When he heard his name, he immediately turned to his left where his wife sat beside him in her beautiful, flowing gown and sparkling jewels. She looked at him with wide eyes as he smiled at her, before leaning across and kissing him on the lips. Holding her hand, he beamed at her as hands reached all around to shake the gifted hand of the composer who’d won the prestigious Song of the Year Award. Tearing himself away from the cheering crowd, he neatly buttoned his maroon suit as he ascended the stairs to shake the hands of the presenters and take hold of his sixth trophy.
As he glanced down at the gleaming gold, he paused for a moment. The previous five had been accepted graciously though quietly; with only two words ever uttered into the waiting microphone, he had been very efficient in the past with his speeches. But this year was a little different, and as he stood there, he hesitated; for the first time, he felt the urge to confess before millions. He debated for a quick half-second over the wisdom of such a move before clearing his throat and finally speaking beyond those historic two words.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very private man. I find little joy in divulging the happenings of my daily life as they’re often embarrassing, but this evening, I cannot help but profess in a very un-private manner my gratitude and love for my muse.”
Quiet laughter rippled throughout the gilded theater, and he gave a quick smile. Delicately holding the trophy, he cleared his throat before looking up.
“It’s a tad cliché, isn’t it? The artist and his muse. You would think that we as a people would be able to rid of our more passé dreams, but because we are so romantic, there are times when we find ourselves in situations like this where someone cannot help but give themselves wholly to that fantasy known as a muse.”
“I was fortunate enough to meet mine when I was attending university. I know of so many artists who go all their lives without even brushing elbows with their muse, but through some fluke of destiny in the form of a small house-party, I was thankfully stopped from going any further down the meticulously planned, frustratingly predictable path I had well been on my way by this…stunning vision. From the moment I laid eyes on her, a part of me always knew that my life would never be the same again, and thankfully, I was right because I’m standing here tonight and not sitting in some musty, dusty office with never-ending demand of paperwork to fill out.”
He rubbed his wedding band with the pad of his thumb as he softly smiled to himself at the memory of the years gone by. It had seemed so long ago and yet as if it had been just yesterday that they had met, all at the same time. Love was a peculiar riddle, wasn’t it?
“It is very difficult to write music when there is little you marvel at during the day. Emotion – happiness, sadness, jealousy, rage – is the ink in which a composer marks the notes on the staff, and as the years go by, one usually finds it easier and easier to settle into a routine. A formula. You grow older and more experienced and therefore more comfortable with the past. Unless, that is, you have a muse.”
“As I previously mentioned, I was blessed to meet her so early in my life, and every morning I wake beside her, I cannot help but feel the most absurd sense of perfect happiness. I see her and hold her and hear her every day, and every time that I do, my inkwell just overflows, so that everyday, I can’t help but feel as if she is no longer my muse but a goddess and that my work is but a reflection of her and her infinite exquisiteness.”
He paused. It was not like him to be so open with his feelings, but being with her – talking about her, looking at her – softened him and wore all those years of protection and self-preservation away that he couldn’t help but blink back tears on national television. Swallowing hard, he cleared his throat before running a hand through his hair. Just a few closing words and he could return where he belonged: by her side. Shifting his weight to his other leg, he tightly gripped the neck of the award as he spoke.
“So for that, I would like to thank and dedicate this award – and all those I’ve won in the past – to my darling wife. I could not have come this far without her and her love and support, and I only hope, my love, that I can bring you even half as much happiness as you have given me. An impossible task, I assure you, for every breath you take steals mine away, but a task I promise you that I’ll try my damned hardest to fulfill. You have my word on that.”
Applause resounded off the high ceiling as he hurried down the steps to embrace his wife. Tears glimmered in her eyes as she reached for him and clumsily wove their fingers together, and he couldn’t help but laugh softly as he picked her up, he held her so tightly.
Lelouch vi Britannia was a private man, yes. That would never change even with all the love and care she gave him; some things were just too painful to forget. But even private men had things they wanted to say and tears they wanted to shed and lips they wanted to kiss, no matter who was watching, and as he sat there the rest of the evening, his wife’s hand in his own, he couldn’t help but feel that he’d have gladly made that same speech a million times over if only to show her and remind her of his infinite, overwhelming love for his muse; his radiant goddess.