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I once read a myth about a god who tried to hide his mistress from his wife by turning her into a cow. The wife/goddess was not fooled and demanded the cow as a present, forcing it to wander the earth forever while being constantly bitten by gadflies. This same god had only acquired said wife by turning himself into an injured bird so that he could fool her into holding him to her breast, at which time he transformed and... well, the point is that trickery, games, and dishonesty in the world of love have existed since the beginning of time. Some would even go as far as to say that love does not exist unless it goes hand-in-hand with those very same things.

That makes me wonder where I stand in this world. After all, I am a veritable freak of nature by that definition. My husband and I met, were completely honest with one another, played no games, got married, and lived happily ever after. Then he died. Ten years later, the tears have dried, my heart has mended, minus the little piece that he took with him, and I find myself looking back on the whole experience and wondering what could have been.

I am re-married now with two children, and despite the tragedy in my past, I am quite happy and contented in my life. However, in the mythical world, this could never be. The mythical me would wander the world forever, watering the earth with my tears until weeds sprung up and strangled the life out crops and flowers. Faced with the destruction of mankind from starvation and the loss of potpourri, the top god in the heavens would have no choice but to give me back my love so that I could stop sobbing. I would live happily with my beloved where we would make a killing by opening up a gardening service specializing in weed removal. Alternately, I would find the great tree of life and pluck out my eye as an offering so that I could become the supreme king of gods and bring back my beloved from the underworld. I would later suspect him of trying to usurp my power and plot his demise.

The peculiar thing about an unfinished story is that you can never really know how it would have turned out. The assumption is that we would have remained in that same blissful state forever. No heart can bear the strain of imagining the worst of a lost loved one. Of course, in reality, the honeymoon would have had to end eventually. Life could have thrown any number of curves, and it is entirely possible that we could have been driven apart by one circumstance or another. The loss of innocence, of naivety is considered an essential part of becoming an adult, and yet there is some unwritten law somewhere that states that it must be preserved - that anyone still in possession of their naivety must be placed on a shelf and protected lest the hard, cruel world rip it from them by force, or to keep them from coming in contact with MTV.

I suppose it is the same thing as the death of a child. It is particularly tragic because his or her potential was cut short. The child could have been a great success or a failure. He or she could have been a good person or a terrible one. We will never know because the child was never given the chance, and we cannot help but assume the best of this child - that had he or she lived, this child would have been the epitome of goodness and greatness. We cannot help but feel heart-broken because this thing, this good and wonderful thing that we have preserved for so long has fallen from the shelf and shattered long before it could have come down on its own and allowed itself to become scratched and marred. Our love was young, and it was child-like in its naivety. Sometimes I still shuffle the pieces of it around in my mind, and on days like this, on days where I go back in time and wonder what could have been, I feel as though I have glued another piece of it together and that, one day, the job will be done and it will remain whole and forever preserved on the shelf. It will never be, but at least I will know that it was and will never be broken again.

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