The wedding ceremony had reached its peak. The guests sang and danced happily until the friends of the groom lined up on both sides of the corridor, right in front of the bridal suite door, to escort him on his first nuptial night.
Hours later the family members would wait under the newlywed’s window, until the groom hung the bloodied sheet of the virgin bride - a sacred ritual that caused stress to the couple, especially to the bride.
Inside the room of newlywed couple, aunts were helping the bride to take off the dress and prepare for her first experience of marital life. One of them placed the wedding crowns on the bed and advised her: “Always decorate your bed with them as the wedding wreaths symbolize royal crowns. Now Stephen is the king and you are the queen of your own home.”
Marina nodded, and by lowering her gaze, silently listened to the latest guidelines from her parent’s sisters, about what to do on the first night in bed with her husband. Then wishing her good luck her aunts left the room and stood outside the door waiting to welcome the groom.
Stephen, by crossing the corridor bowed his head to protect it from the traditional friendly slaps on his neck, symbolizing their wishes for an iron conjugal life. Then quickened his pace and entered the room, closing the door behind him. There he stood motionless for a while, just to adjust the rhythm of his breath.
In the light of the oil lamp, he saw Marina sitting on the floor with hands wrapped around her legs and the face resting on her knees.
Gingerly he approached her and asked if everything was OK but she scared curled up like a hedgehog. Affectionately he leaned down, took her hands and helped her to get up, but as she wiped the tear slipping on her cheeks she begged him, “Please, don’t hurt me.”
“Why should I hurt you?” He asked troubled pulling out from his trouser pocket a handkerchief. Then he knelt before her and tenderly started wiping his wife’s tears.
“I'm scared,” she said tearfully.
Stephen sat on the floor beside her and stayed there silently until Marina’s tears dried up. Then he gently caressed her hair and hugged her, whispering in her ear: “Don’t be afraid. I will take care of you until my last breath.”
Extracted by the upcoming book Evading Destiny