So, this was how it began; a moment taken out of the river of time and set aside here on the riverbank, just for her.
I had travelled this river for such a long time. From the place where the river was no longer a stream, down all its twists and turns, I had travelled until I arrived here out on the great plain. Her people lived on the edge of the river, their villages spread along the fertile soils that the river provided for them.
Almost inevitably, since the river provided them with so much, it had – over the centuries – become their god.
As I arrived out of the mist of distance along the great river, a person from some distant place that not even their legends spoke of, they assumed I was – at the very least – some messenger, some emissary for the river god. A few even dared to whisper that I could even be the river god himself; coming to bring either great benedictions or heap great calamities upon the people of the river.
Anyway, as soon as they saw the way I looked at her, she was given to me. I was never sure if they saw her as a sacrifice or a gift, or even a spy sent to discover if I was really their god, or just a mere messenger.
All I remember from that first night was the way she sat shivering in front of my fire, her eyes fixed on the dancing flames, refusing to look up at me, refusing to move, both fearing and desiring the moment when she would feel my first touch upon her.