I found her in a garden. Her mother had locked her away and she had turned it into a plaything. That was Persy. Always making something beautiful out of nothing.
She wasn’t expecting company, but when she saw me she smiled and for a second all was right with the world.
Our exchange was brief. I apologised for disturbing her and she waved me away. It’s no bother. No bother at all.
I turned to leave, but my feet had grown roots. She had caught me. That was Persy. Always quicker than me.
She wove between the flowers towards me. Floated to me on bare feet. She asked me how I’d found this place and I told her, embarrassed, that I’d taken a wrong turn. But that wasn’t true. I had been looking for her. She was what I had been looking for all my life.
She knelt down and helped me with my binds. She laughed, noting how often this must happen to me. Suppliants at your feet, begging for a favour. Her laugh was as perfect as her smile. Not a single cruel note in it. I told her it wasn’t as often as she thought and she looked up at me, surprised. But you’re a king, she said. King; that was the word that she used. Not a God, not a being stuck in the natural order, stuck in my brothers’ shadow, but a king. Lord of all I surveyed. Maker of of my own choices.
Am I king in this place, I asked. She smiled, gently tearing at the roots. You could be. For all I know, I might be on Olympus, or in the sea. We could be in Hades right now.
We are not, I said, offering her my hand. Nothing this beautiful could exist down there.
You could make it happen, she said, standing up. You could make anything happen, I’m sure.
I asked her who had told her that and she shook her head. You found this place, didn’t you? You could take a part of it with you. Make something of you own.
We were still holding hands. I didn’t want to let go and she didn’t either. For both of us, it was the first time we’d felt the touch of another person. The first time we’d felt the right person. Everything in my being screamed at me not to leave without her but we both knew that wasn’t possible. It wouldn’t be that day, but it would be soon and that was undeniable. Whatever it was- kinship, friendship, sympathy, harmony- it was pouring out of one of us and into the other. Settling deep and beginning to grow, like the flowers that surrounded us, shrouded us. It wasn’t ready yet, still just forming its roots, but we both knew it was there. Our love just needed to grow. To grow and grow until it was so big, so strong, so sturdy that nobody could ignore it.