As the World Falls Down

I am a queen now; queen of the river. The wild has crowned me, for wild I have become. My fate is sealed, for I was born to be a queen, and if he will not have me as his queen, then I must rule the river forevermore.

So beautiful. The sparkling water, eternal sky, rainbow garlands in my hair. Such a realm this is to rule. Since I cannot make it into heaven, I will stay here in the river, among the lilies and the hidden currents. Surely there can be no greater Hell then to remain so close to him, perhaps to see him walk here by my side unknowingly, as I watch and weep from the cold water; so cold, unlike myself. And yet…were I to go to Heaven, it would be no less than Hell to be so far from him.

For I know that he loves me. The stars have fallen, they do not burn; the sun has stopped, a frozen fire; every truth I've ever heard of love has been a lie, and I lie, too. But soon I'll lie in everlasting pain and joy because I know he loves me, that I'll never doubt, and though he will not have me, though even if he would I could never bear to be with the man who stole my father's life, I know I love him too.

Oh river, enfold me in the cold of your embrace! Perhaps, when my flesh is numbed and deadened, I'll feel again the touch of his soft hands on me, his tender lips on mine, his gentle fingers in my hair. And, too, my father's firm but caring hand upon my shoulder, my brother's guiding arm in mine. Here in the cold, perhaps my mother's touch from oh so many years ago shall come again to love and comfort me.

Here everything I could not have in life shall be mine. Here I can cherish the memory of his touch, for in this cold I shall not feel the burn of shame. Here I can speak my mind, for none shall hear, I can dance and run for none shall see, I need no longer obey the strict rules of the mortal world. Here I will be close to him forever, but far enough away that my father's death cannot overshadow our love, and not so near that he can ever hurt me again. I'll remain for all eternity in constant pain yet constant joy, and that is well, for even now I find I cannot tell where one ends and the next begins.

Oh, these thoughts, these feelings! I cannot fathom them. So complex, this question of life and pain and death and love. He would understand. If only I could speak with him again, he would know what I am feeling, he'd explain the world to me, as he did before. When I found myself consumed by fire at the mere sight of him, when his words awakened in me such a passion that I'd run and hide for shame, he found me and he made me see the truth of love; so now, when I am consumed by ice for all that he has done, he could again explain. How I wish he was speaking to me with his mesmerising voice at this very moment! The yearning to hear him is a physical pain…but I know that if I do it will destroy me. I must never speak with him again, or else my love will turn to hate for that other love he stole from me. And before I could ever hate him I would lose my sanity, and that is something I refuse to relinquish. No matter what they say, I know that I have kept my reason, have in fact grown saner than before, because now I have begun to see the truth.

He used to speak to me of life and death, but never could I understand his musing thoughts. How could I comprehend the bitterness of life or the gentle comfort of the other while his silken voice was in my ear, while his marble arms embraced me, while his tender lips caressed me? I know it now, though, I understand. So in my final rest I'll show the world the genius he holds, I'll show them all and most of all I'll prove to him he's right, that death, that word that when spoken is so like a sigh of ultimate surrender, is beautiful. This is my final gift to him: evidence that all parts of the mortal world, particularly love, drag us down and ravage us if we cannot escape. In life there is no right path to take, no good choice to make, and all ends with the destruction of oneself and others. Take my own plight: wrecked by love and wrecked by hate. Had I only understood before, so much pain could have been avoided.

The final choice to make has come, though, and willingly I take it, take the only choice that leads away from pain and life. Floating in the gentle caress of the river, pure at last in utter serenity, I've found the only way to go on loving; I'm escaping from the cruelty of life, as the world falls down. I cannot be with him, yet I cannot be without him. And so, my love, I shall not be.