It all started long ago. With two people, not unlike you or me.
“Come quickly Ursula, or she’ll find us!” Two girls come running down the hallway, one after the other, giggling and almost tripping over their dresses. A wave of auburn followed by one of sparkling silver. They stop for a minute and look around.
“There! Let’s hide in there. Come on Addy!” Ursula says and moves toward the little door on the right side of the corridor, Addy following suit. They cram together into the tiny space and wait.
“I’m not sure this was the best hiding place, Urs. It’s pretty obvious isn’t it?”
“What does it matter, she’s going to find us sooner or later anyway.”
“It matters, because if we found a better place we’d have more time to do this…” Addy leans in closer and places a light kiss on Ursulas’ lips. She feels her heart start to beat faster, suddenly it’s terribly warm in there.
“Damn, you’re right I should have thought of that earlier.” Ursula kisses her in return, and this time it lasts a little longer. Her fingers tangle in Addys’ hair as she pulls her closer. They are now as close as they could possibly be. Not an inch of air between them, as if they were melting together into one person, as they always have been, even if they were not able to show it. Ursula breaks away then, something is gnawing at the back of her mind.
“What are we going to, Addy? About your father. You know he would never allow us to be together. I’m so tired of hiding, but I don’t want this to end.” She backs away, lowering her arms and wrapping them around herself, the warmth fading rapidly.
“Hey,” the other girl moves toward her, putting her hand on her cheek, “where is this coming from, Urs? Nothing’s going to end. We’ll figure it out, I promise.”
“How can you promise that? You don’t know what’s going to happen. What he’ll do if he finds out. He might never let us see each other again, he might banish me from the kingdom or worse.” She can feel the panic start to arise, and yes maybe some of it is irrational but she just can’t help it.
Addy takes her face in her hands, and rases it to meet hers. “Look at me, look at me. I will never, and I mean never let anything like that happen. You ask me how I can promise that, well,” she takes one of Ursulas hands and puts it over her heart, “you feel that? My heart has never beaten so fast, ad it’s because of you. I love you Ursula and that is my promise.”
A great smile makes its way onto her face now. The smile Addy loved so much. “I love you too, Adela. Sometimes so much it kind of scares me. I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry about, my love.” She wraps her arms around her and kisses her once more. The other girl returns it, of course, and it seemed like that moment could have stretched into forever. They certainly wanted it to, but just before they came apart, the tiny door swung wide open.
“Found you! God I don’t know why it took me so long-“ She stops abrubtly when she finally looks and sees what’s going on. The other two spring apart like they’ve burned each other.
“Oh my god, Athena.”
“What are you doing?!”
“No, it’s not what it looks li-“
“I just caught you making out in the storage closet! That’s digusting! What is wrong with you?” Athena then slams the door shut again and storms off, red hair blazing after her. The two girls inside scramble to get out and run after her.
“Athena! Wait!” One of them shouts.
She stops, mid stride and whips around. “WHAT? You invite me here, not because you like me but as a ploy to find out more about our military plans, which I already knew about but decided to come anyway, and then you make me put up with this! A sneaky affair between a princess and, one of her… ladies. How revolting. Let’s see if you’ll even be one anymore after I have a little chat with King Brutus. I wouldn’t bet he’d be too pleased to know that his lovely innocent daughter has taken to fooling around with the female staff!”
“Oh no please don’t say anything!” Adela pleads, “It would kill him, he’d send her away! Please, I beg you. Don’t tell him.”
“Yes, please don’t” Ursula joins in, “I’ll give you whatever you want, just… don’t.” She was on her knees now, tears streaming down her cheeks. The look on Athenas face made it clear there was no saving them. Everything they’d been through, the years of hiding, waiting for someone to figure it out. In a way it was kind of a relief, if only a brief one before the reality of things came bearing down again.
“You have nothing of value to me, except your happiness, and that I shall take.” With that she turned around again, heading for the throne room, no doubt.
The two girls sank together into pile on the floor. Holding onto each other for dear life, not ready to let go. Although that time was indeed coming, and much sooner than they’d hoped.
I never saw her again. When King Brutus got the news, he was outraged and ordered me to be sent away, banished. Never to set foot on land again. I thought of her every day, I still do. Athena lived on to marry a prince, have a daughter and be happy.
And that is why I did what I did. I’m not proud of it, and often times I even regret it, but my grief had overtaken me, I couldn’t control it, she, she took my love from me. So I took the voice of hers.