Closest Friends & Dearest Lovers
Deva and Ravana were friends since they were five, as Ravana’s mother worked as a servant of the royal family. They lived in a small room below the castle, and Deva would visit them every morning to play with his best friend. They formed a close relationship and sometimes Ravana would be allowed to attend royal functions with the king and queen, but he preferred spending time with Deva over anything. Ravana’s father was the king’s loyal servant, but his mother hated him as he would beat her all the time. He no longer lived with them and rarely visited, even though the king had insisted they reunite.
When both Deva and Ravana had become older they were the most sought after men in the kingdom. All the girls swooned over them, and Deva had taken the innocence of many of the most beautiful young girls in the land. Ravana was more reserved though, he believed in the traditional belief of saving his seed for his wife. Deva found this foolish, and often joked at Ravana over the matter, but he simply ignored it.
One day, whilst hunting deer in the forest, Ravana noticed a fair lady hiding behind the trees. Fearing that she was lost he ran towards her, calling out for her. She didn’t reply, and he wondered if he was seeing things. Then he saw her, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, standing between the trees, light shining down on her golden hair, her blue eyes glistening in the sunlight, her dress blowing with the breeze, leaves rustling at her feet. He was in love, and she would be his.
Deva then came looking for him, and found him staring at something. He made his way towards Ravana, calling out his name, the girl ran away at the sound of Deva’s voice. Deva found Ravana alone, and asked him what had happened. Ravana told him he had seen a deer, but it had gotten away. “So let’s go find it!”, Deva exclaimed, running in the direction that Ravana was looking.
That night Ravana thought of the girl in the forest, the sun in her eyes, the leaves at her feet. His heartbeat quickened as he thought of her, and his mind raced as he closed her eyes and envisioned her. She was the girl of his dreams, a dream he had yet to see, until that night. He dreamed of her in the forest again, except this time he was alone and Deva was not around. They made love in the shade of the trees, as the branches cracked below them. She moaned for him as he thrust himself into her, and they both gave in to the ecstasy of love.
Deva was walking through the forest when he found a little house by a lake, one he had never seen before. It belonged to the royal family of a kingdom nearby. He made his way towards it, hearing the laughter of a girl. With every step with eyes widened as the girl began to speak and the beauty of her voice drew him in. He rushed towards the back of the house where the voice was coming from, stopping as he reached a corner, peeping over to see her.
There she was, half her naked body inside the lake, half exposed. She had a perfect figure, and her hair flowed down to her back. She was filled out in all the right places, and at that moment Deva could feel the pressure rising in his blood. He had to do something, this was the perfect opportunity. But what if someone was around? He would be killed, with no question as to who he was. He approached the lake slowly, taking care not to alarm the girl.
Once he was close enough and the girl was immersed in the water he called out to her. “Who’s there?”, she asked, while turning to see. “Prince Deva, at your service”, he replied, with a cheeky smile across his face. “Your services are unnecessary, dear Prince, I am well off by myself”, she said, brushing him off. “Oh well I think you could use some company down there, that lake is big enough for two”, he said, taking off his shirt and trousers and walking towards the water. “If we’re seen they’ll kill you”, she warned, “are you willing to take that risk?”. “Anything for you, my love”, he replied, with a charming smile on his face.
They had fun that day, the innocent kind, while Deva teased her about swimming naked in the lake. She didn’t care, though, and this surprised him. He was shocked to hear that she was the princess of her land, and that her father had begun looking for a suitable prince. Deva grinned at this before he said “what finer man than me, my love? I shall prove to your father my worth”. And with that he left, determined to be the man that she married, and to make her his queen.
When he reached the castle he headed straight for the servants quarters to tell Ravana of his quest. He was excited to hear about it until Deva began describing the girl to him. “What colour were her eyes?” he asked, hoping it wasn’t the girl he had seen. “Colour? I didn’t notice any such thing, she was completely naked I tell you! What use are her eyes when you can look at her body, and what a body she had”, he replied, not answering Ravana’s question.
