He straightened, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his forearm. Crossing his arms, he inspected the work. Today’s catchings were all crated and ready for market delivery. Perfect time for lunch. He turned, watching many of the men around him bow to a girl he was all too familiar with. After handing something to one of his men, she looked up at him, smiling as she waved. Her face, so innocent and pure.
“I brought you lunch.” She told him, placing a tin down on a crate and sitting without hesitation, despite her snow white clothing. She was dressed in her usual snow white chiton, adorned with matching gold bands around her wrists and ankles, around her neck, and on her hair. A golden chain hung from her waist, functioning as a belt. The uniform that she shared with all others like her. Yet, her genuine smiles and the way she seemed so free, despite her role, made her stand out.
He looked down at her, as he picked up the tin and pulled himself onto the crate beside her. She opened the other tin, swinging her legs gently like a child. She was beautiful. The way that she occasionally lifted her face to look out at the sea as she ate, looking at the water with unhidden curioisity. The way she was so utterly at ease, so trusting, despite their differences. Each of her minute actions accentuated her character.
Despite being childhood neighbors, she could have ignored him after her induction ceremony on her seventh birthday. Her status so heavily outranked his own. Even so, she never stopped visiting him, all these years, never minding the smell, the grime, or the loudness of the area that so heavily contrasted to the normal environment presented to someone of her station and status. She came daily without fail, and looked out for everyone that he knew, without discrimination, and without judgement in her eyes.
She was so unlike anyone else he knew, untarnished by the darkness in the world. Seemingly, untouched by the fact that her parents sold her at a young age, in exchange for a life of luxury. She looked up at him smiling. To her, they were anything but worlds apart. Social status didn’t seem to exist in her understanding of the world. Whenever she joined them at the docks, all barriers between the wealthy and the poor, the state and the people, the religion and the common folk vanished, all fading into the background, behind her gentle laughter.
He’d come to love her. But she was a girl promised to the gods. A girl that would forever be outside his reach. A girl he’d never pursue. She was a priestess fated to a life of celibacy. Nothing would ever become of the two of them.