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The Price of Love

A love story with a price.

i. The Price

She obeys my every word.

I thought the potion would make her stay close to me. Instead she became my wishbone, forgetting all of her earthly and celestial wants. She reduced in size, smell and prowess and became a person with simple questions and futile remarks.

  The advertisement did not say that it would change the essence of a person- it only guaranteed romantic love. All the reviews spoke highly of the moderate results that strayed far from the grotesque horror movies that filled our screens in the early days.

Loving Aphrodite guaranteed the mutuality and respect of a loyal partner, or a devoting wife. I was guaranteed the love of my life but instead I got a happy helper. The difference is slight, and would go unnoticed if she had not been a kaleidoscope of perceptions that challenged everyone she met. In every blink and breath she explored landscapes of emotion and waved them to you with hugs and poetic conversation. She was in love with life itself and it was mesmerising. A soul dedicated to helping you breath as fully and deeply, as you desired. She was as helpful as she was infuriating.

I miss feeling infuriated.

She could make you feel comfortable in an instant as she peered into your heart and asked you tender questions of darkening truths. She was a miracle- completely oblivious of her pearly whites whipping all beings into submission. 

     Thirty minutes after drinking the potion, she disappeared- her warm touch fading into icy droplets of doting affection. Her brown eyes, that glittered in the sun and blazed light in the darkness, now held the same liveliness of autumn leaves rusting in the rain. Sullied, squished and flattened into allegiance and order.

Her new thoughts took on understandable shapes that cuddled my ego and appeared jubilant whenever I was close. When alone, she would sit still, her eyes glazed over, her expression blank. She now moves in accordance to others rather than her own serendipity becoming. She was stuck in space moving in thrusts and grunts rather than twirls and embraces. I miss the days when she was within the inner realms of every space she entered and every person she gave herself too. She was unforgettable.

She was infectious.

I contacted Loving Aphrodite Corp to explain the unusual side affect and the dispassionate operator declared “our potion grants romantic love with steady safe hands and any irregularity to this, is the result of the host rather than Loving Aphrodite Corp. If nothing changes please do not contact us again.

She is human now. She always spoke of the spirits and energies that lived in everything and carried her through life and creation. I now know she was being sincere.

   I reduced her to the size of my imagination. I realised too late, that she dreamt of infinite space and believed herself to be in accordance with the eternal and I believed that too but I still had wants and needs that were entirely human and temporal. She was a time-travelling divinity engrossed in human time and perception, investigating human wants and needs as she learnt how to understand her own.

I killed her. I wanted her too much. I no longer look into her eyes, too scared to appreciate what I sacrificed on the alter of loneliness.

   The pandemic of early 2020 made every singleton search for ‘the one’ to snuggle with. A warm body to stay beside and love, when I suggested our coupling she simply laughed and told me that’s she married the wind at the tender age of 18. 

     In the early years of the virus, we all thought that the vaccine would come in time to save us from the bad marriages we had seen growing up. After 5 years of social- distancing, the majority of us arrived at wanting that special someone.

Loving Aphrodite was not my first option and it did not suit my moral compass but we were no longer in the early days . Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Loving Aphrodite guaranteed a safe and secure potion for deep love.

I wanted her to love me. The potion made her love me. On some days I didn’t see the difference in her prior self but when I saw her alone I felt disgusted by my action. When together, I felt her kisses and tender strokes along my skin and the illusion felt as good as heaven itself. 

   Such fears were discussed on the news when the potion first got released. They had philosophers and poets on every night declaring that such a potion was impossible. They argued that love could not be bought or invented- it was existence itself- the product of the universe and its inherit beauty.  Loving Aphrodite and its shareholders disagreed, promising no foul play only science. They quickly made their pig Latin- consumable and efficient with diagrams and quizzes that placed you into 7 uniquely diverse categories of love.  Making it simple for everyone.

