here is a little story about what souls look like.
It was a beautiful spring Saturday, the kind of day when the sunshine just kept pouring down out of the sky and a slight breeze could be felt all around – just enough to keep the humidity at bay.
Athena strolled along – past the rows of vendors at the arts and crafts festival, an outdoor affair that was reaping the benefits of absolutely perfect weather. She was in no particular hurry to get anywhere, her schedule having become very free and open just yesterday. And while change often jarred her, this particular change had encouraged her to open her mind and breathe a bit more deeply.
She was a fanatic of things like arts and crafts, of antiques and of historical places. It was just a hobby to discover new things that were old. Longevity always enticed her. This may well have been the reason why she brought her sandal-cladded feet to a screeching halt when she saw an old man sitting by an easel with a sketch pad on it. In front of him was a sign that read: Portrait Sketches … $1.
He was an artist – one who could draw, apparently. He looked like he was in his 70s, maybe even in his 80s. It was hard to tell. He just sat there quietly, not trying to draw people over to him. And while other vendors were charging top dollar for their services, he was only asking for one dollar. This intrigued Athena and she walked up to him. He was a handsome man, much older than her, but still handsome. Though he had a wrinkled face and thick glasses, he still had a posture to him that was as strong as his jaw line.
Athena loved a strong jaw line on a man. It shaped his face and directed the expressions he would have. Looking down at the easel, she saw several small chunks of charcoal on its ledge. Intrigued even more, she smiled at him. Squinting his eyes in protection from the early afternoon sun behind her, he looked up and smiled back.
“Would you like a portrait, Miss?” he asked with a tone that was clear and robust, but also tender and inviting.
“Yes,” Athena answered sweetly, getting into her purse to find a dollar – only to have him stop her.
“No, no, no,” he said calmly, halting the payment. “Pay me afterwards and only if you like the portrait I’ve drawn. Please sit.”
He motioned for her to take a seat on the small wooden chair in front of him. She turned and took a few graceful steps over to the chair, smoothing the back of her short summer dress to her hamstrings and keeping it underneath her as she sat. Setting her purse at her feet, she lowered her chin and tucked her hair behind her ears before she sat up straight and looked at him with a cheeky smile.
The old man smiled back at her, taken in by her elegance and her beauty. He could tell she was happy, on the inside and the outside.
“Now, relax your body but find a position you can remain in for a few minutes without needing to make any major movements,” the old man said. “I do believe I’m the luckiest old fella here.”
“Why is that?” Athena said with a small laugh as he picked up a piece of the charcoal and put the easel in position.
“I have the honor of your presence, right now,” he replied. “A beautiful girl who … has made some sort of decision recently … perhaps even this morning.”
“How do you know that?” Athena said with a grin.
“I can see it about you,” the old man said, beginning to draw.
“You can, huh?” she asked, playfully. “Is it written on my forehead somewhere?”
“No. It’s written in your heart,” he said, making Athena speechless as she didn’t expect such an answer. “And I can see it in your eyes as well. Something in your life has changed and, instead of allowing this change to control you, you are controlling it.”
Athena’s heart began to beat rapidly. She had worn a white summer dress with a delicate floral design on it, put on leather sandals, painted her toenails-n-fingernails and brought her brunette locks to a pin-straight lay. She wondered what it was about her appearance that had sent out the message of change.
They had never met before. She didn’t know him. He didn’t know her. But there was no denying his discovery. He was absolutely correct. However, she wondered how he knew. And before curiosity killed her kitty, something that often happened to her, she aimed to find out.
“What’s your name?” he asked, continuing his drawing.
“Athena,” she replied sweetly but with wonderment in her eyes.
“And what is it that happened to you recently, Athena?” he asked. “I can see it even more clearly in your eyes now.”
“I lost my job yesterday,” she answered, figuring such information was safe to share. “I wasn’t fired. I was just simply let go. The company I worked for went under. When a virus shuts the world down for a year, that can happen, I guess. But I decided, after 10 years of working there, it was time to move onward, anyway.”
“Onward and upward,” the man replied. “I’m sorry to hear that your life has been shaken up a bit. But I’m glad to see that you are taking advantage of the change. People sometimes bury themselves in a hole and hide when too much changes too quickly. But you have spread your wings and you’re ready to fly.”
Athena smiled warmly. He was a very kind man.
“But the company did what they could for us. I mean … my severance wasn’t a tremendous amount, but it will hold me over until I find a new job. Starting over isn’t going to be easy,” she replied, enjoying the conversation. “At my age, it’s a challenging time in my life to be uprooted. But I think I can handle it.”
“Yes, you can handle it. And you will reach the stars. But, sure. Things are always uncertain at the age of 20,” the man said with a grin, Athena laughing at the compliment.
“Try … at the age of 30,” she said happily. “Well, actually 29. My 30th birthday is in a few weeks.”
