Marie stood there as Jean walked towards her. He had a grin on his face that made Marie cringe from fear. He walked towards her with his hands intertwined on his stomach.
“Paid another visit to the cathedral now have we?” he said.
“So what if I did?” said Marie.
“And the bellringer kindly offered to climb you down. How romantic.” He said as he got closer to her.
“You saw that?” she asked.
“Didn’t miss a single moment my dear. Especially that kiss.” He said softly. Marie didn’t know what to do. She finally got caught and handled it the best she could.
“Well…so what if you did see that. It doesn’t matter and it’s really none of your concern.”
“Ah but it is.” He said as he touched her hair. She slapped his hand off.
“Don’t you dare touch me! I have no feelings for you Jean and I never will. Yes, I love Quasimodo and I don’t care that you know, I’m not afraid of you.”
“You should be Marie, because I can tell your parents everything I saw.” He said as started to circle around her.
“Go ahead, I don’t care.” Marie said.
“Oh but you should care.”
“Why?” Marie was getting tired of his game.
“Because if I told your parents about it, they would be so angry that you were seeing him, they would have to throw him in the dungeon. There’s no way that they would ever let you see an ugly monster like him.”
“He’s no monster! He’s more human than you’ll ever be.” Marie said. Jean laughed and softly said. “I highly doubt that my dear. And you know perfectly well your parents would never accept a ridiculous thing like this.”
“What do you want Jean?”
“Why don’t we talk about this in the carriage darling?” he asked as he opened the door for her. Marie stood there and she was ready to run off but then realized that as much as she hated this man, he did have the power to hurt Quasimodo. He obviously had something against him after what Quasimodo told her about his brother. She realized that she had no option but to go with him, for Quasimodo’s sake. Reluctantly, she stepped into the carriage. The coachmen took them outside the Palace of Justice. Marie looked outside to look at the huge castle-like structure and Jean put his hand on her shoulder and played with her hair.
“You beauty is enticing my lady.” He said. Marie didn’t know what to do. For once she was afraid of him. She sighed and softly spoke,
“What do you want Jean?”
“My dear, I am man who likes to bargain and that is exactly what I like to do with you.”
“How so?” Marie said.
“I will not harm a single hair on that hunchback’s head. I will not tell a single soul, not even your parents about your silly love affair with him. Because one word from me and the hunchback is off to the gallows.”
“And for you in return?” she was afraid to ask. Jean laughed and said.
“Why you my dear. Your hand in marriage.” He said while taking her hand. Marie’s heart stopped from those words and her hand quickly left his.
“Never Jean! I’ll never marry you!” Marie shouted. She started to leave the carriage until Jean said,
“If you don’t marry me, your little hunchback will be executed. This is your choice Marie, either you marry me or Quasimodo will die because of you.” He said. Marie was frozen, she had no idea what to do. Her heart was telling her to say no, but she couldn’t. If Quasimodo died it would be all her fault. The thought of him being dead gave her such pain. She rested her head on the carriage door. She sighed and softly spoke,
“Please don’t make me do this Jean, I love Quasimodo.”
“The choice is yours Marie.” Jean said. He watched her and thought how clever he was. He finally got her wrapped around his finger and he knew that she can’t free herself from this situation. There was no other choice
Marie’s heart was ripping apart. She never felt so angry and upset in all her life. This is why she hated this life. She hated being told what to do. She was a slave in her own world and she felt that she woulld never have freedom. When she was with Quasimodo, she finally had all hopes of freedom. But by that point, she had lost all hope. She knew that now she’ll never be free. Finally she looked over at Jean, with eyes full of tears and full of pain and softly said,
“I’ll marry you.”
“You have made a wise decision my sweet. You must..”
“But promise me that you’ll let me see him one last time tonight...alone” She said.
“Fine, you can see him to break it off. But you must not tell him or anyone about this, am I clear?” he asked. Marie was angrier than ever and all that anger was ready to be burst out of her like a raging volcano. She swallowed her anger and said
“Good, now let me take you back home.” He yelled to the coachmen to take them back to the house. The carriage was nothing but silent. Jean sat there triumphantly while Marie buried her face in her hands.
Later that evening, Marie snuck out of the house just as her parents went to bed. She quickly walked to the cathedral and stood there at the steps. She stopped and took a deep breath. She was so nervous about this meeting more than anything. She was going to break his heart with no real explanation as why this had to happen. She would have given anything to tell him what was going on and how Jean is forcing her to do this but she couldn’t. He could end up rescuing her somehow and if he was caught, Jean would make up a pathetic lie that Quasimodo kidnapped Marie before and it would be all over for him. If anything happened to Quasimodo she would never forgive herself. Finally she opened the huge front doors and stepped inside the sanctuary. She looked up at a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.
She softly prayed, “Please give me strength God. I need to know if I am doing the right thing. I want to follow my heart but I can’t. Please…..be with Quasimodo. Let him know that I love him. I don’t know what to do, please be with me. Most of all be with him. Amen.” Marie bowed her head and gave the sign of the cross. She slowly began to make her way up the stairs to the bell tower.
