The Almost Perfect Day
Disclaimer: Yes, my name is not C.S. Lewis and I do not own much in this story. All of Narnia (other than Rosalie, her family, and some of her friends) belongs to C.S. Lewis. Not me. As you very well know by now.
Chapter Ten: The (Almost) Perfect Day
I had been excited when she told me that Doctor Cornelius would be the one to perform the ceremony, but now that I knew Aslan would be the one-it was mind blowing.
I stayed in the powder room for seemingly forever before Trina had even had the girls place the veil over my head. As soon as they had the material pinned to my hair, the reality struck.
I was going to be married. Today. In just a few minutes.
I was no longer going to be Rosalie Sopespian….but Rosalie Caspian. Queen Rosalie…it would most definitely take some getting used to…that was for sure.
Before I knew it, I was standing at the door way, a handful of the servant girls carrying the material that hung behind me. Trina placed the bouquet of purple tulips in my hand. They were absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect looking bundle of flowers. This was the moment. The moment.
For the first time in a long time, I felt like letting out a squeal just like a little girl would.
"Are you ready?" Trina asked me, one last time before we exited the powder room for good.
All of the girls were standing around, looking at me as though I was their piece of work or something. They were crying, cheering, and doing all sorts of things for the celebration.
Looking down at the engagement band that lay on my finger, I then looked back up at Trina," Yes."
I inhaled deeply as we descended down the hallway. There were several girls in front of me and several behind carrying the train of the dress. I could feel the goose bumps forming all over my body as we exited my home quarters for one last time. Penelope was the last Sopespian that would live in those quarters…
Walking down the corridors was one of the most anxiety-building times I think I have ever experienced. We couldn't have seemed to be going any slower. I felt wetness beginning to form on the palms of my hands as I tightly clutched the bouquet in my hands. My heart felt as though it was beating out of my chest. I felt Penelope coming up beside me.
"Breathe," she encouraged me softly, and I inhaled sharply," I don't see why you're so uptight."
"You try wearing a corset…and being nervous…at the same time," I said, still feeling as though oxygen was leaving me.
"You're fine just keep walking," she encouraged me as we started down the stairs, Trina came to my side once more.
"Have you heard anything of Jacob?" I asked her softly, feeling the nervousness over him all over again.
She looked at me puzzled," Jacob? Your brother?"
I hadn't ever really told Trina much of Jacob and basically, all she knew about him was that he was my brother. It was a little foolish for me to ask her, but I couldn't help but wonder. The look of confusion on her face told me that she had heard nothing unusual, which made me breathe a little easier. Perhaps, he wouldn't come. Perhaps, he would wait.
"Never mind," I told her quickly, realizing how foolish I did sound.
She smiled at me as she quickened her pace down the stairs, squeezing my hand one last time. The feel of her comforting hand made my heart slowly down slightly. As soon as we reached the first level, we were only a matter of a few footsteps away. The doors to the courtyard stood wide open and as we grew closer, my sister glanced at me.
"You okay?" she asked me once more before grabbing the arm of one of the young fellows that Trina had invited to be in the wedding party-I never could seem to remember his name…
Stopping just before the doorway, I nodded," Of course."
I would be alright. Sure… I was just overreacting to all of this right? I knew how my heart felt. In fact, I could never picture myself marrying anyone else. Caspian was the only one for me and all I needed to do was relax.
I could do that.
"I'm going to go take a seat next to Apollo now," Trina came up beside me, whispering," You're alright from here?"
It seemed like everyone wanted to ask me the same question. Was it written on my face how anxious I was? Did I really look that nervous?
"Of course," I said, in the same tone as I had just told my sister.
She smiled at me one last time before sneaking into the courtyard through one of the back entrances. Penelope soon had already exited the area and was heading down the aisle. Nearby, I noticed Doctor Cornelius, wearing his finest dress robes as he walked up beside me and laced his arm through mine.
"You look absolutely stunning, Rosalie," he whispered to me, I could hear the harp playing ever so softly from the ceremony.
