Once Upon a Time, There Was a Man
“Did I tell you, my darling, the story of Dionysus?” A mother asked her child.
He was only six years old and didn’t know much about mythology or life but his curiosity was at its peak.
“Will you tell me mommy?”
The woman smiled softly and nodded. She got in bed, next to him, and wrapped her arms around him.
“Dionysus was the god of fertility and wine later considered a patron of the arts. He created wine and spread the art of viticulture. He had a dual nature; on one hand, he brought joy and divine ecstasy; or he would bring brutal and blinding rage.”
The kid grabbed his mother’s hand and listened with excitement.
“His parents were Zeus and a human called Semele.”
“Zeus, like the one with the lightning?” The child asked from what he remembered from a cartoon.
The mother chuckled and patted his head softly.
“Yes. He was his son. His mother was killed out of jealousy and he became immortal because his father saved him. The Titans ripped him to pieces; however, he was brought back to life. After this, Zeus arranged for his protection and gave him to the mountain nymphs to be raised.”
The child smiled, “He got raised by fairies?”
The woman nodded.
“Something like that. Let’s say, spirits of the forest.” The boy nodded and urged her to continue, “He loved his mother so much, even if he hadn’t met her. He journeyed into the underworld to find her and bring her back to life.”
The boy frowned, “Did he find her?”
His mother smiled and nodded. The kid wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly.
“I’d do that too, mom. I’d go to the end of the world to find you.”
The woman laughed and patted his back.
“I know you would. But you have to be careful, Victor. There’s always someone lurking in the back, boiling with rage and jealousy. There’s always someone like Hera, who can’t accept reality.” The boy nodded, his eyes staring intensely at his mother, “Well, that’s it for tonight.”
“Come on, mother. Tell me another story~” He started to whine.
The older woman looked upon him with loving eyes and kissed his forehead.
“Tomorrow night. I promise.”
The boy, Victor, nodded and grabbed his teddy bear. The woman got up and turned off the lights. She took one last look at her son before she walked out.
“Victor! Victor, it’s morning,”
He wasn’t in his home. Truthfully, he couldn’t remember whose home was it.
The feminine voice sounded annoyed yet playfully so. She shook him twice before he opened his eyes and rolled on his back.
“Your husband is not home today, Dee.”
The girl rolled her eyes and hit him playfully. He chuckled and rolled over her. They messed around in the sheets until they found fit to get up and eat; that only mean a few more hours.
It was already lunch when Victor walked out of the bathroom, drying his short black hair with a towel.
“Hmm, smells good~”
He walked behind Dee and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer and kissing her neck. She liked it and made a noise that definitely showed Victor how much she liked it. But, it wasn’t time for that. She was cooking.
“We don’t have time for that. You said you have a huge project coming soon,”
Victor lefts butterfly kisses along her neck until she hit him and he let her go. He walked and took a seat at the table.
“I do. But now is now and soon is still far.” She raised an eyebrow and laughed at his philosophy, “When did you say your husband will come back?”
“Why? So you know when to leave?” Dee teased him.
He grabbed an apple and took a bite from it before he responded to her.
“You know me too well.”
She rolled her eyes before taking two plates and off the table and put the omelet in each. She put one in front of Victor and one in front of her.
“This looks tasty.” He probed it with the fork. It looked a little burned on the sides, “Will it kill me?” He asked tauntingly while leaning towards her.
She threw a napkin at his head.
“No! You’re too precious to be killed just yet.”
He raised an eyebrow and placed the napkin on his neck; just like a little boy.
“Not just yet. Got it.”
She rolled her eyes but couldn’t stop smiling.
It was no surprise that at the age of 40 years old, Andrea Collini wanted to spice up her sensual life. She met Victor Abbot at work, in Paris. She was married for longer than Victor’s age at that time however, she didn’t seem to find happiness in her life anymore. They met again in Venice and that was the moment they started their affair. Victor wasn’t sure if what he felt was love or just carnal desire for her older body. Maybe both. He just knew he wanted something out of a story. He wanted to feel the life going through his veins; he wanted to feel the adrenaline of doing something forbidden.
Looking at her face, he couldn’t help but notice the imperfections first. One of her eyes was smaller than the other and her brown eyes had nothing interesting or alluring. Her face was plain and she had a big nose compared to her other features. When she was smiling, he could see the wrinkles on her forehead and the ones around her mouth yet her teeth were brand new, since she was a rich woman and could afford it. His eyes moved down on her neck, to her chest. She had implants but they didn’t seem to fit her physique. Her upper body wasn’t in concordance to the lower part; she wasn’t in sync. She wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t even that pretty; if anything, she was rather naïve for her age. But Victor liked that; he liked being the perfect one in their relationship.
