Twice a week, the young woman came to the priest. Everything had been prearranged. All she had to do was make sure the priest wasn’t lonely. She learned not to pay attention to the name he called her, always the same name.
Many nights, all the priest wanted to do was hold her and caress her face. He whispered into her long hair about a life together and a child. The young woman learned to ignore things like this too. He wasn’t speaking to her.
She could see the intense passion in his eyes when they lay together. She could see the tortured desperation that covered his face when she stood to leave. It was the same expression that melted as soon as the priest locked eyes on her. No one had ever looked at her that way before, pinned their hopes and happiness on her presence. The only problem, the priest was looking at her, but he was seeing someone else.
The priest and his young bride strolled the village cobblestone. She had never seen him happier. “Oh, Iulian, it’s perfect. The small village parish like you’ve always wanted … the quaint little church.” She beamed at her young husband.
“Yes, but are you happy here?”
“I’m happy being wherever you are.” She smiled, pulling him along the last few steps of the village road leading to the church. “This is where you were meant to be. I can just feel it.”
The priest stopped and pulled her back to him. “And, right here is where you were meant to be, my sweet, Loredonna.” He kissed her softly, running his hand through her silky raven hair. The sunlight danced across each strand, little prisms of light twisting in her tumbling locks.
There were no words to describe how they felt. There were no words to describe the peace of their new little village home.