"Thank you," I replied, my voice barely audible.
He sighed as he looked me over," I've been waiting for this day ever since you were a little girl. Your mother would be so thrilled."
An embarrassed smile came to my lips," She would, wouldn't she?"
"She always told me that Caspian was the boy she wanted you to marry," he told me as we inched closer to the door.
"Really?" I asked him, raising a brow. I really shouldn't have acted so surprised, but my emotions were running so high right now that I could hardly speak.
"Oh she did," he ensured me," But she always knew that the both of you were meant to be together."
I chuckled as he took a step in front of me, looking me straight on as he pulled the veil over my face before I said," I'm glad that I am making her proud."
"Dear, child, you would have made her proud no matter who you chose to marry. She loved you, and Penelope, and even Jacob so dearly," he said, once again so quietly I could barely hear him.
The music came louder and before I knew it I was standing at the doorway. Two girls stood in front of the door, holding a sort of privacy curtain so that no one could see me just yet as they adjusted the train behind me. I clutched the bouquet tight and having Doctor Cornelius there for support made me more relaxed. With one last smile at him, we both nodded to the girls, who dropped the curtain.
And then, nothing else mattered.
My eyes locked on the dark eyes of Caspian and it was like no one else was even there. Even though my face may have been covered by the veil, I could still see his bright smile through the material. All of the nervous-ness, all of the anxiety disappeared as I looked into the face of the man that I loved. I hardly even noticed the majestic lion standing at the end, for I was much to caught up in the moment. Typically, I would have not liked to have all of those eyes staring at me, but on that day, it did not matter.
All that mattered was my King standing at the end of the aisle. His robes a royal purple to match the scheme of the wedding and his crown perched atop of his thick, dark hair. The smile on my face wouldn't seem to go away. All of I could seem to do was smile and if we were walking slow before, we were like molasses now. I found that all I wanted to do was throw my arms around him and forget about my brother…forget about the troubles that I could feel brewing.
He appeared to be just as elated as I was. This was every little girl's dream to walk down the aisle in a castle and become royalty. Even if I didn't prefer all of the glamour, I couldn't help but become lost in the moment. I was completely in my dream until I realized that we had reached the end of the aisle.
Still not breaking my gaze from Caspian, Aslan's mighty voice spoke," Who gives this young lady to be married?"
"Her family, your liege," Doctor Cornelius spoke, his voice confident as he looked at the strong lion, sitting tall at the alter.
One last time, Doctor Cornelius looked at me right in the eyes, through the sheer material of the veil, and smiled. He squeezed both of my hands tight before pulling the material away from my face. I tried to step away, but couldn't seem to do it without embracing him.
Just as I made my way to the alter and stood, facing Caspian for the first time without my veil, I heard the lion whisper to me.
"Hello again, my child," he said to me quietly before speaking once more.
I looked at him and grinned," Hello, Aslan."
Then, my gaze was turned to Caspian. His smile was brighter than I had ever seen it before, in all of my years of knowing him, never had I seen him so happy. I then pictured what my face must have appeared to be like and I concluded that I had to look just the same. Before the ceremony started, Caspian whispered to me quietly," You look gorgeous, Rosalie."
"You don't look so bad yourself," I murmured just as quietly.
Then, Aslan spoke. And when Aslan spoke. Everyone, and I mean everyone, listened.
"We have come together today to witness the marriage of King Caspian the Tenth and Lady Rosalie Sopespian," he started, I was still in awe that he was really there, marrying Caspian and I," True marriage is the uniting of two souls attuned to each other. It is fitting that an outer acknowledgement is made. We are here to bear witness to the entry into a closer relationship of husband and wife between these friends who are already one in spirit, as all of us have witnessed ever since they were small children."
Caspian and I shot a glance at each other and smiled at this, before turning our attention to Aslan once more.
"Caspian and Rosalie you are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in all the world that we all know, you love best. You are adding to your lives and you are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities, and love. At the end of this ceremony you will legally be husband and wife but you still must decide each and every day that stretches before you that you want to be married. Not only will you be married as one person, but you will be married as one leader. One leader of a great nation."
