Eros and Psyche: A Greek Mythbycellophanesmile©
Eros was the god of love. His weapon of romance: the arrow. His mother was the god renowned for her beauty, Venus. Venus held her beauty as the most precious treasure, and protected it with the ferocity of a mother bear, far more than she ever protected her child. And she would try to destroy anything that threatened her treasure, which was what prompted the request she made to her son one day.
"Eros, there is an annoyance of mine that I would like you to take care of. You see, many humans are in a fuss about a mortal girl that is said to be a great beauty. Nothing compared to me, of course, still, it is distracting from my worshipers, and I would like you to take care of it," Venus said with an air of nonchalance, "Her name is Psyche, and I need you to prick her with your arrow. Make her fall in love with the most awful and hideous man; one that matches in ugliness what she has in beauty. She will be ridiculed for her love, and forgotten."
"Mother, as you said, she is no threat to you. She cannot match your beauty, a mere mortal." Eros replied logically.
"Just as well, I would like you to do as I ask," Venus said with a wave of her hand, dismissing him. Eros, feeling that there was no way for him to deny as simple a request as this, spread his great wings and took off in flight down to Earth.
He landed exactly where he needed to, right next to Psyche. She was lying asleep in her bed, curled up into a little protective ball. She took his breath away. Eros held his arrow in his hand, but after only a few moments, knew that he couldn't do what his mother had asked.
She just looked so innocent, sleeping there, completely unaware of the world, trusting. He felt a wave of protectiveness wash over him, which was completely unexpected. And just as unexpected was the simultaneous anger he felt toward his mother. How dare she do anything to try and harm this sweet little being? He wasn't going to let that happen, he wasn't going to let anything bad happen to her.
Eros was surprised at himself; he had never before felt such tenderness toward anyone. Who was this girl that could inspire these feeling in him? Was this love? Eros felt it was ironic that he would have to ask himself that question when love was what his life revolved around.
After only a few moments, he knew that he could not make her love another. And now, after only a few minutes, he knew that he would make her his.
Eros found himself once again watching Psyche sleep. This time, however, it was in his palace, in his room, in his bed. And she was his wife.
What had happened was, shortly after Eros had first seen Psyche, an oracle had told her that a god would make her fall in love with a hideous, grotesque being. Which is whom she believed to be married to now. Eros had taken her and married her under the cover of darkness, and no one questioned it, not wanting to see something unfit for the human eyes.
Eros didn't mind that she had never seen his face, and thought him to be ugly, because this way she was safe. If everyone, including her, thought that she had married a beast, then Venus would think so, too. And thinking her request had been carried out; she wouldn't do anything to harm Psyche.
The only thing though, was she could never see his face. He was ever confined to darkness around her, for if she ever found out he was really a god, it would get back to Venus, whose wrath he did not want to incur.
Eros leaned over and gently shook his new bride awake. She slowly opened her eyes, and looked up at his shadow, which was all she could make out.
"Don't be afraid of me," he gently whispered to her, upon seeing the look in her eyes.
"I can't help it," she said back, "I don't know you, and yet you are my husband. I have never seen your face, and yet I am expected to fulfill wifely, intimate duties with you."
"You don't have to see my face to fulfill those 'duties' as you call them." Psyche looked away. She couldn't tell him that she hated this ugliness that she had never seen, that she didn't want his grotesque hands touching her body, that she didn't want his misshapen eyes gazing at her nakedness. She felt petty for her thoughts, but could not change the way that she felt.
Eros sensed her trepidations, and thought that the best way to deal with them was to just get this first time over with. After that, he was sure that she would accept his lovemaking, and enjoy it. He bent down and kissed her. At first, Psyche stayed pliant, but unresponsive. She could only picture a disgusting mouth on hers, but slowly the picture faded away, and she lost herself in the kiss. She felt unexplainable things in his kiss, things she had never felt before.
It was so distracting she didn't even notice him pull off her nightgown, that is until he touched her breast. She was so surprised she started, but made no struggle after that because it felt nice. He continued to touch and play with her breasts, then slowly moved his hand downward.
He touched her in her most intimate spot, and she had the vague thought that she should be protesting, or at least embarrassed, but all she could feel was over whelming pleasure. He gently ran his finger along her cleft, and felt her moistness. He slipped one finger inside her and felt her jerk and shudder with pleasure. He smiled to himself and returned his attention to kissing her mouth. By this time, he was very ready for her, and wasted no time slipping his manhood into that small, wet crevice his finger had been just a moment before.
