Our Love Will Never Die
by Bertil Falk
She heard his breathing distinctly. She liked its rhythm — enjoyed its rhythm — knew it belonged to her lover.
He was so quiet this evening. It was perhaps the invention. The device he was so secretive about. It stood there in the garden, awaiting them.
They used to talk to each other affectionately. Tonight he was silent. She longed to hear his voice, but she did not want to disturb him, not right now. She wondered what he was thinking of. Perhaps of the invention? He had worked on it for so many years.
Now it was completed. She knew it from his silence, and she had known it would be finished now. A few times she had asked him about his invention, but he had given evasive answers.
She understood him well. He wanted to keep it to himself for the time being. Soon enough she would see and perhaps understand. He had once told her that it was something unimaginable, something that must be seen to be understood. Sometimes he had said that he did not know if he himself understood.
How could she understand, when it was difficult for him?
The grass bent where they walked. The gray grass. And the wind gracefully lifted light leaves in the crowns of the trees. Little breezes, quiet but tender. Like herself. Filled with love.
She heard him stop. His breathing became rapid. He thought intensely about the invention, about her, about love.
He was still behind her. She thought of stopping, but changed her mind and continued towards the garden. There it was, so beautiful, bathing in the intensely pale moonlight. Now she could see the flowers and the trees, the well and the silver bells, which sang when the wind caressed them.
Oh, it was a wonderful garden! As though made for her and him.
Why was he not coming? Why did he stay behind?
She turned around and looked.
The grass rustled. It bent under his feet. She felt relieved. He was on his way.
Pleased, she continued into the garden, the fragrances, the honey, the colors, the flowers.
Just think: all this could be seen, like the sky, the stars. Everything could be seen, except for one thing. Mostly it was natural to her. But sometimes she wondered. Had it always been like this?
His invention towered like a threatening shadow into the face of the moon. It looked frightening in a way, but the next second it was bathed in light. He had turned on the spotlights. Now the machine looked like a bejeweled throne, a reminder of beauty and October, of glory and pomp.
She laughed aloud.
He cleared his throat and touched her with a tender gesture.
“My beloved,” he said. “My beloved.”
The very warmth of his voice, it was there. And she answered:
“Yes, o my beloved. You are like a season, so dear, so soft, so hard, so warm.”
“My beloved! I want to tell you that I love you so much. You are everything — everything,” he whispered.
His voice sounded as if he wished to tell her for the last time, as if he were saying farewell, as if nothing would be the same again.
But she did not tell him that. She said instead, “Without you I would be nothing. Without your presence I do not exist. You are the only thing that gives me the right to live.”
“Today,” he said, “is our day. It is your day. It is my day.”
“But it is not day any more, it is evening,” she laughed.
“Above all, it is my day today,” he said sharply, as if he had not heard her.
“My beloved...” she tried.
But he was not listening any more.
“Do you know what will happen here tonight? Do you have any idea?”
She became unsure. “You will touch me,” she said carefully. “You will touch me, love me, feel me.”
“Yes, I will touch you in a way that you never would have dreamed of. I will reach out to you as no one else in the history of our race has reached out to the one he loves.”
She did not understand him. Was this a new game of love? It was as if she had lost contact with him. She became frightened. “I don’t think I understand what you mean.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You will understand if you manage to believe your eyes. Then you will understand.”
And his voice was again tender. “My beloved. I love you. Yes, by God, I love you.”
Out of the automatic machine he took a glass which he filled with glowingly red cobbler. The glass was lifted towards the moonlight, which emitted sparks through the warmly red liquid.
“For you,” he said.
The glass was put on the gold table of the terrace. She took it and drank deeply.
Then he went to his machine and poured a drink for himself. It was a shining green drink.
“Let us drink to our love,” he said. “Let us do it now. In our history, you will be the first being to see what you now will see. We will drink to our love before it is too late. This toast will be the beginning of a new era in our history. In yours, mine and the history of our whole species.”
She squeezed her glass. The atmosphere was so solemn.
“Over there stands the transformer,” he said.
“It will change our lives. It will change our history. You and I and our whole existence are at the crossroads. We will choose a new road.”
She smiled at the passionate eagerness in his voice, but of course he did not see her smile.
“Therefore I now raise my glass to you, my beloved, to life, my beloved, to a new future!”
His glass with the emerald liquid was raised and she raised her glass with the crimson cobbler.
For a few seconds the two glasses lingered together in the air. Then they parted. She saw his green liquid disappear.
He threw away his glass. It shattered on the pavement. She knew that he now would go to his creation. She looked at it, but nothing happened.
“Now!” he called out. “Now let us see if our love will ever die.”
And then, out of nowhere, ectoplasm materialized inside the chamber of the machine. It developed like smoke: gray veils that were colored, trails, green, puffs, blue. And it took shape.
Could it be possible?
The more she stared, the more she recognized what she never before had seen. It was exactly as she knew it would look. Now she could see all that her perception of touch had taught her to recognize. She saw it clearly and distinctly in the machine of her lover.
There wonderful, frightening bulging eyes and gorgeous tentacles growing out like clinging vines in blue and yellow colors, a terrible, delightful row of sucking mouths... She screamed from both shame and longing.
And these were not any sucking mouths and tentacles. They were the sucking mouths that had tenderly fiddled between her necklers, and the feelers that had often pumped her unconscious with delight.
She stared at the ghastly, incredible and beautiful thing that had happened. It was as if she would burst of dread and joy.
With a hysterical bellow, she turned around and jogged away on her invisible gruls from the unbearable sight.
For the first time in the history of their race it had happened to one of them.
At the same time as the violet disc of the second moon was rising above the horizon, her lover had become — visible!
Copyright © 2009 by Bertil Falk