The Love Exchange

Should not brightness own the day, since the rains seemed pleased to habitually come at night? The sun, with ease shall shine, now that the nights, long and dark, spoke forth promise of a better day. But there she lay—the beloved—shivering with life she had never really known. Battered by the rains and petrified by one man's ability for failure, Shirley began to speak, with questions resounding from her heart—warm yet bold. “You do not unto me the things which you spoke in years past,” she said. “I remember clearly when you had spoken so sweetly that with arms around thy neck and my head resting gently on thy chest, I slept—I slept with much ease for the peace thy words released. Beloved, where is the peace and strength I felt in thy heart? Now you leave me stuck in the deeply wooded denes of anger and hopelessness. I dare not believe again!” The rains that came poured not upon Shirley alone. It showered upon Akin too. Akin, the prince with so much promise. He was only human and helplessly soaked too. He for whom many lovers could die, for the throne he shall soon sit upon. Nevertheless, the rainy nights should precede the brighter days and this he knew but did he truly know? He had never thought the night's darkness could cast shadows on the dreams of a noble future. He was quite certain of ease and speed that he never saw it creep and stony. Akin took one more look at Shirley. “Oh My darling,” he said. “If I haven't spoken of my love to thee, let me now say. Let me tell the story of love and beat the drums of it. If I could sing thee a song, what song would it be? For you are my red rose. Let me speak but this time surely, telling you things for today and yet another day.” “You have began to speak swift and sweet." Shirley seemed to cry. “Like a merry-go-round in the circus do you hope to swing me to and fro and yet bring me to the same place? I believe in love but not the kind you give. Why should you then hope I would love again?” Akin protested, albeit softly and with the skill of peace. “But darling, you never cried while with me. Neither did my hands ever drift from thy neck. I was soft with you and your tender edges. I never failed to tell you of my love, neither did I wish you better so as to love thee. Why speak to me as though I loved you less than when we first began?” “What will you give me darling? What will you give me to ease my doubt and strengthen my belief?” Shirley inquired. “Beloved, my heart, I heard has four chambers. I will my beloved to give thee a part. But then I learnt my heart is one even in four. Bloody thing yet beauty sustained! Let me give you my heart and every part of it. Alas! I found it. I hear the heart, it speaks on, teaching me to live, beating for you to breathe. Even when the world might seem not to care, I will beat to beat for you to breathe.” “Darling, I would arise too,” Shirley said, “and I shall be your beat. When thy heart feels frail and the pumps go pale I will push you onward. I shall carry you when the wings flap fail. This heart, is it mine alone? Hold my hands again my beloved. Let us travel as of old. Let thy strength be my hope and thy hope my reason. For this love is for me as well as for you.” As she lifted her head Shirley sighed and said, “Beloved, how shall we scale these mountains which I see? Where shall we rest when the rains come? What shall we eat when hunger fills our belly? And what shall be there for thy thirst when the sun scorches us hard? For this path seems long and lean with not many trees and breeze.” “I see not as you see my darling,” Akin replied. “Though the rains will come again, this time I shall be thy cover to hide thee under my touch and keep thee warm in the cold. I will hold you close in your shivering and carry you in your weakness. Should hunger then come upon us, I know not how we shall feed but when you can take it no more you shall know I did all I could.” “Beloved, oh beloved!” Shirley softly screamed. “I will call your name to the skies and shout to them that you are my man. I will honour you and cherish your heart. Should it be that we no longer can walk this path hand in hand, I will smile to the heavens knowing your heart is mine. But before you be for me a hero, come close and let me sing thee a song. It is a song I wrote long ago waiting for this day. It's melodies might not thrill but this harmony comes from within. A smile seemed to breakthrough the facial muscles of the prince as he said, “darling, to hear thy soul sing is joy to me but not for now. This song of which you speak seems to me a song for the last. Let us not begin singing to the tune of goodbyes. You shall sing for me when the journey is done and the destination sure. You shall sing for me when the battles are won and the race is run. Keep thy song my darling, keep it for another today, when I can rest knowing I fought with my strength. Keep thy song my darling and you might just find a new song as we travel this path."

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