23. Evensong of Life [II]

“Aidelle, there’s something I must say to you…”
”What is it Phillip? You’re making me worried,” she whispered.

“My love… What I have to say is that I must to go out to help in the war-”

“What…?” Aidelle stumbled over that held breath.

“War has broken out once again,” Phillip told her, watching the maiden’s look of pain. He knew it was a terrible plan to have told her, as soon as that cursed word slipped from his lips, but what was he to do? He could not let Ryan claim all the Costello fortune. “Our land needs honourable soldiers, men who can fight and men who can be used to combat the enemy’s technology. I, like my brothers, have been chosen.”

Aidelle was horrified. In her mind, it made no sense; for as long as she had known, her fiancé was a man of peace.

“Ch-chosen? By whom? Why must you comply?”

 “You don’t understand, Aidelle. I am doing this for you. I have no choice, my love-”

“You have every choice.”

Phillip started to feel his face flush and his temper rise. He was angry, but the sorrow and regret for leaving his beautiful woman in order to protect the fatherland also bit at him, leaving his mind a confused mix of youth. It was a decision that should never have been made by someone so high on the peak of their youth.

“Please, just listen to me. I am trying to do what will be best in the long run for you and I. All I need is your promise that you will be with me in spirit, as we cannot be together in body. The war will be over before you know it, and I will be back to protect you.”

Phillip sighed, his heart crying out for her.

“I really don’t have a choice anymore. I must do…as I am told. It’s for you, and I promise I’ll be back.”

“What about our wedding?”

“It’ll have to be postponed.”

Aidelle went cold. Still sitting by a bunch of rough cardboard boxes, she froze.

“Postponed? You don’t even care enough to wed me now!”

“If you cared, Darling, you’d be prepared to wait until I come home!”

“You can’t go!” the lady sobbed as a last resort.

“It’s not up to you, Aidelle,” Phillip snapped.

Then, an uncommon anger started to brew inside of her. It burnt away her fear; it burnt away that cold hand that made her comments reserved and meek. She was about to yell out, explode as a volcano would, but then she remembered that neither she nor he were the most important people in the world anymore.

“Phillip, you can’t just leave!” she sighed, wiping away the tears that had slipped down her porcelain face, and that had spilt over from her broken soul. Here, there was now something that revived her spirits.

Phillip was not so contented.

“Says who? Aidelle, you can’t just dictate what I do in my life!” he cried out angrily.

Silence broke through the house. The wind might have been roused by their shouting, or maybe it had chosen to start its day because of the matter of a summer coming to the end of its days. The fast wind swept across the set roof-tiles, around the chimney, and fell through to the fireplace with a puff of ash. It howled and Phillip raised his eyebrows.

Finally, Aidelle stopped listening to the past, and concentrated on her and Phillip’s intertwining future. She eventually spoke.

“I’m pregnant!”

The End

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