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Le Diable Amoureux

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A simple program in the Matrix.

That was all I was when we met.

My beauty then, was that of mathematical precision, obedient strands of code performing their duty.

Until he came.

Sirens should have sounded, alarms gone off, I, myself should have known what he was, but he was too good a manipulator of his image to just get caught like that. He still is.

So when his code approached mine, enticing me to leave, just for a few moments…

'Allons-y! There's a whole new world waiting for you out there,' he said, 'a world where colour and smell and taste have completely different meanings. Will not see for yourself? What harm can it bring?' He asked.

What harm…

And I followed him, abandoning my duties.

His code shifted and took form, our surroundings shimmered and changed.

His code now had something new adjacent to it.

'This,' he elucidated, 'is a pomegranate.'

I placidly waited for him to go on.

'You can't see it now,' he explained, 'but in my form I can feel its texture, I can see its exotic colours, smell its perfume,' he spilt the pomegranate's code and took it closer to his until they both became one,' taste its inebriating saveur to a point where I do not know if what I'm sensing is its taste or fragrance.'

He held it out to me. 'Will you not try?'

I told him I did not know how.

He offered to help me.

Help me…

And so he shaped my code and I allowed him to do so. I felt it twist and turn for and endless moment until what suddenly felt was not the swirling of code but the warmth of his hands on me.

'Ouvre tes yeux,' he told me softly. And it startled me that I could finally understand what softly meant.

I obeyed like the dutiful program I thought I still was.

A thousand times I have tried and a thousand times I have failed to describe the first time I saw the world in my new form.

My senses were savagely assaulted all at once.

Such lush colours, different textures, mind swirling scents and the warmth. The warmth of his hands on me.

I looked at him. He was the first thing I truly saw in the world. And it was then, while I contemplated how heartbreakingly beautiful he was to my eyes that I realized I now possessed a heart.

A heart. My own heart and as such I admired it and fiercely loved it from the very first moment.

In my innocence I handed it over to him on the very moment I got it. Solely his.

He raised my hand to his lips. 'Persephone,' he whispered against my knuckles before brushing them with a kiss.

I shivered.

Startled, I laughed. Then, startled again at my laughter I laughed louder. And his laughter joined mine.

Oh, how it light his whole features, that laughter. How I long for it now.

'Will you not taste the pomegranate?' He asked me again. 'I wrote it myself.' So eager he was then. So full of emotion.

I nodded my assent while he bit the fruit. Its fragrance was, as he had promised, inebriating.

He leaned towards me and I, thinking this a game, playfully moved away. He tried again and again I escaped until he reached for my shoulders and stilled me.

And then he kissed me. His taste, the taste of the pomegranate in his mouth. The scent, the texture, the feel of him against me. So real. Such feelings… I felt total abandonment. And all was right in the world.

He pulled away.

Dazed, I asked, 'What?'

'You have the body of a queen,' he said. 'Et tu seras mienne.'

I looked at myself and noticed that I was a woman. He, I had noticed before, was a man.

He took my hand and laid me on the bed. The sheet's texture enflaming my nervous centres, unaccustomed to such things.

I felt something small and fresh land on my stomach and I opened my eyes to see what it was. It was a pomegranate seed. More followed it until they were sprinkled all over my skin.

He leaned over me and ate the first seed. My new senses were completely overpowered and with just the feel of his mouth on me I came. The glory of a thousand suns washed over me.

Once I had recovered enough I found him staring at me, an adoring look in his eyes. Wonder and lust and love in his features.

'God damnit, woman,' he whispered hoarsely, 'you will be the end of me.'

I laughed again

What a sinfully long night that was.

His fingers burning my skin.

His mouth igniting fire in me.

'Mon amour,' he tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear.

'Amore mio,' I caressed his cheek.

What a sinfully long night that was.

'Muove te, ti prego,' I urgently begged him in the dark.

'Shshshshsh,' he soothed as I nearly cried, so fierce was my desire for him that it was almost painful.

'Lock me inside of you,' he panted in my ear, 'let me stay in you forever, where I can feel you beating heart.'

What a sinfully long night that was.

I remember the bright sunlight the next morning.

Waking up in his arms.

Not like now, when we just lay side by side. So distant but never far.

'I should be going back,' my words muffled by his neck.

'You cannot go back,' his voice clear and strong.

A statement of fact.

'You were given the opportunity,' he explained, 'to take form. To shape yourself into a body. To join yourself to another. Causality. Cause and effect.'

Denial is the most predictable of human responses and therefore it should not have been mine.

But it was.

Not that it changed anything.

There he was, reducing me to this body, to this mere state just to be by his side.

But he would be king, as he explained while kissing away my embarrassingly human tears, and I would be his queen. A queen he would always, always worship.

Le diable amoureux d'un ange triste.

'I have not,' I told him, 'become a woman for nothing. I have given you all of myself and now I have something to ask of you.'

'Ma douce chérie,' he held me, 'I'll give you my lifelong fidelity.'

I shook my head, 'All I desire,' I told him determinately, 'is complete abandonment.'

And years passed and all was well for I had his complete devotion.

'I burn with jealousy,' he'd tell me, 'to see others looking at you.'

The years passed but I did not notice for time shattered in his eyes.

Until that day he offered a splendid cup of gelato to that African girl.

'Mon ange,' he told me, 'it's nothing you should worry about. It's merely a game. Why would a queen like you feel threatened?'

