The Girl that Hades called Persephone

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Chapter Two

The campus was huge. When I walked around, it seemed like people knew each other. Debbie had asked me to go out and about with her, which I did. As we were walking however, she kept stopping and talking to people, and I just stood there.

Debbie was a freshman too, so I wonder how she could have met everyone so soon. Lots of boys would come up to her, and start talking to her. When I ask who they were, she shrugged and said, “I don’t know, just met them.”

I would just nod. I was starting to get hungry and told Debbie I was going to go ahead and go to the cafeteria for dinner. She waved me off and promised to meet me back at the dorm.

It would be lying if I didn’t say it hurt a little bit, but just because she was my roommate doesn’t mean that she had to be my BFF on the first day. Besides, I was fine being alone, by myself, just me, myself, and I . . . . Kind of.

The campus all looked the same to me. It was amazing how big and tall and opened everything was, and then the woods and mountains were just right behind it. I guess that’s Washington State for you.

Somehow, in the big maze, I found myself on the edge of the school, near the woods. I just stared out into the forest. It was always my favorite place to be growing up, near nature. My mom told me how when I was little, I would talk to flowers.

I always get red when she talks about it, but she loves it.

I don’t remember befriending any plants, but it did sound like something I would have done.

Just a little stroll wouldn’t hurt me, so I decided to take the chance for a little peace and quiet. I could hear the birds chirping, the wind in the trees.

I stayed on the path, not wondering too far. At the end of the sidewalk, was a bench.

Sitting down, I closed my eyes and let the wind blow through my hair.

“Lovely evening, isn’t it?” a deep voice asked.

I jumped up from the bench, screaming a little. On the bench sat a man, a very handsome one, with bright eyes, dark hair, extremely pale skin. He looked dead in a way, but he was very much alive. He looked just as surprised as I did.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were sitting here,” I said, putting my hands up. I didn’t even see him from before.

He gave a sweet smile. “It’s okay, you can sit down. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’ll get going.”

“No, wait, you were here first,” I said, feeling back, making him get up.

His eyes wouldn’t stop following me. I tried to look away, but every time I looked back, his eyes were still there, glued to me. “You’re very sweet. Are you a student here?”

“Yeah, I just moved into the dorms today.”

He nodded. “Always love people going to school, to educate themselves. What is your major?”

“Biology,” I whispered. Mom told me I needed to make some new friends, so I cleared my throat and gave it a shot. “Um . . . you?”

He gave a deep laugh. “No, sorry, I’m not a student.”

“Are you a teacher?” I asked.

“Why do you think that?” he sat back down on the bench, making me the taller one.

“You look old,” I said, regretting it as soon as it came out. “Er . . . OldER! I mean, like, you know. .you can teach . . .I’m sorry.”

I looked to my feet, trying to plan how to escape. “You are very sweet,” he said again. “Very innocent like. Something is odd about you though. Can’t put my finger on it.”

I looked up. I was the one that was odd? I wasn’t wearing a three-piece suit in the middle of the forest! “Okay, I have to get back.”

“Wait, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to scare you. It’s just, I don’t see many people stop and listen to nature anymore. It’s a little heartbreaking. It was just really nice to see you enjoying it. That’s all I meant. It’s odd these days, but odd is good.”

“Oh . . .well . . . something is weird about you too,” I joked.

“I said odd,” he laughed.

“Is there a difference?”

“I suppose not,” he shrugged.

“My name is Steffi,” I told him. “Short for Persephone.”

“Persephone . . .I like that name. I’m Hades,” he smiled.

“Oh, your parents like Greek names too?” I asked. “They could have given you something a little bit . . . less dead. Like Apollo, or Eros, or something.”

He almost seemed annoyed when I brought up those names. “Meh, he’s kind of a jerk, and Eros is literally a big baby, and doesn't know what to do without his overbearing mother. But hey, my other name could be Pluto.”

I laughed. “Would you be mad if I called you Pluto?”

“A sweet face like yours would be hard to be angry at . . . but please don’t call me Pluto. I would not like that very much.”

“Deal. How about H?”

“Okay, that’s fine,” H shrugged. “At least it’s not Pluto.”

I sat back down on the bench when I realized he wasn’t going to murder me. Something about him was trusting, hard to pull away from.

He looked very handsome, that was for sure, but he had a very interesting mind. The more we talked, the more I realized how intelligent he was.

He could describe all the trees and plants in front of us. He knew each bird just by the flap of their wings, the sound of their heartbeat.

“That’s amazing, you know all of that! I’m a Bio Major, and I love this stuff.”

He smiled, “You seem to fit into nature, little one.”

“It’s very peaceful, very different from a crowd of people. Calmer almost.”

When I looked at him, brave enough to see his face, I saw something in his eyes, something I couldn’t explain. I felt safe.

"I like that, a lot of humans these days don't see that, what nature could be, for what it is."

I smiled at him. "Yeah, I guess being a wallflower, you can see more things than the normal eye."

"Are you a wallflower?"

I laughed. "Guilty."

He laughed with me. "I suppose, I am guilty as well. But, I think that's okay. We need more wallflowers in this world."

"I think there are a lot of wallflowers, they just don't make noise, therefore, they're over looked. Maybe more people should listen to a wallflower."

He smiled at me, and nodded, looking up to the trees, the branches blowing in the wind.

We went on talking, and before I knew it, two hours had passed. Night time was falling. “What time is it?” I asked.

“Almost nine, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have kept you for so long,” he said.

“I have to get back to my dorm,” I said standing up. “I really enjoyed our talk. I was scared I wouldn’t find anyone here to talk to, but I’m glad I did. Have a good night.”

“Do you need someone to walk you back?” H said, standing up.

“No, that’s-”

He started walking next to me. “Go, I’ll follow.”

I just smiled and started walking. It wasn’t until we were walking side by side that I realize how extreme tall he was. Soon, we got to my dorm building. “Here it is.”

“Oh, so it is.”

“Alright, goodnight.”

He nodded and watched me start walking in. He stood there. Before I opened the door, I turned around, seeing him look staring at me. I don’t know what happened, what thought made its way through my head, but I walked back to him. He looked curious. “Did you want to . . . um . . talk again, tomorrow?”

He smiled. “I would love that.”

“Can I have your phone number?” I asked. “So I know when we can meet again.”

He looked nervous. “Sure, well . . .how about you give me yours.”

“Okay, I don’t have a piece of paper though.”

He folded up his sleeves. “My arm, you can write it there. Can’t forget it.” He pulled out a pen, handing it to me. I wrote my number on his arm. He was like ice, cold and frozen. It was just the end of summer though.

“Good night, Persephone,” he said.

“Night, H,” I said, disappearing into the building. I found myself alone in my dorm room. It didn’t matter to me.

All the butterflies, the ones that wouldn’t leave my stomach, gave me enough company for the night.

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