* * *
In the night, Rosalin cried in her sleep. She dreamt of her parents, her cousins and it hurt her to know they were no more. Antonio tried to pacify her as he held her close. She felt his arms holding her in her sleep and she opened her eyes to look at him. Antonio gently kissed her on the cheeks. ‘Rosa, we were so gentle with each other and now our lives are just drifting apart. Please lets start afresh, just the two of us. We’ll go to Lisbon and settle down there. Away from everyone and everything. Please Rosa…’
‘How can you even think about starting afresh when my family’s death is on your head? You expect me to forget their death so soon?’
‘Please, I am sorry. I never gave that order Rosalin. Believe me. I wouldn’t do such a thing with you.’
‘I don’t believe you. Please go away and leave me in peace.’ She told him pushing him away tearfully.
‘Please Rosa…’ Antonio pleaded.
Rosalin turned around and ignored him. Silently, Antonio walked out of the room.
The next day in the church, Fr. Kane was gently cleaning the benches in the church. The door opened and Antonio walked in haltingly. He looked around the church as if he was seeing it for the first time. There was something about it that seemed to soften him. Fr. Kane walked over to him. Antonio looked at him with a wry smile. ‘Now I know why she spends so much time over here. This place is so serene. I don’t believe its been just 6 months since I united with Rosa in the holy matrimony in this very Church.’ Antonio slowly walked around looking over the church. His eyes fell on the Pieta. He stared somberly at it. Fr. Kane slowly walked over. ‘Your highness, is something wrong?’
Antonio kept staring at the Pieta. He heaved a big sigh. ‘It’s Rosa. I don’t know where our relationship is taking us. I and Rosalin are going through such a turbulent time that I am afraid our marriage is drifting apart.’
‘Have faith in God your highness.’
‘It’s been a month now since her family perished and yet the pain wouldn’t leave her. And in this condition, I feel it will harm her baby.’
‘Yes Padre. Rosalin is pregnant.’
‘Congratulations your highness.’
Antonio turned to him earnestly. ‘Padre, please do a favor. Please talk to her. I am sure it would do her good.’
‘I’ll do whatever is in my power. Rest is in God’s hands.’
He smiled at Antonio in assurance. Antonio nodded slowly.