Quasimodo heard someone coming and quickly looked to see Marie coming up. He smiled and said “Hello darling.”
“Hello Quasimodo.” She said as she climbed the ladder up to him. He held out his hand for her and helped her get to the top.
“I was beginning to think you wouldn’t come.” He said.
“I almost couldn’t but I am here now…and there’s something I need to tell you.”
“Oh of course, but first let me show you something. Wait right there” He said and quickly turned around.
“No Quasi…” but she couldn’t get to him in time for him to listen. He came back with something in his hand. It was a brown cloth wrapped around with a white string.
“I bought you something in the market today.” He said as he handed the present to her.
“Oh Quasimodo….you really shouldn’t…”
“No Marie, I insist please open it.”
Marie wanted to protest but she knew how stubborn Quasimodo was. She sighed and gave a slight smile and opened it up. As she unraveled the cloth, the first thing she noticed was a bright shine. Then she discovered what was in it. A silver heart-shaped locket with a cross on the front.
“Oh Quasi…it’s so beautiful.” She whispered.
“It’s the same one you saw the other day in the market. I wanted to get it for you as a token of my love for you.” He said as he took her hand.
“But how did you manage to buy it?” she asked.
“Don’t worry about it. I just want you to have it…because I love you with all my heart Marie.” He said as he took her chin and pulled her in for a kiss. Marie savored his sweet lips for as long as she could and had to break away quickly.
“Quasimodo….I can’t accept this.” She said
“Don’t be silly Marie of course you…”
No Quasi! I really can’t accept this I’m sorry!” she said angrily as she handed the locket back to him. She walked across the room facing the other way. Quasimodo stood there as he looked at the locket, he was shocked and confused.
“Marie? What’s going on.” He asked. Marie closed her eyes, took a deep breath and turned to face Quasimodo. The look in his eyes of confusion and sadness made it more difficult for her say what she had to say.
“Quasi….we can’t see each other anymore.” She hesitated as she said those God forsaken words. She realized that the best way to end this is lie. She had to lie that she didn’t love him. It was the only way.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“I mean that this relationship cannot go on any further Quasi, we were foolish to even think that this could have lasted. You’re a common bell ringer and I am the daughter of the Duke. My family would never accept this. It’s just best that we ended it now and forever.” She said as she headed towards the ladder but Quasimodo got in her way.
“You’re lying Marie.” He said
“Why would I lie about something like this?’ she asked.
“I have no idea why you would Marie but I know you are. I can see it in your eyes.”
“I am not lying Quasimodo now will you please let me go!” she cried as she tried to free her hands from his. His strength prevented it.
“Marie don’t do this..”
“FOR GOD”S SAKES LET ME GO!” she yelled. Quasimodo saw pain in her eyes. He felt his own heart aching. He knew there was something wrong but there was no use. He knew that he couldn’t get her to tell him. He finally let her go. He pulled back and they stood and stared at each other for a moment. Finally he softly spoke.
“You can’t be serious about this Marie. After everything you said to me yesterday and the night before you want to end this?” he said as he got closer to her.
“Quasi.” Marie said softly. “We had our fun, but it has to end…”
“It can’t end this way Marie! You said you loved me!” shouted Quasimodo. He was full of so much anger and hurt, he felt like his soul was dying from every single word she was saying.
“I thought I did….” She softly said and with hesitation, she finally said, “But I don’t. I’m so sorry Quasimodo”
And that did it. Quasimodo’s heart was ripped in two. This woman that he loved, the one who restored all faith and hope into his heart just destroyed him. He couldn’t believe and didn’t know what else to say. He hesitantly let go of her hands and stepped aside for her to leave. Marie bowed her head to hide her pain and descended down the ladder.
As she was about to leave through the door, she looked back to see that Quasimodo was gone. She stood there for a minute and realized what she had done. She destroyed him. She thought that not doing this would destroy him but at that point realized that she even destroyed him this way too. Possibly even more than death. She wanted to go back and make amends and almost went back up the ladder. She reached for it and then forced herself to stop. She couldn’t and there was no turning back now. If she told Quasimodo about the bargain, Jean would find out or if Quasimodo would try to rescue her, he would know that Marie told Quasimodo and would capture him and execute him. She stepped back and descended down the stairs.
As she was walking down, she could hear Quasimodo’s sobs echo down the stairway. Those echoes would haunt her forever. She finally made it out of the cathedral and ran as fast as she could back to home. But she didn’t get any further than her own garden in the backyard. She dropped to her knees by the fountain and cried and cried. “What have I done!” she asked herself as she sobbed. She buried her face and couldn’t leave that spot for hours. She cried until she couldn’t cry anymore. She just sat there, thinking about many things. How much she hated her life at that point and wished for death. That way she would be free. She sighed and finally stood up and went back inside and up to her bedroom. She layed on her bed for the rest of the night but couldn’t sleep a wink. She felt she could never sleep again. All she could think about was Quasimodo’s face and the sound of his cries haunted her.
‘I destroyed the man I love.’ she thought and cried until morning came.
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