It isn't often that I simply repost things here. But I have been thinking about Persephone and Adonis lately, so this short story came to mind. I just spent some time up at our land in North Carolina and it was so beautiful in its starkness. Waiting for both Persephone and Adonis to return with a green blanket to cover the earth makes me both grateful for what has happened and excited for what is to come.
“You’re thinking about her, aren’t you?”
They sat in the field of asphodel, their red and white checkered picnic blanket laid out beneath their legs. He sat with his perfectly toned and tanned legs crossed. She lay back stretching her white limbs out from her body. He was silent in answer to her question. He fiddled with the hem of his shirt and didn’t look at her.
“I understand,” she said. “I know we’ve run out of things to talk about.”
“Its not you,” He said finally, quietly.
“I know. I know better than anyone else, really. The Olympians are always figuring out ways to divide our time between there and here. I hate being a pawn in their ridiculous games. It is okay if you’re thinking about her. I owe her a debt myself.”
Adonis looked up at her, his dark green eyes inquisitive. She knew he wanted to hear the story. She was certain he had heard it before, but she knew he liked to hear her tell it.
“Yeah. It is all Aphrodite’s fault. My mother had made it quite clear that I was never to be married off like some commoner. She wanted me to be elevated to the very pinnacle of the Greek pantheon – an eternal virgin like Hestia, Athena and Artemis.” Adonis smiled a little and so Persephone responded, “you better believe I’m glad that didn’t happen!
“Anyway, Aphrodite was angry about it, as you might expect. She didn’t want anyone out of her realm of dominance that wasn’t already. She thought hard about another God who might need a partner. Several gods had auditioned for the job, including Hermes who had been Aphrodite’s lover once. But she decided on Hades, my very own uncle. I think she might have been a little jealous of me. Or maybe thought I would be too much of a rival, that by her hand she could banish me to the deepest recesses of hell. And so she bade Eros to shoot Hades with the arrow of love. The rest is history, as they say. I have been here with my husband ever since. And I do love him.”
“Then why did you fight so hard for me?” asked Adonis.
“Maybe to get back at her a bit? I am not angry at her for introducing me to Hades. But I am angry that she started the battle over where I get to spend my time. That is the part of my life in which I had no control. When she brought you here, she was begging for me to help her. She needed to hide you because she knew she couldn’t keep you to herself.” Persephone reached out with her slender fingers and gently traced his jaw line. “You are beautiful, you know.” Adonis smiled and looked away shyly.
“Tell me about her.”
His eyes brightened. He looked straight into her violet eyes. “I know she has a bad reputation. And I know she has had a lot of different lovers. But there is something magnificent about her. She has a draw. A magnetism. I love the feeling of her hair in my hands and the weight of her body in my arms. Her hair smells like roses and her skin glows with gold.” Adonis leaned over Persephone’s prone body, his face very close to hers.
She turned her face away from him. He brushed her ear with his lips. She knew they both thought about different lovers, but he was the embodiment of passion so why not make the best of it. “You never describe me like that,” she said.
“You are very different,” he whispered. “Your hair smells like daffodils. Your eyes shine like amethysts. Your skin is like the glorious moonlight.”
Persephone sighed. “I haven’t seen the moon since summer,” she said.
She turned her face to him. She knew that when the seasons changed they would be apart again. They might be in someone else’s arms all together. But this night was their night, their longing was a yearning for the springtime.