Grey rocks surround that place; Petra climbed to the highest point. She stood upon a large stone, smooth and covered with a green mantle. From there she could see the temple of Athena, built in praise of wisdom and war, symbolising the confused feelings that plagued her. It was winter. Icy gusts lamented – harsh songs on her ears.
Whipped by that wind, desperate drops tumbled haplessly from the sky, impacting the surface of the lake, violently pitting her face. Petra black clothes were soaked; lank rivulets of hair partially obscured her vision. Yet, her hair was a defensive cloak that separated Petra from the reality that she refused to accept.
She wanted to jump; it was what her free spirit wished: to leap into the air like the eagle that she had observed during the ascent. To fly until exhaustion won, compelling her to land on some other unknown mountain long enough to catch her breath before throwing herself to the mercy of the wind once more. She questioned the reasoning of the wisdom that held her back from such action that would end the anxiety. She did not understand much of herself.
Petra eyes widened at the sight of the temple. The clouds had begun to part and the rain had passed; there, in the incomprehensible domain of the gods, Selene – the moon – appeared huge, crowning the temple of Athena and bathing it in a light that ranged from silvery-white to red-gold. Selene was happy, the goddess radiance made it clear, as was clear she was there waiting for her lover; the ultimate love that she had always desired.
Petra and Selene were similar. Both loved impossible men, both had paid the price for this feeling that is said to be human, but that she knew comes from the universe.
She sat on the stone to enjoy the spectacle. Petra knew that he – the man she loved – would have been enchanted with the spontaneity of the goddess; would be flattered by contemplation of the pleasure she offered him. Following the course of legend, they would tempting him, . Selene and she, together.
She hugged her legs to calm the heart now beating so hard and fast that even the temple tympanons would be envious. While she envied the eagle and Selene, she was envied by the gods themselves. She, mortal or immortal, depending on the point of view, aroused the jealousy and the desire of Hera. The ambiguity existed in every fibre of her body, exerting a powerful attraction not only for the heavenly deities, but for humans too – male and female. She appreciated her ability to touch the deepest instinct of desire in them, even knowing that hers had been awakened by a single man, a mortal, boring, predictable, cowardly man.
She did not know what to do with all the tension accumulated in her body through the years spent away from that place. Perhaps to scream or jump into the dark and unpredictable soil was an option that would make her normal. Normal? She did not like being normal. She wanted simply to be herself and nothing less.
The clouds continued to part, Selene’s lake of darkness allowed her to see the stars blinking to the rhythm of a time that had passed. Distant, they were so far away …
She rose to her feet; maybe she could attract the attention of Pegasus, and, mounted on his back, cruise the night skies to the golden hall of the gods. Ironically, all this poetry that flowed from her; she knew was just that, poetry. There were no gods, Selene was only a cold concretion of minerals floating in space, kept there by force, by the equilibrium of the universe.
A shooting star streaked across the sky. Dare she make the request? Would she have the nerve to get carried away by belief? The easy way of hope? No, that was not her. If he had stayed, now to be looking at the same sky next to her, this time she would kiss him. A deep kiss, sharing each cell, each bacterium and feeling, accompanied by her arms around his neck to allow her hands to caress his hair.
He was not present; he was past. His absence was the result of the choices he made. He had chosen the farce, the ease routine. A lack of perspective had led him to another place, where he sailed to known lands of inclement gods, unbreakable rules and a mere fairy tale illusion of happiness. She knew he believed he was happy. She preferred that way; ignorance can be something good for some.
The moon had set; the sun would soon take Her place. Helios on his chariot of fire would cross the sky in all His splendour, eclipsing His sister and the light from distant quasars. The time had come. The decision had to be made. To jump or stay? Accept or fight?
She smiled while the horizon painted red. No, she would not be forced to choose, she would continue to that mysterious crossroads between reality and dream, fact and desire. Maybe staying in this thin line would give her the inspiration to live.
She stood up and bowed to the sun. She looked around again. She jumped…