I awoke to a damp pillow. As I have occasionally the past few months or so. I flipped it over and lay my head back down, not wanting to wake up just yet. Although I had cried a lot when I got home last night, I actually dreamed in the small amount of sleep I had, which I haven’t done in a long time. Closing my eyes, I tried to recall it and couldn’t, except for a few fleeting images of things I couldn’t quite distinguish, like black blurs.
Then I remembered why I had woken up in the first place. The same sound that had stolen me from my dream came again. Louder this time. I moved a little, but still didn’t get up. The warmth of the bed was overpowering.
I heard more knocking on my front door. Annoyed at my visitor's persistence, I glanced at my alarm clock, which hadn’t even gone off yet and decided that it was too early. My mom had already gone to work, but I didn’t feel like seeing a UPS guy at this very moment. But I got up anyways. I exchanged my pajamas for a baggy sweater and some old soccer shorts and dragged myself to the door.
And it wasn’t the mail guy.
“Good morning, sweetie!”
Cupid was standing in my doorway, smiling his smile, holding a bouquet of flowers.
I changed my mind - I was still dreaming.
I sort of just stood there, staring at him for a minute or so. After a few seconds, I realized he wasn’t going to leave, disappear into thin air or fly away, so I reached my hand out and touched a flower in the bouquet. Yep, that was real too.
“Do you like them?” he asked, not at all feeling uncomfortable as I was still trying to distinguish reality and dreams. He didn’t look like the sad type of person at all. If he didn’t smile at least once every few minutes or so, he would probably spontaneously combust.
Dream, dream, dream.
“They’re pretty. Oh - come in, sorry.” I carefully took the flowers from his hand and he came inside, taking a quick look around. Thank goodness my Mom worked early hours this week and she wouldn’t be here to meet my heavenly pal.
He wore just a white T-shirt and jeans, the same outfit he had on yesterday. I wondered if gods had to do the laundry. Maybe there was a god who had special clothes washing powers. I would like to meet him too. He’d help save a lot of money on the water bill.
“I hope I didn’t wake you.”
Of course you didn’t, it’s only 8:30 on a Saturday morning.
“No, it’s fine.”
Cupid followed me into the kitchen from the front hallway and I offered a chair for him.
“I’ll get some water for these.” I said, setting the flowers down on the counter and searching for a large cup. “So. Where’d you sleep last night?” I asked, trying to strike up some conversation. I still was trying to decide if he was real or not. Whatever it was, I was talking to it.
“Sleep?” He asked over the clatter of the glass dishes in the cupboard.
“Where did you stay if you couldn’t get a hotel?”
“There’s too much to do and to see around here to waste my time sleeping. I was thinking about coming here earlier, but I didn’t want to startle you. You might think I was trying to break into your property.” He joked, taking a liking to one of the salt and pepper shakers on the kitchen table.
I love how he spoke as if he warped from the Victorian era. It seemed the only way I could mirror his way of speaking was if I recited verses from a Shakespearean play. It gave him a nice romantic vibe, which suited his occupation well. Any girl in their right mind would definitely melt if they heard a guy talk as nice as he did. I can admit that I liked it.
“So gods don’t sleep?”
“Not usually. Maybe afternoon naps. But we’re customarily far too busy.”
Cupid smirked a lot. Totally not sexy at all.
I found a large mug and filled it with water, then unwrapped the flowers and put them inside. He sure did have good taste in flowers. I smelled them and I immediately wanted to glue the flowers to my nose afterward; they smelled so good.
“I think if you’re mortal, like one of us, you’re going to need to sleep. It helps your body to regain your energy. Gives your brain a rest.” I said. I fished around for two cups and got out the orange juice from the fridge.
“I’m accustomed to having a more simple body. I guess immortality prevents you from needing sleep, or at least that's what I believe. But in any case, I’ll try it.” He grinned back at me. “Coffee?”
“I’m sorry, all we have is orange juice and water.”
“Either would be lovely.”
I poured a cup for the both of us and grabbed a bagel.
“No, thank you.”
I sat down across from him at the table, handing him a cup.
I kept my eyes on him, still fearing that he was an illusion. Finally waking up from my sleepiness, I recalled the events of last night and thought more about them. I truly somehow believed this stranger, and worse yet, allowed him into my house. He was fascinating to say the least and I really did appreciate his company. I had not one logical reason to believe him, but here we were, eating breakfast together. I couldn’t help but feel lucky to have met him.
“Are you enjoying your vacation so far?”
“I am now.” Cupid said to me, looking at me with those mesmerizing eyes of his. I hope I wasn’t blushing. But I choked a little on the juice I was drinking. Flirting?
“Thanks for coming over. And… how did you find my house anyways?”
“A natural intuition. I think only our kind are able to make use of it.”
“I see.” No, I don’t see, but I didn’t doubt that. As long as he didn’t follow me home last night, I don’t care what powers he has. I pondered x-ray vision, but thought against it.
I felt bad acting the way I have. Here was Cupid, the supposed god of love, spending his time with me and being so sweet, and all I’ve done was question who he was this whole time. He was literally killing me with his kindness and I knew I should be a little nicer to him. I’ve only known him for a few hours, but he was already such a good friend. I wish all humans could be like who he was as a temporary mortal.
