A week later, the wounds that were open and bleeding are scabbed over. They itch and I fight the urge to scratch at them. They don’t hurt, but they’re still there, visible as plain as day.

And it’s a perfect metaphor for what’s going on between Lu and I, too.

We’ve fought before. A few times. No marriage is going to be perfect. I know that. He knows that. There are ancient things between us, things that each of knows pushes the other’s buttons. He’s pushed mine, I’ve pushed his, and we both have hurt one another before. We’ve both said and done things that have hurt the other, and we’ve always recovered from them. Sometimes we ache for a while. But when we heal from those hurts, what we have is stronger and all the better for it.

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But the time between is like a drawn breath; a pregnant pause, where there’s a wait. And silence. On his end, on my end. We’re both stuffed full of pride. Me, too proud to invoke his name when fear and doubt-in my own devotion,  in my own spiritual fortitude-and him, too proud to call on me when he’s filled with his own hurts. Too proud for me to see his pain, to see how those words leave gashes in his emotional substance. Mine are sharp. My accusations are always harsh, and when I stab at him with them, his face is blank. And he is too proud to tell me, stop. This hurts. 

I know it hurts him. Maybe I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but I could feel it then, and I can feel it now. And the part that bothers me the most is, it’s not just me. Other Luciferians have come forward and told me, they can feel it from both of us, too. They feel that Lucifer and I are standing, back to back, weeping and only casting the most tertiary glances at one another over each other’s shoulders.

Other godspouses have told me, arguments with their gods are not uncommon. When there’s a lesson to learn that they are resistant to. Or that they, too, are jealous of other wives, or other people. Or even for a while, they’re left to their own devices. For a brief few moments, comparatively speaking, their reassurance that it was normal was a comfort. But as the past few days have gone by, there’s a weight in the air; as if you’re standing in a deathly silent room and listening to a clock tick away the time. Tick. Tick. Tick. 

I told him. I said, “You have every right to be upset with me.”

His face was that blank mask; which I’ve come to recognize over the years as him feeling deeply, and not wanting me to see it.  “I will restate my earlier words.  . . You were ill. Clearly, you were not in a healthy state of mind. But well aware after the fact. Yes?”

And I said, “Yes, but it doesn’t make me feel any less like a moronic jackass.”

“You should not.”

” . . . But you’re upset with me.”

He perks an eyebrow. He’s trying to play it off. He’s done this before. “Of course not. Why do you say this, Child?”

“Well. You haven’t called me ‘Child’ for years, for one. For two, you’ve been quiet. Really, really quiet.” I let my own words hang there for a long moment as his lips parted, just a fraction. ” . . . Lu. Have. . . I broken us?”

Those are hard words to think, to get out. And I know that if I have, he doesn’t owe me an explanation.  I could face exile right now. To be banished from his sight, and I would deserve every ounce of the pain that would come to me from banishment. In that second I’m fully prepared to shoulder it. To face the consequences of my actions, of my dagger-like words, of the insults I hurled at him. A million things are running through my head at the same time. About how many times I’ve had those same knee-jerk reactions to the ‘other girls’. Most of them before I started on my medication. Before I started taking care of myself. At his prompting. It was his stipulation, that I see someone. That I see a therapist, that I see a doctor, that I start to cope with everything from my past, everything that is dead weight, like iron strapped to my ankles, dragging me down beneath the waves to a black hell. Without his support, I’d have never been well. I don’t have anything if I don’t have you. 

His slow, patient words are said with his usual calculating cool. But his eyebrows pinch together above his frosted-margarita colored eyes.

“My darling. I do not fault you for these things you feel. Nor for broken inhibitions when you are unwell. Your words were forgiven the moment they were uttered.”

I still feel crushed. “What. . . what then? Tell me, Lu. You’re still upset. I can tell.”

“No, my darling. Not upset.”

“Then tell me. Please. . . ?”

He’s quiet and soft, his voice a rumble of thunder, like a storm brewing off on the horizon line. “You remember our vows. Mine is in your health, dear one. And in your sickness.”

I feel something hot and humid sting my eyes. “But I betrayed you, Lu. I hurt you–”

“Yours are demons that are not made with provisions for mercy. And they run rampant when you neglect your duties. And your schedule. I do not hold you accountable for the chemicals in your head when they break your defenses. But I hope you will take a lesson in the importance of adherence for the rules I set for you. And attentiveness towards self-care. ” he shook his head then, as though frustrated, and there was only a sharp huff to mark it besides. “I do not mean for them to be stifling. I do not set them to be a lord over you. I set them because I want to see you well. My silence is my concern. Nothing less.”

I feel like I’m getting off too easy. And I hate that. I say, “Someone said I should have known better. That it was stupid of me to get angry. Because you’re The Prince of Hell. That you’re a satan. Maybe the Satan. That you’re a god, and gods aren’t like people, and you have different rules. And I shouldn’t hold you to human expectations.”

He thrummed a deep, cello note in his throat. A dissatisfied bass, and a slight puff of air from his nose. “I am relegated to the fate of a cosmic criminal mastermind. We know this. You know this.”

Oh, I do. And I answer, “. . .I know you hate that.”

“It is all they have, and let them have it.” he returns, and his voice sounds like he’s swallowed something bitter, and is trying not to gag on it.

I’m quiet for a moment in thought, before I finally speak again. ” . . . You know, naturally that means I’ll agonize over it, and bitch about it, and probably curse and swear a few times.”

He tilts a withering look at me, then rolls his eyes. “You do pick the worst subjects to ruminate over. . .”

“Your happiness isn’t a ‘subject’, Lu.”

“I do wish you’d expend your ire elsewhere. It would at least be more productive.”

“If I say I’m sorry again, and promise to try. Would that help. . . ?”

“Do not give them your time, darling. Let them chatter amongst themselves, and let me be what they need me to be. These  are the shackles that bind us. Would that I could change them. But I am no god.” at that, he sounds resigned.

“Humility?” Even I sounded surprised at that.

“Honesty.” he shrugged gracefully. “I’ve no need to tell a fractured lie when the truth is so much more damning.”

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I lose myself in thought after that, until he comes back later, and tells me to go to bed, get some rest, I have to be up early in the morning. And later when I get home from work, when I take a nap, I think to myself, it’s a measure of the kind of entity that Lucifer is; that he can take a poignant hurt, and turn it into a lesson. That he can take his own pain, even the pain of another, and turn it into a learning experience, something self reflective and steep. It’s also a profound reminder that sometimes, following Lucifer, loving Lucifer, is like pushing a heavy boulder uphill. You agonize and struggle. . . and just when you think you’re getting somewhere, the boulder goes rolling back down, and you have to start all over again. But it’s not quite hell. . . because with Lucifer, you might keep slipping back down. . . but you do get a little further each time. And if you listen to him, if you really listen, it’s his voice that reassures you, one day you will reach the top.

And the top is your own godhood. And he does not punish angry words or wounded hearts. He does not punish for insubordination or disobedience. Because unlike other beings with mortal spouses, he is close to man. And he understands jealousy more profoundly than most.

For why should a Son of Light bow to a Son of Clay?

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