   One night when we were drunk and high with friends, I suggested that we all do the true love compatibility quiz. We all laughed, sceptical of the world’s madness and it’s affordable venom. She would never have done it without social pressure.  I pounced on the opportunity to see us beside one another, as our friends giggled at our cuteness. I got love type no.3 and she had love type no.5, which was not out of ordinary and not a bad match but my neighbour Jean was love type no.5 and thus we all joked about their upcoming nuptials and Jeans chances of taming the love of my life.

I did not let this deter me, as it was sufficient to have the same love type but not necessary. We instead had common interests and a familial past. We had been friends for 7 years so it was not kidnapping or abuse but rather unrequited love remedied. I make sure to clarify this distinction to both Jean and my cat. Both look on disapprovingly; missing the erupting spirit of love that once filled our eyes and hearts.  

ii. The Love

I bought the potion online for £79.89, without delivery. Although the world was a shadow of our chaotic and noisy past, companies still found ways to allure consumers into buying sparkly dresses and other novelty items.

 I invited her for lunch- 3 days before her scheduled departure. Travel was restricted and her vagabond lifestyle no longer suited her. She was getting older and wanted a home and stability away from the memories of her birth, and the ghost of forgotten lives that sauntered along our grey London metropolitan streets.

I made her favourite, a creamy cashew butternut casserole, with rosemary potatoes and beetroot salad. Desert was a lemon cream cake-doughnut served with caramel ice cream. Her kryptonite. Her moans filled the house in groans, growls and howls that made me want to touch her sooner rather than later. I placed the potion in her favourite tea, coincidently made of lavender, rose and camomile a mixture called love. I always kept a box ready for her arrival, so I could say.

“ You want love, beautiful.”

She would lift her shoulder slightly, her waist length locs shimmering into a melodic sound that carried her voice like a chorus.  She would saunter towards me, her dark skin seducing shadow and light simultaneously, until she pounced behind me like a leopard in heat and coyly replied

“Of course, why do you think I am here beautiful?”

I added the mixture and anxiously listened to her as she told me about her new life, the one that did not involve me and never would. She was doing well, considering the world was coming to an end and the majority of professions had become automated.

This new technological revolution only matters to those who believe in the established system and made their life in accordance to futile rules inherited rather than invented. So many of us have found ways of supporting and funding each other rather than looking to the crumbling structures of the past” She was bashfully provocative making her life according to her own rules and thus her livelihood was safe as long as she had smiling persons around her and a cup of tea at hand. She was not a cheerful juvenile but rather a “pragmatic optimist with futurist tendencies”.

  “I love sitting beside you and not speaking. It feels like home. It is not very often, I feel at home.”

Sitting beside her and falling asleep felt like the sun meeting the moon, her body was the ocean while I lived along the horizon waiting to be peered into. I wanted her nectar. I wanted to taste the sunshine of her body and I wanted to make her moan, like the slice of cake she savoured slowly. After her final bite and a good finger lick she smiled high, her dark cheeks and burning aura radiated towards my own cold, dense body. She bowed her head in appreciation and kissed me on the cheek. Her lips were tender and her tongue lightly brushed against my skin. I wanted her now.

I was ready for the next step. I declared my love for her at the half- hour point. All the blogs recommended that before the hour was up- everlasting love needed to be discussed or mentioned in order to ‘engage’ the brain, into believing that the person in front of them was the love of their life.

My brain was racing and I was skipping over words, stuttering over my letters, my tongue was so far down in my throat- that I could not pull it up when her lips met mine and she said for the first time “ You are everything, I need.” 

 I had felt these sentiments since the moment we met and now she was repeating them.

The first time she spoke those words it frightened me.

She once told me that she never wanted to need anything other than the moon, water and oxygen and here she was declaring eternal love for a temporal being like me.  

Then her  tone and voice began to muffle and she wondered around the room confused, her eyes dry of sensation and feeling. Her head twisted back and forth in furious motions of bewilderment until she roared her final whisper“ I don’t want to leave.” At this moment she fell backwards towards the floor and was unconscious for 7 days. Not moving but rapidly breathing. “No M.U.M. No M.U.M. No M.U.M. No M.U.M.” in fast haste until she woke up and never said an unsolicited poetic word, again.

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