Chapter 39 - Absolute Sacrifice
Nearly two weeks had passed, yet I still have the same dream over and over again. No changes whatsoever. Just the same faceless angel saying a goodbye to me and flying away from the porch outside my room. It had caused me weary mornings everyday and it had my heart beating like it was being pulled out of my chest.
I really wanted to know what my dream meant and why do I keep on dreaming it. It was strange for me because I am not a fan of angels at all. Vampires, yes, but angels? No, not at all. So, it had me debating why on earth am I having a dream like this?
The only thing that kept me sane though was seeing Lorde’s impressive blue sapphire engagement ring in my finger. It had encouraged me to shove the thoughts of sadness in my subconscious plane and start the day with a smile.
Lorde and I had been spending time together almost everyday since he was discharged from the hospital; going to shopping districts, riding our horses, traveling to famous beaches in Luxembourg, visiting Madame Ivana’s vineyard, go on hiking and zip-lining, and making out in the “Gemstone River” as what normal engaged couples do. Pretty much everything we could think of with its end almost submitting in our desire for each other.
I, however, had asked him to defer our consummation when the right time comes. Well, exactly one day from now that is.
Yes. I am getting married to my childhood sweetheart finally. Why in a hurry you might ask? That’s because Lorde will return to Mexico a day after our wedding because of his company and he wants our honeymoon done there.
It was quite a pretty much understandable reason for me. It made me excited, yes, but it wasn’t enough to make me forget there was still something inside of me that felt incomplete. I still can’t sort out whatever it was that had been bothering my mind for almost two weeks.
Every once in awhile too, Ralph comes to visit the mansion. Lorde had already taken a liking to him and has dubbed him as his ‘brother’ of some sort. They would share a coffee break in the gazebo garden or in another area of the house and talk for hours. They would sometimes go in the ranch too and basically just spend their time there talking.
I found Ralph’s presence unsettling though. I can still sense his holiness and approachable aura, but I turned indifferent towards him. It felt as if he had done something bad to me in the past, something close to unforgivable which by the way I think was kind of ridiculous since we had just been recently introduced and with that angelic face? I don’t think ‘bad’ stayed in his vocabulary.
This day he did visit the mansion again and Lorde was more than eager to invite him in our lunch with Auntie Marcella.
“You did say you were returning back to your hometown right?” Lorde asked our guest who was halfway from finishing his meal. He sat on the Master chair. I was in his left while Auntie was beside me. Ralph was opposite my chair so I can clearly see his gorgeous blue-green eyes.
“Yes I am, but I needed to make sure everything is in place before I leave Luxembourg. This job of mine is beginning to get taxing on my part,” he answered with great care after looking at me and Lorde.
“Taxing? You mean to say being in the security service?” my fiancé furthered, seemingly interested with the topic at hand.
“Yeah, being in a security service,” Ralph echoed and motioned to drink the glass of soda laid before him. “Especially that the one I am after is still MIA. I don’t know where that man ran off to.”
Lorde tsk’d and shook his head. “Huh, well that is pretty much a tiring job going after a very agile man.”
If I understood correctly, they were talking about detective duties, but I had a feeling Ralph was hiding details from us.
“Hmm, it comes with some perks though, so I am not complaining that much,” he said with a hint of twinkle as his eyes briefly diverted towards the ceiling.
“Hahaha, that’s good to know,” Lorde stated, easily letting go of the subject. “So maybe you can join our wedding the day after tomorrow? You might find some lass there that would capture your heart.”
I saw Ralph shift uncomfortably in his seat after hearing Lorde’s words.
“Ah, no no,” he said, shaking his head, “I am not in that kind of relationship at all. It is basically...prohibited in my line of work. But, yes, I would be glad to attend your wedding.”
“Well, that’s good to hear,” Lorde replied happily and looked at me with warmth.
“Seems like it is going to be a full house in the church Love,” he said and touched my hand with the engagement ring on.
I gave him a serene smile and traveled my eyes from my Auntie to Ralph, and then back to him saying, “It so seems.”
My heartbeat moved a little higher when I saw the love in Lorde’s eyes. It made me think that two days from now, this man - this handsome, caring of a man - would become my husband and we would be tied forever.
He had always been the only man I wanted to be with. All memories with him had been my treasure, my happiness.
But for some reason, I couldn’t fathom why. My happiness was supposed to be endless with Lorde around, but why was it that whenever nightfall comes, here the dream beckons in my consciousness, battering me over and over nonstop, enveloping sadness in my heart again.
Media, Ancient Northwestern Iran
House of Raguel (Two days Before The Wedding)
Does absolute sacrifice exist?
