Act IV, Scene VII
The church ceremony had started about fifteen minutes ago, and already Anna found her mind wandering. She had never cared much for religion, and so the gibberish about Mary, Jesus, and whatnot was completely and utterly lost on her and was, in fact, quite mind-numbing. However, the parts that did actually relate to the happy couple were somehow even worse, because there was a constant nagging in the back of her mind that this should have been her. She should have been getting married. She should have been the one wearing the beautiful white dress. She should have been the one staring into the eyes of her childhood sweetheart. She should be the one getting the happily ever after.
And yet, it was perhaps the other, larger part of her that felt sort of detached from all of it that scared her the most. The part that looked at the current wedding, at her own planned wedding, and felt nothing but a strange sort of emptiness at it all, as if she was from the outside looking in on someone else’s life. She still missed Ian, she still felt torn about his death – but she wasn’t sure if she would still wish to be married.
Just then, it seemed the priest had arrived – at last – at the point where the happy couple would be exchanging their vows. William started as he pulled out a folded paper from his pocket – and judging from the size of it, he wouldn’t be done anytime soon.
‘Come live with me.’
At first she thought she had misheard it, thought that perhaps William had started off his speech in a rather unconvential way, but when she turned to Tom, she noticed his brown eyes were watching her intensely.
‘Come live with me,’ he repeated, slower and articulating each syllable with care.
‘I heard you. Don’t you think it’s a bit soon for that?’
Tom rolled his eyes. ‘Not like that, silly. I was just thinking: you need a place to stay, I’ve got a place to stay. Why not?’
‘Because… because!' she whispered back exasperatedly, 'I couldn’t possibly intrude on you like that – to not even speak of Bill.’
‘But you won’t!’ He argued back a little bit too loudly, causing some of their neighbours to throw them annoyed glances before they returned their focus to the never-ending stream of words falling from the groom’s lips. ‘We will be on tour for the better part of the upcoming months so you will not be intruding on anyone. It’s perfect. You’ll have a place to stay and we won’t have to worry that the house is collecting dust while we’re gone.’
‘I still don’t like it,’ Anna said, though with less conviction than before. Even though she may not like it, there was some logic behind his words. Besides, if the coming weeks of apartment hunting were as successful as the previous ones had been, she might end up not having much of a choice. Unless she wanted to sleep under a bridge, that is.
‘Tell me you’ll consider it.’
‘Fine, I'll think about it.’