It has been a long sleep of denial for Echo. The pain of being in a relationship with Narcissus is starting to overwhelm her and she knows she has to do something about it. She is finally able to admit that it does not make sense for Narcissus to treat her the way he does. He must not love her. Why is she risking her well being pining for him to be the way he was in the beginning of the relationship? And why is she always bending to his needs? But the pain of admitting he might not love her is unbearable and the fear of being alone it induces is terrifying.
She flees deep into the forest to get help from her nymph friends, but instead runs into a hunter. The hunter is a great tracker of large and terrifying beasts. Echo in her desperate state of mind shares her story easily.The hunter has no problem imparting the wisdom earned from years of outsmarting the most cunning of beasts. “My dear before you can do anything you must know the truth of Narcissus. Who is this person you have cast your jewels before? It sounds like you are more afraid to be alone than anything else. To love out of fear is the love of cowards and children. Perhaps, you must recognize your fear and grow up?” There is no judgment in the hunter’s voice.
The hunter knows that even if something looks scary, once it is confronted, recognized for what it is, then it ceases to have the power to incite fear.
When Echo emerges from the forest she has a plan. She wants to know definitively if Narcissus loves her. So she decides to do an experiment to test her belief: Is everything her fault in the relationship with Narcissus? Has she done something to cause this painful treatment? After all of the pain and suffering there is still a very small part of her that knows she does not have to be miserable. A sliver of light in the dark, if she looks hard enough, that yes she is lovable somewhere, somehow.
Narcissus doesn’t usually want to go anywhere, preferring to stay at home staring deeply into the pool of his reflection. It is his safety net, like a child with a pacifier, the pool has become so all encompassing that it has taken the place of real friends, including Echo. Narcissus has taught himself to see the calm reflection of his face in the water as the world.
Echo has made every attempt to emulate the calm perfection of the pool, but Narcissus has made sure to let her know her shortcomings. Also, he wants her to keep her mouth shut about being so damned needy and jealous. Why does she insist on bothering him about his behavior? He has done nothing wrong. She is the one that is not supportive of him.
Miraculously a few days ago, Narcissus agreed to go on a trip with Echo.He is incredibly nervous though because he has extreme difficulty not being in control and Echo is a wanderer and an adventurer (not that he cares about this at all), but she could be a possible challenge to his authority. But to prove he is a strong man, he agreed to go on this trip.
He does not care about spending time with her unless she is going to make him feel better about himself. Also, he is too cowardly to admit that he really is afraid to travel, He is not conscious of the fact that he is terrified of leaving his pool.Echo thought he agreed to go because he wanted to spend time with her, but now as she returns home from her time in the forest she is starting to awaken to what might be really going on.
Narcissus believes Echo has proven herself unworthy of reflecting back to him the truth. He thinks she can be a liar and is not to be trusted. In fact Narcissus cannot trust anyone at all. He does not understand the world nor the people in it. He can only focus on getting his needs met and staying in control. He is like a robot when it comes to his behavior, mechanical. He responds only to the programs he had been given as a young child and is not able or willing to challenge any of them. This is mostly because he does not recognize that they are just programs. Echo needs to do better.
When Echo arrives home from the forest. She sees that Narcissus is again absorbed with his pool of water. She is nervous to go on a trip with him for fear he will abandon her or fly into a rage. They had decided to go to the high desert, far from the forest. She is not sure this is safe at all. She pictures him burying her body in a sand dune. He even has a look of relief on his face as he does it. Now she has just scared herself. This thought is too crazy she thinks. He wouldn’t hurt her unless she antagonized him somehow. She decides she is going to make this trip happen no matter what. It will give them time to figure things out and get Narcissus to stop staring into that damned pool like a crazy person.
Her thoughts put her voice on edge when she asks Narcissus “Are you ready to get online to book our tickets?”
“Leave me alone Echo! You just got home and you are already on my case.” Narcissus screams as he flies into a rage. Echo had asked him calmly. And they had already discussed getting the tickets when Echo arrived home, so he should be prepared for the question.She immediately recalls her experiment to test the waters. ‘Is everything my fault?’ she asks herself. So she stays calm, observes and says nothing.
He grabs her backpack that happens to have her heavy kryptonite bike lock in it and slams it around breaking things and almost hitting her with it.She stays calm on the outside and asks him to stop. He won’t stop. She slowly moves away from his fury. He follows her into the bedroom and this actually scares her because the room is small and he is flailing the heavy bag around. She manages to grab her purse and run out the door and all of the way down the street until she ends up at her local pub. Luckily, she sees some people she recognizes. They welcome her and invite her to join them.
She sits down and catches her breath. She looks at the people sitting at the table and just shakes her head repeating “It is not my fault. It is not my fault.” She knows she has to leave Narcissus for good. It will take all of her strength, but he is without a doubt, dangerous to her well being. She must now learn to think about herself and face her fears of being without Narcissus.