I wish Brayden could have been more like him...
“Any more questions before you forget, officer?” he interrupted my thoughts, finishing his drink and circling his finger around the rim of the cup. Today, his eyes were a lighter blue - more playful. I tried not to look into them too long for fear of embarrassing him.
“I’ll have to think for a second.” I admitted.
A question came to me quickly. “How old are you?”
“It’s impolite to ask people how old they are, you know.”
“Don’t be. Let’s just say I’m older than the Earth and much older than you.” He laughed a little. It was a natural laugh that might have been eons of years old, but it seemed fresh to the human ear.
“So then why are you so young when you should really be some fossilized old man?”
“I can be any age I want, but I find being around this age is more fun.”
“I can understand that.”
“Would you like me a different age?”
“No, no. I like your age as it is now.”
I collected both of our finished cups and took them to the sink.
“So how long do you get to stay?”
“About a week, seven days. That's how long I've stayed the past couple of visits.”
That number disappointed me. I was hoping for longer than that. I didn’t know how his little vacation thing worked, but seven days seemed too small of a number for me. Deep down somewhere, in this mess of this heart of mine, I wanted to him to stay longer. But still, it was nice enough for him to come down here at all.
“So, when do you want to talk about the deal?”
Cupid stood up with the grace only a non-human was capable of, running a hand through his godly hair. I took a second to take in his true mortal form, not being able to clearly make out what he looked like behind a counter or sitting down at a table. He was clearly attractive, airing a confidence about him that made you drop what you were doing to look at him. And his smile didn’t make him any less ugly either. I liked to look at him like I would ogle a cute movie star or a model, but my heart still only spilled with butterflies when I looked at a certain someone else. Fortunately or unfortunately.
He sat up on the kitchen counter near me, picking up a cook book and flipping through it. Because I wanted to avoid staring at his gorgeous self and drooling, I decided to save some time and put away the dishes.
“Would you like help with those?”
“No thank you, it’s okay. What deal are you talking about?” I asked, my back to him. I could feel his eyes on me.
“You don’t want me to help you fall in love?”
I froze. I had completely forgot about his powers. For a girl who was in love with someone for three years and got dumped a few months ago, and still not over it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fall in love again. At least, not any time soon. My life changed a lot these past few months and I didn’t think much of it. The crying has become somewhat of a habit to me. And seeing him still made me feel like I needed to retreat into the bathroom and flood the closest stall with all of my never-ending tears. It was physically painful to see him, especially happy. Not that I didn’t want him to be happy, because I do love him and want him to be happy, but it’s not the same. He’s not happy with me. No matter how badly I wanted to drop all the time I spent thinking about him and being with him, being happy with him, I didn’t think I was capable of that yet. Hearts are a lot more fragile than I thought. I would want Cupid to help me, I really did, but I wasn’t the right person for his powers.
“I don’t know...” was all I could manage, so I wasn’t surprised when he asked why.
“I’m sorta not in the right place to fall in love again right now.” The words came out slowly as a spoke them, stained with the pain that I felt. They didn’t seem like my own words, they were so distorted and weak.
“What do you mean, Sarah?” Cupid closed the cook book and looked at me. I still had my back turned.
“I’m still in love with someone who doesn’t love me.” I blurted out my confession. Still the words were deformed. I couldn’t help it. The swelling was coming back again. No, not now. Not again.
Without a word, Cupid got off the counter and pulled me toward him. He held me against his chest and let me cry all over his shirt. He didn’t say anything, just stood there and hugged me. I didn’t need to explain more.
But my eyes dried up quickly and not long after the hug, he gently let me go. Letting me wipe my face, he stood against the dish washer and waited for me to recover. It felt a little weird crying in front of a stranger, but for some reason, I felt closer to a god than most humans I knew.
“Then, my powers won’t be needed. Nothing to cry over.”
“But,” I sniffed a little. “Isn’t that what you do? I mean,” Sniff. “I bet you could find someone else to help fall in love.” My throat was so scratchy and my mouth was dry. I felt like such a wreck.
“Nah, I’d rather stick around with you. You’re one of the most interesting girls I’ve met. You don’t go around giving your heart to just anyone. You don’t play around with love like it’s some kind of game. It’s classy, I respect that in you. The world needs more women like you.”
To my surprise I laughed at being called a ‘woman’.
“Laughing is an improvement.” Cupid stated, flashing a smile fit for magazines and movie posters.
“There’s millions and millions of nice girls looking for love in this world, not just me. You should help them instead.”
“And there’s millions and millions of ways of finding love, not just me.”
Once again, he was right.
“I really wish I could fall in love again. If maybe we had met some other time, in a different universe, different dimension, maybe."
“There’s always time for love, just be patient. Well, if I can’t find you love, I can at least try to find you happiness. That’ll be my new job. Come on, get dressed, let’s go out somewhere.”
“I am dressed.”
“Gods do have a sense of humor, don’t they?”
“Not all, you’re lucky you got me and not Zeus. He's got quite a temper on him.”