Almost a Dream | Teen Ink

Almost a Dream

October 7, 2019
By o0lillyrose0o BRONZE, Louisville, Kentucky
o0lillyrose0o BRONZE, Louisville, Kentucky
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
My path may be different, but I am not lost.

I was alone but not in the literal sense. Even when I lived with my father, I was always surrounded by maids and general servants of the castle. No, this isolation was internal, given to me from the depths of my mind. It had an icy grip on my heart, grasping it with just enough strength for me to be in constant agony. I never really knew why I felt that way; it was just a feeling that had been forming within me for as long as I can remember, spreading through me like a cancer. All I really knew at that point was that I was lost, pieces of my soul floating into oblivion, day by day, piece by piece. Until I met Artemis.

I will always remember the day when she walked into my room, dark hair soaking wet from the violent rain outside, gripping her bow so tightly that her knuckles turned white. Artemis grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door without a single word, whisking me out of my solitary existence. I let her drag me down the hall without protest, open to anything that wasn’t within the confines of the castle: the walls of my cage. We managed to escape the castle and began sprinting towards the shadowy woods, our feet slapping the wet cobblestone path. We continued for a while until we found an array of tents set in the shape of a crescent, bathed in so much moonlight they almost glowed. Entering a tent, I sat on the ground, cushioned by animal pelts and downy feathers.

Turning around to face me, Artemis said, “Calisto, right?” I nodded. “This is where we’ll be staying for a while, okay? You’re safe here. Try to get some sleep; I promise I’ll explain everything in the morning.” I remember her soft figure fading away into the night, her hips swaying in perfect harmony with the rippling breeze. For the first time in many moons, I fell asleep with a smile on my lips, a sense of satisfaction filling me with a warmth I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Artemis returned in the morning and explained her reasoning in bringing me here. She told me how the kingdom had told of a young maiden set apart from the outside world, hidden in the chambers of a remote castle. She told me that, for whatever reason, she felt drawn to me, resulting in her planning and carrying out my rescue mission. She then told her story, how she was the daughter of the god Zeus and the nymph Leto, how her father always favored her twin brother, Apollo. She told of her brother being given the sun to govern, while she was given the moon. She told of how she chose to forever swear off men as the only one she ever loved betrayed her. She told of her tragedies, such as having to kill that same love to keep her vow of chastity. She told me of her joys, such as saving cities from terrible monsters. The stories were told with such emotion, such passion, that it almost felt like I was with her in every second, living through a million lifetimes of adventures and suffering.

We spent that night dancing underneath the stars, caught up in a haze of joy unlike anything I ever felt before. I remember looking into Artemis’s stunning silver eyes as they reflected the swirling constellations above us and simply feeling my heart melt. I loved her. I loved the way she giggled almost too easily, a dimple always appearing on the right side of her cocoa cheeks as she did. I loved her button nose, especially the way it would scrunch up when she was excited. Her frizzy cinnamon hair framed her round face perfectly, smelling earthy, like freshly turned soil after a rainfall. Artemis’s kind attitude inspired me, always making sure that I was happy, pulling me from the sense of exile I felt for far too long. She was the true meaning of perfection; a goddess in more ways than one.

After that night, we did everything together. She took me out hunting, teaching me how to use a bow and arrow. She taught me to be concealed within the shadows, unseen by the eyes of my prey. Some days we would hike to the top of a nearby hill and stare out at the glistening ocean, staying there until the sun began to dip below the horizon. She told me that my hair shone like rubies when the sun hit it just right, its usually rusty color glowing with such glory it seemed otherworldly. We completed each other, becoming each other’s hope, each other’s light. In the evening we would always go back to the campsite, lulling ourselves to sleep with the other’s warm embrace. 

When I was with her, it felt like all sense of human time was fading, leaving any feelings of loneliness deep within my subconscious mind. However, as a mortal being, I was on a clock. My slowly shriveling skin was a constant reminder of our limited time together. That thought alone kept me awake at night, consumed with the truth that this beautiful, dreamlike life would, one day, end. I would simply fade out of existence, never to see my lover again, her moving on without me, as if I never really existed at all. Even the basic idea of death paralyzed me with fear. Of course, fear doesn’t stop death. Its presence came into our tent one night, enveloping me until I grew cold and still, the steady rhythm of my heart fading into nullity. My soul slowly seeped from my wrinkled skin, leaving me staring down at my former figure. I stared sadly down at Artemis as she awoke, watching as she stared in shock at my corpse for a few seconds before letting loose a guttural scream. As tears began to stream down her cheeks, I wanted nothing more than to embrace her, rescue her from misery, the same way she rescued me from mine. After a while, she managed to wipe her tears and grasp my limp hand, saying, “I love you Calisto. I will love you now and into eternity, and a part of you will remain in my heart forever. I will always love you, even if I never deserved you.” She moved her hand in an upwards motion, allowing me to feel my soul being released into the wind, drifting higher than the peak of our hill, high enough to see the ocean in its full majesty. I was carried into the stygian night, just another constellation reflected in her eyes.

Now as I float amongst a sparkling veil of light, just another pinprick of hope far beyond human recognition, I wish to tell her one last thing, “Thank you. Thank you for filling my short life with love and purpose. You were my lifeboat amongst a terrible storm, my light at the end of a tunnel. I am no longer lonely, no longer shattering into oblivion. Thanks to you, I am no longer lost.”

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