I’m stretching it a little, but…inspired by this prompt from The Daily Prompts.
Your exhibit was packed up and shipped away over the weekend. That’s the first Saturday I haven’t gone to the museum in months, at least, maybe longer. I missed talking to you, so I found one of my spare research notebooks and decided I’d write to you instead, dedicate it to you. You are research, after all–or saving you is. I haven’t made much progress yet, but it’s early. And you’re out of the country for the next three months, anyway. So there’s no rush, even though I feel like there should be. I don’t know where you’ll be after that–I don’t know if I’ll be ready by then. I have to try.
I woke up this morning and realized how silly it is to write this to you like a letter. You’ve only learned to speak English, not to read it. I’ll teach you. And until you get good at it, I’ll keep reading to you. After all, there are six more Harry Potter novels.
Sometimes I’m convinced the Internet has everything if only you look hard enough, but not today. I think I’ve hit every dead end there is about curing petrifaction. Which means I need to take my efforts to the university library instead. I only hope I can come up with a good reason to be looking into sources that have nothing to do with my usual area of study…or that the staff don’t ask too many questions. I’ve known a few of them for years, so “personal interest” might be good enough to get them off my back.
Too busy today with my normal life to do anything constructive. But I was thinking of you. I’m always thinking of you, now. Is it terrible that I “talk” to you sometimes in my head? I can imagine what you would say. I’m sure I don’t always get it right, because really, we don’t know each other that well yet. But you’re always kind, and you always ask questions I don’t expect, and you never let me come down on myself too hard. So maybe I do know you pretty well after all. And you definitely know how to handle me.
After three days of serious and tedious digging through Greek historical texts in translation, I may–may–have found something. It’s thin, and it feels too early to get excited. I thought it would take longer, and how horrible is it going to be if I have the answer but can’t implement it? A plane ticket to Amsterdam isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things, but once I’ve freed you, I wouldn’t be able to get you home. No ID, no passport. So you have to be in the States. Hopefully somewhere within reasonable driving distance, but if I have to take a vacation to save you, I will. Once I’ve got you safely stashed away, we can work on creating an identity for you. I should be more worried than I am about breaking the law to do it. But right now, that just doesn’t seem important. As long as I don’t get caught, anyway. But that’s another thing to add to the research list–the going rate for fake documentation, and who I need to talk to. I have no idea where to start. But I’ll figure it out.
As much as I hate it, you’re on hold. I’m speaking at a conference next month and Deb–that’s my department chair–wasn’t pleased when she found out I wasn’t fully ready for it, even this early. You might be the most pleasant distraction I have living in my brain, but until I know I have something solid, I can’t let my quest to free you interfere with my work.
Listen to me, defending myself. When you’d be the first person to tell me not to sacrifice anything for you. But I want to. I wish I could quit my job and bum around your museum in Amsterdam, looking at the artwork and talking to you. It’s completely unrealistic. And I picture it in my mind at least five times a day.
I miss you. I love you. I wish I had told you that, but I didn’t want to make things worse. It would have been selfish of me to say it, so I didn’t. But you won’t see this for months, probably, maybe longer. Maybe never. But I can’t let myself think that for long, or I’ll get discouraged. So I’m staying positive. I hope one of the first things I do when I see you again is free you from that statue. And one of the first things after that, I’d like to kiss you. If you want me to. I hope so. I miss you. I love you.
I think I’ve had a breakthrough. I need to get my hands on a particular rare book, but there’s a copy in a college library only an hour away from where the conference is being held. I should be able to sneak away long enough. It’s two weeks away, though, so until then, I’m at a standstill.
I dream about you every night.
I just left the library. I’m sitting in my car writing this, because it can’t wait hours and hours while I drive home. I have an idea, a mash-up of modern witchcraft and ancient magic…I still don’t believe half of this is real. I have to go to Greece, to the temple of Aphrodite, do a ritual and keep vigil to earn her blessing. Because if you’re real, and the Gorgons are real, then she is too, right? I was on the right track all along with the folk tales about tears turning stone back into flesh. But they need to be tears of true sorrow and love. And I need to know where you’ll be next, so I can plan this trip! I don’t know how long the magic will hold, so I have to go right before I come to you, to be sure. And I have to wait at least another month and a half…it’s already been so long. It hasn’t, not really, but it feels like it has. And I knew going into this that it might take years, so I shouldn’t be so impatient that I can’t appreciate how lucky I am that I have something to try so soon.
I don’t want to forget to tell you that I’m still trying to live my life while you’re gone. Cam–that’s the guy I had the disastrous date with–isn’t letting me become a shut-in. We’ve been having lunch together every week or so, and when he thinks I’m looking particularly pale and withdrawn, he insists on taking me out with some of the friends he’s made since he started here. His circle of friends doesn’t overlap much at all with mine, so I’ve met some people through him who’ve turned out to be pretty interesting, especially when we all go out to a pub for Quiz Night. Which I’ll have to explain to you, and I’m not sure if you’d think it sounded fun, or ridiculous. Maybe both. And I’m not sure you’ll like any of my new friends, either, or my old ones for that matter….okay, I can admit it, I’m nervous. About you, and about how you’ll fit into my life. About if you’ll fit into my life, and if you’ll want to. Because here I am, planning for a future without talking to you about it, because I can’t. For a while, at least, you won’t be able to survive without me, not knowing how to navigate the modern world outside of museums. You’re smart, though, and resilient. You have to be, or you’d have gone mad by now. So I know we can get you there. But when you’re ready…will you leave? I wouldn’t want you to stay because you felt like you owed me…
As tempted as I am to tear that last page out, I won’t. We’ve always been honest with each other, and whatever happens, I’m sure you’ll understand my pangs of doubt. And forgive them. But I wish you were here, so I wasn’t trying to figure all this out on my own. And I still don’t know where you’re going next.
My plane to Athens leaves in the morning. Well, eventually I’ll get to Athens, it’s going to take three airports and most of the day. But by the end of the week, you’ll be in Texas, which is farther away than I’d hoped, but still a hell of a lot closer than Amsterdam. I’m coming for you, Perseus. Let’s just hope this works.