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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cupid's arrow

I put down the shears and stalked toward the house. Damn these daisies! Why couldn’t they just grow like everything else in my gorgeous garden? An envelope lay on the step in front of the door and I bent down to pick it up. When had that been delivered? I had been in the garden for most of the morning—surely I would have noticed. As I drew out the deckle-edged paper a familiar lemony scent wafted upward. My heart did a tiny flip-flop.

Diamonds are nothing
Compared to your beauty
I would come forward now
If ‘twas not for my duty

The paper slipped from my grasp and drifted toward the garden. When I went to retrieve it, it had landed in the middle of my forlorn daisies. Apropos, I thought, as I scanned into the distant past.  Duty, my ass! The last time I saw him was on another Valentine’s Day. At the time I thought his gift of daisies was sweet. If only I had known then what I knew now.
A distant shriek brought my attention to the street. “Watch out—it isn’t human!” I heard someone yell and then the sound of running feet. Ohmygod he was here! I ran into the house and slammed the door behind me and then stationed myself behind the sheer curtain in the picture window. When I saw the feathery white wings I was sure.

These silly people and their superstitions, he thought to himself as he approached her house. If it wasn’t for me who knows how unhappy everyone would be. Yes, he thought, I may not be that handsome from certain points of view, but I certainly have had my way with the ladies. And they like it, there is no doubt. Even this one, who I pretended to love so long ago. If only she really was my lost love, he thought sadly to himself, wiping his eyes.  He shook himself to get rid of the memory, making the  feathers on his wings fluff up. As he rounded the corner the garden came into view. The iris were full of ire this morning, he thought, watching their angry purple expressions as their stalks bent and twisted in the breeze. He smiled at the sunlit daffodils dancing in a wild riot from one side of the garden to the other. The lily’s, loquacious as always, all began to speak at the same time.
“Hello, my friends,” he said when their lilting voices had died down. He dug his bare into the soft earth as he turned to take in the garden, sudden horror replacing his smile. “But what has happened to the daisies?” he cried. “My gift has deteriorated and is close to death!” He bent to examine the blackened stalks, the white petals turned drab. A sudden warmth on his back brought his gaze toward the house and he glanced up to see her silhouette in the window. His eyes met hers and he stared until she turned away.  She looks the same, he thought, getting up off his knees and brushing away the mud.

A large knot took up residence in my solar plexus as I watched his approach. The sight of his well-proportioned naked body was nothing new, but I had to admit it had a certain effect on me. I did not want to open the door when I heard the knock but something propelled me there.  I swung it open, surprised as always by the languid expression in those angelic eyes of his.  He pulled the arrow from his quiver and aimed it at my heart. “No, not again,” I cried, but it was already too late. It had pierced the flesh and I was no longer able to resist him. He took me in his arms and I tasted his sweetness as his mouth met mine.
“I love you, Psyche,” he said as he picked me up and carried me toward the bedroom.
His wings brushed against my skin sending shivers up and down my spine. “My name is not Psyche, but if you want to call me that it’s fine with me,” I murmured into his neck. He cradled me against his well-muscled body before he placed me down on the bed. I lay helpless as he unbuttoned my blouse, his eyes staring into mine. He was methodical and careful, his fingers warm against my skin as he helped me out of my clothes. When I lay before him like an opened present, his eyes narrowed, a cat-like smile hovering around his full lips. A blush crept from my neck into my cheeks, the heat making me tingle with anticipation. And then Cupid, in his very adult form,  lay down beside me and I was lost, just as I had been fifteen years before.

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