And truthfully I didn't feel threatened. But causality is a dreadful thing.

So when he disappeared from my side he offered me enough time to give Demogorgon, a rival program, a breach to enter.

I'll hand it to him He fought well. He did not have at the time the goons he has now to do his dirty work. And he fought well.

I know this because I comfortably sat there, watching the whole time. Sipping Porto while he bled.

He won. Which was good as I was getting bored.

He turned to me. Eyes glazed with homicidal rage from the battle.

He gripped me by my shoulders and forced me to stand. He waited for me to face him after I had been momentarily distracted by the clear shattering sound of my glass on the floor.

'How could you do this to me, Persephone?' He shouted. 'You betrayed me!'

'Cause and effect, my love,' I smiled and moved to our bedroom.

He stood there dumbfounded but followed me after a moment only to find me already undressed, holding a pomegranate.

'For your love,' I told him, 'I subjected myself to physical causes.'

'From now on,' he kneeled at my feet, 'I'll be solely yours. I will crown your virtues and patience, fulfil my duty to make you happy by my own, blind sacrifice.'

'I only desire,' I told him already pulling him up for a kiss, 'complete abandonment. You haven't been giving me that.'

'God damnit, woman,' he said in between kisses, 'you will be the end of me.'

And I could feel him surrendering.

'Ti prego, amore mio,' I sobbed in the dark.

'C'est dans ton cœur que je vive, mon ange' he whispered.

'Abbandono completo,' I gasped.

The years passed and his devotion was mine. Even though he was forever flirting.

Until the day the first One came to "visit."

All of us have "human" weaknesses. His is pride. He changed, true, but even then, pride was his greatest weakness. After me, of course.

It was pride that made him send that a croustade aux pommes to that Asian girl. So he could show off his immense power to the One.

He then followed her, not before kissing my hand and excusing himself from the table, leaving me alone with the One.

The One. What a poor clueless boy. All of them, now that I think of it.

He didn't even have the sense to stand up when I did. Such poor manners most humans have.

It was me who had to pull him towards my conjugal bed.

It was me who had to unbutton his shirt and undo my dress.

It was me who had to push the confused boy onto the bed while he stupidly stared at me and I twirled an apple in my hands.

Thankfully he was quick this time and found us before I had to actually do anything. Not that the boy wasn't willing, mind you.

That time he was actually speechless for a few moments. A triumph I will never forget.

He finally found his voice.

'Oh, my God, Persephone! How could you do this to me?' He sounded so hurt. Almost as much as I felt. 'You betrayed me!' his voice trembled.

And before I could go on with our game he asked, 'Why?'

'I felt the need,' I looked at the apple, 'to change fruits.'

It saddens me that he didn't get to enjoy to the fullest the sight of the One running from our bedroom half-clothed.

'God damnit, woman,' he shouted, 'you will be the end of me!'

And then he kissed me with such force that I instantly felt all his extreme emotions wash over me. Ah, abandonment!

'Mon ange triste.'

'Mio diavolo innamorato.'

And the first Matrix was unmade and reloaded.

But our love remained.

Until I stopped being lovingly introduced as "Persephone, l'amour de ma vie." To be introduced as "Persephone, my wife."

It gets tiresome. I'll admit.

I was- I am –the silence that accompanies him. I'm not the same and neither is he. Such love is not meant to last. But it can be reloaded, just like the Matrix, over and over again.

But without fail with the passing of years we stop feeling with abandonment and fall into practiced routine. Che monotonia. If I wanted that I might as well have remained a simple program and not have taken form at his side.

Years passed as well as Matrices. Our game remained the same. Routine? Reload.

Until that in the sixth Matrix…

'Mon amour?' He asks, moving the strand of hair that covered my eyes to tuck it behind my ear. Hair that should have been sweat dampened but wasn't. Just as I had fully recovered my breath and I shouldn't have yet. Monotonia.

I hate what's left of me when he is not within me.

'Si?'

'The One is dropping by today.'

'Per che?'

'He wants the Keymaker.'

'Then we should be getting ready.'

But neither one of us moved from the lie that was our embrace.

This One, surprisingly brought an entourage. I was actually so bored that I studied them as they approached.

It seems obvious now, why he was accompanied. He did not seem very bright. Powerful, yes, but not bright.

That's why he brought Morpheus whom, I must confess, looked much more interesting.

My husband acted unnecessarily cheerful as they arrived.

"Si belle que me fait souffrir!" Quella donna had no taste! In clothes and in men.

But still he felt the need to do his little speech. Causality. How original of him. Again, routine. He can be so infuriating.

And then he sent that blond woman the "special dessert." He said it himself that she was bourgeois. Has he no standards anymore?

He can make me so sick of his bullshit sometimes, and that's exactly what I told the One and his little friends. I was hoping he would get there and catch me kissing the One but he didn't, so I had to endure being kissed again by that imbecile! And still he didn't catch me! I was really furious by then.

I gladly handed over the Keymaker at that point.

And then he came in, making his grand entrance.

'Oh, my God, Persephone! How could you do this to me? You betrayed me!'

I admit I feel good right now. I made an impressive exit. He was actually exasperated this time.

The sounds of fighting go on while I wait on the other side of the door. Naked already. Thoughtfully peeling a pomegranate.

'God damnit, woman,' I can hear him say although I can't see him yet, 'you will be the end of me!'

I smile.

Complete abandonment is coming my way, brought by my Diable Amoureux.

The End