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In The Name of Love!

The nightwalker hurried along, almost tripping over his own feet on the uneven cobblestones. The blackness of the night mixed with the fog made it nearly impossible to see. Thankfully, in this late hour, his dark, hooded garments prevented detection as he carefully made his way to his destination.

Along the way, the nightwalker came across soldiers patrolling the streets. Being familiar with their routine, he was adept at remaining inconspicuous. This time, however, was a close call. The nightwalker’s clumsiness on the cobblestones almost gave him away as he heard one of the soldiers say, “Who is there?” He stopped as the guard looked around, pacing back and forth. The guard slowed down and turned his back. Quickly, the nightwalker scurried along. “Phew,” he thought to himself, recognizing he must be more careful in the future.

The nightwalker continued his journey through the thickness of the fog. Frequently called to perform this ritual, he was risking his life again. He would not allow that possibility to deter him. As he moved stealthily, the nightwalker was emboldened, reminding himself of the significance of this calling. He believed in his heart of hearts, defying the decree was necessary. This law was brutal, but what did one expect from the leader referred to as cruel.

A few moments later, he arrived at the destination. The nightwalker looked around before tapping lightly three times on the door. He heard soft steps and knew someone was looking through the almost invisible peephole. The door opened carefully by a familiar figure. The middle-aged, plump woman smiled, her sparkling blue eyes twinkling. “Thank you, good sir, as always for providing this service.” The nightwalker returned the smile, taking in the woman’s warmth. Her bloom in this part of life offered wrinkles and silver to her hair, but it only accentuated her attractiveness. Many times the nightwalker had thought about their fate. In another life, under different circumstances, they might have partaken in what he was about to perform. Alas, it could not be. His duty to God in providing this critical service superseded all.

The nightwalker followed the woman as they made their way down a dark stone pathway. They came to that familiar door, and before the woman opened, she turned around and touched the cheek of the nightwalker. They smiled at each other again, facial expressions revealing so much without words. Her eyes teared up. He grasped her chin, bringing his face closer to hers. His green eyes penetrated hers as they momentarily were spellbound. Hearing some rustling behind the door, her hand slowly, almost painfully removed his. For a moment, a poignant smile graced his lips before displaying a more serious demeanor. They gathered themselves together. Before turning the doorknob, a loud “Ahem” was voiced by the woman, alerting those behind the door.

Opening the door, the nightwalker and woman entered a great room that was ablaze. Beautiful lighted candles atop a winding altar were everywhere, gorgeous aromas emanating from them. In between each candle, section were vases of the most spectacular flowers scrupulously gathered and arranged for this evening’s occasion. Creamy roses, white lilies, narcissus, and gladioli with one red rose signifying love were on display again to heighten the celebratory event. In front of the glorious pageant were the participants looking excited and eager to begin the ceremony. Per custom, the woman introduced the nightwalker. The gentlemen bowed, and the women curtsied. The nightwalker returned the bow. He studied the various attendees. Some were young. Others not so, having bidden their time to receive this coveted blessing.

The nightwalker sighed to himself as he removed his scroll from the hidden compartment in his outer garment, preparing for this evening’s activities. Approaching the room’s center, he placed his writing material on the podium. Silence permeated the room as the participants observed him waiting for his signal just as the woman instructed. The nightwalker closed his eyes and began praying to his creator. When he finished, he gave a promise to God. “My lord, this human-made law is sadistic. I am defying it in the name of love. As your instrument, I will do everything in my power to honor your dictate of blessing love.”

The nightwalker opened his eyes. His solemn demeanor changed. His eyes lit up as he smiled broadly, scanning the room and looking at each couple. “Please come closer, and let us begin.” Everyone walked to the appointed areas, unable to hide their joy for what was about to occur. The nightwalker started the ceremony, and as he did, blissful love permeated the room. At one point, he glanced at family members gazing as their loved ones were being administered this sacred binding, tears streaming down their faces.

Following the completion of the wedding ceremony, the nightwalker instructed the men to kiss their wives. The onlookers cheered. The nightwalker’s eyes found those of the woman. No words were necessary for the tacit agreement they shared in granting others the chance to unite under God, forbidden by Roman law. Although his affection for this loyal woman was enduring, Valentine would not allow anything to deter his commitment to a greater cause. He believed this was his destiny, fulfilling a responsibility to God, even if it meant sacrificing his life. To him, nothing else mattered.

Author’s Note: St. Valentine’s Day was denoted a holiday circa 500 A.D. Valentine was recognized as a Roman saint, commemorated in Christianity on February 14th. Legend has it that Valentine secretly performed wedding ceremonies, defying the edict of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. Claudius was having difficulty enlisting enough soldiers for his army, which he attributed to men’s reluctance to leave their wives and family. Consequently, he forbade marriage. Eventually, Valentine was discovered, arrested, and executed.

I wrote my story around Valentine and his desire to fulfill the yearning of those who wished to be married. Sadly, he made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of love.

Let us say thank you to this valiant servant of love! Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and DarleneCorbett.com. Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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