They both went to meet her the next day, this time inside the house, with the princess fully clothed. Ravana was nervous, wishing with every step he took that it was someone else. He wondered if he should tell Deva about the girl in the forest, but would that change anything? Deva had always been selfish even as a child, this was no exception. He decided to stay quiet and stood beside Deva at the door of the house by the lake.
Deva knocked on the door and they both heard a voice from behind, “I’m coming!”, she exclaimed, rushing towards the door. She was alone with only a cook and a servant to maintain the place. She told them that whenever she felt lonely or bored she would come down here and spend her days by the lake, reading, swimming and sometimes even fishing.
“Fishing?”, Deva asked, laughing at the thought of a girl fishing. “Why yes indeed, I’m quite good at it too!”, she promptly replied, taking pride in herself. “What’s the biggest thing you’ve caught? A boot?”, Deva asked before bursting into laughter. Ravana joined in though inside his heart was breaking into pieces at the thought of Deva stealing his love away from him, though Deva knew nothing at all.
They spent the whole day together by the lake, playing games and swimming in the lake. Before too long Ravana grew tired of having his heart broken and decided to leave, claiming he felt sick and had some work to do in the castle. Deva let him go, without even asking him to stay, he had clearly replaced Ravana already. Ravana walked alone to the castle, tears falling from his eyes, his heart aching with hurt. After all, who ever heard of a servant boy that married a princess?
The girl’s name was Saesha, and she was only a few years younger than Deva, which made them a perfect couple. Deva’s parents wholeheartedly agreed when they saw her, as Deva had brought her to the castle. The king and queen then left to ask for the princess’s hand in marriage from her parents. But strangely, they never returned.
Saesha’s parents had received them, and plans for the marriage had been arranged. There would be a grand wedding and a feast, followed by a ball that night. But Deva’s parents were not around to see this, and everyone feared they weren’t alive. Deva was heartbroken at the thought, but realized that this meant he would be the new king of his land, and she would be his queen. In a way, it was a good thing.
However, the king had a brother, one that Deva had never known. He was banished from the kingdom before Deva was born, for trying to rape his mother, when she was married to his father. His father had been furious about this when he caught his brother, Evyavan, violating his wife. But he could not kill his own flesh and blood, so he banished him from the kingdom, to never return again.
Meru, the kings loyal servant, took up his duties in the castle and knew everything that went on inside. He had not gone with the king and queen on their last trip, and this made Deva suspicious, as Meru always accompanied his father. When questioned about this Meru said there were more important matters at hand, and that it was his father’s decision for him to stay behind. Deva didn’t question this as his reasoning was sound, and never bothered Meru again.
With only days until the wedding the whole kingdom was out and about getting ready for the grand ceremony. Dresses were made and men and women made sure they looked their best for the event. The kingdom was full of joy though they had lost their king, as they knew Deva would lead well. He had always been popular among the people, and not only the girls. Ravana too was busy with the wedding preparations, of which most was planned out by him. This way he could be close to Saesha and no one would suspect anything, though he knew nothing would happen between them.
While delivering her wedding dress he confessed to Saesha that he had fallen in love with her that day in the forest. She was shocked to hear of this but also pleased, though she did not show it. She too had felt for him, but she knew they could never be. Ravana told her he was happy that Deva was to marry her, and congratulated her, saying he was a wonderful man, and they would be happy together. He wished her well before leaving only to find the people of the town in panic.
Deva had gone missing, some said he had run away, fearing for his life after learning the truth about his parents death. Ravana investigated this and found out that Deva had met with Meru before leaving, so Ravana went looking for Meru. In Meru’s chamber he found a book, the one that Deva would have to take oath with in order to become king. This was not supposed to be with Meru, he had no right to even touch it. Ravana became suspicious and warily walked into Meru’s bedroom. He wasn’t there.
Just then a shadow appeared in front of him, and an object knocked his head, knocking him out. The next thing Ravana saw was Meru sitting in front of him, they were in a dark, cold place. “We’re in the dungeon”, Meru said, as though he could read his mind. “What am I doing here?”, Ravana asked, realizing he was tied down to a chair. “Relax, you can’t get out of it, so don’t bother”, Meru replied, ignoring his question.
