Curse of the GoddessbyMoreThanaMemory©
"Men are pigs," Jessica said to her friend Lily, who had just been left by her boyfriend. "And women are over-emotional. No offense, Tam." Lily shook her head, but was crying too much to say "none taken." Jessica gave her friend a hug. "There, there, sweetie. It's going to be alright. Jonas was an idiot to leave you. Especially for that shallow, bitchy, unimaginative, foreign slut Katerina." Lily leaned on her, sobbing. Jessica looked over at the replica painting of the Birth of Venus. I will never fall in love, she promised herself. Not if it makes me feel like this.
Jessica made sure Lily got to bed safely and camped out on her sofa. Lily's family was quite wealthy, and the sofa was far more comfortable then her own bed. The Greek and Roman artwork, however, disquieted me. Lily was obsessed with Greek mythology. She was even majoring in it. A little statuette of Aphrodite sat on the coffee table. Jessica picked it up and began talking to it.
"If you existed," she said, holding the little statue in one hand. "I could blame you. It'd be your fault Lily got hurt, your fault anyone ever had a broken heart. But things don't work that way. Love is a chemical imbalance in the brain. If any mental disorder needs medication, it's love."
But love makes people happy, she imagined Aphrodite retorting.
"For a little while. Then it wears off. And then, well, you get that." She gestured towards Lily's room. "Well, it's not going to happen to me. I refuse to fall in love. How do you feel about that?" The statue did not respond. "Of course not, it's a hunk of marble." She set the figure down, not on the coffee table, but on the floor. She didn't think any symbol of love deserved the honor of the coffee table. Jessica snuggled up on the sofa and slept.
"Jess? Jessica! JESS!" Jessica awoke to being shaken by Lily, who was wearing a plush powder blue bathrobe. Her hair was a mess and she hadn't put on makeup. She must have been more upset than Jessica had thought; Lily would never be caught dead outside her bedroom looking less than fabulous.
"Lily? You okay?"
"Not really. Emotionally speaking, anyway. But what about you? You were moaning in your sleep, like a nightmare."
"That's odd. I don't remember dreaming. Are you going to class like that?"
"May as well," Lily said despairingly. "If I keep getting left, what's the point in trying?" She was about to burst into tears again when she got distracted by something. "Why is my Aphrodite on the floor?"
"I was mad at Love and all its embodiments last night. Sorry." Lily shrugged. "Come on, let's get you dressed." Jessica led Lily into the bedroom. It took her nearly forty-five minutes to convince her friend to put on a periwinkle sweatshirt and brown jeans. Jessica had to comb Lily's hair herself and Lily refused to wear makeup. "I've got to go home today. Will you be okay without me?" Lily nodded.
Before going home, Jessica went to the library to do research for her paper, which was about the correlation between external stimuli, chemicals in the brain, and emotions. Then she went grocery shopping. It was six in the evening by the time she got home. She fumbled with the keys to her apartment, trying to untangle the key from the key ring from the lanyard. Finally, she managed to get the key on its own and unlock the door. She went directly to the kitchen to put away her food, then to her bedroom to change. But she never made it to the bedroom.
"Hello, Jessica Harringer." A voice said as she passed the arch into the living room. Jessica stopped, backpedaled a few steps, and looked into the living room without entering. A tall, slender yet muscular woman was lounging on the divan chair. She was the most beautiful woman Jessica had ever seen. She had flawless olive skin, middle-of-back length sable hair, and piercing cat-green eyes. Her hands were flawlessly manicured, but had no polish. She wore no cosmetics; makeup would only mar her beauty rather than enhance it. She wore a floor-length red evening gown and matching stiletto high heels. The shoes were open-toed and showed her perfect pedicure. She was so gorgeous she nearly glowed. "I've heard many mortals swear off love," the angel-woman said. "But few are so bold as to do it to the face of Love herself."
"Face of Love? Wha- Who are you and how did you get into my living room?"
"I have many names, mortal. Aphrodite. Venus. Sif. I'm the embodiment of love. A goddess, you might say." As she spoke, she stood, and when she said the word "goddess," she glowed a little brighter.
"Aphrodite. Am I dreaming? I'm dreaming, aren't I? I'm still on Lily's sofa."
