ZEUS VALLAS was anything but ugly. The godly teenage boy was the definition of perfect, what with his dark brown hair, stormy grey eyes, dark red lips, and a perfect facial structure. Many girls would swoon whenever he passed them. Many girls yearned to be near him, to even be called his friend or, even better, his girlfriend. But that title was taken by none other than his sibling, Hera Vallas. His sibling was his girlfriend.
"Hello, Zeus," purred a stranger, a teenage girl, as he passed her. He stopped, looked at her. She blushed, her cheeks tinted a shade of red brighter than a tomato. A ton of makeup covered her face. "Just wanted to say hello. Having a good day?"
Zeus wanted nothing more than to drawl out, "Next." But he couldn't. That was rude. Instead, he smiled at her, flashing all his pearly white teeth. The girl's eyes widened as she almost fainted right there. Zeus wished nothing more than to disappear into thin air.
"I am having a good day, thank you," said Zeus in his deep voice. Unable to resist, he added, "Though it would be better if my sister were here."
He could see the jealousy in the girl's eyes almost immediately. "Oh. Do you mean Aprodite Vallas?" She was trying to act indifferent, and that was failing. He could see right through the act. "Or do you mean Athena? I've seen them. They're in the—"
"Oh, no," said Zeus, interrupting the girl. "I mean my girlfriend, my sibling, Hera Vallas."
Her eyes widened. "Oh. Um, well I haven't seen her today. Is she... is she sick or something? Did she decide to skip school? I hope it's the latter, though it would be bad of her to skip school. It's even worse to be sick, though."
"Oh, she isn't skipping," said Zeus. "Why would my sister do that? She knows much better than to skip school. What would our parents say if she did? Oh, poor Kro— sorry, father would be very mad. And what of Rhea— I mean, mother?" Underneath his breath, he muttered, "I should get rid of this habit of calling one's parents by their name."
"She's sick?" The girl tried to fake a sad expression. Again, Zeus saw right through. Again, Zeus wished to disappear into thin air and be by his sister's side, holding her cold hand as she sneezed and sneezed. "Oh, the poor dear. You know, I really loved her. Hope she gets well soon! Um, goodbye, Zeus."
"Goodbye..." Zeus's voice trailed off. He forgot to ask the girl her name!
"Oh, I'm Cecily," she said, sticking out a hand that he reluctantly took. They shook their hands. Hers was cold while his was warm. "Cecily Eliades. It's a... a pleasure to finally meet you, Zeus. My teachers have been talking about how well you do in class. They've been comparing me with you." She laughed nervously. "I'm terrible at Chemistry. They suggested for me to ask you some questions."
"I would love to tutor you," said Zeus, ignoring his heart that screamed different. He waited to see her reaction.
Her eyes widened as she seemed to panic. Zeus watched her struggle to speak, amused. "Oh— um, no," she said, forcing a laugh. "It's fine, Zeus. You don't need to do that. My older brother, he can tutor me."
"Suit yourself," said Zeus. "Now, I really must be going. Have a nice day, Ms Eliades."
He continued walking, glancing back to watch as she struggled to get herself together. He laughed quietly as he turned around the corner, heading for the cafeteria, where all his siblings were. He paused at the huge doorway, looking at his siblings tossing their heads back, laughing, looking happy.
He grabbed his lunch tray, waiting in line. He filled the tray with food before heading toward the large table his family was occupying. Only his family sat there, even quiet Athena, who had her head bent down with a small smile on her face.
He slipped into the seat next to Poseidon. His brown hair was a mess, his blue eyes filled with amusement, his mouth slightly parted as he laughed silently.
"Hey," said Zeus. "Sorry I'm late. I ran into some girl."
Hades slowly turned his head to look at Zeus. He was probably the only person who was bored. Next to him sat delicate Persephone, who, too, was smiling. "Let me guess, you decided to kiss her."
"You've got that wrong," said Zeus. "We talked. That's all."
"You only talked?" Poseidon looked shocked. "The almighty Zeus, a player, turning down a girl? No way!" He leaned in, smirking. "Missing Hera? Did you turn her down because you'd feel guilty about cheating on Hera while she's sick?"