“If you say you’re 29, I’ll believe you,” the man said, Athena laughing again. “And how many happy years of marriage have you and your husband been blessed with so far?”
“My ex-husband,” Athena interjected. “We were married for two years. The first year was happy.”
“And he was a fool to allow the Goddess of Love to slip away,” the man said honestly. “No doubt, you will make another man happy. And he will make you happy, too.”
“Oh, really?” Athena asked with a grin, enjoying how this guy was conversing with her.
He was very friendly. And it was really nice to have a talk with a guy who wasn’t making it obvious that he wanted to be under her dress. He was much too old for her and she was much too young for him. But even if they were a couple, the sight of the diaper she was wearing around her waist would most certainly put him off.
Still, it was nice having a pleasant conversation with him. And regardless of the age gap, there was something about him that attracted her, more than just his jaw line. He was a man who presented himself honestly and with the reserves that showed he might well have been the only knight of Chivalry left in this world.
“So, you can see that I’m destined to meet someone?” she asked.
“Not just anyone,” the man replied. “You are destined to meet your soulmate. It’s written on your heart.”
“Hmm,” Athena said with a small laugh. “What’s he like, this soulmate that I am destined to meet?”
“I can’t answer that,” the man said, then pausing from his drawing. “But I bet you can. I bet you have always known who your soulmate was. And I bet you knew, the moment you said yes to this ex-husband of yours, that he wasn’t the one. Am I right?”
Athena’s eyes grew big-n-wide. Wow! Now THAT was an observation he couldn’t have possibly been able to tell from her posture or appearance or anything she had said so far! There was indeed something about him that was more than inviting.
“Now I can read your eyes,” she said with a raised eyebrow, the banter being lots of fun. “You would like me to tell you about the kind of guy I am looking for. I have to be honest with you in that I’m not looking for someone who is significantly older than me.”
The old man laughed.
“Athena, I have only ever loved one woman. And I will only ever love her,” he answered with a voice that had a loving Daddy tone to it. “And I want you to tell yourself about the kind of guy you are looking for. I want you to know for certain. That way, when you see him, you will know that he is your soulmate.”
Athena smiled sweetly, touched by what he had said.
“Why aren’t you younger?” she whispered softly, tears forming in her eyes – the old man, getting up and leaning over to wipe her tears away before they streaked down her cheeks.
“I met my soulmate,” he said. “Now, let’s make sure you meet yours. Who is he? What’s he like?”
Athena took a moment to collect her emotions before answering.
“He’s a man, a real man. And he is unapologetic about it,” she began. “He calls me baby. That probably seems weird. Is that weird that I want him to call me baby?”
“That’s not weird at all. Any good man who isn’t blind would want to call you that,” he replied, getting back to his drawing – Athena shifting a little in her seated position but then stopping when she heard her diaper crinkling from the hip movements. “Being called baby has a positive effect on the female brain, causing instant emotional stress relief.”
Athena wrinkled her forehead, deciding whether she was going to believe that or not.
“It’s a documented fact,” the old man said.
“Documented by who?” she asked with a laugh.
The old man thought about it for a moment before answering.
“I can’t remember anymore,” he said with a smile as she laughed harder. “Some day, you’ll be old enough to forget thing, too.”
“I’m sure I will,” she said jokingly.
“So this guy who calls you baby … what else do you know about him?” the old man asked, Athena returning to her thoughts.
“He is interested in me, in what I have to say,” she continued, nibbling her lower lip slightly as she thought about it some more – then inhaling deeply and breathing steadily through her lips. “And because he is interested in me, that makes me interested in him.”
The old man focused a bit more intensely on the portrait he was drawing, realizing she was growing tired of sitting in the same position and wanting to complete the portrait before she moved.
“He has strong hands. But he is so gentle when he touches me,” Athena said with an affected whisper. “I can feel the power in his hands, power that he is controlling, so as to not hurt me. He is so strong and this brings me comfort, knowing that when I become weak, I will be able to rely on him – because he will always be right there. I can depend on him … to pick me up and carry me when I get tired, to tell me that he loves me and that he’s proud of me, that he’s always proud of his baby.”
She paused a moment to collect her herself, batting her eyelashes quickly to disperse the growing tears in her eyes.
“His voice echoes in my ears, long after he has finished saying something and I remember absolutely everything single thing he has said to me,” she stated, softly and sweetly. “Even the most minute and unimportant details of what he has said become instant and everlasting memories for me … all because of the tone of his voice.”
Athena smiled as sweetly as she could without losing her composure. She looked at him, swallowing a lump in her throat.
“I’m sure all of that just sounds like I’m a girl who wants to be a princess who is discovered by her Prince Charming,” she admitted.