The woman smiled. " 'It's not going to happen to me,'" she said in Jessica's voice. " 'I refuse to fall in love.'" She laughed in her own beautiful, sultry voice. If it weren't so pleasant, it might become wicked. "How shall I prove you wrong? I know! I shall have you fall in love with someone different every day until you apologize to me! Oh, it's delightful!" She snapped her fingers. Jessica was distracted by a knock at the door. She jerked her head towards the sound. When she turned back to the supposed goddess, no one was there. The visitor knocked again.
"I'm coming!" Jessica called, heading towards the door. She opened it and Lily was standing there. Her face was tear-streaked.
"Can I come in?" she asked. Jessica nodded and stepped aside. "I was sitting at home, flipping through the television channels. One of the stupid comedy shows Jonas used to watch came on, and I... I just couldn't be alone!" she burst into tears again. Jessica gave her a comforting hug. "Do you mind if I stay here tonight?"
"Go ahead. And neither of us has class tomorrow; maybe we could have a girls' day. Get your mind off what's-his-name."
"Jo-Jo-JONAAAAAS!" the tears began to flow again. She sniffled. "You're right. I need to take my mind off him. Him and his foreign floozie."
"Archaic terminology. I like it. I'll loan you some pj's and get you settled on the couch."
Lily shook her head. "I don't need pajamas. I'll just take off my pants and my bra and sleep in the sweatshirt."
Jessica got a spare pillow and blanket from her closet and handed them to Lily. "I was just going to pop a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. That work for you?" Lily didn't usually eat anything that was remotely bad for you, but Jessica didn't have any organic health-nut food.
"Why not? I have a craving for greasy junk food."
"Ever have pizza before?" Lily shook her head. "You'll love it. It's like... ambrosia."
After dinner, Jessica put on a movie. It was difficult to choose; comedies and action movies would only remind Lily of Jonas. Romance movies would remind her of love lost. Finally, Jessica picked Finding Nemo. The two watched the movie in silence, laughing now and again, but not speaking. Jessica said good night after the movie, kissing her friend on the head.
Jessica was awoken by the sound of dishes clattering in the kitchen. She grabbed her aluminum bat and raced into the kitchen, fearing burglars. She saw, instead, Lily, standing in the kitchen wearing nothing but her periwinkle sweatshirt and a pair of white cotton panties with little red cherries on them. Jessica stood there for a moment, staring at her admittedly very attractive friend. Lily finished chewing the bite in her mouth and smiled.
"Pizza's even more delicious cold. Perhaps I should eat unhealthy food more often." She looked around her at the broken plate bits. "Your cabinets were too tall for me. I sort of broke a plate—or three."
"It's, uh, no problem." She felt her heart rate quicken. To hide her giddiness, she grabbed a slice of cold pizza and shoved an overlarge bite in her mouth.
"So what are we doing on our girls' day?" Lily asked. She giggled and sort of bounced. She was obviously feeling much better.
"Well, first let's get you dressed." She averted her eyes a little, resolving not to gaze at Lily's silky-soft-looking flesh. She didn't believe in love, she didn't believe in love magic, and she did NOT believe in love goddesses. Therefore, Aphrodite was NOT going to make her fall in love with anybody, least of all her friend who needed the furthest thing from love.
"Why are you suddenly so modest, Jess? Are you forgetting that we've steamed together? Hot tubbed together? We even bathed together, once." The memories flooded to Jessica as Lily named them. The images of Lily's perfectness made Jessica wish she could inconspicuously go take a cold shower.
"Sorry, Lil. What do you want to do? My treat."
"Are you asking me on a date, Jess?" Lily chuckled. "Who know, you may be better for me than any man ever was." For a moment, Jessica wondered if Lily had been affected by Aphrodite's spell, too. Then she remembered that she didn't believe in Aphrodite. "I'm only kidding. Don't be so serious. I'm not going to go all lesbian on you. I know, let's go see a movie. There's a good ghost story in theaters, now."
Jessica hated scary movies, but so had Jonas, so she supposed something scary would be best for Lily's probably still-fragile emotional state. "Alright, let's go. But first, you get dressed. Can't go out in public in just your panties."
Lily went into Jessica's room to borrow some clothes. She came out wearing Jessica's favorite purple tank top and a pair of denim shorts. They looked exquisite on her.
The movie was more than Jessica could take. At every jumpy bit, Jessica jerked. Lily took her hand soothingly. They held hands throughout the rest of the movie. Jessica was glad the theater was dark; it hid her blush.
The girls walked out of the theater still holding hands. They had held hands before, but that was before Jessica had been cursed to love her own best friend. Stupid love goddess...
