A/N: 'Oh my sweet Lucile, however did you manage it? You don't know what any of this means!'
As I am not Jason Robert Brown, how can I possibly own 'Parade'? I am simply trying to convey my new found love for the story and the score into something cohesive- please don't sue me!
This Is Not Over Yet
'Oh my sweet Lucile, however did you manage it? You don't know what any of this means!'
Then tell me.
Please stop bottling all this up inside your broken body until you want to burst, until you collapse into my arms and fight; your whole body as tight as a coiled spring fighting against the forces that want to rip it away from me for good.
Yet still you remain silent; dark eyes brimming with unspoken regrets, apologies that I know will never pass your lips; desperate, broken apologies that I can only recognise through the silent tightening of the skin around your eyes, the trembling of your lips, the tears threatening to spill at any moment….
'Make the hangman stop his drumming!'
We've been through far too much for me to lose you now.
The weight of your unshed tears seem to pull at me, claw at my already fragile heart, smash through the crumbling defences that I have spent so long trying to create and yet…
I can feel the weight of your hand cupping my cheek, fingers clinging to tear stained skin as if I am the last thing holding you to this reality of pain and suffering.
As if I am the one who is holding you hostage, keeping you at ransom until they find us and drag you away from everything that you hold dear; everything that we have fought so hard to create in this broken chasm of a world.
It is as if it doesn't matter. It is as if all the blood, all the sweat, all the salt stained tears that have soaked the pillows in the early hours of the morning, mean nothing and all that is holding you to me is the weight of your hand.
'I can't let you go. I… I can't Leo… Don't… Don't make me… Please... Please don't…'
The words seem to fight against my frozen lips, dancing into nothingness on my tongue as I watch you bottle your emotions and stare without seeing out of the window.
I can't bring myself to say them. They are useless terrors, midnight fears, fragments of dark memory that swarm my sleeping brain only to be clouded over by the brightness of daylight and never truly leaving me.
The dishcloth in my hand feels icy cold, the fibres soaked through with soapsuds and sweat.
I ignore it.
I ignore it as I have been ignoring everything in this godforsaken house, ignoring my life; the life that I once had before the case, before the trial, before my husband's life was on the line and I was the only thing, the only power that stood between him and the ice cold bite of a hangman's noose.
You watch me through pupils that resemble shards of shattered glass.
You watch me and say nothing; though your eyes ask me everything, ask everything me everything that I do not have an answer to.
It is as if you are a child; a curious, frightened child; the child that now we can never have; and I am a parent; a lost parent who, for the first time in their existence; does not know what to say.
Outside the kitchen window, the drumming has started.
Leo… Oh Leo, if only you would let me speak for you!
If only you could swallow your pride and allow me to help you…
Outside the kitchen window the drumming has started and with it the steady tramp of feet and the rising swell of human voices; all baying for blood and still here we stand, doing nothing to prevent it.
'You can cancel all your parties, forget your big parade!'
And still the baying chorus come ever closer and still you seem to shrink inside yourself, hugging your being closer and closer to your chest. You seem deflated, a shell of the man who had shouted in tear-choked anger across the kitchen mere minutes ago.
Minutes? It feels like hours and still you stand there shivering, shuddering against the chill force of what is to come.
I hardly catch the whisper, floating on battered wings across the silence.
'Lucile… Lucile, you don't… Don't…'
But I do Leo. Can't you see that? I've come with you this far; I am not leaving you now. Don't make me.
They will soon be at the door. The thunderous marching chant seems to fill the whole kitchen, deafening us, consuming us as your body shudders back a silent sob.
There is nothing more to be said.
There is nothing more that can be said as I feel my arms wrap themselves around you and hold you; drawing your body close, drinking you up.
'Oh… Oh my dear, sweet Lucile', you whisper, the words caressing my throat like a lovers' touch.
'Hush', the words are lost within your hair, choked with the sudden, silent tears that I have spent so long trying to supress. For a moment you are a child to me, not a lover, you are a child; an innocent life caught up in the blood stained madness of the murder, of the false accusations, of the trial, of the villagers baying for blood…
Your spine is straight against my chest now.
I reach to touch your cheek and find it dry, the sudden tears of a moment ago now nothing more than a distant memory.
The wolves are at our door and there is nothing more to be said.
In a silence that speaks volumes I feel you unwrap yourself and reach to kiss my hand, your lips still stinging with salt.
'You will not forget me?'
'How could I?'
Your loving eyes are dark with tenderness as you walk to the door and unhook your coat, carefully smoothing down the sleeves as you shrug it on.
They cannot see that you were once afraid.
They cannot realise that this aura of cool composure is merely a mask, a façade to be worn until the word finally knows the truth.
The wolves are at our door.
The wolves are at our door and Leo, my Leo; the man who had stolen my heart all those years ago was waiting to meet them.
It does not matter that there will be blood on his hands by the end of this encounter.
It does not matter that the echoing beat of the drums that seems to consume the house is the same beat that will no doubt follow him up the steps of the scaffold to the hangman's noose.
'You don't know what any of this means!'
Oh, but I do, Leo.
I know, because I can see it now as you walk with your ramrod straight back, your hands clenched into fists pinned to your sides. I can see it as you turn and spare one last, searching plea back to the shadows of the kitchen; through eyes still glistening with silent tears.
The hand that I reach for is dry, the fleeting pressure of the cold skin a steady comfort as I give a final squeeze; trying not to think about when I will next see it hanging limply by his side as the noose dropped.
'Always my love.'
A/N: Please feel free to read and review! Comments, suggestions, questions, constructive criticisms etc are like chocolate to my brain!
Much love and enjoy x