STALEMATE by Stefania Mela

Sitting on the bench, he dwelled one last time on the thought of his decision.

Right there and then, he could tell clearly; he was not the man he thought he was. He had fallen for a woman other than his own. He was young, only just reaching the appropriate age for crucifixion. Still, he wondered if he really was getting old after all and if timidity was the disease of Time. All these years he was hand in glove with temerity, yet now he felt numb. Not just his body on a bench, but his ideas and the ardour of his heart. 

He could break free. But the terror of free will was vertiginous. Hence, he would invoke the rules which were there before him, to shake off his shoulders the unbearable weight of the choice, so that later on he could forgive himself for what he had done to his own life. 

So he did the sole thing he could bear doing. He returned home.

Many men these days shall talk of ethics and prudence, for it is much believed that people should abide by the unwritten laws, for as all laws they are prescribed to bind man to his dignity, thus equalizing the toil of mortality to a good life. Truly, it would have taken a madman to leave all sure nobility of a love so familiar and the good life it promised to provide, to try his luck anew with the other woman—would it turn out well? What if it did and later fell apart. Oh well, what if it didn’t. It took madness to trust in love and give it a real chance, and love was all about madness and the breaking of laws, and mostly, the only chance a man had to immortality.

Stefania lives in Athens, Greece. She studied Law, chose literature over it and keeps on writing. She has published a few short stories in Greek literary magazines. Still amusing herself that she has a good answer as to why is a raven like a writing desk.

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