The two girls went to dinner. Jessica had wanted to treat Lily to that, as well, but Lily insisted on taking Jessica to an obscenely expensive restaurant. After dinner, Jessica took Lily home. They stood in the living room for a moment. There was electricity in the air between them, almost literally. Lily hugged Jessica. "Thanks, Jess. This was exactly what I needed." Jessica was very aware of the shorter woman's face just above her breasts, her silky skin, her strawberry-scented shampoo. Lily looked up at her. "Jessica, you've been acting strangely all day." Without thinking, Jessica took Lily's face in her hands and kissed her passionately. The two women moved as one towards the couch, removing clothing along the way.
"I love you," Jessica whispered in Lily's ear on her way from her lips to her breast, which she took into her mouth. She traced Lily's nipple with her tongue. Lily arched her back, forcing more breast into Jessica's mouth. Lily ran her fingers up Jessica's back and around the bottom of her breast. She tweaked Jessica's nipple. Her other hand went to Jess's clit, fumbling about a bit, then finding a rhythm. Jessica took her mouth from Lily's breast and went to play with her clit, but Lily stopped her.
"I masturbate a lot. The most powerful orgasm I ever gave myself, or that anyone else has given me, for that matter, came from only playing with my tits." Jessica took the (not so subtle) hint and moved her mouth to the previously neglected nipple. With her other hand, she began to knead and tweak the other breast. It was difficult to focus on her task because of Lily's fingers. They were no longer content just to trace and tease, and now they plunged their way inside. In her shock, Jessica bit Lily's nipple. Lily moaned.
"That was good, then?" Jessica asked, but her mouth was full of breast, and it was muffled. The vibrations and the movement of her tongue must have felt good, because Lily moaned again. Suddenly, Jessica had an idea. She began to sing. As she did, she twisted the other nipple hard, pinching it between her forefinger and thumb. Between verses, she nipped the nipple in her mouth with her teeth. At the end of the first song, she twisted, bit, licked, and hummed all at once. Then it happened: Lily climaxed. As she did, her hand twitched. The twitching stimulated Jessica and she orgasmed too. The two women sat up together.
"That was... amazing." Lily said, panting. Her nipples were hard and red. Her face was flushed. She looked over at Jessica. "What was that?"
"Besides amazing?" Jessica panted.
"Yeah. I didn't realize you were gay. Or bi. Or whatever."
"I'm not." She glared at the Aphrodite statue that was still sitting on the floor. She knew it was her imagination, but she could have sworn it winked. She decided to tell her friend everything. "I'm only going to be in love with you today, Lil."
"What on earth do you mean? You of all people should know that isn't how it works. It's, what, chemicals released by external stimuli?"
"Yes, but also no. Two nights ago, the day Jonas... well, I got mad and yelled at your Aphrodite statue. Told it if love made me as sad as you were, I would never fall in love."
"But that's crazy. Yes, it can hurt like hell sometimes, but most of the time it's wonderful."
"That's not the point of my story. I left your place yesterday morning. Went shopping. When I got home yesterday evening, she was waiting for me in the living room. She wasn't happy that I told her to her face that I wouldn't love. So now I'm to fall in love with a different person every day until I apologize to her." Lily was staring unblinkingly at Jessica. "You think I'm insane, don't you?"
"Actually, no. I don't. Why don't you apologize, then?"
"I don't feel sorry, though. It was a genuine emotion at the time. I don't feel sorry for feeling the way I did. I don't feel that way anymore, though. I like being in love."
"Maybe that'll be enough. Would you like to stay the night? You can sleep on the couch, if you like."
Jessica shook her head. "I'd better not. Maybe if I don't go out, if I don't see anyone, I won't fall in love again."
The next day, Jessica skipped class. Knowing her luck, she would fall in love with her sixty year old math instructor. She spent most of the day in bed, not even daring to turn on the television. It would not do to fall in love with a celebrity or a character. It was nearly four pm when it happened: a knock at the door.
"Damn it!" Jessica said. She decided to ignore the door. Until:
"Jessica Harringer? You've a package. It's marked urgent!"
"Well, delivery boy sounds my age, at least," she said, mussing her hair and trying to look as unattractive as possible. She opened the door. "Hello, I'm Jessica."
The (rather attractive) delivery boy blushed and looked away. "I hope I haven't interrupted anything."
