Summary: After centuries Cupid finally finds the ONE for him.
Note: This is a 2013 Valentine's Day Contest story so please vote.
Note 2: Also, please note that I have created my own rules for Cupid's ability and rules of love. I did some research and concluded that there is no one story for Cupid...so I made up my own.
Note 3: Fans of mine, this does not have any hints of many of my usual themes of submission. This is simply a love story.
Note 4: As usual, thanks to MAB7991 for editing another of my lengthy works (this one on a time crunch).
Cupid had spent centuries helping others find love and spent almost as much time watching the love he sparked come crashing down in a fiery blaze. Not surprisingly, the plethora of failed relationships that he had been instrumental in starting had slowly eaten away at the once optimistic God of Love.
Cupid used to love his job; watching the undeniable glow of a woman when she knows she has found the one or watching a man who had been a player his whole life quit cold turkey when he meets one that challenges him in ways he didn't know a woman could. Those were the moments that warmed Cupid's heart.
Yet, the past thirty years had been very disillusioning for the love God. With over fifty percent of marriages ending in divorce and most teens losing their virginity to someone, they didn't even love as if love and sex were not connected. Society was crumbling right before his eyes. Sex had become a commodity and not something special or intimate.
Cupid himself had felt the glow of love many times throughout the centuries, yet had always denied himself the inner lust that had simmered inside him. He gave people love, but never felt it himself. As the centuries flew by, the temptation to just give in to the growing hunger to love, to feel something real and concrete was becoming harder to resist. He too craved the kind of love that transcends time and existence and would give up being Cupid in a heartbeat if he ever found the one.
Unfortunately, his mother Venus told him centuries ago, when Cupid was young and coming to grips with his fate, his gift, his curse, all true descriptors for Cupid depending on his emotional state that the rules of one sexually intimate transgression with a human.
His mother explained: There is no black or white Cupid. Once you have consummated a relationship with a mortal you yourself become mortal and lose not only your ability to live forever, but also your unique gift to bring love to a world in turmoil. I know it is tempting my dear, but you are a beacon of hope for Mother Earth, a constant good in a world where sometimes love is the only thing keeping a person alive.
So although Cupid had been tempted many times throughout history to cross the invisible line between Gods and humans, he remained celibate.
Centuries of the same job became rather monotonous to Cupid and in the last few decades he had been responsible for many of the top headlines of the year. It started accidentally when his shot missed the woman he was aiming for and hit Marilyn Monroe instead. Who turned around simultaneously and fell instantly for the playwright Arthur Miller. Cupid thought maybe the God of fate Moirae had spun her magic and Cupid figured it was meant to be. It wasn't until the 1990's that because he had become so bored with his job that he became rather mischievous putting together couples who logically made no sense. The first was Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts, then it was Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Once Cupid got started he couldn't stop, he cast his spell on Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Macaulay Culkin and Mila Kunis, Renee Zellweger and Jack White and most recently on Katy Perry and Russell Brand and David Cross and Amber Tamblyn.
2013 should have been just another year like so many proceeding it, where Cupid controlled his inner hunger to feel love, yet for Cupid 2013 would be both the ending of one life and a start to another.
Cupid was feeling melancholy as the month of love started. Valentine's Day had become a commercial fiasco just like Christmas and Easter, the true meaning had been skewed over the years so much that the true meaning was just a facade. Valentine's Day was supposed to be a day for people in love to celebrate their lives together...no more and no less.
No lame cards that had replaced love letters; no flowers which had become a symbol of how much a man loved a woman, which Cupid thought hilariously ironic considering flowers die (a rather depressing metaphor for love, although since so many relationships ended in epic failure Cupid assumed it was more foreshadowing than metaphoric).
