There are some situations that even the gods are not accustomed to. Just like the human beings they created, the gods are not always prepared for every circumstance. It's a strange, understandable, natural condition.
Power is an illusion and can easily be taken away from you. Whether it's done justly or unjustly doesn't matter; the result is the same. Defeat is defeat. I must say that this rule is not only applicable to humans; it also applies to gods, and the consequences are even more severe for them.
I know a very beautiful story that illustrates this. Although I struggle to grasp how much time has passed, the smoke of the story is still smoldering over it. You are not the first ones to hear this story, and believe me, you won't be the last.
To start from the beginning, I must say that I wasn't present at the time of the event. I'm not saying this to be labeled as 'innocent.' I just want to ensure you about my impartiality. I know my absence might undermine the credibility of my words, but no, my friends. I see everything, hear everything. Being aware of everything is my main duty. That's why I know everything about what happened to my 'uncle.'
You know me. I am Mercury. I am Hermes. I am that guy with wings going mad. In short, call me whatever you want. However, in this story, I'll simply be Ambrose.
If we come to where I first told this story, it's a bit... romantic, I suppose. Unlike other gods, I spend a lot of time in the mortal world. I do it sometimes out of the responsibilities imposed on me by my creation, and sometimes for entirely personal reasons.
When I stood in front of a seven-story brick building with a bottle of 1997 white wine in hand, it definitely fell into the second category. My fascination with New York and human clothing had prompted me to wander among them. It was one of these wanderings that introduced me to the feeling called 'love.'
I saw Seraphina for the first time in a bar called "Irishman," where an Irishman had devoted himself to playing Irish music. The Irishman was generally a quiet and calm place. Some people played darts, some laughed and had fun in groups, and others preferred to drink alone.
Seraphina was sitting on one of the barstools, watching burly men throwing balls at each other on TV. It was evident that this situation was bothering her a lot as Tequila shots started to line up on the counter. During this time, several men who wanted to accompany her had been politely pushed away by herself.
My father, about the relationship between men and women, had told me this: "Listen, my son, before getting in line, you must show that you're different." It was good advice, but there was a catch: my father gained fame not by lining up but by breaking the lines. I, on the other hand, refused to do either.
Approaching the bar counter with a beer bottle whose bottom I could see, I made sure to sit on a stool away from Seraphina. My intention was not to be a hunter but to be the prey.
“One more." I said to the bartender. The young man, not older than twenty-five, nodded and went to get a new bottle. As I observed Seraphina closely, I noticed her open notebook. And yes, I admit it, I cheated. With a single glance, I read everything written in her notebook in the finest detail.
Seraphina was a lecturer at Columbia University. Her field of study was the role of mythology in shaping modern identities. I thought to myself, that's my field of expertise too.
When the bartender placed the new bottle in front of me, I smiled at him and made sure Seraphina could hear our conversation. "You've designed the bar beautifully," I said. "I can see traces of Celtic mythology when I look over there," pointing to a corner filled with a beautiful L-shaped couch and wall paintings, "the walls adorned with Keltic runes are a fantastic touch."
"Really?" said the bartender in surprise, looking at the letters on the paintings. For him, these letters seemed like surrealistic works of art. Frankly, whether the bartender understood or not didn't matter to me. I was a fish, and the bartender was a worm hooked onto the line. The hunter was sitting right next to me, fixing his gaze on us. I had been hunted.
"I apologize for eavesdropping," she said, and her big brown eyes met mine. She extended her hand to me, "I'm Seraphina.”
"You're very punctual," said Seraphina, taking the bottle from my hand with great care. "And also very generous. Is this a historical artifact I'm holding now?"
"Not something worthy of being displayed," I said. “It’s getting ready to celebrate its twenty-sixth birthday these days.”
"It's going to be bad to drink it now."
"No, quite the opposite. We will honor her birthday and make her happy."
"Then let's not wait any longer. Let's go to the living room," she said, pointing to the door on the left with her hand, "I'll get the glasses."
Seraphina was a true representative of minimalism. There was a leather couch for three people leaning against the wall, a low wooden coffee table, a floor lamp filling the room with dim light, and a wall-mounted television. Surprisingly, the living room window, which should not be expected from an apartment of this age, consisted of a huge square glass from ceiling to floor. Two brown armchairs were placed in front of the glass, with a small coffee table in between.
As I intended to sit on the couch, Seraphina called me from the kitchen and asked me to walk by the window. To say that we had a stunning New York view in front of us would be a lie, but the street looked nice.
I folded my scarf and coat neatly and hung them behind the armchair. Leaning back, I relaxed and began to watch the street view from the window.
The spicy scent of perfume from behind made my nose dance. Then I saw Seraphina's delicate hands. After placing the glasses on the coffee table and filling them halfway, she sat down herself. I watched as she brought the glass to her lips, and the white liquid flowed through her red lips. Her face lit up with a blissful smile.
"In one word, wonderful," she said. "Where did you find this?"
"It doesn't matter where it's from," I said, quoting my divine father. "It matters who it's for."
Sweet pinkness spread on her cheeks.
"You've got a haircut," I said.
I had seen her last week when her curly black hair cascaded down her shoulders. Now it was swinging above her shoulders.
"I hope you're not trying to prove you're different," she said, laughing.
"To be honest, I didn't know that meant being different."
"Well, I feel that you're a bit different. I don't mean it in a negative way."
"Really? Believe me, I'm completely unaware of it."
We smiled at each other for a while, and then her expression became serious.
"Thank you, really. For helping me with my research. It's only been two months since we met, but you've helped me make significant progress in my studies. Especially your extensive knowledge about Greek and Roman mythology since we started working together surprised me. It still does."
"It's my pleasure," I said, taking a sip from my wine. This woman made my throat dry. "Working with you is truly delightful."
"Our feelings are definitely mutual."
"If you want to benefit from my knowledge," I said with a smile, "now might be the perfect time."
"You're absolutely right," she said with great seriousness, "you know, for the past few nights, something has been bothering me. You mentioned that you'd tell an interesting story the last time we met. You said..."
"A story that no one has heard before, yes."
"I'm dying to hear it. I don't know, but ever since you brought up this story to me, I feel a force pulling me towards it. An insatiable curiosity."
"Then tonight will be a night when your curiosity is satisfied."
She spread out on the armchair, picked up her wine glass.
"Go ahead, Professor."
"I will, but I have one condition."
"I accept it beforehand."
"Still, I'll tell you. You must not interrupt the story. I will pause at certain points, and we'll discuss it, but only when I pause, alright?"
"As I said, I accept it. Go on. What's our story about?"
"It's about a god who once had the power to split the earth in two, who possessed the rage to sink the sturdiest ships sailing in his seas for no reason."
"Are you talking about Poseidon?"
"Yes, I'm just embellishing a bit. Don't interrupt."
I continued with a bitter smile on my face.
"This story is related to Poseidon losing his crown and throne."
Merci pour la lecture!
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