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The Poet & The Butterfly: An Intimate Dialogue
Crafted by Mandy Richardson’s soul
Co-written with Keveen Gabet
Inspired by LOVE
10 Year Anniversary Edition
Copyright © 2017 by Mandy Richardson
All rights reserved
Edited by Melanie McKay
Cover art and design by Eshwin Dhir
Cover restoration by Yain Cameron Russell
From: Mandy Richardson
To: Keveen Gabet
Date: Tue, Jun 26, 2007, 4:23am
Keveen Gabet changed my life.
I felt that I had been preparing myself for him, this master of words, this being that was life and love personified.
I did not see him as a mere mortal. How could I?
He was the one I dreamt into being. The one I wrote of with precise detail. The first and only one I regarded as my equal.
Keveen was the love of my life. He still is.
I fell in love with him through his words, or rather, the being that poured through them.
I have read his email at least 15 times today, absorbing the lines, the love, the words he chose in honour of me.
I suppose he has shown up, in a way. Not fully, but beautifully. Not on time, but nonetheless.
He is brave for sending me so much, yet a coward for coming through the back door.
He has yet to face me.
But still, I am still. He is bound to look at me eventually. I am not easily set aside or forgotten.
I frustrate and force without meaning to.
I speak things better left unsaid and then pray for forgiveness. I risk absolutely everything and find it a miracle that I still receive his words of love.
What makes him so special to me? What has set him apart in every way? And why am I still thinking of him, feeling him, and touching myself to him, after all this time?
It was not his charm that got me into bed. For I have been charmed a million times and still I left for home with only myself to sleep with, each and every time.
Nor was it his looks, though he is quite beautiful and heavenly to see naked. For a person only becomes truly beautiful to me when I discover the kind of person they really are.
It wasn’t his poetic flair. For I have heard and read many beautiful lines, spoken and written directly to me, and although I loved them all, I did not sleep with the men whose words honoured me.
His seductive moves didn’t do it, even though my body had never moved so easily and beautifully with a partner. For I have danced all my life and there are still many partners to be had.
Nor was it his French accent, although I hear it is a highly romantic language. For up until he came along, I had not even liked it. And maybe I still don’t, but I do love him and I would learn this foreign language so that I could love him more.
It was not his obvious brilliance, even though intelligence is the most erotic thing in my world.
For all my loves have had great minds, and all have captured my heart in this way.
It was not even his attention on me, though I loved it immensely. For I knew it did not mean that I was special to him. I knew that my time would pass and he’d be falling in lust with another by sunrise.
And it most definitely was not his restlessness. For it only made me pity him; this man intent on chasing things that don’t mean a thing while leaving the gems behind. Running from place to place when all he truly craved could be found right at his feet.
So then you might wonder what it was exactly, that made me bed a perfect stranger (and after only four days of correspondence, no doubt), when no other man had been given such a gift, and no other man ever will.
Well, on that first Friday night, that very special night that was the beginning of my new life, Keveen Gabet became the luckiest man in the world because he gave me the one thing that no other man could ever give; the only thing I had ever truly wanted.
He gave me my freedom and I fell in love.
He gave me space and unspoken permission to be myself. He allowed me to love as I had always wanted to love and he received the love I had always wanted to give.
And the most extraordinary thing was that he did not demand it be all for himself. I could spread my love around however, and to whomever, I wanted.
Having finally received what I had hungered for all my life, my gift in return was the fullness of my own being. And, in having been completely satisfied through our connection, I naturally gave from this overflow.
How could I help but to offer him the same freedom
he offered me, while giving him all that I am? He absolutely deserved this, in my mind at least, for the sweet, sweet gift he gave.
This was not my plan, however, for I had boasted of needing no man. Yet here I was, truly loving, giving and sharing. Risking, exposing and even fumbling to find a way to love to a man I barely knew, but felt I knew better than any other: the man I met while dreaming.
I craved more than anything to be special to him, somehow, even though it seemed impossible.
For after our delicious day of sunny sex, which was nothing short of the best time of my life, his sights were set on another, and another, and another, which, given the nature of this wild man, I had grown to expect and accept with a smile.
He belongs in a jungle, for that is where I always find him. He cannot be caught nor tamed, nor made to stay in love.
He must be embraced fully and released even more fully, for he is filled with a life force that must not be contained, lest the world would shrink from deprivation.
He is the owl who observes all things. The bird with its unparalleled freedom. The fish that slips through your hands when you are famished, desiring the nourishment only he can bring.
He is the snake that wraps you in his coil of love while penetrating you deeply without shame or artifice. He is the lion with his fiery mane, the gazelle with her speed and elegance, the monkey jumping all around, until I catch his eye.
Keveen Gabet is my poet.
He is awake and very perceptive. He sees things clearly, at least most things. He still thinks his constant movement is something to be admired though.
But I am not impressed by a pilgrim. I am impressed by a king. A king who knows how to treat his queen.
Of course I wait for no man. But I do sit comfortably and watch as he grows into himself. I watch and listen with care and without judgment because I love him for who he really is and I grow to love him more each day.
I make room for all of his expressions, addictions, faults and deceits, because this is the essence of love.
I see how he hides, this man that boasts of loving while seeming somehow incapable of truly getting close to another.
He shares his body freely but is bound by his desires.
True freedom exists within. And true love requires true intimacy, a gift that cannot be had through random exploits, no matter how enjoyable.
The sex might have felt great, but does she know your heart? Do you care to know hers? Beyond the romancing stage, beyond lust, beyond your own beautiful words.
I care, Keveen. I care very deeply. Even when you are not being a poet. Even when you’re no longer chasing me. Even when I know I’m not the only one.
But alas, I need a man who can face me. A man who can speak to me directly and acknowledge the gifts I give, each and every time. Just like you did while on your quest to seduce this Cambridge beauty.
He must be strong and courageous if he is to be with a woman as strong and courageous as I am. A man who is unafraid to be real. A man who is willing to expose his true self so that I might love him more. And a man who honours all women, but me especially, because I deserve as much.
I am a woman not easily had, but easily satisfied. I only require true love. I only require truth. I only require you unveiled.
No longer willing to give all of me without receiving all of him, I am now a woman who is certain of her worth.
Keveen, I have given you all of me and now it is up to you. You may leave a space as long as you need, be it a day, a week, a year or more, and I will allow that space to be.
Or, you may meet me here, in the place where I reside, and we will begin another chapter: a new story of love.
Regardless of your choice, you will be loved. And, depending on your choice, I will love myself as I need to.
Take care, my love. And know that it is your sweet, sweet love that has made me so bold, so willing to say what is real, so willing to risk it all for the love I know I deserve.
For I am a Queen who will soon meet her King.
From: Keveen Gabet
To: Mandy Richardson
Date: Tue, Jun 26, 2007, 7:28am
I am not done yet, but here I am crying.
Off to surf...will print it out and read it abundantly.
Love is a burning thing…
From: Keveen Gabet
To: Mandy Richardson
Date: Tue, Jun 26, 2007, 11:42am
I could not wait to read your praise. I sincerely love it and want it published. People ought to read what your heart needed to express. It is beautifully and wisely written, expressed, poured...
I am truly touched.
You see truths in me. You could have been my mother, but you were/are my lover, my Cambridge beauty as you name it.
I have never been praised in such an eloquent, sincere and loving manner.
Those words pierced my heart, exploded the skin of my African drums!
Nothing could beat it.
I will be your King one day...