Patroclus and Achilles
"Tell me of Achilles, the greatest warrior ever alive," Aleos asked.
He was sitting at the fire opposite to me. The night was warm and we had been sitting there for a while, listening to the sounds of the night, now and then talking of things, unimportant things, just to keep the conversation going. Out of a sudden, he asked me to tell him of Achilles. My hand, stretched out to the fire, started to tremble.
"Why would you want to know?" I asked, avoiding his eyes.
"They say you had been his best friend."
I looked into the fire.
"Yes," I replied.
"They say he is immortal. No one has ever seen him again. Maybe he went to the immortal halls and now dwells with the gods," Aleos continued.
I started to laugh aloud. Aleos looked at me in astonishment.
"Why are you laughing, Patroclus?"
I made a movement with my hand.
"Nothing," I said. I imagined Achilles dining with the gods.
"Now tell me. Is it true? Was Achilles the greatest warrior ever alive?"
I leaned back against a rock and looked at Aleos.
""In a sense he was, yes..."
My mind went back in time. I remembered another night, the night when I had been sitting next to Achilles. We were gazing at the sea. I recalled the night when everything had changed forever. I had been with him for a few months. Achilles taught me the usage of weapons and whatever a warrior needed to know.
One day we went to the place where we used to do the sword fighting. However, something was different. Later, none of us was able to say how it had changed and why it had changed. We had been fighting for a while, but Achilles wasn't able to concentrate. I defeated him several times. He grew angry, threw away his sword and walked away without a word. After a while I followed him. I found him sitting on a rock, gazing at the sea. I sat down next to him.
"What is this?" he whispered. "What has happened to me?"
I didn’t answer. I was not able to move or say a word. Achilles was close to me. I felt his body next to mine. I felt my heartbeat and my blood running through my veins. I just kept sitting there, gazing at the sea.
The silence grew unbearable. None of us, however, was able to break it. The moments passed. Night fell. I sensed Achilles next to me. I was breathing his presence.
"Patroclus," he said.
I turned my face to him slowly, feeling and knowing that when our eyes would meet, everything would change forever. A moment passed, and then I looked into his eyes. They were burning like fire. My soul drowned in his gaze. I hardly noticed that he leaned over to me, until I felt the soft touch of his lips on mine.
I raised my eyes and looked at the man sitting on the other side of the fire. I watched his face. It showed no expression. He just stared back at me. Why had I spoken to him of this summer night and this time long since gone? A smile appeared on my lips.
"You are surprised, Aleos?" I asked him. He leaned back and looked to the ground.
"Not really, Patroclus," he said. "I'm only surprised that you speak to me in this frank and open manner."
I shrugged and threw a stone into the fire. I closed my eyes. I remembered Achilles’ kiss. I recalled his kiss that was consuming my soul. Again I felt the touch of Achilles’ lips and the soft and yet firm touch of his hand on my shoulder.
Achilles, who had taught me the usage of weapons and whatever a warrior needed to know. I had loved him. Achilles, the greatest warrior ever alive. I had looked up to him. Achilles, the mortal man who had become immortal. I still adored him.