But especially in the letters, those emotions rose to their peak. Then the facts did not argue against them and nothing disturbed their imaginations or fooled them. They wrote each other twice a week, with a passionate lyrical style. They hardly mentioned real events or ordinary things. They pondered harsh, ideological questions, in the tone of the Book of Revelation, which varied without interruption from charm to extreme despair. They called each other with the words “my only, my hope, my beloved, my righteous”. They used the word “soul” terribly diligently. They described the gloom they allowed with tragic colors, and tried every way to throw their friends to the shadow of their own destiny.
– I’m tortured, my beloved, the pain I bring to you, Christophe wrote. I can’t stand that you suffer: it can’t happen, I don’t want it! (She pulled such a firm line under these words that the paper burst.) If you suffer, where do I get the strength to live: I can’t find happiness anywhere else in you. Oh, be happy! I’ll gladly take part in all the evil! Think of me! Love me! I feel an infinite desire to get love. Your love will breathe me warm, which will make me alive. If you knew how to shake my eyes! In my heart is a winter and a slender lead. I embrace your soul.
“My thoughts kiss your soul,” Otto replied.
– I’ll take you between my hands, wrote Christophe again; and what I have not done and do not do with my lips, I do with all my being: I embrace you as I love. Think for yourself, to what extent!
Otto was doubtful:
– Do you love me as much as I do with you?
– Oh, my God! exclaimed Christophe. Not as much, but ten, but a hundred, a thousand times more! How is it possible! Don’t you know that? What should I do to get your heart awake?
– How wonderful our friendship is, sighed Otto. Has it ever been compared in history? It’s sweet and fresh like sleep. Oh, it would never end! Oh, if you stopped me loving me!
– How are you silly, my friend, Christophe answered. Sorry, but your cowardice is angry with me. How can you ask if I would stop loving you! Live is for me to love you. Death can’t do anything against my love. You could not do anything for yourself if you wanted to destroy it. If you cheated me if you broke my heart, I would die blessing the love you have helped me. So be calm all the time, and do not bring sorrow to me with so much fear!
But a week later Christophe himself wrote:
– For three full days I have not received the word from your mouth. I’m trembling. Do you forget me? My blood freezes when I think about it… Yeah, sure!… One day I recently noticed a cold in you. You don’t like me anymore! You’re going to leave me! If you forget me if you cheat on me, I will kill you like a dog!
– You offend me, oh my heart, silent Otto. You force me to tear. I don’t deserve that treatment. But you can do anything. You have gained such power from me that even if you crushed my soul, every chip would still live to love you!
– The power of Heaven! exclaimed Christophe. I am tortured by my friend cry! … Hundreds of by me! Hit me! Save me on your feet! I am a wretch! I don’t deserve your love.
They had their own mutual way to draw the addresses of each other in the envelope and set the stamps: obliquely to the bottom of the shell, to the right; so they somehow got their letters different from the others they had to send to other, ordinary people. And such childish mysterious tricks were adorable to them as the most delicate mysteries of love.
Once, when Christophe went home to give lessons, he noticed a young boy of the same age on Oton’s street. They laughed and talked to each other. Christophe worshiped and stalked them until they disappeared behind the corner of the street. They had never seen him. Christophe went home. He was just like a cloud would have darkened the sun. Everything was gloomy.
The next Sunday they met each other again, and Christophe initially did not whistle. But after half an hour she said in a tight voice:
– I saw you on Wednesday at Kreuzgass.
– Okay, Otto said. And he blushed. Christophe went on:
– You were not alone.
– No, Otto replied, it happened to be following. Christophe swallowed his spit and asked, pretending to be indifferent:
– Who was it?
– My cousin Frans.
– So, Christophe said.
And went on for a moment.
– You’ve never talked to me about him.
– He lives in Rheinbach.
– You meet him many times
– He’s here sometimes.
– And you, are you with him?
– Aha! pronounced Christophe,
Otto wanted to turn the subject around and pointed out to Christoph that there was a bird that fell on a tree in its beak. Then they talked about other things. After ten minutes, Christophe suddenly began:
– And are you in good spirits?
– With who? asked Otto.
(He knew who Christophe meant.)
– With your cousin?
– Yes. What’s up?