He filled her with one quick movement, and heard her cry out as he broke her maidenhead. He gently massaged her breasts and kissed her until the pain passed, then they were both rising and rising to that pinnacle of ecstasy. They reached it together, and he let his body collapse on her when it was over. She welcomed his weight, and they lay like that for a while, until he remembered how tiny she was and thought he might be crushing her. He rolled over, still holding her, so now they were in opposite positions.
Her head was resting on his chest, and she tilted it ever so slightly and pressed a soft kiss right above his heart. Eros felt that kiss sink right through his skin and land on his heart, leaving its mark as if to say, "this is mine." He knew that he would carry that kiss on his heart for the rest of his life. And smiled at the gift she had given him.
It had been a few months now since Psyche had first come to the palace in the sky. She was never want of any luxury, and her days were spent in idle rest, while her nights were spent with her husband. They always made love, sometimes more than once, but they also spent time talking. Psyche grew to love him more and more each day, not just as a lover, but also as a friend and companion. But the closer Psyche grew to Eros, the more she longed to see his face. His ugliness, which she hated and feared on her first night here, no longer mattered; she was only consumed by her love for him. In fact, Psyche was convinced there was no way she could find her love ugly, what was ugly to the rest of the world, would only be dear to her, such was her love for him.
Every night, Psyche begged for him to be there in the morning, not to leave before the sun rose. But as each morning rolled around, she would find herself alone in bed. Psyche would be reminded of that first morning, where upon awakening, he was nowhere to be found. She was panicked at first, but realized soon after why he had left with the rising of the sun.
Tonight would be different though, Psyche thought, she would make it different. And as usual, as soon as it was dark, Eros flew into their bedroom.
"Hello, my love," he said. Giving her a kiss.
"Hello," she said back, going about her nightly ritual as if he wasn't there. Eros walked over to her and tried to kiss her, but she evaded him.
"What have I done now," he asked playfully, following her about the room.
"You don't trust me," she said all too seriously for Eros's taste. She was obviously very upset about it
"What are you talking about, I would trust you with my life. I trust you with my heart."
"You don't trust me enough to show me your face." Eros groaned inwardly. Not this again.
"You don't understand, it's for your own good," he told her hoping that she would accept that he knew what was best for her, it was a fool's hope though. Of course she wouldn't accept an answer like that.
"Don't tell me that I don't understand, I understand completely. You are afraid that I won't love you after I have seen your face. You think me vain and shallow. You don't trust me," Psyche was very angry now, she practically screamed the last words.
Eros couldn't believe she thought he would think that of her, "No, no sweetheart," he said in a soothing voice, reaching out to her, "I love you, I don't think you vain. There are just things going on that you don't understand."
"If I don't understand, it is only because you won't explain things to me." Eros couldn't argue with her there, but he couldn't explain what was going on without defeating the whole purpose.
"Just trust me and drop it, okay?" This had worked other nights, but apparently not tonight, as Psyche presented her back to him.
"Come Psyche, do I not give you everything you ask for? Are you not happy with your new home?" he tried to coax her to turn around.
"Your palace is very lovely, the loveliest I have ever seen." Not exactly the answer he was looking for.
"And are you not happy with all your new dresses and laces and perfumes?" he tried again, pointing out that he would spare no expense when it came to her.
"What woman wouldn't be happy with such fineries?" Still not the answer he wanted.
"And are you not happy with your new husband?" He finally tried, drawing on her love for him.
"I am very honored that you chose me to be you wife." Definitely not the answer he wanted. He now knew just how angry she was, never before had she withheld expressing her love for him. Eros could only think of one thing to do, the same thing he had done on her first night here.
"Psyche," he said as he grabbed her wrist. He then pulled her to him and kissed her. He pressed his lips to her soft ones with such heat and intensity her knees shook. He explored every inch of her mouth like he longed to explore her soul, and when he pulled away, Psyche felt as though he had.
"And are you not happy with you new husband?" he repeated the question.
Psyche gave the only answer she could find in her heart, the only answer that could escape her kiss-ravaged lips, "yes."
Eros smiled and leaned down and kissed her again. This time however, not to lay claim, and prove to her that she was his, but to arouse, plain and simple. And it certainly worked.
He licked and kissed every inch of her body, like it was the sweetest dessert, and he was a starving man. She shuddered and screamed and moaned and gasped. They were frantic to touch each other, to pleasure each other, and they spent most of the night ruffling up the sheets, until they both fell into an exhausted sleep.
Eros stayed asleep, however Psyche's inner turmoil soon woke her up. She lay next to the sleeping Eros for a while, stroking his hair. Why wouldn't he let her see him? He never denied her anything else, why this? Psyche lovingly let her fingertips graze over his features, feeling his nose, and lips, and cheeks. He didn't feel ugly.