His words were so poetic, so lovely that I could hardly think my own vows would be able to compare to that.
"Now, we let us move on to vows, which both Caspian and Rosalie have prepared themselves. From here, I will allow Lady Rosalie, if you will," he looked to me and I swallowed hard.
I had spent plenty of time thinking over just what I wanted to say, but I didn't have a set script written. Shaking, I felt Caspian's hands come in contact with my own. Swallowing hard, I met his eyes and spoke, loud as I could so that all could hear. Reassuringly, he squeezed my hands gently before I spoke. My heart was beating so hard that I knew everyone must have been able to hear it.
"I, Rosalie, knew that from the first day I met you, you would become my best friend. Even at six years old, I was right because from that day forward, you have been my strong tower, my shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen to me. Just because we are standing at this alter, does not change what I will do for you. I have always loved you and always will. Though hard times and good times, through sickness and through health, I will always be there by your side. I know that being King can be a lot of pressure as I have seen the changes in you, but I promise that from this day forward, I will be the Queen that you need to support you and to help you through the trials that may come upon us. I love you, Caspian, and you alone. "
He smiled at me, that charming little smile that he had shown me for seemingly all my life. At this time, Aslan spoke again," Now, Rosalie, we will continue with the ring ceremony. At this time, retrieve the ring from your sister."
Briefly, I turned back to Penelope to grab the ring which I had crafted for Caspian. It was the exact ring his mother had given to his father on their wedding day and I found that having it sized would be a nice surprise for Caspian.
Swallowing hard once more, I placed the ring at the tip of his left finger and said," I devote myself to you and as I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep. With this ring, I pray that you remember that my love for you is never dying."
We had decided long before the wedding, that we did not want a scripted out wedding. We wanted the audience to feel as though they were watching an intimate ceremony that they were equally involved in and by writing our own vows and doing our own 'thing', I think we accomplished this. I had been very nervous over what I was to say, but in that moment-the words came out seamlessly.
Aslan, and seemingly all the other members of the crowd turned to Caspian as I watched him inhale sharply, still holding tightly to my hands," Rosalie, when I first laid eyes upon you, I knew that you were the person whom my heart beat for. Through dark times, you have proven to me even more so that it is only you whom I could truly love. Before all gathered here today, I want you to know that I will always be by your side as long as we both shall live. Not only will I be a hand to guide you, I will be your shoulder to cry on for eternity. I look forward to the days we spend as husband and wife. Let us make our two lives one, for you are the one that I want today, tomorrow, and forever."
Though I could feel them building, tears did not fall from my eyes. How genuine the words sounded coming from his lips! They sounded so natural as if he had spent years preparing them. All I could seem to do was smile, as he held my hands tight.
He turned away briefly to grab the ring from his groomsmen, but soon I found his eyes once more locked on mine," With this ring, I take you to be both my wife and Queen. This ring symbolizes my never-ending love, care, and devotion for you."
I felt the ring meet my skin once more and my eyes immediately gazed upon the beautiful ring that lay upon my finger. The stone in the middle was unlike any other diamond or gem I had seen before, but before I could admire it for too long, Aslan was speaking once more. This was the time that tears were flowing from my eyes. Fast.
"Devoting ones self to another and being loving at all times may be hard enough, but keep in mind that the both of you have a country watching you very closely at all times. I haven't a shadow of a doubt that you, Rosalie, just like Caspian will set a wonderful example for all of the people to follow. All of us here, myself included pray that the love the two of you share will never die and that you both will be strong towers for the other to lean on," he said, looking between the two of us. Should magic be real, then it most definitely was floating in the air as I stood there, eyes locked with Caspian.
A smile came to the lion's face," I wish you the best in your upcoming years together. Above all else, remember that it is not just you to serve, but the other as well. Rosalie and Caspian, I now pronounce you husband and wife."
