Zephyr's Epiphany Part 2

Into the Great Unknown

"Lilly!"

Her heart screamed with joy as she leapt towards her, enveloping her in a hug.

"Whoa there, girl." Lilly let out a hearty chuckle, before gently nudging Epiphany away.

Epiphany led Lilly to the porch swing, where they sat down. Just like normal, they settled into each other's presence, quietly. No words were required between them, they communicated perfectly this way.

That's how well they understood each other, like their own favourite snuggly sweater. Or so Epiphany thought.

" Well, it was fun knowing you", Lilly patted Epiphany, and sighed.

Don't you have anything else to say? After all that? Don't just say something so ordinary, and leave me staring after your disappearing shadow.

She began to sense that something was amiss, why didn't Lilly flash her toothy grin at her, the way she normally did? Why was she acting all nervous and tongue-tied?

A guilty look came over Lilly's face, wrinkling her exquisite features." I think it would be better if we started seeing other people , you know this can't go on. Our parents don't even know about this… us……"

Epiphany had completely tuned out after hearing the first bit, and she sat dazed, not able to believe the garble coming out of her mouth.

So, all the sweet talk and poetry had been a sham. Nothing but a fantasy. But, this was Lilly, her Lilly, who held her when she was sad?

The words had finally sunk into her. She understood now that she was being dumped.

Silently, she got up and walked past Lilly, too stunned to say anything.

"Wait, Epiph!"

Then, she did something she would regret for her entire life.

She turned.

Lilly's pitiful look was enough to melt her heart, but how could she let this traitor back into her life?

The last two words she had said to Lilly were, " Just go."

Heartbreakingly, she didn't even bother to offer an explanation, nor did she run after Epiphany begging for forgiveness, as she had secretly hoped.

The next few days were spent indulging in pints of Ben & Jerry's and walking around the house listlessly, like a zombie.

Weirdly, it was this relationship that had left the most impact on her. Maybe it was true that girls made better lovers.

Being reasonably experienced with both genders, she leaned more towards females as they prioritized emotions. Instead of boys who lusted after her physical assets.

However, she wasn't given much time to mope, as the scholarship letter arrived just days after the break-up.

What started out as a random letter to a prestigious arts academy turned out to be an escape for her.

No more arguments between her parents and wasting her life away over Lilly.

She literally jumped at this golden opportunity. Everything from accommodation and food was provided. But, could she really bear to leave her mother high and dry?

In the end, she reluctantly accepted due to her mother's relentless persuasion.

Was escaping from her real life really what she wanted? Would boarding school be any better?

As she got ready to start another chapter of her life, she could only contemplate the infinite possibilities.

--

"But, you all just want me out of the house!"

" Zeph, dear, it's not that. We just need a little private time, you understand right?"

"Just weeks after we moved into this neighbourhood which actually looks decent for once, you and him are going to ship me off to some dumb school!"

"It's only for a while, if you don't like it, you'll get your wish pronto."

This dialogue had been nothing unfamiliar to Zephyr, since her mother had secretly signed her up for a place at a posh academy.

At the time, she had still thought her mother was playing some evil joke on her. Her mother loved her too much to send her away, didn't she?

She was disgusted at her mother, not because she wanted her out, but because she would give up her daughter for some rich guy.

Okay, so maybe she was just a little hurt too.

If he was so rich, then why couldn't they just go and live with him instead? Why did her mother have to complicate everything, just when she had settled in?

Nothing could change her mother's decision, anyway. Even though Zephyr was a hardcore rebel, she hated dwelling on what could not be changed. She had to accept it.

But that wouldn't stop her from hating her mum.

On the car ride to the train station, she sulked wordlessly, while her mother tried, to no avail, to make conversation,

"There'll be plenty of cute guys." Her mother winked suggestively.

Her mother was trying to tweak her vocabulary to that of a teenager's, which was so cringe-worthy. Oh, and, that showed how well she knew Zephyr.

Cute was not a word in Zephyr's dictionary. Oh, and she had sworn off the opposite gender.

Her bad impression of them wasn't to be blamed, as she had had many horrible experiences with males.

She had copied down each one into a notebook, and swore to take revenge on all of them some day.

Either they had not treated her respect, or they were unabashed when it came to fooling around with her. Not that she let them do anything serious to her.

Come to think of it, why did boys crave her so much? She was admittedly pretty, beneath that goth makeup, and she had this frail, delicate look about her, which she hated.

Perhaps, to their twisted minds, she was an exotic dessert.

The looming castle-like towers of Astoria Arts Academy came into view. There was something distinctly gothic and foreboding about it, even in the daytime.

Maybe this place wasn't going to be so bad. After all, Mr Rich Guy had spent tens of thousands to send her here.

Just as she was about to get out of the car, her mother tapped her lightly.

"Zephyr, dear, I'm sorry, it's just I need some time off okay. I love you, dear."

Her mother's lip quivered as she whispered.

For a moment, Zephyr felt remorseful for her repugnance towards her mother.

She bent in, preparing to give her mother a hug.

At the last moment, she suddenly straightened up, pretending that she had intended to wipe some lint off the car seat.

"Goodbye, Mother." Without even looking at her, she bid her mother adieu.

That's just how Zephyr was, never trusting anyone enough to allow them a glance of her vulnerability, even if it was her own mother.