CAYA Memories: Twice Athena Snuck Up on Me and One Time I Did It to Her

I. September 2012

The Rite of Courageous Heroines concludes with a mass of shivering women and a collective decision to make use of the heated pool. In moments, we've all sunk, waded, or jumped in. There are general sounds of pleasure and laughter. Someone breaks out the booze. After a bit, I notice Athena's the only one missing. I ask if we should go get her and get a shrug in reply. I'm not used to the way she appears when she wants to yet. I watch for her but don't catch the exact moment she appears. It's the first time I see her pull her ninja trick but far from the last.

II. March 2014

When I finally give up and decide to raid the kitchen instead of sleeping, Ursa's there. She looks up when I come out of my room.

"Hey sweetie," she says. "How are you?"

"F-king insomnia," I grumble, collapsing against her for a hug.

She makes a sympathetic noise and follows me to the kitchen. I put together a snack and some tea to help me sleep.

When I turn back from the counter, Athena looms up out of the darkness. I startle and force myself to take a deep breath instead of shrieking. Right. She was sleeping on the couch. I forgot.

"Hi Athena."

Ursa whips around and we all laugh quietly.

III. October 2014

I am just coming down the hallway when I hear a knock on the door. I pause. Someone gets it and I hear Athena's familiar voice. She is the last one to arrive, so we should be ready to start now.

A smile teases at the corner of my mouth. I keep walking and take the stairs. Just as I hear Athena reach the bottom, I round the corner.

"Whoa!" Athena flails backward, a hand at her heart. "You scared me!"

My smile widens into a grin. "I knew that would happen."