Chapter 1:

A Visitor

Eros' Embrace

One of the hospital staff checked my vitals, while a second arranged a vase on the nightstand. I watched her leave a small arrangement of pink camellia flowers. The bright color hurt to look at in the barren room. “What a lovely gift,” the nurse sighed before giving me a pitied look. The kind that’d make you sick if you weren’t already admitted. I closed my eyes, just wanting to ignore them and sink into numbing sleep.

I’m so tired.

The cold air continued blowing on my face. The dry air had cracked my lips, and no matter how hard I try to grasp the edges of the covers, my pale hand fails to pull them up.

When will this end? The frigid air kept me from dozing off. The two staff huddled to discuss something about my chart. One left to find a doctor.

It’s in vain I wanted to call after them.

Nothing is going to stop my decaying body. The revolving door hospital visits, and my health have become a burden I can’t carry any longer. The piling bills, the endless tears, and the despair my family is given each visit feel like too much. And I can do nothing about it. It is worse than any outright death, and right now I would warmly welcome the latter.

The doctor with a kind but nervous smile shook my shoulder. He wants something. An answer? It’s all a little fuzzy.

The heart monitor’s steady rhythm slowed. The doctor’s grim remarks could be heard as they left the room quickly. I prayed my mother’s heart would heal quickly after my passing.

I chose to swallow my reality, and she would come to terms with it too. This was it. I wasn’t going to make it.

“I’m sorry mom, brother. I’ll be leaving.” My voice echoing in the empty room.

“They’ll be terribly hurt.” A gentle voice called.

My heavy eyes fluttered open. A tall figure enshrouded in the glow of the dusk’s light that filtered in. Golden orbs gazed kindly back at me. 

“Come here. He motioned. I looked down to find myself free of the wires and tubes. I walked over to the windows.

“Thanatos?” I had heard the God of Death was beautiful. Perhaps he ruled me now. He shook his head in denial. The man emanated a calm that put me at ease. He held my hand and pointed out at the view.

“Look at the brilliant sunset. It’s like it was painted for you.”

Perhaps as a goodbye, I thought. The colors tugged at my heart.

“It's only beautiful for a short time. The sky will still darken and fade into the night.”

“That's why we appreciate it now. Night does come after but it isn't all bad. There are still stars.”

“Are you trying to make this easier for me to leave?” My mention of passing made his face downcast, and his smile faltered.

“Aren’t there things you want to do?”

“Of course. We never leave without regrets, but that’s all they’ll be.”

“They don’t have to be. Won’t you stay?”

“But isn't it my time? The last leg of my journey?” my shaking voice asked. That’s why you're here. It’s why I see you.

The heart monitor flatlined. One second, two seconds.

“Please, not yet.” he pleaded with me. Tears welled in his eyes, as he pulled me close, and held me in his embrace.

“But it hurts.”

“The pain’s a reminder you’re alive,” he sighed, "But there's more to life then pain Miss Momo."

"But why me?" I cried.

“Life's not a fixed game love. I’m sorry this happened." He squeezed me tighter, sharing his warmth.

"Can you still love me?” His question took me by surprise. Death would never ask me if I still loved them. Thanatos is selfish. Was this…Eros? Could I love the pain he brought me? I thought back to the beauty too.

I wasn't sure I could say it. Right now I wanted to let go. My apathy wanted me fall like a devastated petal, and to give in. I did not love the present, but… if I could change it. It enjoy my life like before this.

My family. Bike rides under the warm sun. Trying new cafes. Shopping with my friends. Going on dates. I want those things again. I miss living.

“You’re cruel at times,” I took a deep breath, “but I love you.” I met his gaze.

I held that truth in my heart. Eros ruled me. I was embarrassed to admit that in my feeble state.

“Is it even a fight I can win?” My eyes welled up.

“You won’t know if you don’t try.”

"I want…to live," I resolved.

Bending down, he placed a kiss on my forehead, and gave me a brilliant smile.

"Thanatos will just have to wait a little longer for my Miss Momo."

“But I’ll be rooting for you.” he disappeared as suddenly as he came.

My mother's soft sob pierced the peaceful quiet. With aches and pain, I opened my eyes. There she stood holding my hand. I wasn’t alone in my struggle. I would fight. For my family, my friends, and for me. 

Eros' Embrace Cover (nesrynn_rose)

Eros' Embrace