There was a festive atmosphere outside the church. A large crowd was gathered around the church in a festive of colors for the grand occasion. It was the wedding day of Antonio and Rosalin. Armed soldiers kept the crowd at bay.
A cavalcade of more soldiers rode up the path and stopped at the entrance. They stood to attention. Pallbearers ran up smartly carrying palanquins on their shoulders. They too stopped at the entrance and gently set the palanquins down and stood to attention with their hands folded and heads bowed.
Fr. Kane walked out of the Church and approaches the first palanquin as Viceroy Fonseca alighted from it. Lady Fonseca exited from the second palanquin.
Antonio rode up smartly dressed in his official dress and looking smart. Musicians started to play music on their instruments. The crowd cheered wildly. Fr. Kane shook hands with the Viceroy. ‘Welcome your majesty.’
‘Thank you Fr. Kane. Aha, here comes Antonio. Look at him Padre. Doesn’t he look smart and handsome?’
‘Your highness, Antonio looks the perfect groom. I am honored to be the one to preside over the holy matrimony.’
Antonio walked up smartly towards them. ‘Hello Pai… Hello Padre.’
Fr. Kane looked at the beaming Antonio. ‘Hello your highness. You look the perfect gentleman.’
‘Padre, this is a blessed day for me and for Rosalin to be the first to unite in this house of the Lord under your care. This is indeed a big day for me and for the woman I love.’
Suddenly commotion broke. Musicians started to play again. Antonio, Viceroy Fonseca and Fr. Kane turned around to find soldiers on horsebacks slowly trot up escorting a lone but beautiful golden palanquin is in their midst followed by a chariot.
‘Here comes the beautiful bride.’
Antonio walked over to the palanquin as it’s set down. He slowly pulled open the curtain. A hand came out and Antonio took it and gently led Rosalin out of the palanquin. They stared at each other lovingly, he completely bowled over by her beauty. ‘You look absolutely enticing.’
Rosalin blushed. She then took his arm and they turned around and walked to the others. Lady Fonseca took her in her arms and embraced her. ‘You look beautiful my love. You make me so proud to have such a wonderful and beautiful daughter-in-law like you.’
‘Thank you your highness.’
‘Mai, call me Mai.’
Rosalin nodded slowly as she brought her veil down. Through her veil, she looked at Fr. Kane who too was riveted by her look. He was staring at her gently. Slowly she lifted her veil up again, her eyes locked with. Fr. Kane. Seeing her stare back, Fr. Kane quickly diverts his attention away.
‘Shall we proceed, Padre?’ The Viceroy looked at Fr. Kane.
‘Eh yes your highness.’ Fr. Kane turned around and walked inside the church followed by the bridal couple and the others.
Back at the palace, Marcos was in a bad mood. He stood at the balcony overlooking the hillside, a glass of wine in his hand. He could see the steeple of the church in the distant Sound of Gregorian music floated across in his ears.
Behind him, Teresa adjusted her hat and looked at her reflection in the mirror approvingly. Satisfied, she then turned around to look at Marcos with anticipation. There is a long dead silence. He could feel her eyes on him. She broke the silence. ‘It’s time to go.’
‘You carry on.’ He replied his eyes still on the church steeple.
‘I am not going alone.’
Angrily Marcos smashed the glass against the balcony railing and turned around. He walked over and took her by her shoulders. ‘Listen and listen carefully. I am not coming. You get me? I am not coming!’
‘Marcos, Pai won’t like this. He is expecting both of us.’
Marcos let go off her shoulders in a huff and walked back to the balcony. ‘I don’t give a shit about his likings. He has proved how senile he is by agreeing to this stupid marriage. Aha the great Captain Antonio to marry a cheap whore… what’s that bitch’s name?’
‘Shut up! Your Pai does not realise that stupid bitch is just out to destroy this house. Mark my word, she’ll be the cause of our downfall. Remember that. A lowly girl dreaming to be a part of the royal family! Now you go away and let me be in peace.’
’Fine. I am leaving. But keep in mind that Pai is not going to like this. He’ll need a good reason from you for not attending the nuptials. You better have one ready when he gets back, otherwise…’
She took a pause as she turned around to look herself in the mirror. She adjusted her dress and her hat. She then gives Marcos one last look and then walked towards the door. Marcos stared at her retreating back pensively. ‘Wait…’