Otto didn’t like her cousin too, who usually annoyed her with all kinds of miserable cuffs. But the instinctive temptation to urge him to add, when he was silent for a moment:
– He’s a very nice boy.
– Who? asked Christophe now.
(He knew perfectly who Otto meant.)
Otto waited for Christoph to answer; but the latter had not been heard; he cut a stick from a branch of a nutcracker. Otto continued:
– He is funny. He has all kinds of stuff.
Christophe whistled worriedly. Otto pulled out the better:
– And he’s very intelligent … and talented!… Christophe shrugged, as if to say:
– What does that creature belong to me?
And when Otto was annoyed to continue, he broke down the story and ordered the line that they were about to race.
All that afternoon they didn’t touch that thing anymore; but there was a cold between them while they were very polite to each other, at least from Christophe’s side. The words clung to Christophe’s throat. Finally, he could no longer tolerate this, but turned in the middle of the road towards Otto, who walked the steps of the sign, fiercely taking him out of his hand and firing to say:
– Listen, Otto! I don’t, I don’t want you to be a friend with Frans, because … that, you are my friend; and I don’t want you to love anyone more than me! I don’t want it! See, you are everything to me. You can’t… you can’t do it… If I had no more, I would have nothing else, nothing, but I would die. I don’t know what I’d do then. I’d kill myself. I’d kill you too. No, forgive me!…
And the waters flowed from his eyes.
Otto was moved and frightened by the direct pain that had erupted into threats, and he hurried to assure that he never loved and should never love anyone like Christophea; he didn’t care about Frances and he didn’t want to see his cousin anymore if it was bad for Christoph. Christophe grieved his words, he laughed and breathed deeply. He thanked Otto passionately. He was ashamed of having carried out such a series; but he was now in heavy weight. They looked at each other, standing face to face, motionless and holding each other out; they were very happy and strangely confused. Then they continued to silence their journey; and finally they started talking again about their plans and the joy came back: they felt closer to each other than ever before.
But it was not the last scene of this quality. When Otto now knew his power over Christophe, he was tempted to misuse it; he knew what was in the place of the Aryan, and he got the invincible desire to dig it. Still, he would have been delighted by Christophe’s anger: on the contrary, he was afraid of it. But he felt his own power when he could produce Christophie’s suffering. He was not ashamed: his soul was like a girl.
So he appeared again in contradiction with his promises in a handshake with Frans or some other companion; they would exclaim, and Otto laughed proudly. When Christophe pointed out to him, Otto whispered and didn’t understand the matter seriously until he saw Christophe’s eyes black and his lips shivering in anger: then his wind changed, he was overcome by fear, and he decided not to do so. The next day he was again doing the same. Christophe wrote her wild letters and mentioned her as:
– Wrong! I don’t want to hear from you anymore! I don’t know you anymore. Get you damned, you, and all the dogs like you!
But if Otto uttered a tearful word, if he sent to Christoph, as he once did, a flower of eternal faithfulness, symbolically depicting Christophea repented and he replied by letter:
– My angel! I am crazy. Forget my foolishness … You are the best of men. Your little finger is more worthy than the whole naughty Christophe. You own all the intelligent treasures of tact. I kiss my crying. It’s with that heart. I pushed it on my leather and hit my chest with my fist; I would like it to wound me with blood, so that I could better understand your nobility and my own disgraceful insanity!…
Gradually, however, they began to get tired of each other. There is a false argument that little disputes strengthen friendship. Christophe did not forgive in his soul that Otto forced him to do wrong with him. His honest and fervent character, which for the first time was in the test of love, surrendered to it perfectly, and wanted another to surrender, without retaining any one of his hearts. He did not accept any kind of division for many in friendship. Because he was ready to sacrifice everything to a friend, he was natural, so, inevitably, that a friend would sacrifice everything, sacrifice himself. Now, however, he began to realize that the world was not made in the same way as his own uncompromising character and that he demanded something that reality could not give. Then he tried to submit. He hurried himself, he claimed to be a selfish being and had no right to deprive his friend of his freedom, to steal all his feelings for himself. He did all he could to allow another to complete freedom, even though it was so difficult for him. Even he invited Otto to remember Frans, so he was a sacrifice; she imagined she was happy to see Otto’s good to be with others like her. But when Otto, who did not give himself a beard, miserably followed that advice, Christophe could not prevent himself from becoming acidic; and suddenly his anger erupted again. He did all he could to allow another to complete freedom, even though it was so difficult for him. Even he invited Otto to remember Frans, so he was a sacrifice; she imagined she was happy to see Otto’s good to be with others like her. But when Otto, who did not give himself a beard, miserably followed that advice, Christophe could not prevent himself from becoming acidic; and suddenly his anger erupted again. He did all he could to allow another to complete freedom, even though it was so difficult for him. Even he invited Otto to remember Frans, so he was a sacrifice; she imagined she was happy to see Otto’s good to be with others like her. But when Otto, who did not give himself a beard, miserably followed that advice, Christophe could not prevent himself from becoming acidic; and suddenly his anger erupted again. Christophe could not prevent himself from becoming acidic; and suddenly his anger erupted again. Christophe could not prevent himself from becoming acidic; and suddenly his anger erupted again.
