Sensing A Change

I reached out to touch her, but stopped myself at the last moment. My hands hovered inches away from her, desperate to heal the pain with my touch, but I was terrified. I didn’t want to taint her perfect skin with my unworthy hands. ”

Book Of Hades

My wife Persephone has always been distant. I thought she would come around and we would be happy together, but that never happened. Resentment and even hatred were all I was given. I never blamed her for it. I deserved it for the most part.

I was sitting in my office drinking whiskey when I suddenly caught the scent of fresh rain and a variety of flowers. I turned my head upwards and inhaled deeply. It was a smell that brought back memories from when I first met Persephone so long ago. Even then, she was a craving I could not control. It penetrated my heart and soul, taking over my thoughts and passions. Now it was here, consuming my whole being. I drained my drink and stood up, feeling the hearty liquid hit my stomach. The alcohol, along with my burning need of Persephone, created a powerful brew within me. 

I walked towards the bedroom, the urge to see her undeniable. My head was telling me it was pointless and she would not want me disturbing her, but a fool’s hope and unwavering need won the argument. I knocked on the door with dread and that foolish hope and heard her unmistakable voice answer. The words come in were so simple and short, but her voice made my heart ache. I wanted nothing more than to have her speak to me. An unusual drug, to be sure, but one I longed for desperately.

When did I become so weak? Why am I so affected by her? How can she wound me so deeply without even trying? No wonder she was so good at torture. Why did that stop, anyway?

I opened the door and peeked inside the room before entering. I expected her to jump up and leave the room, closing the door and leaving a wall between us which has been there for so long.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything, my dear, but I wanted to see you.” I was concerned. I had been told something was wrong. “I’ve been told you are not doing well,” I said.  

She jerked away, facing the window. I thought I saw tears streaking her face, and my heart was ready to explode from my chest. 

Look at what I have caused. She is so unhappy. I really am what everyone thinks. I really am evil.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, fearing the answer she would give. I stood behind her and spoke as gently as I could. As if my gentle voice could change anything. I was still me, and that was the issue.

“I’m fine,” she answered, not letting me in. It was no less than I deserved after the things I have done.

I reached out to touch her, but stopped myself at the last moment. My hands hovered inches away from her, desperate to heal the pain with my touch, but I was terrified. I didn’t want to taint her perfect skin with my unworthy hands. She turned her head ever so slightly to look at me over her shoulder and nodded her permission. My heart still felt like it was exploding, but now it was from relief and disbelief.

My presence and my touch no longer repel her? What has changed?

Her permission was all I needed. I rested my hands tentatively on the outside of her arms. I was terrified she would suddenly come to her senses and wound me with words of disgust. She never reacted in that way or any other, but I was grateful to be able to feel her warmth, smell her scent, and just be in her company. Something was wrong, and I wanted nothing more than to fix it.

“If you don’t want to share, I understand,” I said. “But I’m here when you’re ready.” 

I thought I saw her shiver at those words. 

Why? Are her senses coming back? Was that a shiver of hate? Of disgust? Is she just cold? Gods, why wasn’t I blessed with understanding when it comes to women?

“Soon,” she suddenly answered. I was in shock at that word. That wasn’t a maybe, a perhaps, or never. That was soon, which was more than anything I could have imagined. I could sense a change in her. I had no idea what it was or what it meant, but we were both changing. I was no longer the god I once was, and I was becoming more human every day. There was no way to even begin to describe or explain the feelings of heart-wrenching love, pain, depression, anger, and several other emotions I didn’t have names for. It all felt very complex and confusing. It seemed she was going through something similar.

Is this a change for the better? Or worse? Is she finally ready to open up to me and tell me exactly how she feels? That she is ready to leave me and this horrifying hole of despair we call the Underworld? No!

She said soon, I thought. That is a small step in a good direction, isn’t it? If it was bad, she would still tell me to leave her alone or wound me with those words of hers. She would deny me the pleasure of touching her, which she was well aware, left a scar on my heart. The unthinkable alternative is that she no longer had hate in her heart. That I was now so insignificant to her she didn’t even have it in her to scorn me anymore. I refused to dwell on that for too long and clung to the hope that we would come to some understanding. I needed to show her I had changed, and that she was all I wanted or needed from this life.Soon could not come quick enough.

Hades (John Decarteret)
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