Fragile

She reminded him of a French Gothic cathedral, the ornately decorated exterior hiding the true beauty that resided inside. For behind the snow-white marble skin and the detailed tracery of her distinct features, there was a vastness that protected her precious trove of secrets. The glorious sunlight shone through the rose windows, flooding the church with a holy light and casting iridescent rays onto the porcelain floor below. It was a wonder how the stone walls, soaring so high above, did not close in on the delicate windows and shatter the stained glass into fragments of broken dreams.

He stood in the heart of the church and gazed up in awe at the magnificent beauty, straining to hear beyond the silence concealing her thoughts and knowing that he was one of the few who had been allowed entrance. The pews were vacant of bodies, containing only the memories of lost souls, and an invisible choir hummed a lonely psalm that echoed through the cavernous space. Specks of white dotted the blue ceiling, creating a pattern that resembled the heavenly stars she reached for in her dreams.

The cathedral was not always illuminated by sunlight, and in the darkness of night, he could only blindly weave his way through the columns, bruised by sharp corners as he continued in search of a light. Despite the sanctity of the edifice, harbored emotions of doubt, guilt, and shame still dwelled in the shadows, but he had cast all of them away. Even then, there had been moments of fear that the external elements, both natural and human, would slowly eat away and destroy the frail skeletal framework underneath, but she always remained standing.

From the outside, the cathedral appeared cold and unyielding, but from the moment he stepped through the door and past the threshold, he had known that it was not so. He did not know why the beauty was hidden away from the eyes of others, and he had yet to explore all the crevices it had to offer. Inside, he knew, was where he would discover who she had loved, why she had loved, and how she had lost.

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