I do not know for sure, but those two words popped out of my head when I made a bargain with Raphael.
Yes. I made a bargain with an archangel.
This Being entered in my dream and told me everything that had happened, from the murder of my first husband down to the last. But, I am not surprised with this at all. I already knew that it was Aeshma who did it. Who else would be the culprit than a supernatural entity right? All deaths were unexplained. There were no clues as to whoever did the appalling deed.
I don’t know that angels can kill a human, but I do believe that Fallen Angels can. And I had a great feeling that my love, Aeshma, was not an archangel anymore but a Fallen One. His black wings were obvious evidences.
I kept this secret inside myself though. I didn’t share this knowledge with him as we shared our time together. I don’t care anymore about the truth, of him being the murderer. All I cared about was that he was the reason why I am happy and free of pain now.
My neighbors may still see me as a murderer in their eyes, but I am not affected with their glares anymore. I am content having Aeshma with me. He loves me true, more than my previous husbands felt for me - no, I change that, these men can’t even compare to my Fallen Angel even for a tiny bit.
As my dream ensued, I continued on listening to whatever Raphael has to say. It was just a dream in the first place; I couldn’t do more than that and crying, but then he gave me a chance to converse with him and that’s where my bargain happened.
“Sarah, a love like yours is unique, but it is forbidden. It would never bring forth happiness,” Raphael stated, sense and reason clear in his echoing voice. He was hovering above me. I was sitting in my bed, or at least what looked like my bed in the dream plane. His stretched wings were brightly glowing, his long golden hair floating delicately. “It would only give both of you despair. You are destined for Tobias and that you should be with him - a human - and not a supernatural entity.”
My heart felt a deeply-seated ache. More tears streamed down my eyes then. How can a love so true only end up in despair? I couldn’t understand it at all.
But with his words, I realized one thing. Sacrifice.
“If that is so, then let me sacrifice my love for him! Raphael, I do not want Aeshma to suffer! He doesn’t deserve a broken heart. I want his curse as a Fallen Angel be lifted. I want that he would be at peace, to be holy and to become an archangel once again!”
“If I accept your sacrifice would you give yourself fully to your destined man?” he asked and I meekly nodded, closing my eyes so to stop my tears from running.
“I...I would, for my dear Aeshma,” I softly answered in finality.
I know it would be a painful sacrifice, but it would all be worth it. I would be relieved to know that he would be an angel again, free of the pain and despair because of our forbidden love.
“Good. So tomorrow you reject him. He will only leave you if you yourself cut your ties with him. Don’t show any mercy Sarah. Don’t show the slightest hesitation. Lie if you must just so he would leave without a thought.”
“But that is too painful for me to do!” I complained in sobs.
The archangel didn’t look bothered by my show of agony though. He kept a stern eye on me and stated, “That is what it should be Sarah. That is what it should be.”
A bright light surrounded my dream plane, I expected that this was Raphael’s way of saying goodbye to me.
When it dispersed, I found myself back in my real bedroom, but my eyes were very wet with tears. I watched the early sunrise as it peeked slowly on my window, but it didn’t soothe me at all. My heart just felt like it was about to explode, really explode, knowing that this bad fateful day would be embedded in my life forever.
“Sarah... Dear Heart...please let me hold you,” Aeshma stated tenderly. He approached me closer, but I was acting like I was averse to him.
His face extremely looked depressed. We had battled words after words for the past minutes with me trying to push him away while he asked for my forgiveness. But just as Raphael said, I shouldn’t show a slightest hint of mercy and hesitation.
“Don’t come any closer!” I yelled with all of my heart to make it more believable, but God, I really wanted to be held by Aeshma’s arms right now. So much... So so much...
“Don’t you dare touch me with your bloodied hands! You are supposed to be my guardian angel, not the bringer of pain!” I added with all of my might. I hope this gets him backpedaling away from me, but his eyes showed hurt more.
My God. I really love him. It really breaks my heart to see him like this, but I must do it!
“Aeshma... I love-” I choked. I have to tell him my true feelings, but I have to reject him too. “I love you...” So much! So much! "...but it is over... we are over.”
My voice weakened as tears continued to break from my lids. “I have Tobias who loves me true. Please leave me, Aeshma. Leave me be...”
And with that, I turned to face the cold wall. If I continued to look at him, my resolve would soften and I might flung myself in his warm embrace.
"I am the one who loves you true.”
That’s the last thing I heard from him before silence took over the whole room.
I heaved, trying to catch air in my already battered lungs.
My love... my Fallen Angel... I will never see him again.
