by R.T. Allenson

The wellspring of trouble, as a dying man described, is the heart and its endless pleasantries. Therein lies many things to man that would undo him; from the blue prints of physical destruction such as an accident or a mistake to the subtle armageddon of a hopeful dream forever lost to the shores of time. But memory is crueller than love. For even true love wanes and dies, but memory prevails.

They spent time with each other hidden from the eyes of the many; what they had been a secret and would remain unknown till time ended. But such foolishness would never go unpunished and one of them, like it or not, would be punished for what each saw as a charade of their true desire.

Whatever occurred between them was written in the walls of the house, recorded by the little monsters that chose their haunts in the hidden corners of the room and echoed by the dustless space of empty air. They shared many things; loneliness, the stretching of thoughts and the desire to placate the hungers of the flesh. But as with all things, only one of them remained true. One of them was alive, a living being too much in love with the other one who shared not this fact. They were mirrors with only one reflection true to the other and the other, a simple image ghosting what seemed to be true. The pain that racked the other was immense but still he continued for he believed in time, in the boundless stretch of time, what he gave would be returned to him. His whispers were true but the other would have none of it, for their heart belonged to someone else.

“Come along with me.” He said to the other “Let us run away in better places and in better times, leave the worries of the world and share with me the joy of the now.” These were real words but the other believed otherwise, he only thought of it as lies spun like a fantasy book waiting to be finished. The responsibility of the heart was thrust already given, for in truth he was very vulnerable; a simple thing such as ignorance would rend his heart in two and in time this was the case. He asked himself once if such things were worth the time and effort; for love, this seemed so true but the price to be paid was greater than any monetary amount he could provide. And as a man of the world, he was a very rich man. He knew very well that happiness or love could never be bought and perhaps his only flaw, was that he loved the world too much, far too much even for  a simple man.

So vulnerable, so fragile. The thing that shields you from hurt and loss is as fragile as glass untempered and atrophied by the frigid air and the barren cold. Still he would wait, foolishly perhaps; he reassured himself that such things would come in time. And time for him was stretched longer than the cold air in the empty halls. Time was nothing for him. Nothing at all like love. And unlike love which tears you apart, breaks your walls down and makes you weak, time unlike love was very accommodating.

He knew then, after one bitter hurrah to what they shared that everything was over. The last glances were far and few, between awkward smiles and the cold shoulders. It pained him much but still he loved back. There was a moment there in time when, perhaps out of fear, the other appeared to do something to draw himself from his gaze. It pained him very much, so very much and the tears that flowed after were as true as the love he had for the other. He was vulnerable then, like Siegfried’s golden spot revealed or Achilless’ heel uncovered and pierced by the cruel quarrels of the lord of madness. And out of pity for himself, he only immersed in the pain.

“I prefer..” he lied to himself, “When I am hurt like this, for it makes me feel truly alive. But I can wait. My love, I can wait till forever ends..” 

And felt alive, he did. He lived and lived and lived, far longer than any normal man or creature born from the plains of the verdant earth. This was achieved when he forswore love and all its painful pleasantries, forswore the joys and tears and instead turned to the sun once more and married life immortal. Until now he lives like the man he was supposed to be, with the only the void in his heart were true love would have resided forever being the piece undone by life’s cruel ways. The other lived his life as he started it, forgetting whatever transpired in the past and the wound he inflicted to his once-lover’s heart.

He saw the other once more and he was happy for him at least, that the love he shared with his only one was true. He was happy for him in the end. And without looking back, he turned to the sun and married life immortal.

They met once more, him and the other. They met in better places and in better times when all things hanged at the cusp, when ruination was nigh. He never forgot about him and the other, surprised that he had not changed the slightest (physically or otherwise) passed from this world and into his waiting arms.

He whispered as he did once so long ago to the other..

“I always told the truth my love, I can wait and I have.”

The other was no more than a soul waning into the currents of death.

“Now, let us go. They are waiting.”