|Cara Soriano (desertworship) wrote in nevermore_logs,|
@ 2010-11-01 06:51:00
|Entry tags:||cara soriano|
WHO: Cara Soriano
WHEN: Halloween afternoon
WHERE: Just outside Ridgecrest, California
WHAT: Sometimes you can go home again
WARNINGS: mentions of violence, sort-of mentions of sex, and Circe's own special brand of 5am stream of consciousness and scenes that go nowhere. Apologies in advance.
There was a click as the door unlocked and Cara pushed it open quietly and stepped inside, holding her breath. It had been more than a year since she'd last been inside this house but it seemed (at least from her first glance around as she walked down the corridor) that nothing had changed at all. It had been a year, but it felt like so much longer to her. A part of her was saying she shouldn't even be there now.
She continued, making her way to where she could hear a radio in the kitchen and there she waited in the doorway, watching her father's back as he stood in front of the stove, the crackling of oil in the air. She opened her mouth to speak, then closed in again, undecided. But her intake of breath had been just loud enough that James Soriano turned with a frown on his face and saw her. "Cara," he said in surprise. (Not pleased, not displeased, just surprised.) They stared at each other across the kitchen for a few moments before he reached over and turned off the stove, removing the frying pan before giving his attention to his daughter once more. "I heard that you were back."
Cara nodded. "I've been in LA mostly, and over at the Temple sometimes, trying to help rebuild."
James wiped his hands slowly on a dishcloth and dropped it onto the bench with a nod. "They said you were there." He looked up at her. "You've been avoiding me."
Cara shook her head quickly. "No, not avoiding. I've-" she stopped, took a breath, met his eye. "I've been busy."
He was watching her carefully and Cara could tell he was trying to read through her words, to dissect them and take them apart. To take her apart, just as he'd always been so good at doing. But Cara kept up the wall she'd been building, herself inside and him outside. She didn't want him in her anymore, not after all that had happened.
She'd never meant to cut off contact with him after going to join Set. There had been phonecalls for a short time, status reports, questions on how she should do things, but it hadn't been long before she realized, perhaps for the first time in her life, that she might possibly know better than her father. He'd always been so sure of himself, so arrogant - where else did Cara get it after all? - but now she saw only arrogance without reason, because she'd seen more in her months with Set than James had ever seen. In some way she wanted to tell him everything. She wanted to sit down with her father and tell him that she'd been to Duat and seen that it was more beautiful and more terrifying than she'd ever imagined. She wanted to tell him of Apep, of the things that God had made her do. She even wanted to tell him that Set had released her as a Priestess and taken her instead as his concubine.
Do you see? she wanted to ask him as she held his hands. Do you see how perfect you made me for him, what you built of this little girl?
But Cara said nothing.
James stepped towards her and she stepped back and swallowed, shaking her head and dropping her eyes. James paused, again studying his daughter.
"It's been a year, Cara," he said after the silence had grown heavy. "Won't you tell me anything?" The fact that he was asking about her life made her look up again, a hint of hopefulness in her eyes. "How goes your service to the God?"
Cara looked back down at the terracotta tiles beneath them. Not a question about her life, but a question about her duties. He'd never showed curiosity about her life before so how had she thought that would be different now? "Fine," she said without revealing anything of herself or of her Lord.
"He's pleased with you?"
Cara looked up at her father and smirked, smug and knowing. "Exceptionally pleased," she told him, accentuating each word to its full potential: "I'm incredibly pleasing."
"I should hope so," was all he said, knowing exactly what she meant. Cara crossed her arms. She didn't know why she'd come here. She shouldn't have. There was nothing here for her anymore. James Soriano had given her all he had to give, which were his lessons on the God and nothing more. Perhaps she been hoping upon her return that her good work would receive her some form of fatherly affection instead of simply professional pride. But she knew properly now that when James looked at her he saw no daughter, only a protégé, only an extension of himself. It had just taken this distance to see it.
"I'm going to my room," she told him and then turned, not waiting for any further comment. He made none for her to hear.
Cara's room on the family estate was separate to the house, something that as a child was supposed to teach her the values of independence and self-reliance. And it had taught her those very well indeed. Cara had learned quickly that if you cried at night no one would come to comfort you, that if you were scared no one would calm you, that if you were lonely no one would hold you. Cara had always been a fast learner.
She unlocked the door and stepped inside, the room smelling like dust from its long time neglected. She'd not lived here since she was nineteen, getting her own place on Venice Beach after that and only sleeping a dozen nights in this room since then when she returned to visit home. Still, it was exactly as she'd left it.
It was easy to see the influence that her life's calling had had on her, Egyptian art hanging on the walls, Egyptian books lining the shelves, almost one entire wall of the bedroom taken up as an altar to Set. But there were things there that weren't him as well. There was the painting easel in one corner of the room, old canvas' set out beneath it, there were novels hiding away between the reference books.
On the bed Cara sat down, looking around the room that wasn't really her anymore. She'd been a girl here, and now she was Set's concubine.
It had been in this house that she'd first met Set. She couldn't remember how old she was but she had certainly still been in elementary school, still most definitely a child. But even then when James had brought her into the room before the God Cara had known her place and known how lucky she was. She'd curtsied before him in her best dress and called him 'my Lord' just as she'd been instructed. She'd smiled beside her father as he told Set that in the future, when Cara was grown, she would serve him well.
That day Cara had hated how young she was, had hated that she didn't even reach up to father's shoulder yet, not even on tippy-toes. Because she met Set and she knew she wanted to serve him right away. She thought it so unfair that she didn't get to be his priestess right now, all because she was too small.
Her bedtime story that night had been Patience, Cara, patience. He doesn't want you until you're grown up and beautiful. And you will be won't you?
Yes, father, I'll be beautiful for you and for Set. I promise. I'll try so hard!
I know you will, Cara. You'll make him happy and you'll make me so proud.
And, as she got older, she understood more why she needed to be beautiful, why Set would want that. The relief and pleasure in her father's eyes as she grew into a golden young woman was obvious and every day she prayed at her little altar to be perfect, to be everything that her father wanted, to be everything that her Lord needed.
Until that day she'd met Set (and for many years after in a way) they'd been one and the same to her, her Lord and her Father. Both were whispered with reverence, both were Gods she needed to find a way to please, whatever it took. And if her Lord Father was displeased with her then she knew it was because she'd disappointed him.
At fifteen Cara went on a date with a boy from school, and while she knew that her love was destined to belong to Set, her body and soul his as he wanted it, she didn't see the harm in a date. James Soriano had been furious though. The bruises took weeks to fade but his voice raging at her for being a slut took far longer. The only times he ever hit her were when she failed in the calling he was preparing for her and she spent cold, sore nights praying to Set for forgiveness.
A sniff and Cara ran a finger across her blurry eye, flicking away a tear. Her room smelled like her, smelled like the safety of childhood, and she found herself slipping under her blankets and burying her face in the pillow. Apep had never been here, no corrupted version of Set had ever met her eye and forced her hand. Here she was just a girl who had no past, no future. She was just a girl curled up in bed. Just a girl who wished more than anything that she had a friend to turn to.
She reached an awkward hand under the mattress and from there drew out a worn photograph that no one but her was allowed to see. The woman in it was beautiful, golden and flawless, and Cara had memorized every line on her face, the way the fabric of her summer dress flowed, the loving arm wrapped around the toddler on her lap as she pointed at the camera. Cara ran her fingers across it now, just as she'd done countless times before, and then pressed the photo against her heart as she squeezed her eyes shut.
Here she was just a girl and girls were allowed to cry if they wanted to.