"Poseidon, I am not a player," said Zeus, fuming. "That was a one time thing."
"One time thing?" asked Poseidon, looking amused. "Brother, I think you lost count. I'm pretty sure the last girl you slept with was the— hm, I don't know— thirtieth?"
"You're overexagerating," said Zeus, glaring at his brother. "I haven't been with thirty people, Poseidon."
"Then you've been with more people?" said Poseidon, who laughed at Zeus, who was outraged. "Just kidding, bro. But, really, I don't blame you for wanting to be with those girls."
"I was stupid," said Zeus. "I would never cheat on Hera now."
"Yes," said Hades, "and I would never ever cheat on Persephone, not even in the past. And you all think I'm the bad guy."
Persephone placed a hand on his arm, cautioning him. She looked worried. "Hades, I think you should go take a walk. Calm yourself. It would do you good. You don't know what you're saying."
"Isn't that true, Persephone?"
"Hades, really," began Persephone, only to be interrupted by Hades.
"Isn't that true, Persephone?" he repeated.
She sighed. "Yes, dear. You're right. You've never cheated on me. They should never have viewed you as the 'bad brother' when, really, you're the most angelic of them all. Although, you sure are a little... intimidating. Now, go take a walk. Clear your head."
Demeter watched them bicker with worried eyes. At such a young age, Demeter had accidentally gotten herself pregnant. But it led her to having Persephone, a wonderful daughter. Zeus knew Demeter didn't regret keeping her.
"However fun this... romantic conversations may be," said Athena, "I must be heading to class. Have fun cheating on your girlfriends." She turned to see Poseidon's expression of outrage. She smiled at him sweetly. "Oops. I meant have fun making out with your girlfriends. My apologies."
"Apology not accepted," said Poseidon through gritted teeth. Amphritite placed a hand on his arm, worried.
"Oh, well," sighed Athena. "It's alright, Poseidon. I really don't care if you reject my apology." She smiled smugly as she watched Poseidon's fruitless attempts to calm down. "I really must be going now. Ta-ta! See you losers later. Hephaestus, wanna come? We can talk about your new project while we're going."
"Sure," said Hephaestus, looking equally as amused as Athena. "Let's go."
"See you, losers," said Athena. "Better head to class now. The bell's going to ring in exactly one minute."
Zeus sighed, as did Poseidon. Hades and the rest of his siblings stayed silent, watching Poseidon and Athena, who was now bickering with Hephaestus animatedly, with amused eyes. Zeus couldn't wait until school was over. Then he'd be able to sit next to Hera's bed and hold her feverish hand. He could skip school, but he knew Hera wouldn't like that.
"Thinking about Hera?" asked Aphrodite, who was now right behind Zeus' back. "So am I. I wish she were here to talk to me about the latest fashion trends. And I just saw the cutest dress while coming here today. Prom's coming up, you know. That dress would look so good on her. Got a new suit ready yet, Zeus?"
"I have a suit ready," he replied, "but it's not new. Why do you need to buy a new suit when all of them look so identical to each other? What a waste of money."
"Yeah, well," said Aphrodite, wrinkling her nose, "not all dresses look the same. The one I just saw was so much cuter than the one Hera plans to wear. And don't say it's a waste of money. I'm paying for her, not you."
"I do not care to tell you what to do," said Zeus, truthful. "You do whatever you want to do. I really don't give a damn. After all, it's your money, not mine."
"Wise boy," said Aphrodite, smirking when she saw Zeus' glaring eyes. She knew Zeus hated it when she called him a boy. After all, all boys saw themselves as men, hated to be called boys. "Goodbye, Zeus. I'm headed off for..." She checked her schedule, wrinkled her nose, then sighed out, "Math."
It was Zeus' turn to laugh, for his next class was one of his favorite classes. "Science," said Zeus when Aphrodite tried to look at his schedule.