Before the crowd could begin clapping too loudly, Aslan looked directly at Caspian," You may kiss your bride."
Heat rushed to my cheeks as I looked at him, our hands still connected, but then as soon as Aslan said these words, like lighting I felt Caspian's hands on either side of my face and his lips pressed hard against my own. Surprised by the intensity of the kiss, I allowed myself to smile. When we broke away Caspian pressed his forehead against my own," Can you believe this?"
I laughed aloud before grabbing his hand as we broke to face the crowd," Hardly."
"I now present to you the King and Queen of Narnia, Mr. and Mrs. Caspian," just as the mighty lions words echoed, the crowd broke into a ridiculous outburst of cheers and clapping.
The odd part was that as I looked back, my hand clutched in Caspian's as we made our way down the aisle, the lion was gone. Almost as if no one had ever been there.
How mysterious Aslan was!
It seemed to me that almost every single person wanted to speak with us that day. Which, I guess, made sense, but what those people did not realize was that for the number of guests that we had, we did not have the right amount of time to have a long conversation with each and every one of them. I actually enjoyed visiting for the first half hour or so, but the farther we progressed…the less enthusiastic I became, but I had Trina to remind me to stay chipper.
The grand room in the castle had been decorated marvelously. Purple draperies over the windows, purple flowers garnishing the tables where the patrons were to sit. At the end of the room, sitting in front of the large stain-glassed window was the longest table, where I assumed would be where the 'bridal party 'was to be seated.
After spending, seemingly, the entire afternoon speaking with all sorts of guests over all (and believe me when I say all) topics, we were finally ushered over to our table where a hot meal was already awaiting us. It was rather entertaining to watch the festivities that Trina had planned for the reception, that I could hardly focus on the food.
I don't even believe that I finished my meal that night for creatures from all over Narnia came to the table as we ate, wishing us good things.
A troop of dwarves came up and shook all of our hands, wishing us the best. Reepicheep and his troop of mice weaved their way up to the table to speak with us briefly. Centaurs, minotaur, boggarts, dryads, gnomes (whom I did not actually realized had their own colonization until Caspian informed me), fauns came to sing, and the list continues to go on for miles. I'm sure the people who were sitting in the reception must have felt a little out of place because for a time being as we were not used to being exposed to all of these creatures. It was still new for them sit next to a faun at the dinner table. Very new.
But changes were still to be done in this new Narnia. In this new age.
Moonlight soon graced the grounds of the castle as we continued to eat, drink, and laugh merrily together. The chandelier in the room stood high above the floor. All of the food was devoured, Caspian and I had already cut the cake to allow everyone to enjoy the festivities. It was when we made our way to have our first dance together that everything seemed to change.
All eyes watched as we slowly made our way to the center of the room, he bowed to me slightly, which made me chuckle before I delicately grabbed his hand. I felt his hand move to the small of my back, his grasp on me protective and as I stood there. A light touch of music was played in the background as I rested my head on his chest, exhausted from the whole day.
"I've waited for this day for so long," he mumbled to me, no one else able to hear his voice other than me.
My cheek was pressed against his and softly I whispered back," As have I. This whole day seems to be like a dream, wouldn't you say?"
"That would be very accurate," he replied, just as quietly as we continued to sway. My eyes drifted shut as I stood there, swaying back and forth in his arms. It was almost intoxicating to be standing so close.
Very soon other couples joined us on the floor, mimicking our actions. Caspian and I continued speaking very quietly with each other over various topics, but it would not stay that peaceful for long.
My gaze found the ceiling as Caspian still held me close. As we swayed, I couldn't help but noticed the candles in the chandelier overheard, flickering. The flames in them seemed to be unsteady and a sudden breeze came through the room. After several moments of staring at it, Caspian asked me," Are you even listening to me?"
"Oh it's just-"
Suddenly, like a thief in the night, a hard breeze came through the hallway. A cool, dark breeze filled the air and blew out nearly all of the candles, leaving us in the dark with nothing but moonlight shining in from the windows. Immediately, I felt his grip on my waist become tighter," What's going on?" I mumbled to him, scanning the room to see just what would cause all the candles to be blown out.
