HEARTBREAKS CAN BE MENDED
Napoleon walked out of Illya's life. But with four simple words persuaded him to let him back in.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2007. Word count: 1,000.
"I need you, Illya."
Four words. Thirteen letters. That was all it took to brush away fifteen years and take me back to when I was a foolish thirty year old, in love and believing that I could have the one thing I knew I never could have: Napoleon Solo's commitment.
Why I ever asked him for it, I will never know.
After all he had not been with a woman, with anyone else, for over a year; we all but lived together; we were together virtually twenty-four hours a day; what more did I need?
A ring on my finger? One on his? A few words? A piece of paper? All of these things? None of these things?
I knew him. I should have done; we had worked together for six years. Loved together for five of those. There was nothing, or so I thought, that we would not do for one another.
Until the evening I stupidly asked one question.
The next thing I knew, I had returned home from a solo affair and he had gone. He had left U.N.C.L.E. Left New York. Left America. Left me. And that, as they say, was that. With a few words, I had broken my own heart. And caused myself so much pain, I believed I would never recover from it.
Three years later, drained, running on less than empty, tired of going on missions when I could not trust my back-up, I too got out.
I vowed to forget all about the U.N.C.L.E. All about killing. All about fighting. All about torture. All about prisons.
But most of I vowed to forget all about Napoleon Solo.
I never succeeded in forgetting anything.
But most of all I never succeeded in forgetting about the only person I have ever loved. I swore I never would love, trust, need or want again. And I never would have done.
Until that one day came when that one man spoke those four words. Four words that turned my world back up the correct way.
For fifteen years, I had swung between hating him and loving him. Between wanting to kill him and wanting to take him in my arms and make love to him. Each time the love had won out; even when I was hating him, cursing him, scorning him; even then I still loved him.
However, I didn't despise him as much as I despised myself for still loving him. But then I never had had any pride as far as Napoleon was concerned. To give the man his due, he knew this and never took advantage of it; well not really.
It is true that he called most of the shots in our private life. But I let him.
It was he who said when and where and how often. But I let him.
It was he who took me, but never offered reciprocation. But I let him.
Although it has to be said that I never looked for anything else; I never asked for anything else. I was happy with it being that way. I did not need to penetrate him to prove to myself that I was still a man, and I am certain that he did not think any the less of me.
I have often wondered, during those long, lonely years, what he would have said had I asked him. I suspect he would have said yes, because just as I bent to his will and his desires, he bent to mine. But I did not ask, because it did not matter.
For the entire duration of our relationship, I had never, not in our personal life, asked for anything above that which he offered. Not until that one evening.
I realize now that even my new career, the frock business, had been chosen with Napoleon in mind, even if I wasn't aware of it. Since when had I had any interest in fashion or clothes?
I will never forget the look on Napoleon's face when our old uncle suggested that I pretended to be a top fashion designer. I really thought he might have a stroke, trying to contain his laughter. What I knew about clothes could have been written on the back of a postage stamp. In turn, Napoleon's knowledge about computers could have been written on the same.
Yet I chose fashion.
He chose computers.
And everyone knows it should have been the reverse.
Did I dare to hope that he had chosen computers for the same reason I had chosen fashion?
Because it reminded him of me?
Does he even know the answer?
And if he does, do I want to know what it is?
We still have not talked, well not about anything that matters. However, I know that he still loves me; it is in his eyes, his face, his voice, his body. However, what I do not know, what I cannot read, is whether he is still in love with me. And there is a difference. He still wants me, that I also saw, and I, God forgive me, never stopped wanting or needing him.
All it would take is another four words, and I would be his again.
Four little words. This time fourteen letters. "Come to bed, Illya."
Do I really have that little self-respect? That little pride? The answer is simple, in whatever of the multitude of languages I speak.
As far as Napoleon Solo is concerned, I am lost.
I am his to do with as he wishes.
I lost whatever pride I had in matters pertaining to him many years ago. And though it pains me to admit it, I do not mind.
The four words will not be long in coming. I know that. I know my partner so well. I can read him as easily as I can read a child's book.
I will be his again.
He will be mine.
And this time?
This time maybe we can be lost together.
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