Also, as soon as Christmas ended, the plethora of Valentine's Day overpriced propaganda hit the stores just adding to Cupid's frustration of how real love was portrayed. To make matters worse, Cupid had always resented how he was portrayed in the media. The long historical image of him as a baby with wings was ludicrous, he did not look anything like a baby, nor did he have wings. The truth was much cooler. Cupid could not fly, but he could teleport anywhere in the world. It was the best perk in this crazy gig. Cupid had traveled every inch of this glorious world. He had seen empires rise and fall and seen the happiness and horror that mankind can experience from every possible way imaginable. He could also make himself invisible which was a pretty sweet party trick.
Cupid was, of course not a baby, but a handsome man who had not aged a day since his 25th birthday. He wasn't a Greek God like Adonis but he was very handsome. After centuries of plying his trade as the bringer of love had given him the gift of understanding exactly what any woman wanted. He also understood that all women were different but for the most part they fell into four basic categories.
1. The pleaser: This was a very generic descriptor that hits a wide range of women.
A. The Insecure Syndrome These are women who often had limited relationship experience and clings onto someone who gives her attention, even if it is not positive attention. Often they end up in a loveless marriage with an overbearing loser. They stay married because it is better to be with someone than to be alone.
B. The Daddy Syndrome The pleaser could also be a woman who grew up with an authoritative old school father and a stay at home, do EVERYTHING, mother, who was bound to fall for a man just like her father thus continuing the cycle. Ironically, she is often oblivious to the reality that her man walks all over her (also an insecure syndrome trait).
C. The Needy Syndrome The needy may sometimes be a mixture of an insecure and a daddy syndrome or just someone who ALWAYS needs to be with someone. They often settle (actually all types of pleasers usually settle) because they NEED to feel important, to feel NEEDED even if they are treated like crap by their man.
2. The diva: this too is a descriptor that can hit a broad range of diverse woman, all beautiful and all dangerous.
A. The Bitchy Snob Syndrome As the title suggests, these woman are bitches. Odds are they are daddy's girls with lots of money who have always gotten what they wanted and expect relationships to work the same way. A bitch is self-centered and quickly angered and usually as fake as she seems to be. Yet, if you can break past her fierce outer shell, she can be tamed from lion to kitten rather easily.
B. The Seductress Syndrome These woman are always on the prowl. They ooze sex appeal and they know exactly how to use it to get what they want. They tend to drift from man to man and are not interested in settling down. They like to be noticed and put up on a pedestal, yet they almost always have ulterior motives. Tigers in the bedroom, they are the toughest to tame.
C. The Social Butterfly Syndrome These woman love to be the center of attention and are uncomfortable when they are not. They are gossip queens, fashion obsessed and live and breathe Cosmo Magazine. They too love to be noticed, but unlike the seductress they want to be wooed, wined, dined and treated like the Goddess they have convinced themselves they are.
3. The lost: these woman have lost who they are or never found it and can't break out of the cycle they find themselves in.
A. The Slut Syndrome Somewhat of an unfair label, as men in the same syndrome are called studs, but these woman find self-worth through sex. They believe love and sex are synonymous. Many of these women hate themselves in the morning when they realize who they have slept with and yet fall into an unbreakable cycle as they search for their twisted view of love. B. The Abused Syndrome The saddest of the syndromes, the abused have been in one or more horrible relationships where they were bombarded with physical or emotional abuse (often both). Unfortunately, often their self worth becomes nothing and they clutch onto even the smallest fragments of a loving relationship, creating often a love-hate relationship.
C. The Bitter Syndrome These woman are the toughest to label as their reasons for their current situation can very. Most often it is because they have been betrayed by a man they loved who cheated on them. It could be a string of men who lied to them or just one relationship that ended horribly bad, either way these woman put up a shield, usually through sarcasm and cold stares that keep men who could warm them at a distance. Sadly, these women are most likely to end up alone because their hard shells have become impenetrable.
4. The hopeless romantic: Of course, for every pessimist, there is an optimist, and thus we have the women who dream of the perfect man.
