A Tale of a Jealous Heart

February 7, 2008
By Nichole Lewis, Visalia, CA

There she stood, a beautiful wife to be in a flowing gown of white holding a bouquet of white roses waiting to walk down the aisle. It seemed like the perfect day to have a wedding, the birds were singing, the butterflies were fluttering in the breeze, and the sun shone bright against the pale blue sky. The whole town had shown up for the wedding and wore huge smiles on their faces, all except for a young man of the age of 22. He had been in love with the wife-to-be and was extremely bitter over the fact that she had chosen to marry his brother instead of him.

The bride waited behind the double doors that would lead her to the alter thinking to herself that this was going to be happiest day of her life. But little did the happy bride know that her reign of happiness was coming to an end.

Moments before the bride was to walk down the aisle one of the groom’s servants burst through the church door and ran to the priest. All stopped their conversations and leaned in the direction of the priest in an attempt to hear what was being said between the priest and the servant. As the servant whispered his message in the priest’s ear, the priest’s happy smile faded to that of a frown of morning and the twinkle that had been in his eyes just moments before vanished and was replaced by tears. Once the message had been given, the servant fled from the church and the priest asked for the bride to enter the room. The bride did as she was told but when no music played and when she realized that her husband-to-be wasn’t standing at the alter, her face grew pale and she became overcome by fear. She turned to run but someone in the aisle grabbed her arm and made a gesture that told her she had to go on. She continued her long walk down the aisle and stopped when she was face-to-face with the priest. The priest then turned her around so that she was facing the crowd and he said in a low voice,

“We gathered here today for a beautiful wedding. But that is no longer the case.” A chorus of gasps sounded throughout the church. Eyes grew big and mouths dropped open, including those of the bride. Patiently the priest waited a few moments for quiet and then continued.

“The reason being that the groom, Mr. William Dawson, was found dead this morning in his bedroom by one of his servants.” Once again a series of gasps filled the room. Eyes became big and tears filled many of them. The bride dropped her bouquet of white roses, gathered her dress in her hands, pushed open the church door, and ran. She ran to a little wood like park area where she and William had spent countless evenings walking under the stars and had planned to spend many others. But now those plans were gone. She continued to run until her dress got caught on the root of a tree growing out of the earth and tripped and fell on her face.

She lay there for several long minutes and sobbed. Finally, after her sobbing had been reduced to a soft cry she lifted her head and realized that the once clear blue sky was now dark and gray with storm clouds.

“It’s hard to believe that not even an hour ago the sky was clear and blue and I was a bride,” the bride said as she continued to sob.

“But now the sky is dark with clouds, I am without a husband, and all the youth and beauty in the world seems to have disappeared with my husband.” More tears filled her eyes and she tried to hold them back but her attempt was useless as they came rolling down her cheeks.

Snap! The sound of a twig breaking echoed in the distance. The ex-bride whipped her head around to see a shadowy figure standing a few feet away from her. “Hello, Elizabeth. What brings you here all alone without anyone to watch over you?” asked the strange figure.

“Henry, is that you?” Elizabeth asked, her voice shaking with fear.

“Yes, it is, my dear Elizabeth. Now tell me, what are you doing here all alone?” Henry asked in a soothing voice as he sat down on the ground beside her.

“I came here to think and mourn over the loss of my beloved William,” said Elizabeth quietly as if it were a deep dark secret. As if even the small blades of grass on the ground weren’t allowed to know what it was.

“I see. Elizabeth, I loved my brother very much and I wouldn’t be asking you this if I didn’t know it was what my brother wanted. Elizabeth my love will you marry me?” Henry asked with pleading eyes as he knelt on one knee next to his beloved Elizabeth.

“I couldn’t, Henry, I just couldn’t! My heart needs more time to heal…I’m not ready.”

“What if I give you seven days to make up your mind? I know my brother wouldn’t want you living life all alone and the only person he’d be happy with you marrying is me.”

“I will meet you back here at seven o’clock on the seventh day and then I will give you my answer.”

As the days turned into nights and the nights turned into days Elizabeth thought deeply about the question and the answer she knew she would have to give Henry.

When the day finally came, Elizabeth met Henry wearing a long-sleeved black dress with a black lace veil covering her face to show that she was still in mourning. They met by an old oak in the middle of the park and walked for a little while. After they had walked for about 20 minutes Henry stopped walking and asked,

“Have you made your decision yet Elizabeth? About us?”

“Yes…Yes I have,” she said with such joy that Henry thought she would fulfill his dreams and say yes so a grin began to form on his lips.

“And I have decided that I don’t wish to get remarried to anyone not even to you, Henry. I’m sure William would understand; now I just hope that you will be understanding and respectful of my decision as well.” With these words Henry’s smile faded and he began to walk in a circle around Elizabeth.

“I’m sorry to hear that Elizabeth. We could have lived a happy life together. But I understand…”

“I knew you would be understanding of my decision.”

“I wasn’t finished!” snapped Henry. “As I was saying, I understand that you can only love my brother and not me and I’m sorry to hear that. Since you can’t be mine, you can’t be anyone else’s. Prepare to share the same fate as my brother and your beloved husband!” With that, Henry pulled out a knife from under his cloak and charged at Elizabeth, stabbing her heart. A high-pitched scream echoed throughout the park and Elizabeth was dead. Henry dragged her body behind an old tree and left it there to rot and return to the earth. As he walked away from the body and the scene of the crime a grin of satisfaction spread across his face and he walked toward town and home.

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