A frightened buzz went through the crowd, some women let out cries while others held their beloved near to them. We all stood silently for the longest time before Reepicheep and his army of men could be heard weaving through the crowd," Out of the way! Whoops, my apologies, miss-important business here! Let's get going, boys! I will have this solved in no time people!"
As the mouse crawled over our feet, I couldn't help but think it be a bad idea. I looked directly at Caspian, holding one hand at his chest," It's probably not a good idea to leave Reep to an investigation."
"Let him have his fun," Caspian mumbled to me, as the air continued to feel even more dark by the minute.
Still, a worried buzz was constant through the air.
"Perhaps, you should say something," I muttered to Caspian, as I felt many eyes looking to us.
He looked at me briefly before nodding and clearing his throat," Ladies and Gentlemen! Have no fear, we are trying to solve-"
Interrupting Caspian was the tall doors to the grand room flew open, I stared at the doors hard as a frantic soldier sprinted through the doors, screaming," He's here! Everyone get-" Before the young man could finish, he fell face forward, his blood spilling everywhere and as he fell we saw the arrow piercing the back of his skull.
I gasped and began to move closer, still keeping Caspian's hand locked in mine," What's going on?" I whispered to him, very hushed," Caspian, I-"
"I have no clue, but don't take any chances. It could be anyone, please, just stay with me, okay?" he said, stopping briefly to make sure that I was listening.
Even though it irritated me that he was treating me like I was a little kid, I still nodded. He…had a point. I couldn't really take any risks, not even like the one that I took with Jacob's croonies. Mentally, I told myself that no matter what this brought, I was going to do as Caspian told me. Right.
More soldiers came flying from all different corners of the room, demanding that Caspian and I keep our distance. All of the running and commotion made the guests even more antsy, everyone seemed to running around frantically. I wish I could say that the next thing did not happen…but I would be lying.
Through those doors came men just like the ones that had snuck into the castle the first time. Dirty, scraggly men, wielding swords and crossbows as they stormed the room. Some of the elderly women didn't know what to do with themselves as it was and it didn't help that these men enjoyed taunting them with their weapons. It didn't take long for our guests to be pushed on one side and their "army" of men on the other.
"Your majesties! Your majesties!" Apollo came running through the crowd, pulling the both of us aside as quickly as he could," You must get out of here while we're trying to secure the premises."
As the man was spitting this out, I couldn't help but watch as the windows, the beautiful stained glass windows were broken in by more men, yelling, and screaming. Sending the whole, beautiful, calm, and even…romantic atmosphere into complete and utter chaos.
"Securing the premises, eh?" I asked him, staring as the men crashed through the windows," How's that going for you?"
More Telmarine soldiers came running to fix the problem. I caught Caspian's gaze and noticed his glare staring at me. Maybe this wasn't the best step in the 'obedient' path, but it was hard not to want to step in and help this…hectic situation. However, just as he started to hurriedly lead us away, I heard a voice.
"Hold up! Stop! Stop! Stop!" the voice echoed through the room, the sound of it so familiar.
At first, I would have thought it to be my father and as I turned back to see who it was, the young man that stood in front of me stood there, with a proud smile on his face. He had not yet spotted me, but I knew immediately what it was that he sought. The room was silent as everyone was staring at this young man, who was now standing on top of one of the beautiful tables, ruining it with the mud on his shoes.
"So, where's the bride?" he asked, saying it almost as if it were a joke. His voice was loud and boisterous, he really was acting as though he had just strolled into his own party.
Jacob Sopespian was no longer a missing person.
Author's Note: Alright, my apologies once more for not updating very quickly. On top of the fact that I wanted to get this perfect so it took me longer, I have been super super busy. The good thing is that it's Spring Break for me now, which means that I can write a lot! I actually just finished my outline for this story from like now to the end and I can't wait to put it all into play! Eeek J Thanks for reading you guys and let me know what you think!