It was a powerful sight, to see the crucifix outlined by the rays of the retreating sun, one that should have forced all those who witnessed the vision to stop in their tracks and stare at it, in a mixture of wonder and amazement.
But the miniature people who hurried along below thought nothing about the hidden splendor that was above them. They were much too engrossed in their own lives their own problems to even offer a stray glance to the wooden adornment that overlooked them all.
The cross, from where he existed, could only pity the humans, who strolled along agitatedly beneath him refusing to concentrate on anything but their own chaotic worlds, but he knew, from his own acquired wisdom, that if they allowed themselves to escape from the commotion that rampaged in their own minds, they would be surprised to find that a less frenzied world endured around them.
Streaks of sunlight were still trying to cling to the last remaining moments of the afternoon when Oliver arrived at the chapel. He had returned home as he had promised himself, had his shower, and tried, without success, to take his nap.
He had remained there, in his house, restively, for what he supposed had been hours, waiting for the dancing swirls of thoughts in his mind to transform themselves into some sort of solution.
They had refused to comply and of course, that was the reason he had come here, to the church, not seeking redemption or solace, but in search of the woman who was expecting to wed him in this very place come tomorrow.
Inside the church had a ghastly sort of loveliness to it. Light filtered through the stained windows, illuminating patches on the carpeted floor. It smelt strongly of incense sprinkled with the musky odor of a place that had been shut up for a long period of time.
Rose had insisted that they have their wedding in a church. Though Oliver would have preferred that it had been outside, she had persisted, and he had given in. It hadn't seemed like such a major concern at the time but now he felt that it was colossal.
His mind felt disconnected from the rest of him at this moment. He could feel himself walking; his feet were taking him somewhere that he was not certain of. The feeling of dread increased as he neared the secluded door that stood at the top of the old staircase that he hadn't realized he had climbed.
A thousand thoughts flowed through his mind as he knocked on the door.
A response did not come immediately, so he repeated the action. Following this time was a muffled scream, yelling for him to come in.
The room was undersized; an ornate mirror had been crammed into the space, along with several boxes containing unknown items. Contrasting the muddy gray color of the room, stood Rose. She was breathing heavily, and her cheeks were flushed, her red hair was tousled. She was wearing a heavily jeweled white gown, her wedding dress.
She was beautiful.
"Oliver" her voice was coated with surprise, "It is bad luck to see the bride before the wedding"
An unfamiliar sensation lodged itself in Oliver's chest. He couldn't name it; he had never felt this way before, though it felt like disappointment, like nostalgia, it even contained a bit of sadness.
It was how he had expected to feel in this situation, though the sensation was ten times more intense than he had ever predicted.
"We need to talk" he said, in a voice that he was sure wasn't his own.
Her smile disappeared, and she nodded, joining him on the narrow corridor outside.
She stared at him, and he looked away, his hands crept their way into his pockets.
"I don't think that I can – do this, Rose, we can't, I mean get married"
"Why not..." he didn't mistake the redundant alarm in her words.
He couldn't. How could anyone...how did anyone ever form these difficult sentences? How did you tell a woman that you weren't in love with her anymore—and that you didn't think that you ever were?
"I don't love you"
Though years of Quidditch had taught him something, and that was that if you needed to do something, then get it done quickly, before you lost momentum.
She didn't burst out into unstoppable tears, as he had suspected that she might; nor did she scream at him ancient hexes, as he felt he deserved.
Instead she continued to stare at him, with her tearless eyes, until he was sure that she hadn't quite heard what he had said.
He repeated himself, and she assured him, in an empty voice that she had understood him the previous instance.
She walked away after what he felt was an eternity, her footsteps faintly thudding on the aged floor.
It was then, that the shrieking began.
She called him everything, and more, in fact by the time her words had finished bounding off the limestone walls of the cathedral, Oliver was fairly sure that she had invented some new vocabulary just for this occasion.
When she seemed satisfied that she had verbally abused him enough, she faced him again. And asked him with a forced calm, what made him change his mind.
It was at that moment the he realized how crowded he felt. The walls were moving he was sure of it; they were coming closer, closing in.
"So was I right—you want to be with her, don't you?"
It wasn't a question. It was an accusation. One the he wasn't willing to respond to.
"I'll tell everyone that the wedding is cancelled"
"Oliver-I'm sure we can work this out..."
"I'm not...that's the problem"
"Oliver please, sweetheart, don't do this to me-think of the press"
"I just can't all right...I'm sorry"
And that was it. That was the conclusion to their relationship. The one that Witch Weekly had claimed would last forever.
Rose waited until she heard the familiar resonance that assured her that he had gone before she allowed herself to even reflect on what had just transpired.
She knew she should at least cry, to make the whole loving wife-to-be act at least appear more believable. But she didn't see the point anymore, this entire game was over, she had realized that weeks ago, she had only been maintaining the façade in the hope that Oliver would be too noble to forsake her at the altar.
She was disappointed however. She had work very hard to ensure that he had would be hers. Though her mother had once told her; where one road ended another begins.
Her feelings for Oliver, were possessive, to put it into words. She felt as though she owned him, as though she should. Now that he was no longer hers. Those feelings had disappeared.
She had always known that he would go to her. That was undoubtedly where he was headed as she spoke. It would have been before or after they had been together. It was always obvious.
She wondered if she should care. If she should try to ruin their budding romance before it could bloom. She had wasted all of eleven months with him, planning, waiting, and for what? For this...
Well, she did get a complimentary gown out of the entire thing... she supposed that was a benefit.
And besides, she was far too drained from her last week's scheming to sum up any plans of destruction for Oliver or his little friend right now. He had served his purpose. And she was done with him.