And truly, Aphrodite looked sad, disappointed. Zeus could only laugh as they made their way out of the cafeteria together with Poseidon, who had Amphritite clutching one of his arms, and Hades, who had Persephone by his side.
IT FELT like an eternity until classes were over. Zeus wanted nothing more than to go home, but Athena and Hephaestus were stuck in the library, working on one of Hephaestus' new blasted projects, then Aphrodite was still in class, gossiping with her group of friends, probably about Hera, and Demeter was too busy checking on the school's plants. The next thing he knew, Poseidon and Amphritite were making out.
"Bored too?" drawled out Hades. "Same. Persephone's gone off with Demeter to—" he made air quotation marks with his fingers as he said, "check on the plants. Ares has gone off with the twins to god knows where. Probably going to beat them into a pulp until Artemis finally outsmarts him. Hermes is off sending a message to some girl, Dionysus is too drunk to talk properly, and Hestia said it was too cold and ran off to who knows where." He sighed. "Wish we could go home quicker."
Zeus took out his iPhone, scrolled through the newest Instagram posts. "Mhm."
Hades snapped a finger in front of his phone, and reluctantly, Zeus pocketed it and continued to listen to Hades' boring rant about their siblings. He pretended to listen but couldn't help and doze off.
"Yeah, yeah," said Zeus as he snapped from his reverie, interrupting Hades. Hades glared. "Sorry. Look, can I go back on my phone?" Without waiting for a reply, he said, "Thanks."
And he whipped out his iPhone and scrolled through the depressing tweets on Twitter as he waited for his terrible siblings.
"I have an amazing question," said Zeus to no one in particular. "Why didn't we get on the most amazing thing ever, the goddamn school bus, Hades?"
"I don't know," said Hades. "Why are you asking me? I'm just that no one who no one wants to talk to, right?"
"Don't try to make me feel guilty, brother," said Zeus. "It's not working."
"Guilty of what?" asked Hades, confused. Then his eyes lit up, and he said, "Oh, there's Persephone. Bye, brother."
Zeus sighed, watched as Hades made his way to Persephone, went to his side. She smiled up at him, gave him a quick kiss. Zeus quickly looked away before their lips could connect with each other's.
"I'm here!" announced Athena. Zeus turned around and watched as she ran out of the school. "Sorry for the wait."
"Apology unaccepted," drawled Hades. "This guy, here—" Hades pointed a thumb toward Zeus, "was waiting for you to get your ass here. Remember who Hera is, wise girl?"
"Oh," said Athena. Her cheeks were slightly flushed. "Sorry, Zeus."
"It's alright," said Zeus. "Where's Heph?"
"Who?" asked Athena, confused. "Oh! Hephaestus. He's right behind me." They swung their heads in sync to look behind Athena. There was no one there. "Oh. Oh, no," she said sadly. "I thought he was behind me."
"I'm here," said Hephaestus. "Sorry. I just went to get Ares. Guess what I just saw? Artemis was totally kicking his butt."
"Was not," said Ares, who was limping behind Hephaestus. Artemis smirked, smug. "She could never kick my ass, especially when it's such a great day for me."
"Yeah, well," said Artemis, tossing her hair back behind her back, "I could beat you, even at my hands tied behind my back and blindfolded. That's how dumb you are, Ares. God, I can't believe you never learn."
"Sibling love," said Apollo, smiling widely. "C'mon. Let's go. Poor Hera must be waiting for us."
"Yeah," said Zeus. "Think of Hera. Who's driving today?"
"I am!" said Athena.
"Shotgun!" announced Ares. Athena sighed, disappointed. Ares smiled widely.
"Yeah, yeah," said Athena, pretending to be indifferent. Zeus saw her grimace. "Get in, you dork."
Zeus smiled as he went in Aphrodite's stylish Porsche car, which was white and surprisingly always clean, not a trace of mud ruining the white paint. He was finally going home, to his girlfriend, to Hera. Nothing could make him more happier.
"Turn that smile upside down, Zeus," yelled Athena as she slammed the car door shut. "You look like a boy in love. Nothing disgusts me more than that expression, especially on your face!"
Zeus could only laugh.