Mortals have trouble understanding the concept of love:
What does it mean?
What is it?
Will it ever happen to me?
All the questions and more run through their mind- since they have been able to think for themselves and distance themselves from the realm of apes, that one eternal question lingers-
What is love?
Such a swift, fleeting, eternal, painful, wondrous thing- it cannot be put into words.
Yet mortals have put it into flesh and blood- Aphrodite and her son Eros.
Ridiculous, I say.
How can such a malicious thing be called love? It is a disgusting mockery.
Then again...I am hypocritical. Once I thought love to be something best left to others- my siblings and nephews seeming to have so much trouble with it.
Zeus, constantly running around with mortal girls, having affair after affair.
Hera, wracked with jealousy, her wrath turning a once proud and beautiful goddess into a vengeful shrew who took her anger on her husband's hapless bastard children.
Apollo, with his dryad, who spurned his advances and would rather be a unfeeling tree than feel his embrace.
And yet, and yet, it happened to me as well-that bitterly cold afternoon, when hapless Eros shot his arrow without thought for the consequences.
I had went to the surface world for a short reprieve from the Underworld- my own domain depressed me as well. It was no wonder why the other gods spurned my company- Athena had once told me in that blunt way of hers,
"You are a good being, Hades. Yet it seems that you bring the gloom of the Underworld wherever you go."
I remember smiling slightly bitterly at that. I am the underworld. I cannot escape it. Sometimes-no, all the time-I feel that we gods are the ones who got the worst lot- never changing, always living, doomed with the weight of our own power dragging us down. Mortals do not know how easy they have it.
The air was frigid, stinging slightly against my cheeks. The forest around me was silent, and the trees grey reminders of death and sleep. I had left the Underworld to escape it, but even now it followed me.
Pausing, I turned down the path, walking slowly, lost in my own thoughts. It was sometime before I realized I had walked into a dead end- the path stopped abruptly, melding into a still clearing.
And it was there, that I am sure, Aphrodite ordered Eros to let the arrow fly.
Lying surrounded by softly glowing flowers, she lay there, golden skin in harsh contrast against the white of the snow. Her eyes were closed, caramel colored eyelashes resting against her cheeks.
An aura of something entirely alien grew stronger as I approached. It sung in low whispers around me of warmth, of simple joy- of something that was the total opposite to what I was.
I could feel myself become intoxicated, helplessly drawn nearer.
Looking back, I realize that Zeus and Aphrodite were probably laughing behind their hands in Olympus, watching as I became more and more infatuated with Persephone.
But at that moment, as I crouched beside her, my hand hesitating just above her sleeping face, all I could think of was this-
Oh. So this is what mortals call love.