In any case it wasn't as if he was that significant, he could be replaced. In fact, didn't she hear that Duncan O'Brian had just gotten through a very malicious divorce?
She might just need to play the role of heartbroken entrepreneur for just a bit longer.
Her mind lingered on Maurice who was still probably concealed under layers of boxes in the makeshift changing room. She should tell him, he should know that this one was over. And then maybe after he'd calmed down; they could resume their fun.
So she hadn't gone to Oliver's house. Though she had intended to...at first. The intention had faded away as she neared the brownstone, when she had become so terrified of what lay inside if she dared to venture that far, that she had run away in the opposite direction until she felt she was safe from the humiliation that she would have undoubtedly inflicted upon herself.
She had bought herself a bottle of nail polish. It was the first time she had ever possessed anything of the sort, in fact on routine days she would scorn all those witches who sat at home and did nothing but choose the next color in which to paint their nails.
But today wasn't a normal day, no. Today was the day that she became a new woman. No more sulking over Oliver she had proclaimed to herself and the woman standing in front of her in the market, that there would be no more tears, no more wishing. Today she would move on with her life because tomorrow he was moving on with his.
And what better way to attest your new womanhood than to smear paint upon your nails?
There was none.
Yes, it was finally time that she matured. It was time for her to realize that her life wasn't a fairy tale, because in reality fairy tales...didn't subsist.
She had been deceiving herself into thinking that she and Oliver could ever have anything more than a very complicated friendship.
Her insides craved nothing more than to curl up in her pantry and devour everything that surrounded her, she knew that that was the old Katie wanting, the one that she had sworn to be rid of today.
So she paid her no heed.
She would be strong; she would get over him. And she would do it now.
Nothing could stop her, nothing. The only one that probably could was most likely miles away preparing for his wedding.
The hard part was supposed to be over. He had told Rose the truth and he had left her impassive form at the top of the staircase as he headed off to start a new life.
That was intended to be the problematical area.
The maddening feelings in his stomach were still there. If not, more pronounced than before. He had apparated at Katie's door, only to walk back downstairs, which led him to his house, and then ultimately back to hers.
A number of her neighbors had passed with inquiring looks on their faces, though none had bothered to comment on his crazed demeanor.
Though, he knew that he could probably expect to read in the tabloids tomorrow that he was going insane.
Sometime during the walk from her house to his, he had decided on a course of action. He was good at strategy, or so he had told himself in reassurance. Well, he was good at Quidditch tactics.
But, unfortunately for him, there was no actual link between women and Quidditch.
His plan however was a simple one. He would not, as he had first considered doing, barge into the space, shirtless of course, declaring to her his perpetual love, a love that he was not ever sure that he possessed.
No, instead he would be practical, he would go to her and they would discuss this like mature adults.
Yes, that was the plan, though less impressive than his usual electrifying ones, he was still certain that it was the best course of action.
Painting her nails had to have been the most horrible idea Katie had ever had. Years of biting and gnawing after her hands had apparently resulted in them being unable to be adorned with nail polish, or at least to look respectful afterwards.
Her path to womanhood, like everything else in her world, seemed littered with troubles.
And what logic did grooming contain? A person couldn't change their past by using a coat of paint.
She should have just eaten chocolate like she had wanted to; chances were that she would have been feeling a lot more contented if had. Chocolate didn't make you forget, but it did make you fell pretty damned good for a while.
So she would go to the store and get some chocolate, and maybe if she felt like it she would pass by the church where Oliver was... oh who was she fooling, she doubted she would even glance near there.
He had been standing outside the wooden door, hand poised, ready to begin pounding for what had to have been a good few minutes now.
Such a simple motion did not require such intense thought. But a thousand thoughts ricocheted in his mind. A thousand what ifs and maybes, and another thousand answers to each query.
Perhaps he should just owl her, writing was far more efficient that the stuttering that would undoubtedly occur if he tried to confront her here and now.
The weight on his hand lifted and finally he was able to convince his feet to depart from the area.
He had probably heard the screech of the door's hinges first and then his name, but nevertheless, it was the latter that name his feet recess their hasty departure.
The owner of the voice, to him was no mystery, and he answered her just as he had many times before.
She ignored his response, a human habit, one supposed, and instead asked him why he was here.
He could feel her presence as she approached him, it did not help to clear his mind.
Damn it Oliver, you're acting like a bloody teenager.
Determined to prove his mother's exasperating voice wrong, Oliver spun around, and by sheer will alone forced himself to stare into Katie's eyes.
He prided himself on the fact that she looked away first.
An unpleasant hush surrounded them as they both labored for something to say.
"I just came to see if you were here"
"Why aren't you at the church..."
"We aren't getting married anymore..."
He eyes flickered to his face for a moment, revealing to him something that he knew that he should have realized ages ago.
Tell her now
His mother's voice was screaming in his ears now, muttering nonsense about Quidditch tactics and grandchildren.
"Do...you want to go somewhere, to...eat or something?"
Oliver found that the sentence sounded far more idiotic in the open that it had in his head.
Her answer was accompanied with a sigh and a smile. A special one we suppose, one that was she saved just for such an occasion.
It was a smile that Oliver had learnt to appreciate, and maybe someday learn to love.
Thank you, thank you, a million times over for all your unwavering support. This chapter took me forever to compose, through schoolwork and friends, but hell, it's here now. I'm not tremendously proud of this story; I found that it began to loose my flair around the third chapter, but regardless, I hope you all enjoyed it. I really did work hard on it. Thank you to all my reviewers, I did it for you.
About the ending, I tried to do a kiss scene or a whole confess my love for you scene, but I seemed so unrealistic...this works better for me, I'll leave it to you to decide on what happens next. I shall be writing another fable soon, you'll know when.