Perhaps he would have forgiven Otto that Otto was in favor of other friends; but at least he could not forget about licking. Otto was by no means a deceptive or pretentious person: it was naturally difficult for him to speak true, just as the stranger uttered words; all he told was never completely true and she was not a lie; whether it was due to insanity or self-uncertainty; his answers were biased; and most of all he hinted at something and at the same time attempted to conceal some of the remarkable things that made Christophe quite angry. When he was caught by the evil one – or something that they considered evil according to their friendship – – He did not admit it at all, but denied it persistently, and told strange things. One day, Christophe was so bitter that he gave him an ear muff. Now he thought he would end their friendship and that Otto wouldn’t forgive him. But when Otto had stood for a few hours, he came back to Christophe as if nothing had happened. He did not carry Christophe’s resentment for his drunkenness; maybe they were not uncomfortable about him, they could just be attracted to him somehow. On the contrary, he was not grateful to Christoph for Christophe giving himself a beard and swallowing the mouth with all the impossible veins; he slightly despised him and was supposed to be stronger than that one. Christoph was again disgusted,
The adoration of the first days had vanished. The faults of both of them were now clearly visible. Christophe’s independence no longer fascinated as much as in the beginning. Christophe was an uncomfortable comrade on strolls. He didn’t care about a fine performance. He was, how he wanted: he stripped his coat, opened the buttons and collar of his vest, put off his shirt sleeves up to his elbows, put his hat on the toe and enjoyed full body freedom. He waved as he walked his hands, he sang towards the cucumber; he was red, sweaty, and dusty; he was like a returning peasant. The aristocratic Otto was lost if he came to meet him while walking with Christophe. When he saw the stroller on the highway far away, he tried to stay ten steps ahead of Christoph: he had come to himself alone.
As much as Christophe was talking about in restaurants or traveling on a railway wagon. He talked loudly, said everything that was headed, spoke Otto offensive acquaintance; he ruthlessly proclaimed disrespectful reviews of people who were known or made remarks about the appearance of people sitting next to them; or began to over-elaborate on their health and home life. Otto got a sense of how to rotate her eyes and show painful gestures, Christophe didn’t seem to notice them, she wasn’t there any more than if she had been alone. Otto noticed the other people’s cheerfulness: he had to fall under the earth with shame. Christophe was clumsy about him; he no longer understood how he could admire that kind of thing.
The worst thing was that Christophe continued his increasingly disdainful behavior against all the fences, obstacles, private circles, garden walls, prohibition and penalty boards, everything that contained some Verbot and somehow limited his own freedom and secured sacred ownership of his attacks. Otto walks in fears of fear, and the remarks did nothing to help: Christophe was in the threat of two fears.
When Christophe one day walked home at Otto’s hammock through a private park where they had to penetrate, even though the edge of the wall had been scattered full of glass shards, – or rather, – they suddenly came to the guard; the man began to bark them; and having threatened them with the time to challenge justice, he kicked them out in the most disgraceful way. The hero of Oto did not shine in this trial: he saw himself in prison, he wept and claimed to have come in error, followed Christoph only, without knowing where the journey was. When he saw that he was at liberty, he was not happy, but began to bitterly criticize Christoph; he complained that Christophe was shaming him. The other made him an appalling gaze and called him “Akka”. That was the source of a lively exchange of words. Otto would have immediately resigned from Christoph if he knew how to find a home alone; now he had to stay with him; but they were not on their way to see each other.