Crimson roses adorned her bouquet, complementing her snow white gown to perfection. Her hair cascaded down her bare shoulders with an enviable sheen and the diamonds she wore were a colorful play of light.
Her reflection stood in stark contrast to all her bridal finery. Her deep, hazel eyes were an abyss of mystery. To another it would seem like her eyes gleamed with excitement.
Only the girl in the mirror spoke otherwise, shrouded in gloom, with her tears being her only jewels, as they sparkled their way down her face.
The old clock on the wall chimed and she lowered her veil. The time had come.
As she turned to have one last glance in the mirror, to make sure her mask of happiness was in place, she sent up a silent prayer to be freed from the onslaught of her thoughts.
Her resignation to Fate made the heavens grieve.
There he stood, watching from afar as she paused on the marble steps. Bridesmaids jostled about her, setting her trail, positioning her bouquet right and smoothing the creases on her dress. Her father stood to her right beaming with pride at the thought of walking his daughter down the aisle.
There he stood, watching from afar, with a beating heart and undying hope - just a tiny speck of insignificance on her big day.
The constant fuss and murmur around unnerved her. As she walked past the sea of distant faces, her eyes found his and they were caught up in a swirling hurricane of emotions. He tore his gaze away from hers for he saw what no one else could - the sparkling tear that escaped her eye, her reluctant step and her short, uneven breaths. Her bridal finery could not conceal from him the turmoil she was facing within.
As she walked past him, the broken shards of their dreams cut deep into her soles and shattered hopes paved the way to the altar where their love would be sacrificed.
She flinched and he felt her pain.
"Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?" asked the Priest. Having been witness to numerous wedding vows being taken, he was oblivious to the silent tragedy being played out before him. She bent her head, afraid to meet the Priest's gaze, lest her heart make its grief known through her eyes.
From a hundred feet away, her faint “I do.” wrenched his heart. Rituals performed thereafter were a blur but the glistening gold band slipped onto her finger, by the stranger beside her, cemented the divide between two selfless souls.
He watched from afar as she stepped over the threshold into a life of wedded bliss. Tears streamed down her parents' faces, tears of joy, as they watched their dream being fulfilled before their eyes. Her stiff, resistant demeanor was evident as she was enveloped in congratulatory hugs.
From a distance, her eyes bore into his but he questioned her in silence.
How could they have built their future on the ruins of her family's dreams? Would they have really been happy if they did?
They could not have. They would not have. She lowered her eyes in acceptance.
Loosening his heart's strings, he let her by into the unknown.
As the moon took to the skies, the trees swayed dolefully to the rhythm of the winds. He stood on those marble steps, bathed in the pale moonlight on that quiet night. In the journey called life, he had taken his beating and gave all he had to give.
His resignation to Fate made the heavens grieve.
As we move through life's convoluted plot, Love sets out with faith in the unknown. Some love stories, as such, get thwarted by ancient beliefs, a few get trapped within primeval boundaries and still more, are subject to a life of age-old traditions.
Though undoubtedly powerful, these love stories are never meant to be told, never meant to see the light of day and are never meant to have a happy ending.
As we enact our parts in a scripted destiny, we come to realize that unconditional love is only embraced by the brave-hearted.
For, it takes only the power of Love...true, unconditional love...to die and let live.