Continued from Whispered Harmony 2: The Piano
All was in harmony. Obviously, there was something to thank after Spring departed. She left the beautiful land with bunches of sweet blooms, lovely renaissances of the hibernated trees, the joyous laughters of the grass dancing on every field, blue skies painted with muffled fluffs of cotton ball and the sweet smiles in every creature’s heart – the very nostalgic moment where everyone breathed in celebration – or perhaps, not all.
Esther was silently praying in the very entrance of the church, holding a bouquet of lavender and golden asters. This time, she lost her senses, the understanding of her deep emotions seemed to fade. As a woman, instincts were what she needed in times like this. But she couldn’t, the absence of understanding what she felt blocked all what she wanted to do, the thought that her body was betraying her, made her realized she woke up in a different flesh, a body seemed not her.
The bell rang, the moment she prayed must never happen. On the third bell, the door opened and appeared in front of her were the great smiles of people, mostly she didn’t even know or haven’t met for years. She took her first step on the great aisle dashed by a red carpet towards the familiar altar.
“Sorry.” She whispered before she took her second step and offered a proud head high. Then the chorus started.
It’s so cruel, for her it’s too cruel. This church was her haven, her own fortress of love and her soulful mainstay. But everything had been different, her very own protector made everything worse. The look of the whole interior was killing her. Every statue, every angel and every candle lit gave her enough reasons of weakness, defeat and death. Of all the churches on earth? She had argued her father for days about setting the wedding in a different land, but her words were nothing but cries of the beggars, often be the last option.
She continued to walk, and as soon as she heard the great piano played, she trapped herself in a halt. Without doubts, her head shifted to the direction where she wished was empty. But her hopes failed to be with her, she soon saw him with the piano, playing gracefully and momentously in a very contented air. His tune told her he was happy, something in the harmony that whispered he hoped for the best of the couple.
She smiled, but she can’t keep herself from crying. She continued, still under the ardor of tears, thinking of how this would end or how she could end. But she still let herself be drowned in the life roasted for her. There’s nothing to do now but be the brave one she promised to herself. She took the arm of the man she never did love and together faced the Almighty for a vow.
“Esther Gaundor.” The priest proclaimed in a smile. There is sweetness in his tone, a bright utterance he could speak to a lady who’s always present in his realm.
“Ding!” A low note of the piano began to blow. A shout soon followed.
“Esther?” A loud single question filled the entire church, echoed in piercing emphasis. “Esther? My Esther? Is that you?” He continued.
The people were intrigued, there were hushes and whispers everywhere.
Esther was as surprised as he was. He was on the choir’s lair facing the altar, he knew it, he knew where the altar was. She was stoned deep facing him, she knew it, she knew what he’s feeling. In truth, they both have the same feelings. They were facing each other now, sharing the same sentiments, the same questions and the same sorrow.
The groom interfered, he seized Esther by the arm and face to the priest.
“Let’s continue.” He said.
The priest was taken aback, he looked at Crisford for too long and stared back to Esther.
“Esther Gaundor.” He began. He spoke the words of God, the vows of love and the ceremonies of unity. “Will you take this man?” He finally asked.
Crisford was still in pain, still in an isolated room of sorrow, picking the figures that were just thrown, connecting and processing for the answers that he had just known. The aftermath of it made him silent. He was on his piano, crying – crying silent but hard. This meant he understood, his tears told his piano that he understood what was meant for her goodbye. He was always good in understanding, in forgiving and in making other people happy with his own at stake. He gave respect to the ceremony, to the church and to Esther – so he kept himself silent. He detached himself from what was happening. He’s in his own isolation, an owned silence where pain, sorrow and sacrifice were there to hug.
“Father.” Esther started. He waited for Crisford’s voice to echo again in the church. He waited for his protest, his shout to stop the wedding. But Crisford didn’t claim her silent hopes. She closed her eyes and thought deeply. In her mind she was hugging Crisford, they were in each other’s arms, over each other’s tears and feeding in each other’s goodbyes. In her thoughts, Crisford understood and he finally bid her goodbye without the hopes of waiting.
“Father, I wouldn’t lie to you, so to the church and so to God.” She continued. There was strength in herself already and an understanding of what she really felt. “I have to be honest to myself and to everyone. I might say ‘I do’ to accept him. But my vow is out of responsibility not out of love.” She can’t believe how brave she was, how her heart had found its voice. “I might be her wife now and he will be my husband, but the assurance of love is beyond this ceremony.”
She was just being honest. Expecting for love was an empty chance. She looked at her groom, a stare so intense and full of unknown curses. The groom was threatened. He could see his reflection fearful in her tears. He moved his stares away. She looked to the priest and thought of Crisford again. “I do.” She spilled out in bravery and in tears. Words not for the man beside her, but for Crisford. In her heart, Crisford remained her desires. She can’t deny that, she knew Crisford was irreplaceable.