What makes love worth the while, what makes it so mysterious, is the belief that it is predestined. The lady who appears before your eyes is only so valuable in the sense that if you had not missed the bus that day, if you had taken another route, if you had gotten up one minute earlier or later, you would not have met. Later, ten years after you’ve been together, you will look back and think: we were meant to be, it was destiny that pulled us together.
Destiny. It is the reason you strive for someone’s hand in marriage, the reason you can’t let go. Whether it exists or not, it is your firm belief. It romanticizes an otherwise ordinary human being.
It was the reason he would never let go of her, no matter what became of them.
Dradel and Charon met on a summer day—rather, early into the fall season, when the weather was still hot and townspeople were doing their everyday work, going about their everyday lives. She was on a grocery trip to the market, and he…nobody knew what he was doing then. Dradel was dressed crudely, almost like a beggar, but he stood against the wall in the posture of a well-educated noble. The look in his eyes wasn’t wild and hungry, it was forlorn. He idled around, gazing at nothing in particular. It was this out-of-place persona about him that aroused Charon’s curiosity.
“Sir…?” She approached him hesitantly, carrying bags of groceries.
He seemed surprised by her initiative. “Good afternoon,” he said to her. “A wonder…that you see me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean…you see, everyone walks by, busy with their own affairs. Nobody would so much as cast a glance this way.” He made a gesture at the people in the area.
Charon followed his gaze and looked around. “You are quite right,” she agreed. “I was wondering, sir…you appear to be quite…”
“Peculiar?” he guessed.
“A bit, yes. Pardon me.”
“It’s okay,” he assured. “I understand. I am a bit peculiar, I guess. Are you carrying those home now? Perhaps I could help?”
“Thank you.” She accepted his offer. The two began the journey to Charon’s house, with Dradel carrying part of her groceries.
“I’m Dradel,” he said, “Pleased to meet you.”
“Charon,” she introduced herself in return. “Pleased to meet you, too.”
On that single journey, neither of them discovered much about the other. If anything, Charon confirmed the forlorn, somewhat depressed look in his eyes, and Dradel confirmed her genuine kindness. Never once did she ask if he was alright, never once did she ask if something was wrong, but she did give him a warm smile and told him that he could visit anytime—but that they could only meet at the backdoor because she wasn’t mistress of the house. Accompanied with an apologetic smile, Charon disappeared behind the door, taking her groceries with her. Dradel stayed for a little bit longer. Then, he turned away and went off, with his new friend on his mind.
He couldn’t help but notice, that he was smiling the whole time he was with her, but as soon as he turned away and realized his situation, the originally warm smile was quickly replaced by a dark frown.