PLEA TO APHRODITE

(time frame: about six months after Hektor and Andromache's marriage)

I light the incense and fall gently to my knees. I clasp my hands together and press my forehead to them. "Please," I whisper, my voice rasping and thick, heavy with heart-sickness that constricts my chest. "Please, Aphrodite, Eros, I beg of you. I beg of you, let me be! Don't continue this torture! Why must I endure this? Why have you placed this torch within me so that my body and my heart both burn for her, night and day?" My voice breaks and I do not know if I am going to cry. My breath hitches in my throat, and her name falls like a prayer from my lips. The sound is almost like a quiet, wailing cry and yet it is also a harsh and desperate whisper as the tears begin to fall. Her name, "Andromache," a plea, "Andromache." Gods how my heart aches just at the sound of her name on my tongue! A quiet sob is wrestled from my throat. I choke on my cries as I whisper her name one last time, "Andromache!" I am tortured. I weep now. In the back of my mind, I hear her name, a mantra. In the front of my mind, I still pray. 'Oh, Goddess, let this end! I cannot stand this torture! Goddess, please! I love her!' Out loud, I finally confess, "Gods help me, I love her!"