"As a kid who was pretty different himself, I think that what I would tell people that are individuals out there is, you’re the ones who inherit the earth. B e l i e v e in yourself and be patient. Be as different as y o u want to be. You have every right to do that, and it may be difficult and lonely at times, but there is no greater privilege than owning y o u r s e l f.” [x]
Hephaestion and Alexander had been educated together at Aristotle’s academy. Hephaestion too, was not only extremely brave like Alexander the Great, but he was also so intelligent AND used to have intellectual debates with his teacher, Aristotle. Hephaestion and Alexander, both were extremely handsome, manly guys, but it is said that out of the two, Hephaestion was even more good looking than Alexander, it if was at all possible. Later on, Hephaestion became an important Military General in Alexander’s army. Alexander the Great used to be in the foremost position. It was because of this that he suffered several times during wars — some of them were very serious. There is a famous incident that illustrates their deep love for each other. When the two of them went to meet the Queen of Persia in her camp, after defeating her army, she could not recognise, who, between the two of them was emperor Alexander the Great. She was extremely worried about whom to greet first. She did not want to anger the Emperor. Because Hephaestion was more domineering in appearance, she mistakenly greeted him as “Alexander the Great”. But she was immediately told of her mistake. Now, the Queen started quivering in panic. Upon this, Alexander is said to have laughed and said, “Worry not mother (Queen), for he too is Alexander.” Words that have been engraved in history, forever. They were so close to each other that they used to tear open and read each other’s letters. Of course, they spent most of their time together, as they lived as well as worked together. In spring 324 BC Hephaestion left Susa, where he had been married, and accompanied Alexander and the rest of the army as they travelled towards Ecbatana. They arrived in the autumn and it was there, during games and festivals, that Hephaestion fell ill with a fever. Arrian says that after the fever had run for seven days, Alexander had to be summoned from the games to Hephaestion, who was seriously ill. He did not arrive in time; by the time he got there, Hephaestion was dead. It is said that the woe of the greatest emperor in the world was undescribable. It is said that Alexander laid on the corpse of Hephaestion, embracing him, and cried for more than a day. He simply wouldn’t let go of him. In the end, the officers had to drag him from there. After losing his lover, life became meaningless for Alexander. Hephaestion was his soul. Now, he had no wish to live any longer. And slowly, Alexander became very, very ill. And within six months of his lover’s death, in 323 BC, in Babylon, at the age of 33, Alexander too, left this world to reunite with his soulmate.