Do you believe you and Pandora were meant for each other right from the beginning or that your fates were connected long before you met in Antioch?
Fate seems such a romantic idea, doesn’t it? The idea that some things are just meant to be, are predetermined and unavoidable. Fate is at odds with my natural cynicism. I am more a man who believes that we make our own way through life, experiencing cause and effect, levelling the interactions of others against the course we plot in life.
And this is where I now seemingly contradict myself, though I hope you, my lovely readers, can see the slim difference presented.
For when we define fate as the whimsical design of a more powerful creature, then yes, yes it was fate. It was no celestial fate, or a fate found in the decadent Heaven of the Pantheon, however. No, it was a more malicious fate designed to ensnare and bind me. It was an intentional intervention, like a puppet master pulling threads, to design the inevitable.
My words are vague, I know, and I apologise. Sometimes it is so very hard to give gravity to words.
I speak of Akasha, you see. She had read in my heart my love for only one woman save herself, and this woman was Pandora. Akasha knew that if I had but one desire, one wish, it would be to have this women. Even though I was no longer a man, she read the secret desires of a man’s heart still within me, and she gave me what it was I most wanted. Though this was not done because Akasha loved me and wanted to see me happy. It was done because Akasha knew it was the only way to keep me, and thus her, alive. Because oh what a reason to live, truly.
I can never described adequately the guilt, though, knowing of the tortures Pandora suffered in her dreams and in her life as Akasha toyed with her. Pandora, an innocent human women, was visited upon by agonising visions, all designed to bring her to me, to Akasha, and then to death, which I would naturally rescue her from. We were both unwitting slaves to Akasha’s machinations.
Akasha was right, though. It was the only way to keep me alive.
Yet Akasha’s plan would not have happened had Pandora not possessed my heart from the moment I met her. Was she made for me? Were we made for each other? Of course not. There is no such thing as a God or Goddess above who designs people– again, I am far too cynical to believe in the presence of such things.
It was just our luck to be two people perfectly matched for one another. It was from luck that I returned just that day to bring Pandora’s father a few gifts from Ovid, and to assure him that his money had gone to the poet. It was only because of luck that I sat there when a girl rushed into the room. It was my luck that she was a brilliant and delicate little thing, and indeed my pleasure that she was likewise fascinated by me. You see, I knew, I just knew more than anything I had ever known before, that this intelligent young girl was going to become a woman beyond compare. There would be no woman more beautiful, more witty, more fascinating, and more in love with knowledge.
And only that sort of woman would be fit for me.
Of course, it was my bad luck that my marriage offer was refused.
I only ever came to love her more as the years progressed and she became a young woman. Then she not only inspired the scholar in me, as she had as a child, but now she stoked every flame of passion in my body and spirit. I believe they more succinctly and less poetically call that fire lust. How was I to know, truly, just how beautiful she would be? So that was another great stroke of luck– she developed into the exact sort of shapely and dark-haired woman I favoured most. I would have, without shame, begged to marry her every year had her father not betrothed her; once she was to be married, I decided to leave.
Yet always I carried her in my heart, and my mind and body remembered her. Akasha found her in the core of me, stamped forever inside of my hidden desires. And like the Queen that she was, Akasha on her throne plotted, schemed, and manipulated, playing us like pawns, until she had Pandora and I both as her caretakers.