The Honest Lovers
He had always appreciated the allure of darkness. Brightness is harsh and revealing. It strips away your shadows of doubt and secrecy and leaves you vulnerable and trusting. Easily manipulated.
If you looked closely, you could see it. When he thought no one was looking, his suave smile faltered ever so slightly, his black blind fell and she caught a glimpse of her husband. Her real husband. Or perhaps only she was able to see it...
He hoped no one saw who he truly was. He would rather deliberately play the villain than to unintentionally be labelled one.
She knew what sort of a man he was. It didn't take long for her to find out.
He didn't love her. He appreciated her.
Her marriage was based on pragmatism and desire, not love. Never love. Love was a luxury for those blessed with wealth.
He knew that she was more intelligent than she let on. He knew that she noticed happenings that others would overlook. He knew that if anyone saw behind his cloak of deceit, it would be her. It was because of this that he respected her.
Despite everything, she saw moments of tenderness within him. Those moments gave her hope. She liked to think that those were the moments he stopped playing the role of the villain. Moments that were only for her eyes.
Sometimes, he caught himself thinking that they belonged together, in some sick way. He'd allow himself to smile for a moment, and then he'd usher the thought out of his mind.
She knew that what they had wasn't a marriage, rather a partnership.
He knew that she didn't love him, but he knew that she would protect him. Out of loyalty, perhaps, but more likely out of fear.
She was never scared of him. The only time he had struck her, she promptly hit him back. She knew he was capable of much more, but she saw his respect for her grow in his eyes.
He admired her strength. His role in this tale may be wicked, but sometimes all he needed was for someone to tell him 'no'.
She started fights with him sometimes. Just small ones over trivial matters. She incited these because she loved the part where they made up and she would laugh into his ear: "You will be the death of me."
He had always known that she would die at his hands, as she was his, and his alone, to kill.
She never thought for a moment that he would be.
Emilia and Iago's relationship had always intrigued me. I never understood what possessed Emilia to marry him, and how on Earth Iago managed to fool anyone into believing that he loved them. I decided to take creative license with their relationship and write about how I imagined their relationship to be.
Initially, I wrote the entire piece from Emilia's point of view in first-person (essentially the unitalicized part of the piece), but then I felt it was missing equally intriguing half of the relationship, Iago. I then wrote a separate piece (the italicized part) as Iago's first person narrative. I then realized that the two separate pieces didn't fit and didn't sound enigmatic enough. So, I changed both to third-person. Then, I decided to chop up the two pieces of writing and alternate between the two.
All of the 'Iago' parts of the piece can be read as if a single piece of prose, as can the 'Emilia' parts. This method of writing resembles a jigsaw puzzle. I felt that it perfectly illustrated the way I believe Iago and Emilia's relationship to be- they aren't similar, yet they seem to fit together and they work together to achieve a common purpose.
I've always assumed that their relationship is more of a partnership than a relationship, based on pragmatism rather than love. He appreciates her, but he doesn't love her.
She likes the fact that when he does get rid of his facade (if only momentarily) she's the only one who can see the real him. It makes her feel special, in a way she's never felt before.
I believe this is because Emilia was raised hard in an underprivileged family, without learning what love is, so she has nothing to measure her relationship against.
I believe that Iago and Emilia's relationship is the most intriguing part of Shakespeare's play, Othello. Their motivations for marrying each other are unfathomable to many readers. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming reasons for their attachment to each other. I'm quite pleased with the result.