Jessica looked down; she was only wearing a tee shirt and a sheet. It was her turn to blush. "No, I was just having a day in bed. On my own. Would you like to come in for a beer?"
"Can't, I'm on duty."
"A tea, then?" She was desperate. This man (his nametag said "Drew") was the love of her life. "Lemonade? Soda?"
"Well, that does sound good. I could do with a drink. Do you have any ginger ale?"
Jessica invited Drew in and set a can of ginger ale in front of him. "Is it a good job, delivering packages?" Jess asked. Drew shrugged, taking a sip of his soda.
"I don't often get to talk with people, especially pretty women."
Jessica leaned forward and kissed him, letting go of her sheet. Drew's eyes widened and he left his chair. "Jessica, I can't do this. We only just met and..."
"But... I love you..." Jessica replied in despair.
"You're crazy," the delivery boy said. He ran out of the apartment. Jessica began to cry.
"Okay," she sobbed. "You win, Aphrodite. I'm sorry." She continued to cry, mourning the loss of the man she loved.
The next morning, she wasn't sad anymore. She figured she must have broken the curse. Jessica got dressed and went into the bathroom to put her makeup on. The woman she saw in the mirror was a beauty. She knew it was herself, but she couldn't stop staring. "I love you," she said to herself. She admired her brown hair, her blue eyes, her tan skin. Today, Jessica had chosen a low cut shirt to wear. The cleavage aroused her. She played with her breasts and felt herself get wet. She took off her clothes, but couldn't see herself. Then she had an idea. She went into the living room and took down the large mirror. Leaning it against the wall across from the divan chair, she found that she could see her whole beautiful body perfectly. She spread her legs, her back on the side of the chair. She watched herself as she played with her clit. It was very stimulating. But not enough. Promising her reflection she'd be right back, she took her box of toys out from under her bed. Then she brought them out into the living room with her. She took a vibrator and pressed it against her clit and then a larger, textured dildo, which she pushed inside of her. The combination made her orgasm almost immediately. But she was not satiated. She continued to masturbate, moving closer to the mirror as she did so. She stood up on her knees, still moving the dildo inside her and pressing the vibrator against her clit, and pressed her breasts against the mirror. The glass was cool against her nipples. Then she leaned back, and her reflection came out of the mirror with her. Mirror Jess took the dildo from Jessica and began to push and pull it, in and out, faster than Jessica would have been able to do herself. The reflection bent over and started to suckle Jessica's breasts. They were entwined together for over an hour, Jessica orgasming over and over again. Each time Jessica came, so did Mirror Jess. This gave Jessica an idea. She had the reflection lie down and Jessica suckled her breasts. Sure enough, she could feel a mouth at her own nipple. She bent down and began to tease the reflection's clit with her tongue. She felt it. Both girls came at once. Jessica turned around again, kissing her reflection. The reflection started fingering Jessica, and then Jessica fingered the reflection. The result was intense; she could feel both sets of fingers inside her. She climaxed one last time. As she lay on the floor, all but unconscious, the mirror image kissed Jessica on the forehead and crawled back into her mirror. Jessica lay on the floor, watching herself pant. After she had regained her strength, she got up and looked for her cell phone. She called Lily and left a voicemail.
"It didn't work," she said. "I apologized to Aphrodite yesterday and I still fell in love today. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, now. Since I already fell in love with you, I should be safe. She did say someone new each day. Could I come over?" You'll have to come get me, and I'll have to blindfold myself. Just call, before you come get me. I'm in love with myself, today. Damn, am I sexy! Anyway, I'll need time to put my clothes back on before you get here. Bye."
A few hours later, Jessica was back at Lily's house, where it had all started. Lily was in her room. She had commented that, despite the fact that it was just the two of them, she still felt like a third wheel. The marble statue was back on the coffee table. Jessica remembered reading that the gods liked sacrifice, so she set a cup of herbal tea on the table next to the figurine.
"You won," Jessica said to the stone goddess. "You said you'd make me sorry, and I am. I am so, so sorry. I have a much deeper respect for love. As an emotion, not as chemicals and synapses in the brain." She lay down on the sofa, fondling herself again. She closed her eyes, wondering if she would dream about herself. The night she had loved Lily, she had dreamed of her. Same as with Drew, the delivery boy. However, she didn't dream that night, not that she ever remembered. She went straight home, leaving before Lily even woke up. It wasn't a long walk, and the air still had a little bit of early morning crispness.