All love stories are the same in essence. Every one of us thinks that ours is the most complicated, the most exalted and the most tragic. It is really not so. Love is as complicated for Nabokov’s Lolita as it is for Dumas’s Dantes. Here is a love story’s epitaph, commonplace, cliched and bitter, as is every other epitaph.
Apollo liked the language of love. And he liked some words in that language more than he liked others. So it was that he always bid those he held precious au revoir and never adieu. One was temporary and the other an end.
He did not do adieus. They said he had will enough to have the sun rise in the west. And he willed that he would not do adieus.
Even the most mulish of men must succumb to love at least once in their lives, and so it was with him. He willed permanence. His will had granted him everything, had it not? He trusted it would prevail, once again.
And yet, under the harsh summer sun, when he had been langorously crafting sweet odes of love, came a demand from those chapped lips he so cherished. It was a demand for adieu. He reasoned, he wept and he begged, as does every other protagonist bearing passionate regard for a beloved. Futility and despair swallowed him whole. He caved in. Thus it was that Apollo learnt to voice the word adieu. The wisdom of Apollo was wrought by tears and partings, by failure and futility, crowned by the love he bore and the adieu that was asked of him.
…and lo, at the horizon does the weeping sun kiss the bleeding sea goodbye.