Though I wish to know what is on her mind, I decide that it is best not to ask her.  Mother has always been secretive about the things she holds closest to her heart.  When she had me, she all but disappeared from the village.  They still whisper about her in the marketplace I hear-rumors about her odd ways and her strapping brat.

I'm about to fling a stone into the sea, and I hear her dry voice cracking in the air.

"Theseus.  I have always told you to grow strong, and you have."

I put the stone down gently and turn to her.  The dream I had been right.  I feel it.

"I have kept the identity of your father secret for-important reasons-important to me at any rate."  She's fumbling with the sleeves of her robe, and I can tell in her trembling lips that these words pain her.  "He left us, you know-and it's taken a very long time for me to get over that fact.  But it's time you should be told."

She's looking at me oddly now.  Looking for something-maybe a left-over bit of him somewhere inside me.

"I'm strong, mother," I say confidently.  I know that I'm strong on the outside at least.  "I can handle it."

"Yes, you have done well."  She puts her hot hand to my face and then takes it away. "Your father made a decision long ago.  He only knew me for a time-when we were much younger, and you were still inside of me when he decided to go.  His cousin died-and he became the king."  She watches my face for this news to sink in.

I keep it still as stone, but inside my heart tries to jump out.  The King of Athens.  And I am his heir.

"You don't seem surprised," she said seeming concerned.

I'm not.  I've known it since I was born.  I'm not meant to be like everyone else-I'm meant for something better.  "I am, Mother."

CONTINUE
Location:  By the Sea

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