“Where is Deva? What have you done to him”, Ravana asked, anger in his voice. “Calm down!”, Meru exclaimed, smacking Ravana across the face. “The prince has been put away, to a place more fitting for him”, Meru said, snickering. “What do you mean? Where have you taken him? What are you up to, Meru?”, he asked, now shaking the chair attempting to get out. “He is right here”, Meru said, motioning towards the other corner of the room.
Under a dim light Ravana could see Deva, his head bowed, tied to a chair as he was. “What are you doing, Meru, he is the king of this land, this is no way to treat a king!”, he burst out. “Nonsense! He is no king until he is sworn in, till then he is just a prince”, Meru replied. “Besides, he is not the rightful heir of the throne, the real king is on his way to take his rightful place”, Meru said, realizing that Deva was now awake.
“You bastard! Let me out of here at once!”, Deva roared, only to be smacked across the face by Meru. “You won’t be getting out of here alive, dear prince, you will have to wait until your uncle arrives”, Meru said with a snicker. “My uncle is not the rightful heir to the throne! I am! He was banished from this land, he cannot be its ruler!” Deva screamed, fighting to get out of the chair. Meru kicked him back and punched him square in the face, knocking him out again.
It had all become clear to Ravana, who was know trying to think of a way to get out of this situation. “Now you understand, and now I will leave you”, Meru said, before exiting the dungeon and heading out to the castle to calm the people. Ravana then began to make his way towards Deva, tilting his chair from side to side in order to get there. Once he was there he used his teeth to saw through the rope that was tied around Deva, who was still unconscious.
By the time he was halfway through Deva was awake, and began sawing through Ravana’s ropes. Once Ravana was done and Deva was free, Deva searched the room for a knife and cut through Ravana’s ropes. They then discussed how they would escape, and decided to do it stealthily and late at night, when no one was awake except the guards. They succeeded at this without alerting a single guard, as they had done this so many times as children running out of the castle to visit the black magic lady, who lived outside the kingdom, and taught them spells.
Deva immediately went looking for Saesha as Ravana head off to find and stop Meru, and tell the people of his plans. Saesha was not to be found in her quarters, and Deva suspected Meru had something to do with this. He then made his way to Meru’s quarters, finding Ravana there, who had already confronted Meru.
“What do you intend to do with that book, Meru?”, Ravana asked, “you have no right to hold that in your hands”. “You must think I am of the same level as you, Ravana, but the truth is I am far above you. Once Evyavan becomes king I will be in control of this kingdom as much as he is, you would have no such power even if Deva was king”, Meru replied. “I don’t need that power, and I am not as greedy and selfish as you. Knowing you, you would poison Evyavan and make yourself heir to the throne, taking all the power for yourself”, Ravana said, anger beaming through his eyes. “You know me too well, my son, but it is too late now, Evyavan is on his way”, Meru said, snickering as he made his way out.
“And just where do you think you’re going?”, Deva asked, snatching the book out of Meru’s arms. “Give me that back, your runt!”, Meru exclaimed, trying to grab the book from Deva. “There is no use of you trying, old man, we are both stronger and faster than you”, Deva said with a laugh, just before Meru leaped towards him. He dodged him and realized that what he said might not have been true, Meru appeared to be in good shape.
“Let us play a game of catch?”, Deva asked emphatically. Ravana looked up at Deva remembering the game they played as children, then got up and ran ahead. Deva tossed the book over to Ravana shouting “catch”. As Ravana rushed back to the chambers, Meru followed. Ravana then caught Meru with his foot smacking against the side of Meru’s neck. “You won’t get the book without a fight”, he said, playfully.
Meru snickered and attempted to grab onto Ravana, who slipped away and flung Meru towards the chamber. As Deva entered the chamber he found Saesha still waiting for him. They embraced for a moment when Meru and Ravana crashed through the door. Meru crashed into a wall before he fell to the floor, crying out in pain.
As Ravana approached him Meru attempted to grab his legs, but Deva stopped him with a kick in the groin. Meru grunted through his teeth and exclaimed, “the kingdom was never yours to begin with, Evyavan did no wrong, we all know your mother was a whore”. This infuriated Deva, who raised Meru off the ground before punching him square in the face. Saesha pulled him back, clutching the book against her chest. She wanted to leave.
