Cupid has an opposite, the angel of heartbreak. Their job is to break up couples that don’t belong together. Their job is a lot harder and they’re getting a little fed up with these stupid humans.
Cupid stared at the sobbing form, curled up on the ground. Someone had tossed a blanket over her. She bore no bow, nor was clad in anything but a slim fitting shirt. No adornments marked her as what passed for a god in the modern era. No small circlet of thorns, no divine mark across her cheeks.
But Cupid already knew she was Heartbreak.
His shoe tapped down on a stick and broke it purposefully. There was a hint of rain on the horizon, and sprinkles fell through the tainted air of the city streets around the park.
“Ah,” She said. Both eyes flicked onto his face. Anger, indignation, hostility.
They’d tried dating once. They’d never actually cut it off, just… stopped seeing each other for months at a time. Their jobs were different.
They’d been growing different now for a long time.
“What’s wrong?” Cupid asked.
Heartbreak shrugged, and slowly pulled herself up to a sitting position on the bench. Arms hugged her knees tight to her chest, the blanket settled across her in effortless fashion. “I don’t think I want to talk about it.”
Cupid took a breath. Then he slid next to her, ignoring the quiet protest and glare. Not enough so that they were touching, but enough so that they were both facing the city street in front of them.
He’d look like a blonde teenager. Depending on what else the person had in their lives, he’d look different. Just offputting enough that nobody would want to talk to him. Perhaps a beanie, or a stupid hat, or tattoos, or the visible signs of drug use.
Heartbreak would look the same way. Looking like an unmentionable was an easier way to get around when one didn’t want to be invisible.
Though it was just as cruel to know there were plenty who looked just like them that didn’t have the divine mission vested upon both of them.
“There’s so many of them,” Heartbreak finally said. “Have you noticed that?”
“I have,” Cupid said.
“There’s so many of them now,” Heartbreak repeated. “I remember… there used to be far fewer people around. Things were easier. I could take my time with it. Do you remember being able to take your time?”
Cupid frowned, and a car past the both of them. It kicked up a puddle. The water evaporated before it could touch either of their skin.
Heartbreak dug into the small bag next to her and pulled out a cigarette. She lit up, breathed it in. Hot ashes.
“It’s been… a century, two, three,” Cupid confessed. “Since I could do much more than point people together. The problem cases, that ones that need a gentle nudge to find each other, they slip through the gaps.”
“The nuance is all gone,” Heartbreak said. “We’re just forces now. No personality.”
Cupid was quiet.
“We might as well not exist,” The angel of misery said. “The world’s already bad enough already. We don’t have to bring love into it.”
Cupid pursed his lips. He didn’t…
Without a word, he gently put an arm over her shoulder. Heartbreak looked up at him. “Are we even sure all of this is still according to plan?”
Cupid smiled ruefully. “We’ll never know if this is according to plan,” He pointed out. “It wasn’t our plan to begin with.”
“Is it even still right?” Heartbreak asked. “I’m just… so tired of making people cry, Cupid. And I can’t even give them time anymore. I can’t make it personal. What’s the point of causing this pain… of breaking people who don’t work up…”
She was silent.
Cupid was silent.
Another car past. Angry honking as it nearly slammed into another vehicle running a light.
“I’m having trouble,” Cupid confessed. “I used to carve our these ornate plans for people to get together. They still write about them in books and movies, you know, of my glory days. I read them sometimes. But now most of the time I just give a slight nudge here and there. I’ve lost most of the art. I think maybe we both have.”
“Angels don’t get vacations,” Heartbreak said. “But I could use one.”
Cupid smiled wry. “Maybe we should get together sometime…” He teased.
“Just us?” Heartbreak asked.
“Just the two of us,” Cupid said. “We can figure out how to make the joining better.”
“And the parting? The long, lingering moment of separation?” Heartbreak quirked an eyebrow. “I didn’t recall you appreciating that.”
“We’ve known each for so long,” Cupid said. “You know the rules, so do I.”
Heartbreak pushed a finger across his lips, and he shut up. “Perhaps… I haven’t exactly felt like I’ve been watched in quite some time.” A teasing hint to her voice. “Do you think we could make a break from it?”
“The mortals should be able to figure out love on their own for a bit,” Cupid said. “It’s not that hard.”
“If it’s not that hard,” Heartbreak leaned in. “Then why are we still around?”
“It’s not that hard,” Cupid clarified. “Because despite how long we’ve been fighting, I still love you.”
A brief kiss between two dirty smudged teens went unnoticed. One was clearly homeless, the other a hoodlum. No pictures were snapped of the occasion. Nobody noticed.
It was just love.