A. Serendipity Syndrome These women are eternal optimists who know their Prince Charming will come. They read their daily horoscope, are usually sweet as pie, and love Nicholas Sparks. They probably still have all their teddy bears from their childhood and still watch every princess Disney movie imagining they are Snow White, Belle or Cinderella.
B. White Wedding Syndrome These women have had their wedding planned since they were teenagers or younger. They have hand sketches of their perfect dress, know the exact shade of blue their bridesmaids will wear and has already written her vows a thousand times. The church, the hotel and the honeymoon are already meticulously planned...the only variable missing is the groom.
C. Saving Herself Syndrome These women are a dying breed unfortunately, as sex itself has become less meaningful than it once was. Teenage girls are blossoming earlier than ever and movies, magazines and music have created a culture value system that uses sex as a weapon. The few of these who remain are usually shy and reserved or idealistic and independent or religiously moral...sometimes all three. They resist the temptation to conform to today's expectations as they save themselves for their perfect man.
Cupid understands women completely and could easily woo any woman he wanted and yet he refrained because he knew the consequences, yet the longing to feel the love he so freely gave to others had grown to epic new heights during the past few years.
So Cupid wasn't looking for love when it happened, but like the powerful arrows he shot so many others with, when it happened he was unable to resist the temptation, unable to break the spell and unable to deny the inner hunger to feel love...true love.
It was February 11th, a Monday, and Cupid was in a rather foul mood like he usually was the week before the big day of love. His last arrow was shot rather spitefully at a man in a three piece suit being rude to a chubby waitress. He chuckled at how the conversation changed from hostile and loud to sweet and tender in an instant...the man never knew what hit him.
Cupid was watching amused at the sudden shift in behaviour of the rude man when a young woman with tears in her eyes crashed into him spilling her coffee on him.
"I am so sorry," the young brunette apologized; clearly, she had been crying.
Cupid instantly felt a spark with the young woman, he replied, "No, I am sorry. I just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk."
She pulled a Kleenex out of her purse and began wiping Cupid's jacket. "I am not myself today."
"I never am," Cupid joked back, the true meaning of three simple words so much more complex than the young woman would ever understand.
She laughed conservatively, "Well sorry again," and she began walking away.
Cupid didn't want this brief moment to end, but no words formed in his head and he stood there speechless as she walked away. He watched as she got on a subway train assumedly headed to work. Cupid intrigued, followed her, an unexplainable burning inside him, pulled him after her.
She exited the subway, her tears done falling but she still looked pale as a ghost. She entered a big building and Cupid, turning invisible, continued following her into the elevator. Cupid could literally feel her pain and knew without a doubt she had been betrayed by a man recently. Reaching her floor she got off and Cupid followed her to her office where he learned she was a secretary at a law firm.
Over the next hour, Cupid learned her name was Beth, she liked her coffee black, she was a diligent worker, yet even though she hid her pain well to others, he could feel her inner turmoil and the hope of love fading.
At the time, Cupid had no intention of falling for her as he soon would; he was just trying to mend a broken heart. He left Beth alone and found the nearest flower shop where he purchased a beautiful bouquet of red roses. He wrote a sweet yet simple note to make her feel worthy of the love she so greatly deserved.
Beth, You are beautiful and deserve nothing but the best. Your secret admirer
The delivery was scheduled for after one pm and Cupid went along his merry way with his arrows ready to spark the flame of love in other couples. Unfortunately, Cupid lacked focus. Every time he saw a woman or man who could use their fire to be lit, Beth's face popped into Cupid's head. Unable to focus, he decided to return and check on Beth.
As Cupid was walking towards the building, a strange fate that he usually controlled occurred, as Beth appeared with another woman assumedly heading to lunch. Cupid smiling, attempting to turn on his rusty charm, joked as they passed, "I am paying attention this time."
She turned to Cupid startled and laughed, "You survived my attack."
"Barely, it was kind of like a hit and run," Cupid flirted.
"Sorry, I didn't want to be late to work," she replied, "Ummmm...."
