The day of the wedding dawned clear. I had stayed up all night wrestling with my inner demons, wondering if I was about to commit the most ungodly of sins, in taking this innocent to be my immortal bride.
Then I laughed when I realized that by my being immortal, I was literally laughing in the face of God. I was already damned.
Though I had been fully conscious during my change, I had never performed the change myself. I had some idea of how to go about it, but no practice whatsoever. I worried something might go wrong, that I might irrevocably hurt Marisa or worse.
For the first time, I regretted distancing myself from the others like me. But the truth was that I was too used to being an outcast, even when I was an ordinary human. We cannot change our stripes that easily, whether mortal or immortal.
So I watched the sun rise over the mountain, lighting the sky on fire. My skin, which grew colder and colder with each passing decade, greedily drank up the sun’s warmth. And I did what I did best – I waited.
The ceremony was held in a cathedral nearly as old as me. Despite the fact that others of my kind did not like frequenting churches or any other type of religious edifice, I thought this was nothing more than superstition. I happened to like churches quite a bit, as they offered quiet places of sanctuary and meditation, and this cathedral was one that I often frequented.
I had never been married before, so I didn’t know what to expect today. I had been changed when I was barely a man, only 19 years of age. I wondered if this sudden nervousness, this tightening of the throat, was normal. I adjusted my tunic and ran an unsteady hand through my hair.
One of Marisa’s sisters, Elisabetta, I think, came up to me and laid a reassuring hand on my arm.
She immediately drew back her hand, as if she’d been burned. “Goodness, you are so cold! There’s no need to be so nervous. Marisa will be a worthy wife for you. Her sisters have taught her well.” And then she flashed me a suggestive smile and walked back to her pew.
Before I could even contemplate the hidden message in Elisabetta’s words there was a sudden hush, an expectant rustling of feet and heads, all turning to face the entrance.