He smiled and took a bite from her omelet. It tasted bad but it was better than other times.
“So, what’s the plan for today? Are you going to stay?”
Victor shrugged. She leaned against the table and bit her lip. It was intended to be seductive but it looked nothing like it; it looked forced. He took a deep breath in and gave her a peck.
“I have a few meeting to attend to. I’ll come back later and we will continue.”
She chuckled and wrapped her hands around his neck. They kissed a few more times before he finally got out of her grasp.
Once outside, he couldn’t help but sigh in relief. He got himself into that mess and he enjoyed it greatly but the ending was near. It was time for a new discovery; for a new subject.
His meetings were somewhere in central Rome. He had only a few more days of work in Italy and then, he would go back home. He missed the British air and the people but mostly, he missed his mother.
He got greeted by the same guard at the entrance of the building; Victor nodded and walked in.
“Look who finally arrived! Abbot, you’re late.” Victor only brushed his co-worker off, “Do you know even realize just how big is this project? If we get it, we can finally call ourselves architects.”
Victor rolled his eyes and pushed the elevator button.
“I know, John. That’s why I agreed to come here and spend a year. I wanted to take a look at the Italian architecture and find my muse.”
The elevator rung and the two men entered. John pushed the button for the 5th floor.
“Did you find it yet?”
Victor thought about Dee and a few other women he slept with throughout the year. They were all married and had an unfortunate and unhappy life. Of course, that was all in their imagination because they had no idea what was happiness in the first place.
“No. I didn’t find anything equally broken and inspiring.” Victor sighed in disappointment.
John stared at his friend blankly. He already got used to his Victorian way of thinking.
“You should wake up, Victor. This is the 21st century. You won’t find anything that you haven’t seen before.” John mumbled, linking his hands behind his back.
The older man bit his lip and grunted. He was childish and had a certain point of view over life and love but he was an amazing architect and his projects -be them crazy and impossible at a first look- brought clients and prestige.
They arrived on the 5th floor quite fast. John had a few more questions for his friend but he pushed them in the back of his mind. They had an important meeting that day; one that could bring them on the top of the social pyramid.
The meeting went incredibly well. The client and his associates didn’t believe in the project a year ago because it didn’t seem appealing enough but that changed. They modified the plan a little and came to an agreement. The project was nothing but a chain of restaurants, designed as museums. No one could have come with that crazy idea if not Victor Abbot.
After the meeting, they went out for a drink and a formal dinner. Victor smiled and laughed even if nothing was funny. His eyes inspected every man: they were six and none looked different; they were dressed in the same kind of suits and they all had the same tired figures. Some of them were fatter than others which led him to believe that some were living worse than others. Against what they were trying to show, they were nothing but money induced corporative men. They had no imagination and they weren’t ready to find out what true beauty was. Next to those men, John was like a dot of bright paint. No matter how much he was trying to fit in and dissolve into commonness, John was a bright dot of paint on a white sheet of paper.
A few hours later, Victor was on his way back to Dee’s house. He wasn’t drunk but he couldn’t risk driving with alcohol in his body therefore he called a cab even if he was sure the driver was going to ask for more money than the ride cost. He didn’t care; he was happy and he was going to leave soon. Victor couldn’t wait to get back to his family.
The driver was talking in Italian. Ever since he got in, the man found it crucial to establish why he didn’t like men in suits. They were either mafia or rich men; anyway, it was the same kind of bad for him since both sides were taking money from common people and using them for personal purposes. Be it with direct threats or manipulation, it was the same thing.
Victor rolled his eyes and leaned his head back. He was tired and didn’t want to listen to some angry ramble. The architect closed his eyes and started to imagine how Dee was going to celebrate his project. He couldn’t help but smile, already feeling her lips kissing every inch of his body; he could already feel the heat and the passion running through his veins.
He could taste danger of being caught by her husband, it was intoxicating. The image was bright and was engulfing his whole body.
Victor opened his eyes and looked outside, seeing a car coming at them. The driver did anything he could in order to move or stop in time, he even signaled the other driver but nothing worked.
The cars collided. Actually, the faster car drove in such way that it threw the cab off and made it roll over a few times before it stopped. Suddenly, he couldn’t feel anything else but pain. He tried to stay conscious but his lids became so heavy. Once he closed his eyes, he prepared for the worst outcome.
A few feet from the accident, a woman and two men walked out of the near forest. She looked around before she pointed at the cab.
“Take him in;” She pointed at the backseat, “And call an ambulance.” The man closer to her nodded.
The woman watched as her servants started to comply with her orders. She couldn’t help but feel bad for the passenger.