I couldn’t bear it anymore so I finally broke down and dragged myself down the floor, crying all of my heart out.
God. If this is right, then please let me bury this pain forever!
I woke up with a heavy feeling, a very heavy feeling not only in my heart, but also in my eyes. My beating muscle felt like it was being torn apart while my eyes felt very puffy. My pillow, I found, was soaked with my tears and that gave me a clue that I had been crying continuously while sleeping.
“Aeshma...” I uttered softly as I recollected all of the details in my dream, but oddly enough, that name was the only thing that I could remember. I don’t think that it was just a dream though. I greatly believe that it was part of my past if reincarnations were real.
Strangely too, I didn’t dream of the dark-winged angel this time which kind of relieved me a bit. At least it would mean that I have moved on with that dream? Hopefully, I am though, for I definitely can’t handle another goodbye from the faceless angel again.
I propped myself up and did some deep breathing exercises to calm myself and to chase the feelings of sadness away. Cold cucumbers would do wonders on my puffy eyes so I should ask my Auntie some later. This would be imperative because I certainly want to look like a blooming bride-to-be in my bridal shower.
Yep. I have one. Courtesy of my Auntie Marcella of course. Everything was already set-up for tonight, including my guests straight from Wisconsin - my mother with her second husband; a few of my girlfriends here in Luxembourg which are Auntie’s neighbor’s daughters, Raver and Clara, and of course Madame’s Trina, Amarra and Ivana.
Lorde, respectively, has a stag party to be held later too. I don’t know where that was located, but I have great faith that my groom-to-be wouldn’t go all the way. He had Ralph invited too and a couple of his friends and business partners.
My mother and step-dad apparently will arrive before lunch in the mansion, so I have a lot of time to prepare myself and make these puffy eyes go away.
“Aeshma...” I uttered again after the last of my deep breathing. I hope to find out about this name soon, maybe try and Google it if I have a vacant time, to see if I could yield some results. But right now, I have to do my routine morning care first.
“I have never thought your vacation here would end up in a wedding ceremony Andrea!” my mother exclaimed as soon as our pleasantries were done.
Together beside me in the foyer were Lorde and Auntie Marcella who were beaming with smiles too.
Lorde hooked an arm around my waist and held me close to his side.
“You know Tia Darlene, I can’t just let this beautiful daughter of yours go,” he remarked, giving me a mischievous grin at the same time. I rolled my eyes heavenward and shyly bent my head thereafter.
“Oh, you two are good together! I am pretty much excited with the wedding ceremony tomorrow!” she announced, throwing a pleased smile on our way.
I had to hold my breath briefly though. “Ma, you forgot, I still need to survive Auntie Marcella’s infamous bridal shower remember?” I reminded her consequently.
“Why? What’s wrong with my plan?” Auntie immediately butted in, eyes confused and brows highly raised.
“Oh nothing Marcella. It just reminded us of the many parties that you have created that were a bit too extravagant,” mother answered straight away while hooking an arm on her husband, Uncle Marlowe’s elbow. My mom and I exchanged furtive glances then and hid a grin.
“I see. Well, I don’t think my parties are extravagant at all. I would prefer to call them top-of-the-line!” Auntie replied, raising her hands and shaking it like a Mexican woman full of bangles in her wrist. Her eyes beamed more and this made my mother wink at me and mouthing, ‘good luck.’
Huh! I guess I really should expect a bridal shower that is top-of-the-line in the end.
We all had lunch together in a high-class restaurant in the bustling main city of Luxembourg. Our conversations were almost continuous with all of those present wanting to share their views and suggestions on our wedding tomorrow.
Auntie caught my attention and she pointed to me where the bridal shower would be held later tonight. It was apparently across the street in a high-end penthouse hotel called The Estrata.
Weird now, but the name of the hotel does sound very familiar to me; even the look of the hotel’s last five floors somehow seemed very distinguishable.
I am not a believer of a phenomenon people call déjà vu, but that was exactly what I felt while looking at the top floors of the hotel through the glass window of the restaurant we were in.
I didn’t understand but somehow, the feeling of sadness I had buried in my subconscious plane wanted to resurface back.
“Are you okay?” Lorde asked, looking at me with worried eyes. He must have noticed my brief discomfort then.
“Yeah, I am good,” I said with a smile, pushing the feeling under my skin successfully.
“It’s probably just wedding jitters, Love,” he suggested and I had to ask myself, could it be that this was just it?
Were my black-winged angel dream and my latest dream last night present because of my anxious state? I hoped that it was the case because I seriously can’t handle these two questions playing inside my head:
Is my sanity still up for discussion? Or are these dreams telling me something?