Meru then caught Ravana off guard, managing to fling him into the air, throwing him through a table. He then rushed towards Deva and Saesha, going after the book. Deva attempted to fend Meru off, but Meru was too quick. He stabbed Deva with a knife concealed in his hand and took hold of Saesha. Ravana then rushed at Meru, taking both Meru and Saesha down. Deva was lying on the ground as he had been gravely injured.
While collapsed on the ground, Ravana noticed a sword that had fallen off the wall. He picked it up and heaved before sticking it into the body lying next to him. His eyes were closed, but he could hear the steel plunging into flesh. He looked up to see Meru, the book now in his arms. Ravana watched in disbelief as Meru rose to the ground, unharmed. As Ravana picked himself up he came to realize what he had done, and who he had killed.
Deva had seen the whole thing, and was furious at Ravana, but more so at himself for not being able to stop it. He watched as his closest friend took the life of his dearest lover. He stared at her dying body, and the pool of blood forming around her, a sword sticking from her side.
Ravana went mad at the thought, and mad at himself for what he had done. He paced the room, his head in his hands. “Damnit!, he cried out, raising his head to find Meru attempting to escape. Meru snickered, infuriating Ravana. “I’m going to kill you! I swear I’m going to make you feel every second of it!”, he threatened as he lunged at Meru, taking him off guard.
Meru and Ravana rolled on the floor taking shots at each other, Ravana doing most of the damage, his fists moving with the force of fury. The book had fallen to the ground, and was now soaking in the pool of Saesha’s blood. Deva pulled himself towards her, aching with every inch.
Ravana had picked Meru up, a bloody mess by then. He then kicked him continuously in the groin till they reached a window. Ravana then picked him up, and with a tortured war cry threw Meru through the glass, watching the thousands of shards trail his father’s falling body. He turned away and heard the sound of Meru’s body hitting the ground.
Ravana looked at Saesha, her face was pale, there was no hope for her. Yet Deva tried to revive her, but the more he tried the more obvious it became that she was dead. Ravana fell to the floor, enraged by everything that had happened. He let out a piercing scream and in the silence that followed, a memory returned to him.
It was from his childhood, Deva and Ravana would sneak out of the castle and visit a black magic lady who was banned from the kingdom. She would teach them little spells that they could use on their friends. On their last visit she thought them a powerful spell, one that could give back the life to one who had lost it in vain. But there was a heavy price to pay, the life of the one that cast the spell.
The lines of the spell came in to his head and as they did he chanted them out, picking himself up and approaching Saesha. Deva was still trying to revive her and took no notice of Ravana, who was now just above Saesha. With the last line of the spell Ravana pulled out the sword from Saesha and plunged it into himself, falling to his knees as the steel met with flesh. His blood was now one with that of Saesha’s, at least this way they would be together. Deva looked up, unable to believe what had just happened, unable to accept the death of his closest friend and his dearest lover.
At the moment that Ravana’s heart gave up, Saesha’s heart began to beat. Deva looked at her and noticed the blood return to her face. He then tried to revive her again, growing more desperate with each try. She gasped as she returned to consciousness, awakening to the sight of Deva’s desperate face. She looked around to see blood all around her, the book had now turned red, there was glass in a corner and a heavy light shone upon a lifeless Ravana, a sword sticking from his side.
She turned her gaze back to Deva, unable to take in the sight. She had loved him too, even more so than Deva, though she had been ashamed to admit it. But the servant boy had risked his life so that they could live the life that they deserved. She did not remember how it happened. She did not remember the sword piercing her. He had not died to save her. Deva never told her the exact details as he himself could not bear to recall. That evening he and Saesha were sworn in as the new king and queen of the land.
Evyavan was getting closer and closer, and Deva felt the darkness closing in with every step that his uncle took. He wished that Ravana could be by his side to fight off his uncle. He wished that he had been able to save Saesha’s life and Ravana’s. He wished he could have been as brave.