Confessions of a Construct

I am a woman, his woman. Though you think I was never his woman, I was. I was enough to fill his paradisealthough you'll tell me now he never cared for paradise.

I am his woman because the others were too hard, too soft, too much someone else's women to use. I was the perfect womanfaceless, formless, a silhouette on a hill, a name behind a closed door. I am voiceless, featureless. Worthless, you might say.

Lifeless, certainly. I took no shape other than female. You don't know how my hair shines, or if my eyes are more like chocolate or stormy seas. You don't know if I have lines from laughing or frowning or at all. You do not know me. Only those who created me know me. And they never cared for me; they only cared that I be his woman.

I captured him. I loved him. I lived with him. We had a dog. His dog died. I lived with that damn dog. I nursed him through his last days. That dog existed. Butler existed. And so did I.

Even if you hate me, I existed. For a moment, a lazy, jealous, "we won't use those who came before" moment, I existed.

I was Jim Kirk's love. My name means "priceless." If I were a male, I'd be the one who stole Caesar's woman. Jim is named for a Caesar. You see how it all comes together? You see?

You never knew that he rode horses, did you? Chris Pike rode horses. But Jim? You never knew that about him, did you? He did. He rode horses. With me, because they said so, he rode horses. Is it such a stretch? He climbed mountains. He was athletic and limber and fond of tearing skin and shirts.

Is it so much to believe he loved horses? Don't feel badI never knew that about him either. I never knew him before the moment I woke up in his life. I remember nothing, and then I remember him. I was formless, inchoate potential, waiting to be actualized. Waiting to be given life and floated off fully formed on a half-shell for him to find. I'm a Venus, but you can't possibly know that. You've never seen me. They never let you see me.

They were afraid to let you see me.

I'm beautiful. What else would I be? This was Jim Kirk, they said. What other kind of woman would there be for him? Make her beautiful. Make her a Helen. But they did not let you see me. So much beauty and they were still afraid of you, afraid of what you'd say, how you'd tear me down and find my flaws. I should have been some other, you would say. You still say it. I hear the rumblings now just as I heard them then. Even in my own head. I was given form, given movement, given no words to say. But I heard the whispers.

"Ruth."

"Carol."

"Janet."

"Gillian."

"Spock."

And later, in paradise, when Jim could have had anyone, I heard other names.

"Edith."

"Miramanee."

I hated paradise too, you know. I hated being a prisoner. I hated watching Jim act that way. I didn't know him and yet...

Even I could see that this was not how he would have wanted to live his life. He wouldn't want to be a slave to paradise, to anything.

He was not a slave to me. He was going to marry me, wanted to marry me. He made Ktarian eggs. He bounded into the bedroom and ended up in the stables. I was not there; it was confusing. I watched from the shadows where they made me stay. I was born in the shadows of the minds that would kill him, and I had to watch his end from the same shadows.

You never heard me scream for him. You never saw me cry for him. You never heard me whisper, "No," as I too ceased to exist.

I died away as easily as I was born. A spirit only, never a real woman. You didn't believe in me. He didn't believe in me. Even my creators didn't believe in me, not enough to give me form. If they had, would I believe in me?

I don't blame you for hating me. I hate me too sometimes. I wish I was one of those others. Those Ruth-Carol-Janet-Gillian-Spock -Edith-Miramanees. I wish I was someone you could believe in. Someone he could have believed in. I wish I was worth braving paradise for.

I wish I'd been given a taste of life outside of paradise. I wish they'd been brave enough to let me see you, and let you see me.

You will never know who I am. You will never know that when I'm amused, my eyes crinkle up and I cough sometimes if I laugh too hard. You will never know that I cry in an ugly waymy nose gets red and my eyes water and I just want to be left alone.

You would be happy if Jim had left me alone. If I had never existed.

I know. I would be happier too.

It's not easy being a fantasy. It's not pleasant being hated. It is not comforting to know I am a construct of frightened men who wanted nothing to do with the past except to destroy it forever.

It is not easy being Antonia. But I am she, and so will I always be.

I must go now. Paradise is calling. A dog lies waiting. And a man chops wood and thinks about me, wondering why he can't remember what color my eyes are.

I will tell him not to feel bad. I don't know what color they are either.

FIN