life lives through me
By the time you finish reading this, I'll be dead. I'll try to keep it as short as possible, but then again I don't exactly have a choice. It will be a slow death, admittedly, but not without pain, and my strength is failing me even as I'm just beginning. Fortunately, it's not a very good story. Only, it needs to be told. Or maybe, I'd just like it to be told. At any rate, it's a story, and stories, by nature or design or some other romantical nonsense, are meant to be told. It's just a fact of life.
I'll begin at the middle. That's the only interesting part really. The beginning is dull and indifferent and is important only out of necessity. Everything starts. But things rarely get interesting until the middle, or somewhere thereabout. And you already know how this is going to end, and I have limited time to digress.
So we fall in love anyway. We knew it was wrong, because we had always been told that it was. That was the only proof that it was really. We would have fallen in love whether or not it was wrong because that's how love works. Status is meaningless and irrelevant where love is concerned. It's true that our story has been told many times, and it will be told many more times before world's end, and it will be lived even more times than that. He was of noble birth, royalty to be precise because fate knew it would be the perfect cliché. And I... well, I was not. I worked in the stables, because destiny seems to have very little imagination these days. It seems that our middle is really our beginning. For that, I am sorry.
Our middle tells of our love, quite descriptively to be frank. It tells of our hands and it tells of mouths, it tells of the feel of grass and the taste of rain mixed with sweat and it tells of rooms and letters and meetings that we were so certain only we knew of. Certain at the time that only our most trusted confidants knew of. But such is fortune, such is the story. More than this, our middle tells of my devotion. Not his, because I will never tell of his devotion. I love him too much to implicate him. You see, the beginning is where we met, and that isn't the important part. The middle is where I loved him, and that's what matters. Love is the important thing.
The middle that's closer to the end is almost as important. That's where he loves me. The end, if you aren't entirely following this, is where he will prove his love. Not to me, never to me, for I know his love exists, wholly and completely and unendingly, and more importantly unconditionally. I feel it. And I return with my own. Rather, he proves his love to the world.
Give him up. Don't see him. And we'll let you live. Stop loving him, and we won't kill you. They were willing to pay me my life, for my love, my heart. And he, the second son of a king, was offered the throne. Rewards for a damnable, pitiful, meaningless existence. Rewards that would mean nothing. What is life without love? Is there life without love? I would die without love, I'm sure of it. I digress, and I grow weary. They asked him to give me up, they pleaded, begged, threatened, and he never wavered. Once, before my arrest, on one of our increasingly rare meetings, he asked if I would have him release me. I replied honestly. No matter the gain, no matter how many would benefit for whatever good, my life would mean nothing if not for him. Love can be very selfish, when it chooses to be. He never surrendered me.
And so, we come to our end. The door of my cell will swing open, and a man will enter. He will escort me to the executioner, where I will be sized for my noose. This noose will be fitted around my neck, and the planks of wood that my bare feet rest on will fall out from under me and I will hang. If my neck does not break upon impact, then my body will struggle, my feet to find footing, my brain will tell it to, because my heart will not be heard over its own pounding. And it will look as it I am dying a slow death, and I will be. But it will not hurt me. My body, yes. But not me. I will have taken myself away from the pain, away from the hangman, away from the boards beneath my feet, away from the small number of witnesses, none of whom wish to be there, and I will be with him. Some place close, but very far from here. I will be with him in love, as he will be with me. This is how it will end. As it must, because a prince should never love a stable boy.
And he will not attempt to save me, because he is not losing me. I go now to the end, and he lets me. He has to. He will walk beside me. And he will feel the noose tighten as well. Death cannot separate us, because we love. And love is everything. I will die for love. I will die because of love. I will die to love. I will love to love. I will make love. And I will give love. And I will take love. We are love.
And we have no price.