Olivier was broken, sad, shattered. He couldn’t take it anymore. The way Gustave would bring it back up, reproach him all his sins and his past mistakes. Olivier couldn’t take it anymore. Being sent back to the past he was trying to escape, trying to get away from; it felt like trying to move through quicksand, each step being dragged down to the absorbing ground, draining his energy.
He was tired, so tired of trying to prove he had changed. Trying to prove he could be a better man. That it was the past and he couldn’t undo it. He took his head in both hands and silently wept. At least he was alone, in the silent blank chapel of the base. Both a shelter and a reminder of how he was lonely.
When would it end? Didn’t he suffer enough? From his parents? From society? From whom he used to be? He wanted it to end so bad. All this toxicity. All this darkness, this anger he kept receiving from everyone around him. He had changed. What couldn’t anyone see that? He just wanted to be free from the burden of someone he no longer was. He wanted Gustave to smile, not even laugh, just smile at him. Frankly, brightly, like he used to. Why someone you loved so much could also hurt you so much with his words? How could you love someone like that? Why couldn’t his feelings like… vanish?
He dropped to his knees and started humming in his head, for himself, the only psalm that could voice his pain and help him talk to Him:
O Lord, my God, I call for help by day;
I cry out in the night before thee.
Let my prayer come before thee,
incline thy ear to my cry!
For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am reckoned among those who go down to the Pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one forsaken among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom thou dost remember no more,
for they are cut off from thy hand.
Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Thy wrath lies heavy upon me,
and thou dost overwhelm me with all thy waves.
Thou hast caused my companions to shun me;
thou hast made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon thee, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to thee.
Dost thou work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades rise up to praise thee?
Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave,
or thy faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are thy wonders known in the darkness,
or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness?
But I, O Lord, cry to thee;
in the morning my prayer comes before thee.
O Lord, why dost thou cast me off?
Why dost thou hide thy face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer thy terrors; I am helpless.
Thy wrath has swept over me;
thy dread assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in upon me together.
Thou hast caused lover and friend to shun me;
my companions are in darkness.
“Hey” Gustave’s voice called.
“I’m praying.” Olivier replied.
Gustave sat next to him and silently waited. Patiently. Like if he didn’t want to disturb him, but at the same time, like if he couldn’t wait for another moment.
“What do you want?” Olivier asked, his voice wet and hoarse “Can’t you see I’m.. I’m done?”
“I wanted to say I’m sorry.” Gustave answered. “For bringing up Alexis. And your past. And… yeah.”
Olivier sniffed and wiped his nose with the waist of his shirt.
“Just… leave me alone.” He muttered.
“I still love you.”
A gaping silence followed. Olivier didn’t reply nor move from an inch, neither did Gustave. Time froze and never had this chapel been this quiet. One might have thought they were ghosts, haunting a place that had been long forgotten.
“Wh-What did you say?”
“I still love you, Olivier.” Gustave sighed “It’s never gone.”
“I’m broken too, you know.”
Olivier huffed and crossed his arms, leaning forward, over the pew in front of him, and hiding his forehead on his arms. He just wanted it to end. No matter how, no matter the outcome; with or without Gustave, with or without Rainbow. He just wanted to be at peace, he had been sinking and struggling for too long.
Are not the days of my life few?
Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort
before I go whence I shall not return,
to the land of gloom and deep darkness,
the land of gloom and chaos,
where light is as darkness.
“I still love you.”
“You’ve already said that.” Lion bitterly replied.
“I know. But it feels good to say it.”
“Well, not to hear.”
It really wasn’t. It should have been melting his heart to finally hear those words again from Gustave. But it was rubbing the knife in the wound. He still loves you and despite that he still doesn’t want you. You could be in love, but you messed up everything. You could be loved, but now you don’t deserve it anymore. You spoilt everything. You ruined everything. And even God, whose Love you were born with, seems not inclined to grant you any kind of rest nor redemption.
“I know you’ve changed.”
“You have a weird way to show it.”
“You’ve never been a bad man, Olivier. Never. Not even… back then. With Claire. With Nigeria. You were a good man doing bad things.”
“Stop it. I don’t want to talk anymore.”
Gustave put his hand on Olivier’s arm, who shivered at the contact but didn’t dare shake him off; the touch like a stab to his ribs, but a stab piercing his lungs and allowing him to breathe. Gustave gently pressed his fingers on Lion’s skin.
“And you’re still a good man deep inside, and that’s why I still love you.”