Psyche decided she had to know, she didn't care how reckless she was being, she had to know. She quietly got out of bed so as not to wake him. She got a candle and lit it. A tiny ring of yellow light formed around her. She slowly walked over to he bed, hesitating for only a moment, but eventually held the candle over his sleeping form. She gasped at what she saw, not only was he not ugly, he was the most handsome man she had ever seen, no, not a man, a god.
Psyche was so startled by him, she let the candle tip, spilling three drops of hot wax onto his shoulder. He woke instantly, and realized what she had done. Feeling nothing but anger and betrayal, he followed his first instinct and fled. He jumped out the window and spread his wings and flew away.
Psyche didn't want him to leave. She didn't know what was going on, but she wanted to be with him. She chased him to stop him, but was surprised when he flew out the window. She tried to stop herself, but momentum got the best of her, and soon she felt herself tumbling through the sky, landing in a heap on the sand below.
Psyche lay there hurt for she didn't know how long. She alternated between crying and lying staring off into the sky. Surely Eros would forgive her and come get her, and for a moment she felt her heart lift when she heard footsteps, thinking that he had, but soon discovered that it was not him.
It was in fact a woman. "Well, well if it isn't my son's disobedient wife," she said, coming to stand above the wounded Psyche, "Would you believe that until just today, I didn't know he was married, his own mother? That doesn't seem right now does it? But I suppose he had his reasons, if I had known, I would have forbade him from marrying you. I would have been right to do so to, you turning out not to be such a trustworthy wife. Word travels fast between the gods."
Psyche lay there without saying anything. Something about this woman made her very afraid, and she longed for Eros's strong, comforting arms.
"So whatever shall I do with you? I can't just leave my daughter in-law here on the ground. I will have to take you with me and save you in the off chance that my son should ever want you back." And she did take Psyche with her, but help her she did not.
Psyche was thrown into the dungeon, with her arms chained over her head. She was left like that, in her uncomfortable position for a couple of days, not even being fed. How could Eros be so angry as to leave her here? She knew she shouldn't have betrayed his trust, but she didn't think she deserved this.
"Aw, poor thing," Venus said as she entered the dungeon on the third day of Psyche's capture, "You must be miserable, with my son rejecting you like this. You do realize he's not coming? He would have been here by now if he were. I suppose it serves you right though," she said in a gentle voice, as if scolding a child for a small wrong, all the further mocking Psyche. "Well if you are going to stay here, I should probably put you to work."
And soon Psyche found herself with the impossible task of separating beans and rice and corn into individual piles. She worked until her fingers and eyes ached, sneaking some to fill her starving stomach.
Meanwhile, Eros was sick in bed. Those three drops of burning wax affected him in a funny way. What should have been harmless, left him unconscious and suffering in bed. The gods thought that those drops of wax represented Psyche's betrayal in a physical form, and he was now suffering physically what he would be suffering mentally.
He was in bed three days, one for every drop, and on the third day he finally rose. Instantly he wanted to see Psyche. The gods who were watching over him told him that she wasn't there. That Venus had found her the same day he had fallen to them from the sky and had taken ill.
Eros couldn't escape the sense of dread that overcame him. His little Psyche, in the hands of his mother. He immediately took off to go get her, letting nothing get in his way. He was worried sick about her, and felt horrible and guilty that he could not go get her sooner. That his illness was her fault didn't even enter his mind, he could blame nothing on his love, and just longed to have her back in his arms.
When he did find her, it almost brought tears to his eyes. Once again she was asleep, but not the peaceful sleep of what he had seen before, but and exhausted sleep. She had bruises around her wrists, obviously form shackles, and she looked too skinny, like she wasn't fed properly. She had dark circles under her eyes, and her entire body looked worn and tired.
Eros couldn't resist touching her a moment more. He reached out and scooped her up into his arms from the pile of rice she had been sleeping in. Her eyes slowly opened, and she looked at him, "Eros?"
"Yes, I'm here love," he said gently, squeezing her to his chest. She immediately broke into sobs.
"I didn't think you were going to come," she said, turning her face into his shoulder.
"I would have come sooner if I could," he reassured her, "I would never leave you, you are my very heart. I love you." It didn't even matter to Psyche that he hadn't come sooner, only that he was here now.
"I love you, too," she said still crying. She burrowed herself deeper into his chest, wrapping her arms around his waste. He held her for a long time, until her sobs quieted.
"Are you ready to go home?" he asked. She nodded and he spread his wings and carried her up to his palace in the sky.
Shortly after, Zeus, seeing their love, let her drink from the cup of immortality. And they lived together in happiness for all eternity.