“It doesn’t sound like that at all. And besides, you’ve already looked for that fantasy fairy tale, haven’t you?” he asked, Athena’s heart starting to beat rapidly again. “Two years will never compare to a lifetime. You’re done with the fantasies. You are seeking the realities. And you know exactly who you’re looking for.”
Placing the charcoal piece back on the easel ledge, he sat back and dusted off his hands.
“And you will meet him, Athena,” the old man stated. “You are a Goddess, the Goddess of Love.”
Athena smiled at how sweet he was being.
“Aphrodite is actually the Goddess of Love,” she said, appreciating his repeated compliment but correcting his confusion about the Goddesses of mythology.
“She used to be,” he said, using that Daddy tone again. “Now there’s you … and you are so much more than a dreamy-minded princess. Close your eyes … baby.”
Athena laughed at what he called her and then closed her eyes. The old man picked up the sketch pad and placed it in her hands.
“Open your eyes,” he said softly, sitting back to see her reaction.
She opened her eyes and looked at the portrait he had just created. He was an incredible artist, obviously gifted. But she was quite perplexed that he hadn’t drawn a portrait of her.
“This isn’t a drawing of me,” she said with confusion.
“No, it’s not a drawing of you,” he said, then answering her next question before she could ask it. “It’s a sketching of your soulmate.”
Athena sat in silence, staring down at the portrait, believing the old man. She had no reason to doubt him. But she had so many questions, all of the sudden, that she hardly knew which to ask first.
“How do you know what he will look like?” she asked, her eyes locked on the portrait.
“I listened to what you were saying and looked inside your heart and there I saw your soulmate,” he answered with calmness but with that Daddy tone she just craved to hear in a man’s voice.
Athena began to take in details of the drawing, especially the strong jaw line the guy had. How did this old man know she was attracted to a strong jaw line?
“Do you believe in fate, Athena?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she answered softly, swallowing a lump in her throat. “I guess I should.”
“You’ll learn to,” the old man stated with confidence. “I’ve believed in fate all of my life. And that was the reason I knew I had found my soulmate, the moment we first met.”
Athena smiled as he took the sketch pad and carefully removed the top sheet of it – then taking a moment to look at his sketching one more time before handing it to her.
“And I believe your fate was to lose that job,” the old man said with a smile as he sat back down on his chair and set the sketch pad on the easel. “It opened your mind in a very timely way.”
“Timely?” she asked, picking up her purse and holding the sketching. “What do you mean by timely?”
“You will meet your soulmate soon,” the old man stated, Athena’s heart pounding very rapidly at this point.
Her eyes were big-n-wide as she looked at him. She had no reason to doubt him. But how did he know that? And when? When was she going to meet her soulmate? Soon was a vague timeframe.
“How soon?” she asked, waiting breathlessly for his answer.
“Later today,” the old man replied.
Athena smiled sweetly, but had trouble believing him, at last.
“It sounds like the fantasy again,” she said with sadness. “And soon the other shoe will drop.”
“You don’t believe that,” he said with kindness. “Not anymore.”
Athena looked at the portrait again, wanting to believe it.
“I’ll prove it to you,” the old man said, taking the sketching from her and folding it in half – then folding it in half again before handing it back to her. “I want you to take that piece of paper and slip it into the back of your diaper.”
Athena’s eyes bugged out of her head. How did he know she was diapered? Had he heard her crinkling when she fidgeted?
Taking the drawing, she looked back at him again, not sure what to say in response to that.
“Put it in the back of your diaper and don’t take it out until you meet him,” the old man said with kindness. “I guarantee you will meet him today. And when you do, your life will begin anew.”
Athena opened the sketching and looked down at it again, then standing to her feet. She was shell-shocked. The old man stood to his feet and walked over to her, whispering one final thought.
“Everything you didn’t tell me about him, all those little details that only you and he will ever know, they will all come true … the moment you decided to believe in yourself, to believe in soulmates … and to believe in fate,” he whispered to her. “Now go, Athena. Standing here and talking to an old fart won’t do you much good … especially since your soulmate is out there, right now, waiting for you. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
Athena took small steps forward, not worrying about her diaper crinkling since the old man had already figured it out. She got a short distance away and then turned around to look back at him. He had already taken his seat and was awaiting the next person to walk up to him. But he raised his hand and waved goodbye to her without turning around to see that she was looking back at him.
Somehow he knew. She wandered off with a weird feeling inside herself. The mind meltdown was inevitable and it began right away as her brain flooded with questions she couldn’t possibly answer.
Was she really going to meet her soulmate later today?
Would she really know who he was when she met him?
Was her dress too short? Is that why he knew she was diapered?
Would her soulmate be the Daddy type she had been dreaming about all her life?
How would she tell him she was a BabyGirl? Or would he just know?
Would he be the kindest man she had ever know, exactly how she hoped he would be? And would his hands be strong but controlled?
Would he be her Daddy forever?
Would she be his BabyGirl for the rest of her life?
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