Change of Heart

Jonathan was shocked. It just doesn’t seem right. She was there the other afternoon, studying Greek with him, and then she was just gone. No note, no notification of any sort, she didn’t leave a single thing. Just to add to his confusion, the authority found out that she had escaped prison without a release, and that he was responsible for her education, which, according to them, “added poison to the snake’s fangs”. He had to present himself at court, and only just managed to convince them that nothing was as bad as it sounded. But nevertheless he was stripped of one of his many titles, and lost a piece of land to the crown.

Then after the commotion he was heartbroken. He knew he couldn’t marry her; that he shouldn’t love her, but it was too late. She was his friend, his very good friend in fact. The pain grew and grew in his heart, until it dominated and consumed all his other desires. It was too painful; everything reminded him of her, from the chair where she usually sat to the cat, her favourite creature. He couldn’t go to save her; he was bound by responsibility to this place. He didn’t want to stay, yet he couldn’t leave. But unknown to him, the thing that was binding him was more than just responsibility.

Then he noticed for the first time his fiancée, and that one look changed him. He gradually forgot about Catalina, and fell in love, though not truly, with Miss Evelyn Perazzo, whom he’d promised his hand in marriage so long ago. He started to court her, but every time he looked into her brown eyes, there was something missing.

And then a date was set for the wedding. He busied himself with the preparation, hiring cooks, servants and serving boys, ordering decorations, especially flowers. He bought bouquets of blue lilies and baby’s breath instead of the traditional roses for the bridesmaids, and couldn’t answer when Evelyn questioned him. All this was unintentional, but Evelyn was agitated. She gave him a large list of tasks, and so he was too busy to think of much else. And the wedding day arrived.

Decked out in finery from head to foot, Jonathan stood on the dais, awaiting his bride to walk down the aisle. She came, gliding gracefully, and they exchanged rings. He slipped a silver ring onto her finger, the ring studded with sapphires that was bought for Catalina. Then the priest read the blessings, and they exchanged vows. Jonathan’s “I do” came out after several seconds of silence, but it came out nevertheless, and they were legally husband and wife.

A year went by, and Evelyn was heavy with child by the time spring arrived. He loved her dearly, just not with his entire heart; that was for someone else. Catalina was nothing more than an excellent student in his mind, and her disappearance explained itself as her release from prison. As the clear and bright days of summer arrived, he became a father to a beautiful child, a girl with flaming red hair and blue-green eyes. She looked nothing like her mother; in fact she was the feminine replica of her father. He had a good wife, a beautiful child, and a happy home, yet something wasn’t quite right. There was something missing, and the memories of a girl from the past came back to him.

The End

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