* * *
That evening, a dejected Rosalin pushed the church door open and walked in. She looked around in the dark and empty church. At the other end, she saw two men cleaning the church. One of them seem to light the lamps on the pillars. They discreetly bowed on seeing her. Rosalin moved around. She neared the alter. She knelt down, folded her hands, closed her eyes and prayed. Tears moved down. She heard footsteps. She opened her eyes and quickly wiped her tears away. She looked around and found no one. She heard the sound of organ and looked up at the loft and found the men cleaning the organ. She walked to the staircase and slowly started to climb it. She neared the organ. Lovingly she felt it. The men fell back. She looked at one of them. He quickly got behind the organ. She sat down and started to play the organ. Sweet music filled the air. Low footstep sounded on the foyer. The other man came out of the trance and found Fr. Kane standing at the entrance. He quickly retreated. Fr. Kane walked closer and listened to the music. Even he was mesmerized by it. Something seemed to possess Rosalin and she started to play at a frenzied pace. Wild and wild like a woman possessed, she drummed the keys. Suddenly Fr. Kane brought his hand down on the keys and Rosalin stopped playing. She closed her eyes and laid her head down on the hand that was still on the keys. Her breathing came faster. The man behind the organ bowed low and quickly left them alone. ‘This is the house of the Lord, Senora.’
‘Yes… the house of the Lord.’
‘You are in pain.’
Rosalin opened her eyes and slowly raised her head to look at him. Fr. Kane pulled his hand away. She looked at him lovingly. His calm and serene face seemed to ease her worries.
‘I don’t feel the pain any more. Now that I behold happiness in front of me, I don’t feel the pain.’
‘It’s getting dark outside. Please may I ask you to leave, Senora.’
Rosalin continued to look at him lovingly. She slowly scanned his face. She took in the delicate features of his face. She then extended her hand to feel his face. Fr. Kane took a step backward to avoid it.
‘Please leave Senora…’
‘Please I want to touch my Lord.’
‘You are forgetting that I am a man of the Lord.’
‘To me, you are my Lord, my soul, my master.’
‘Please Senora, please leave before you cause any blasphemy and calamity befalls.’
‘I am not afraid to face any adversity for what I believe in.’
‘You believe in wrong and unforgivable Senora. You are a nice woman. With this, you will only bring mayhem and destruction in your life.’
‘I don’t care. I believe in my Lord. I believe in you… I … I love you Padre… I love you…’
‘Shut up rapariga. Fear the Lord.’ Fr. Kane cringed at her words.
‘Ever since I grew of age I had men lusting for me and here I am longing for you. All my life, I hungered for true love and when I finally found you, you are telling me to fear the Lord.’
‘Yes that’s what I am saying. I am a priest who’s devoted his life to God and you are a woman who’s married to one of the most powerful man in this place.’
Rosalin smiled at him. ‘So you don’t deny that my feelings are true.’
‘No! Your feelings are worthless. You don’t know what love is. If you would have, you wouldn’t have sinned against Antonio and God who’s been a witness to your holy matrimony.’
‘I was a fool Padre. I got carried away by all the glitter and charm the marriage offered.’
‘But now it’s too late. He is your husband and future. You have to be true to him and only him.’
‘No Padre. I don’t love him. I am not happy with him. It’s you I love and loved since the day I saw you.’
‘Please Rosalin, I beg you to leave before calamity befalls.’ Fr. Kane pleaded earnestly.
Rosalin looked at him tearfully. ‘Please Padre, I love you…’
‘You are crazy and…’
Suddenly a sound of the door slamming shut reached their ears. Fr. Kane anxiously looked over the balcony and found the church empty and dark. Lightening flashed across outside and illuminates the church through the stained glasses and for a brief second, their faces are illuminated. There was a pleading look on Fr. Kane’s face while Rosalin looked lovingly at him.
And Fr. Kane’s words on the wedding day echoed in their ears. ’And I tell you solemnly, one of us shall betray God!’