* * *
Unknown of Antonio’s arrival, Rosalin sat before the statue of ‘Pieta’ in the church. Tears loomed in her eyes. Fr. Kane watched her silently. He walked over and sat down next to her. She didn’t acknowledge his presence as she continued to stare at the statue tearfully. Fr. Kane gently placed his hand on her shoulder. ‘Don’t cry Senora. It’s God’s will. You and I have no say in his plans.’
‘But this can’t be God’s plan. This is no way to die for a person her age. It was no fault of hers that her husband died before her.’
‘Sometimes when we go against God’s wishes, he punishes us by hurting us through someone else.’
‘But I believed God is compassionate. So why does he punish?’
‘It’s his way of saying that he cares for us and that we should follow the righteous path. Even his Son had to suffer for us.’
Rosalin slowly turned to look at him. ‘During the party at the palace, why did you utter that line?’
‘Senora, lets forget that…’
‘No. I had meant to ask you earlier. I guess its appropriate now.’ She said softly.
‘Senora, you are a nice person. You have a clean heart and you care for others. Don’t let this power spoil you. Use it for the good of others… please.’
‘Why Padre?’ She looked at him earnestly. A single tear flowed down her cheek as she looked at him. Fr. Kane lifted his hand and with his finger gently brought it down near her chin as the tear rolled off her face and on his finger.
‘Sometimes the heart works on its own and doesn’t need the brain to guide it. I guess that moment it was my heart that spoke aloud.’
‘But why Padre?’
‘I…’ Before Fr. Kane could finish what he wanted to say, Antonio’s voice boomed loudly. ‘Rosa.!’
Rosalin and Fr. Kane looked around to find Antonio inside the church and walking towards them briskly, a big smile on his face and his arms outstretched to welcome her. Rosalin got up and let him take her in his arms in an embrace. There was no reaction on her face as she stared at Fr. Kane from over Antonio’s shoulder.
Antonio then gently led Rosalin out, his arms wrapped around her. Sensing something amiss, he stopped and turned around to face her. Fr. Kane watched from the entrance. Antonio asked her. ‘Is something wrong Rosa?’
‘Rosalin looked at him and then over at Fr. Kane.’ She remembered his words that he spoke earlier in the church. ’Don’t let this power spoil you. Use it for the good of others… please.’
She turned to Antonio. ‘Antonio…’
‘I am feeling bad about all those villagers arrested for Kayani’s death. Is there anyway we can let them go?’
‘You mean your friend Kayani?’
‘Darling, if it’ll make you happy, consider it done. ’
‘Thanks Antonio. There is one more thing.’ She paused. ’Is there anyway we can put a stop to this ‘Sati’ act? I don’t want another Kayani to die such a horrible death.’
‘Anything to keep you happy Rosa. I’ll speak to father about this.’
Tears flowed down her cheeks. Antonio then took her in his arms in an embrace. From the church entrance, Fr. Kane watched them silently, a subtle smile on his face.