Persephone Marchand started her day with a deeply satisfying, roof-raising cackle. If she could have things her way all the time, she’d start off every day with a wicked laugh, but Persephone was also prone to despair.
In fact, just as the echo of her cackle receded, her heart filled with sorrow as if releasing her wicked joy left a void inside her. She grabbed her telephone and rang up the one person she’d been longing to see.
“Hello V, it’s Persephone,” she said when Varvara answered the call. “I would be honoured if you’d drop by to visit me today.” Thankfully, Varvara accepted the invitation despite not knowing Persephone very well at all.
Persephone gave precise directions to her house and then got dressed while she waited. Varvara arrived in less than fifteen minutes.
“Oh girl, don’t look so scared!” Persephone joked when she greeted Varvara.
“It’s just… I was out clubbing last night,” Varvara began explaining. “I didn’t have time to change my clothes.”
“And you don’t need to worry about things like that,” Persephone pointed out. “Come on inside; I’ve been dying to get to know you!”
As she led the way inside, Persephone asked how Varvara was enjoying the District.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun,” Varvara admitted, “perhaps too much fun.”
Persephone laughed. “What do you think of Harmony House?”
“It’s nice. I really like everyone there,” Varvara replied, although she couldn’t hide her anxiety.
“And what about Martialis?” Persephone continued. “Did he explain that most people arrive in pairs?”
“Uhm… yeah. How did you know that?” Varvara felt apprehensive of the line of questioning.
“Please don’t be afraid of me,” Persephone said when she noticed her new friend was trembling. “I don’t know what you’ve heard about me, but I can guess. Around here, everyone loves me, but no body likes me.”
“How can that be?” Varvara wondered.
Persephone answered, “Some people call me The Custodian, because I clean up problems.”
“I see… am I a problem?”
“No! Goodness, no!” Persephone laughed. “It’s just… It is true what Martialis said, but it’s because we are created as pairs,” she explained. “Do you ever feel like part of you is missing?”
“Only all the time!” Varvara confessed and relaxed finally.
Persephone nodded. “I came in without my soul twin too, and when I met you, I thought it must be you!”
Varvara shook her head slowly. “No. I think I’ve been having dreams about my… soul twin.”
“What kind of dreams?”
“Terrible dreams!” Varvara gasped. “I see her falling from the moon and I hear her scream in my head, growing and growing as she’s falling, and I see her and the moon… and…” Varvara broke down and cried.
Persephone waited patiently until her friend calmed down again. “V, I don’t know why you’re having such bad dreams, but I really do think you’re my other. The dreams might just be your psyche’s way of processing our separation.”
“I can prove it too!” Persephone boasted. “I’m depressive and you’re cheerful, plus you’re good and I’m evil.”
“Don’t say that,” Varvara disagreed politely. “You can’t be evil. You said it yourself, everyone loves you.”
“But no body likes me,” Persephone reminded her, “and if you have an argument to that one, it can only be because you are my soul twin.”
“I guess it’s true!” Varvara stood up and Persephone hugged her.
“Oh V, this is the happiest day of my life,” Persephone said. “Here, let me take a picture of us!”
“Me and my soul sister,” Persephone said with a smile, then snapped the picture.
The girls looked at it together and Varvara asked to take another with her phone, so they would each have one.
“Wow, this is just so incredible, hey?” Persephone asked after posing for Varvara’s picture. “Sadly, I have to get going to work now, but you’re welcome to stay and freshen up; raid my closet or my fridge. Make yourself at home.”
“Thank you so much.”
“Just whatever you do, don’t open the room upstairs,” Persephone whispered, “I’ve got someone locked up there.”
Then Varvara cracked up laughing. “Oh Persephone, you’re so funny!”
Persephone hugged her, saying, “And you’re so sweet.”
“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better soul sister.” Persephone complimented her friend and hugged her once more before leaving for work.