After Plato.


Well news from today was that I didn’t win the Racy Reads writing competition on Lorraine. The sad thing is, I never even got short listed! David emailed me saying, he preferred mine, but he would say that being my fiancé and all! I am left breathing a sigh of relief actually as I think they would have forced me to write a ‘chick lit’ novel while the ideas that are flitting through my mind are quite dark!

Below find a short passage from the novel I am currently working on. It was inspired by Plato’s Symposium. I hope you enjoy! Please do comment, thanks!

Christine.

***

‘My dear Charlotte’, Harry began. ‘This letter out of the blue will probably startle you! I am sorry if it does. I just couldn’t stand this silence between us, this nothingness. We were always so good at communicating. It was when we didn’t that things broke down between us. I realise that now. I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. I was too preoccupied with my own selfish ambitions to see the pain that you were in. I hate myself for being so blind and hope that one day you can forgive me.’

‘Oh Hal, I don’t blame you,’ Charlotte sighed.

‘I am not writing in the hope that we can start again.’ There was an ink blot on the page, as if Harry had paused and wiped away a fallen tear. ‘Hell, OK  you can see right through me. Of course I want to be back with you Charlotte. I would go through all the hurt and pain again just to be with YOU! This emptiness inside is killing me. I can’t eat and I can’t sleep, but you probably already know what I am feeling.’ Charlotte rubbed her palm to her chest as if trying to fill the void that had appeared there. It was like a black hole suddenly sucking all the happiness and hope from her life. ‘I wanted to write to you so that you knew I was still thinking of you, always. How are you?’

‘Wretched,’ Charlotte cried, failing to stop a tear from falling upon her cheek.

‘I keep thinking of Plato’s ‘Symposium.’ I smile as I write as I know how much you disliked Plato. You just couldn’t get your head around his theories but I recall you telling me one night about Aristophanes’ speech and how it touched your soul. Do you remember Charlotte? You were lying naked beside me. I had just kissed every inch of you and you lay looking up at me with those big wide eyes you have after sex. Then you told me the tale.’

‘I remember very well,’ Charlotte lay down on her bed and hugged her pillow. She recalled it was a balmy evening in the English capital, it was unusually warm so early in the summer season, but the weather had been rather unpredictable that year. The golden rays of the setting sun streamed into the bedroom, touching the naked limbs of Charlotte and Harry, making them glow ethereal. Charlotte looked into Harry’s dark eyes and stroked the side of his clean shaven face with her fingertips. ‘ I’ve been reading Plato today.’

‘That must have been enjoyable for you,’ Harry rolled his eyes; he knew he was not of one Charlotte’s favourite authors.

‘He was speaking through Aristophanes.’

‘Ah the comedian.’

‘Will you let me finish?’ Charlotte giggled as Harry lay on his side looking down at her. ‘What Aristophanes proposed was quite profound.’

‘Go on.’

‘He was making a case about the origins of love and why humans feel ‘complete’ when they have ‘found’ that special ‘someone.’’ Charlotte began her adaptation of the myth. ‘Before man stood on two legs, he was a being made up of four legs and four arms. He had two heads, one looking one way and the other head the other. This creature was round like a circle, suggesting unity and was very powerful on Earth. In fact ‘man’ became too powerful and decided to one day attack Zeus and the other Gods on Mt Olympus!’

‘Zeus, angry at the attempted coup, decided to split man in twain! Two beings were made from one and fated to search forever for their ‘other half.’ That was Zeus’ cruel vengeance on man. However, if man was lucky enough to find his ‘other half’…’

‘… They would both be desperate to become one once again.’ Charlotte smiled up at Harry. A flush of excitement tinted her cheeks as her eyes invited him to kiss her. ‘I so want to be with you always.’ Harry murmured and held her warm body close to his.

‘That’s what I feel for you, Charlotte. Plato’s words had truth to them.’ Harry’s letter continued. ‘My soul longs to be one with you, like we used to be! You are the other half of me and that’s why we fitted so well together.’ Harry went on to say about how his friends had tried in vain to rouse him from his melancholy. ‘None of them understand. They haven’t been as lucky as we in finding their halves; most have not even bothered looking for them. I shudder at the thought that perhaps I have lost you for good. I know we are both too raw, have open wounds that are too painful at present to rekindle what we had, but I hope that we will meet again in the future, when I can be more appreciative of your love and you mine. I love you now and always will. Charlotte, a lifetime apart is too much for me to bear!’ Harry signed the letter, ‘yours truly.’ Charlotte folded the pages of the letter like they were precious relics. Her first instinct was to pen her reply to Harry, though she knew this was not what Harry needed nor her and so she sobbed her bottomless anguish deep into the pillow. 

(c) 2013 Christine Lucas.
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