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Oscar Wilde's The Nightingale and the Rose - Rewritten

by Anarky Taylor 4 months ago in literature

And Modernised

He was too far gone, lost inside that little world raging inside of his mind, where everything was fine. He was in control. Every change in season, every flow of life and story was concocted within the safe confines of his mind. It was a scheduled process. Every seasonal change occurred just as it did in the real world, but there were magic and wonder in his mind. It kept him on his toes, and the outside world never mingled with the inside one, and it was better off that way. But Oliver? Oliver danced around in his mind as well. Red hair bouncing about as he took Robin's hands and they ran through fields of the greenest grass one had ever seen. The problem was, Robin's feelings had started to manifest outside of his cage. Thoughts and feelings were becoming muddled and tangled. Oliver was his friend. Nothing more. Everything was just in his mind.

Or so he thought.

He had this overwhelmingly stubborn need to make sure his friend was happy and well at all times. He'd carved out hours and days to make time for him when things seemed dark. He'd lost countless days and experiences tending to Oliver's every need but under the spell of his friend's charm he was blissfully unaware of everything that passed him by. So unaware in fact, that when Oliver came to him late one afternoon to ask him for a favour, he couldn't help but devote himself entirely. Their band, the Nightingales, was preparing for their latest show, Robin having spent three days writing new songs, but Oliver had come unprepared as always, yet Robin still came to his defence. Oliver spent his days and nights studying, locked in his room for hours on end, he had no time for creativity.

He needed his help to get the attention of a girl in his economics class that had recently transferred. Ana. Fiery red hair that cascaded down her back in perfect curls, dark tanned skin and blue eyes that you could spot if you were looking down on her from space. She was the epitome of perfection, and there was nothing Robin could do to get Oliver's affection now that she had obtained it in a matter of days. He reluctantly agreed, though he would never let Oliver know that, to help him the best he could. Even if it meant hurting himself in the process. He asked him for a song, and Robin realized that Oliver's big doe look and the pouted lip was the only weakness he had.

"Please, Robby?"

So he went to work.

Writing a sappy love song that was meant for someone he had grown to despise, was becoming increasingly difficult the more Robin sat at his desk, that blank page resting on his knees as he tried to will his heart and his brain to work together. But, instead of seeing Ana, he only saw Oliver. His pale skin, dark green eyes and a face full of freckles. He was the only thing close to perfection that Robin had seen. But, their friendship had meant too much to him to give it away for his unrequited feelings, and he couldn't leave Oliver in a moment he needed his help. Although it hurt him, his pen danced across the page, and he allowed himself to get lost in the moment.

To get lost in Oliver.

The Red Rose.

Soon enough, the band ascended the stage. Robin's fingers nervously toyed with the strings on his guitar, in a desperate and absentminded attempt to not look at Oliver. His friend's grip on the guitar was loose, and he exuded confidence. Robin stole a glance to his right, those green eyes immediately finding his own before one snapped shut in a wink. He was thankful for the dim light of the bar, so that red tinge of heat that crawled up from his chest and neck to the tops of his cheeks, was barely visible, as was the sullenness that crossed his face when he spotted Ana in the crowd.

Oliver had been ecstatic that she had agreed to come, and that excitement had sky-rocketed when Robin had shown him the song. Oliver knew it was good, years of literature had taught him that, though, his book smart self had allowed the allegories to fly over his head.

Robin had allowed himself to get completely lost in the moment. As did Oliver.

He had found Ana after the show, with another man's arm draped over her shoulders, a new necklace nestled against her chest, and a look in her eyes that told him she wasn't as interested in him as he was in her. And Robin knew that look. It was one he saw more times than he cared to admit. Oliver left her side in a flurry, tearing apart the music sheets as he went, and discarding them in the nearest bin before hurrying out.

That had shattered Robin's heart. Perhaps it was his fantasy that Oliver would see through him. He was angry. Livid. Betrayed. The others were looking at him expectantly, waiting for him to rush out and be by his side, but he stayed where he was. It felt like a lesson for both of them. Oliver for judging a woman by her appearance, and Robin for allowing himself to give everything he had even though he received nothing in return.

So, he stayed where he was.


Anarky Taylor
Anarky Taylor
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Anarky Taylor
See all posts by Anarky Taylor

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