They called him the man on fire, and though he had strong shoulders and a warm face, I did not love him. Not in the way I was supposed to, at least.
On our wedding day, as he slipped a simple gold band around a very particular left finger, he told me I am yours and you are mine and gods and mortals will all look down on us burning with the envy of a thousand suns and we will shine. And in that moment it was true. I was his, and he was mine. But all I could think about was the sad smile on his brother’s face as he held the empty ring box at his side. He cried a single tear and all the wedding guests in their chiffon and silver would go home to their families and say, boy, that brother, was he ever the one who loved the man on fire, even more than the woman who became his wife that day, the one who was given to him by the gods.