labels on the side bar.
The children all married came with their partners for tea that afternoon. Luckily I bought a few cakes and pastries so they would feel welcome. It was good that they didn’t arrive all together so Io could practice her cousin persona out on the first ones and I would try to give hints if possible to make it more practiced for the others. It went without a hitch. Somehow she looked now to be in her forties. They were not surprised when they learned of her marriage to this fictitious Inarchus fellow, and she gave the impression that he and she were living virtually separate lives because of his business dealings leaving her free to wander the world at his expense.
I thought her clothes were a bit frumpy and wouldn’t have thought they could have come out of her red handbag. She had pinned her hair up rather primly that made her look a bit dull. She now had some chunky gold rings on her fingers and looked a lot older with her eyebrows plucked and a little too much makeup on as though she was covering those little laughter lines around her eyes and at the corners of her mouth. She seemed to have put a bit of weight on too. Where had my angelic Io gone?
While I made some more tea I could hear her say to them “I’ve been trying to persuade your father to come with me on a little trip around the South Pacific. But he said something about there is only a lot of water and coconut palms to see.”
“I can hear you,” I said from the kitchen, “I would rather go to New Zealand…later.”
I started to wonder what Io had put in their tea when one after the other they started saying things like “Oh, you should go Dad,” or “It will stop you staring at the walls here.” There was even a “Do it while you can.” from my son.
“What is the cell phone reception like out there,” interjects Io. “My husband Theo does like to know where I am all the time, poor love.”
I listened to Io in amazement. Where did she get all that from? If she was not careful she would ruin it for us. As I went back in to the lounge area, Io had found the Atlas and opened it up to the pages we were looking the previous night. She was primly pointing to some of the islands with fingers that I had not noticed before, her finger nails were now ridiculously long and painted an awful purple colour and I could swear she had put on a few more years as we talked. And was that a girdle under her dress?
“I’ll think about it” I said, “If I can scrape a few dollars together.” All the kids knew I hated very long painted fingernails and especially gaudy colours. Damn Io, she had been delving into my brain again. Was nothing sacred to her? Just what was sacred to a goddess?
I knew now I was really in love with her. Clearly as a middle aged pushy and frumpy woman they all knew she was not my type and no threat to me in the kids’ eyes and we could start planning the trip immediately.
After they had all gone and while I was washing up Io transformed back into her usual youthful self.
“Do I get a reward?” she teased wrapping her arms around me.
“No!” I lied. However I tried to quash this thought; “Why does she need me, just what ideas are being fostered in her mind?”