athens7 as Jack (font: Courier New)
and mazaher as Patrick (font: Verdana)
3. Needing, wanting, searching
Patrick leaves, Jack goes to Patrick (Patrickís pov)
I didnít die.
Itís never so easy.
When the din and the coarse voices of the marketplace became unbearable,
I slowly made my way home through the shabby maze of Soho and then out
in the open again along Piccadilly. Belgravia was silent in the pearly
light of early morning, as a pale sunlight made its way to kiss the
sleeping houses amid a thin veil of dampness. The day promised to clear
out into the cold crystal which is so rare to London in winter.
I cut through Hyde Park, not willing to meet my fellow humans.
A magpie crowed, then plunged on a field mouse. Mors tua, vita mea.
Such is the fate of those who have been born under the sun...
When I arrived at my front door I stood on the step. The street was dead
silent. No noise came from the inside, no light shone through the
windows. The maid would not knock at my bedroom with tea for another
Would Jack still be here?
Was his faith stronger than my betrayal?
Like a man who climbs the scaffold, I turned the key in the latch.
The house was empty.
Of Jack, not a trace remained in the sitting room, only --or was it my
imagination?-- the faintest trace of his cologne.
I though of him asleep in his bedroom next door, the dear face serene in
slumber; I though of him pacing his study, fueled by anger; I thought of
him waiting for a train at Victoria, leaving, leaving me...
No! I could stand to know him happy without me, I could even stand to
have him furious at me, but I couldnít stand to think of him leaving.
I broke down.
I am ashamed at the effects the depth of my desperation had on me. For
the next five or six days I must have appeared like a madman to the
housekeeper who brought me food thrice a day in my study. I didnít
appear as anything to anybody else, as I barricaded myself in there and
only came out once, in the dead of night.
I closed my eyes in the familiar darkness, walked blind to the sitting
room, found with unerring instinct the place where we had made love
--no, where I had raped him, and I pressed my hands on the
wall and stood there, arms tight with tension, shaken by silent sobs,
until the first light began to filter through the drawn curtains.
The very violence of emotion means it spends itself sooner or later.
When a week had passed, I had come back to my senses, for what theyíre
worth. I resumed a more or less normal life. I slept in my bed, I got up
in the morning, I dressed, I had breakfast, I went out.
I felt dead.
I didnít try to have news about Jack. He is by nature a man of habits,
and I merely had to avoid the hours when I knew he would be going out or
returning home in order not to see him.
I was finding that death can be quite a drawn-out process.
January went by, February began. By the second week in the month, the
weather began to show some uncertain signs of an early spring.
It was then, when the first bold snowdrops bored through the thin
patches of old snow around the Serpentine, that it happened.
Jack found me.
Boldly he came to me in the darkest hole I knew, where I believed myself
safe within the circle of six dozen silent men and a baker's dozen
wardens of doors. But he pushed through them all, and whispered in my
ear, and called me out, out of the closed room smelling of old leather
armchairs and fresh smoke of cigars, out in the open air where life and
love are a permanent clear and present danger, and I couldn't but
Even to the scaffold I'd follow him, and that's how it felt, as he
pulled on my forearm and asked me to walk with him.
This, this is a death I die willingly.
Tearing down the barrier,
one layer at a time