"Cupid," Cupid replied, before realizing he had not made up a suave fake name like he usually does.
"Cupid?" Both women repeated simultaneously.
He quickly covered, he had made the mistake before decades ago, when he fell for a woman back in the fifties and almost gave it all up, "Yes, my parents were real romantics when they named me."
"I love it," Beth said meaning it, a romantic at heart too.
"Well it sucked during high school," Cupid joked.
"I imagine," the other woman said, before adding, "We need to get going Beth."
Beth seemed a bit disoriented, feeling a tiny connection with Cupid, a small sense of serendipity tingling inside her, "Um, right, ok, it was nice to meet you officially, Cupid."
"You too," Cupid replied, shaking her hand and almost calling her Beth, a name she had not yet given him.
Beth cheeks went slightly red at the brief moment of intimacy, before she let go of his hand and started walking with her unnamed friend.
Cupid watched her go and as hoped, Beth turned around and gave a quick glance back, the ultimate tradition that had lasted for centuries to show an interest or curiosity with someone of the opposite sex after a chance meeting.
Cupid gave a nod, smiled and Beth quickly turned back embarrassed that she was caught.
Cupid thought about turning invisible and following her, but decided not to, instead he went to get a bite to eat. As he ate, he couldn't get Beth out of his mind. She seemed so genuinely sweet, unlike the fake personas of so many people of today. Society had become so superficial and Valentine's Day was one of the most superficial days of all. How many men bought their girlfriend or wives presents because they are suppose to and not because they wanted to? How many women caught on to the fact that the gifts were not sincere? Yet, thinking of Beth, Cupid couldn't get past her sweet vulnerability.
Cupid decided to turn invisible and be there when the flowers arrived.
Beth returned to work a few minutes early and instantly got to work. Cupid watched her, knowing it is the small things that really defined a person. For example, starting work the moment you arrived instead of waiting until the very last moment; her voice on the phone with clients always so soft and sincere; the way she looked everyone in the eyes even she spoke to them even though inside she was hurting. Beth was exactly the kind of woman he would want to date if he was a real human.
The flowers arrived a little after two, later than expected but that was ok as it gave Cupid time to just watch the trivial day to day activities of Beth, only confirming his already strong feelings that she was a genuinely good person.
Beth's expression when the flowers first arrived was complete shock. Her ex had never bought her flowers of any kind during their relationship, but if there was ever going to be a day she assumed it would be today. Usually he gave her his adorable puppy dog look when he was in the dog house and Beth always gave in, but he also knew she was a romantic at heart. Her anger at his betrayal began bubbling and she was just about to throw the flowers in the trash when something inside told her to read the note.
Grabbing the envelope, Beth opened it and read the card.
Cupid watched as Beth's face changed from one of inner anger to one of genuine intrigue.
Beth looked around her gaze ended where Cupid was standing; it was as if she was seeing past Cupid's invisibility.
Cupid could feel her looking into him, even though it wasn't possible for her to see him.
The moment lasted only a few seconds before the girl from lunch interrupted the surreal moment of unknown intimacy. "The douche bag sends flowers, are you f-ing kidding me?"
"I don't think they are from him, Cassidy" Beth replied, handing her the card as she tried to figure out who else would send her flowers.
"Wow," Cassidy said, praying this wasn't another manipulation of Jared's. Cassidy was happy Beth finally dumped that loser as Beth deserved someone so much better. She asked, "Do you think it was from that Cupid guy?"
Beth's face flushed as she again looked directly where Cupid was, as she remembered the spark that she felt when they touched hands. "Impossible. He doesn't know my name or where I work," Beth replied, wishing secretly that he was the secret admirer.
Cupid watched in voyeuristic awe at the reaction his flowers had brought. His feelings towards her only increased as he felt feelings inside he had not felt in decades.
"Well whoever it is the man has taste. These are the nicest flowers I have ever seen," Cassidy said, trying to build up her good friend's spirits.