The Rose-Tree and The Nightingale by Ekai Ungson

Obligatory legalities and notes: Actually, the story is by Oscar Wilde. Brilliant man, that. Many, many thanks to J.O. Salazar for giving me the story (not the complete version, but point taken) synopsis. J.O., thou art God. ^_^ Anyway, I kinda made my own version of the story, but I repeat, it wasn't my idea. I'm not that good, really. Peons, thank Oscar Wilde. Okies? Okie.

For Raven. What you do not know will never, ever hurt you...

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There was once a young man who had wanted very badly to dance with a young woman whom he loved very much. Only the young woman did not know he existed, so he could only watch her from a distance. Tradition dictated that in order for a young man to dance with a young woman, that man must first present a rose to his lady love. So, the young man looked everywhere to find the most beautiful rose to offer the young woman to symbolize his affection. The day of the dance came, and the young man knelt before the young woman and asked her to dance. Then he presented her the purest, most beautiful of white roses. The young woman stared at him and said, "I'm sorry, but I only accept those with red roses." And the young man's heart was shattered.

--*--

He wanted to shatter her, because she could not be shattered. He wanted to break her out of her little shell, destroy her perfect little world, because he knew that she knew she was living a lie, a dream. He hated her for it, he loathed her for being so intentionally blind and fickle. He disdained her for trying to believe in a futility he knew would someday destroy her.

Then why, why did he care so damned much, if he hated her like that? Why did it matter to him any, if he knew that by her own doing she would self-destruct? Why then?

Because I love her, that's why, he thought painfully. I love her.

It hurt him, damn it. It was hurting him to see her loving another. It was hurting him to see her not caring. It was hurting him when she cried over the unrequited love she held. It was bloody mad. It was ridiculous, she didn't even care about him! It was ridiculous, but no matter how ridiculous it seemed, it hurt him. It always hurt him. It never failed to.

It hurt him because he knew that he could love her just as much but she never looked his way.

--*--

Then, a nightingale, who was watching from afar, saw the young man weeping and felt his sorrow. The nightingale knew that the woman had desired white roses, not red, but there were no red roses anywhere. The nightingale searched near and far to find a single red rose to no avail. So it went to a rose-tree and asked it to give birth to one red rose, just a single red rose. And the rose-tree said, "What do you want a red rose for?" To which the nightingale replied, "Because I know of a young man who is weeping his heart out because his lady love would not answer to his pleas without a red rose." "What is this man worth to you? Is he of any significance? Is he your master?" asked the rose-tree. "No, he is not. But I admire him for loving truly, with his heart," answered the nightingale. So the rose-tree considered the nightingale's plea. Finally, it said, "If you truly want a red rose, you must sing, sing all night with music made of moonlight. Not only that, you must sing with your breast pressed against a thorn and offer to me your song and your heart until it is eternally mine." And the nightingale remembered the young man and agreed.

--*--

There is eternal sacrifice to be taken into account if you are to fall in love with a dreamer.

Which is exactly what he was doing. He was sacrificing. He was pained from all sides, inside and out, but he sacrificed nonetheless, for his love, that which would never love him, ever at all.

He could walk away. He could just turn, and walk away from her, it was that simple. He could just say, "I'm not taking this abuse anymore" and go-- she certainly wouldn't stop him. Maybe she'd rather have that, even. But somehow, inexplicably, his steps always led him to her feet.

He loved her, too much, and too far, to let her go.

He would rather hurt than leave her side.

--*--

So the nightingale sang with all its heart, with a voice made of stardust and moonlight. It sang all night, straight through 'til the first rays of sunrise came streaking in the horizon. Then a miracle occured and slowly, a rosebud opened up, and it was as red as the nightingale's blood. It was so beautiful, there could be none other like it in the world over. It was brilliant, blazing with the passion of the nightingale and its beautiful, haunting song. And the nightingale saw it for a second, just one second, then its voice died away into the fading night. The nightingale had died. And there was, finally, silence.

--*--

-The End-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ekai's Notes: Does anybody even GET this?

Er. So I REALLY just like the nightingale story, and I sort of incorporated a tad of Eriol-angst. Yes, it's Eriol. It's always appropriate to make it an Eriol in situations like these. And NO, there shalt not be sequels. I kinda like it the way it is.

And: a little peek into Ekai's ever-turbulent lovelife. Do any of you want to know who Raven is? Gimme your best guesses in an email! (I'm SO pathetic) Or go to my blog and drop a comment. ^_^

'Til next fic. I promise I'll try to write. Really.

--Ekai Ungson http://innocenceneon.blogspot.com hikari_yagami20@yahoo.com