Love - Existentially

by John Teller

Epilogue

Cimetière d'Arlet-Les-Bain, Alet-les-Bains, Departement de l'Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

5th November 2000.

Stuart Begbie.

The funeral is over. My old friend Roger Peyrefitte is at peace... reunited at last with his beautiful Alexandre. Seventy-nine years he carried his love for his special boy in his heart, and the last time I spoke to him he told me that the soul of Alexandre was still part of him. In fact, he thought it was wonderful that a new Georges and Alexandre had been recreated.

They're here now. Alexandre is by my side and he has his arm around my waist. George didn't want to come, but my boy, as he usually does, had his own way in the end, and George is standing on the other side of him with his arms over my boy's shoulders. I really didn't think their relationship would last... but it has. They've been together now for almost fifteen years, and my boy is now twenty-nine. And they're still very much in love. The Odd Couple. Well, that's how Alex refers to them. Posh Boy and Hulk... that's what he calls them by name, but when he's referring to them both, he calls them The Odd Couple. I've told him to use their proper names, but he ignores me.

Alex hasn't come, and neither has Young Alex, but Hamzah came with us. Hamzah came because he wanted to represent my Michael... or so he said. He still loves my Michael. He's got photographs of him in his house and when I call to see him and Young Alex, he often kisses his 'Dad'.

Archie and Alain are here too. They've aged. Together they've aged. In fact, since Alain got back from France when Young Alex went to get him, he and Archie have become like Siamese twins. It seems that the break from each other has cured Alain's tendency to wander. I understand why that might have happened. You never know what you've got until you don't have it.

Don't have it. Roger went seventy-nine years without his true love and it is now twenty-nine years since I lost mine. Twenty-nine years of heartache that just won't go away. The hurt is tempered by the love I have for my own beautiful Alexandre, and watching him grow up has been a great joy. But it doesn't stop the hurt and the guilt when love goes awry. But you never know which way it will go when first you fall into the lair of existential love. I've never fallen in love since I lost Michael, and neither have I sought another liaison. It would be pointless. He was not only my true love... he was my Soul Buddy.


Alexander Begbie-Johnson.

I can feel Dad shaking as I have my arm around him. He's upset and I know why he is. I need to tell him that I love him and that I understand. So I take my arms from around his waist and that of George and reach into my shirt and pull up my gold chain. I manage to get it unfastened and remove it. Then I turn Dad towards me and place it around his neck and tuck it into his shirt. He smiles at me through his tears. I smile back at him and then kiss him softly on the lips. I look into his sad eyes and tell him, "I love you Dad. All my love is in the chain, and so is Michael's."

He stares into my eyes, and smiles. Then he nods. "Thank you Son. It's not all bad. In a roundabout way, this chain created you, you wonderful, beautiful creature."

I stroke his hair back from his forehead. "I know it did. It's a magic chain. Now you have two magic things."

"Two?"

I grin at him. "You're becoming senile. You've still got it, haven't you? The Magic Cap?"

He grins back at me and kisses my lips. "Oh yes." Then he winks at me. "Although it's too small... it still fits."

We both chuckle, and then hug like crazy, and we become three... Dad, the ghost of Michael, and me. Then my big Hunk puts his brawny arms around us... and we become four. Then Hamzah comes between us and we all group hug. Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.


Alain d'Evreux.

Archie is by my side. I have an arm over his shoulder as we walk away from the graveside of our old confidante. Thirty-four years we've been together and it was all made possible because of the friend we've just buried. We still have the letters we wrote to each other all those years ago. They're at home... the gems of the many memoirs of our life together.

Home. We still work from our studio at Port Gaverne. I've had offers and people begging me to open new studios in Paris and New York and other major capitals in the western world, but nothing would ever tempt me to be away from the man I have loved for most of my life. Those mad, crazy, lustful urges have long since gone away. In fact, they left me when young Alex Johnson took me back after he had done a Giles Ravillous on me in Paris. Giles Ravillous opened the door and Alex Johnson closed it. How strange... two similar acts with paradoxical endings. One was hated, and the other, although far more brutal, was the most necessary act of my life. What kills also cures, and in this particular case, that is so very true.

And now I am completely happy with the most wonderful man who ever lived.

Archie looks at me and asks, "We should say goodbye to the Johnson clan?"

I smile at him and grip his shoulders just a bit harder. "No. I told Stuart that we would slip away without a fuss when it was over. Let's get back to Paris to see Mama and Papa and then we'll go home. I need to be home. It's the only place where I'm truly happy."

Archie grins at me. "To Kernow; the land of legend and smugglers and highwaymen."

I grin back at him. "And potters who sell fine artefacts?"

He chuckles. "That we be my foine young frog-sprog. That we be."

I kiss his grey hair. "Since Yesterday When I Was Young and you were a very naughty man."

He giggles in the silly way that makes me warm inside, and we walk away to spend the rest of our lives together.

You can find my other stories on Nifty here. If you wish to comment on this or any of my other stories, just drop me a line to john.thestoryteller@gmail.com. Genuine comments will be appreciated. All flames will be extinguished in the trash bin.

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