That day they walked from the upper room to the garden. She waited for him there. The girl thought and as she thought it came to her. At that time, she could be in so many places. Maybe she should feel confused. The king told her what would take place. Had she listened? Had she understood? Perhaps the girl avoided understanding. But here she was. Here, the girl embraced what he embraced: the agony.

Tonight of all nights, she stayed and waited and loved him. Her mind began to wander in her thoughts. Then she remembered, tonight was all they had. At midnight, they would take the king away. He would go to trial. All those who said they loved him would run. He would be alone.

To imagine a king, hated and betrayed by his kingdom; to imagine his kingdom, all over the world, empty without his presence, when even the birds refuse to sing; to imagine all this, her chest hurt as she breathed in the thoughts. She did not need to imagine. The girl anticipated. Those terrible fantasies were about to happen. These were her last moments with him.

She did not matter. The angel consoling him did not matter. All that mattered was him. It had to be about him. What should the girl say to her king? He was going to die tomorrow.

The girl wishes she could cry. No tears came. Her chest ached and her stomach turned as she thought. It was time for her to go. Her legs stook as she stood. She had wanted to stay and see him till the end, to keep watch, but an act of obedience called her away. The girl had to say goodbye. This was it.

Her king! Her king! Tomorrow he would be gone. “Good bye.” The word did not mean she would to see him the next day. “Good-bye” meant “you will be on the cross and I cannot hold you; cannot be held by you! It means we will be separated and all for my sins, all for your love! My king. Oh my king! How many times can I call out your name and still I do not find peace or consolation!”

“Because it is not done,” the king told the girl. “When it is finished I will give you peace. Today, I must suffer. You cannot…can no longer walk beside me and hold me. I am not holding you up by words of consolation but by the cross. Embrace it with me. You must be like my mother now.”

She walked away and looked at him. They stood apart from each other. It was the same distance she remembered on the battlefield before the battle began. Here, the king suffered in a way she could not enter into. She wanted him not to be alone. Oh, her heart cried out. How it always cried out, every year! This year the cry was quieter than the first, but still the cry.

Tomorrow was the day. Her king would seem defeated and they would wait. She would hold hands with the Queen Mother at the foot of the cross. The girl could not cry in the agony. She would be like his Mother as he requested. She would love him; she would love him till the end as he loved his own.

How she loved him! How desperately!

Tomorrow he would walk and die and be lain down. It was not only a remembrance but he was asking her to take part in it. The king asked her ot walk with him, to be in his battle, and his victory. He asked this of her. She was to reply as love would reply, even without understanding, “yes.” He would keep her promise. One day she would suffer.

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