Truthfully, Leon not saying anything in response to their scars hurt a bit. It brought them back to seriously telling people about their issues and then watching them laugh. “Are they that bad?” She asked crestfallen. Maybe he just hasn’t seen these scars in person before. He probably is concerned but is trying not to be offensive. Whatever. Usually, H was a rather easy going person, but they needed to know that Leon cared. About them, about Persephone, she was worried.
“God. Leon, that’s awful.” They responded as they heard the story. “I can’t fathom how your mom could ever let that happen. To her, for you. I’ve never been forced into a relationship like that but I can only imagine it sucked. Well- okay the thing I said about me is kind of a lie. Like, I was never openly forced into anything but I also hung around older people when I was just a kid, so there was surely not much control there. I try not to remember much, but-” She chuckled, “Sorry, it’s not funny but I’m just remembering when this old guy asked me to 4g3pl4y and then he said ‘wait, you’re 12, you don’t need to’”
They laughed fully now, semi comfortable knowing that this recollection was only a distant memory, and no longer their life. If those 4ssholes were to run into 18 year old Hera, she would surely laugh in their sad, unsuccessful faces. Because while she waited tables to make enough money to leave the foster system, while she opened up about her deepest issues in front of a woman with a notebook who smelled like chanel No. 5, they were cashing out their unemployment checks for gambling on their trailer park yards, and that wasn’t gonna change.
Their only job now was to keep going beyond them, never once looking back. “Why are adults like that? I think the scariest part of growing up is becoming everything I once feared. Or worse, being it. Even now, I feel so much older than some of my friends, and with some of my old girlfriends, I’ve felt like I’ve experienced so much more than them, and that gives me some sort of unfair control? Like all relationships are predator vs prey and I always feel like something to be feared.” Regardless of every healthy sexual or romantic exchange they had in the past, they always kept their eye out for inconsistencies that could turn out to be poorly concealed infidelites or manipulation. Although they had outrun those who hurt them, the scars they left in her heart still glistened when she heard something that sounded like their voices. When would it end?
“-Wait really?” The thought of Leon actually finding some sort of love within the storm that was his marriage brought her peace. Persephone wasn’t betrayed over something void of value, and, most profoundly, it gave her hope for the future. Maybe this weather would amount to something good, nurturing the seeds that would make flowers grow in due time, maybe rainwater was necessary to make a garden.
This proposal of his required much thought on their part. Of course Hera wanted to know her best friend’s girlfriend. She wanted to know how she treated Leon, how her table manners were, her ambitions, whether or not she was charming, if she could keep her promises, if she was funny, if she was good at making him feel special. Yet, she felt guilty wanting to speak to the other woman he loved when he was with her sister. They feared that they’d actually like this girl, they feared she’d see their point more than they could justify Persephone.
“I’d love to.”