The heavy door swung as it creaked closed. A low thud emanated from the old carved wood. Rena was sure she was not followed, at least, hopefully she was not. Her breath was almost caught in her throat at the sight of the immaculate cathedral. Each candle lined the long aisle. The lights from the small fires draped over her form in such a way, she had a hard time not staring at the shadows dancing on the walls. She took a small, hesitant step forward. Her now dark looking hood fell off her head.
"Well, they don't call this the house of God for nothing," Her full marron curls framed her face haphazardly. In the warm candle light, her skin held a sun kissed sort of look. Her hands folded over themselves, pressing into her chest as she walked forward. Each writhing candle passed by slowly as she walked at a slow pace. Everything was absolutely breathtaking to her. The window pains held a slight white glow to them. She asked herself why she had never come here before. She really was a stupid woman at times. She assumed mass had concluded from the sight of no pews being present. The awed girl was never the religious type however, her mother was.
The thought stirred a bittersweet feeling within her. Oh, how her mother would sing beautiful hymns of the lord. The thoughtful girl hardly had any memories of her mother not smiling. A pressure had begun to build behind her shining eyes. She tugged on the handkerchief tied to her small wrist. She had not realized she had made it to the end of the long asil.
She stood before the altar in complete awe, the pressure behind her eyes not forgotten but. it was subsiding. The Virgin Mary sat still in the flaring light as baby Jesus laid in her arms peacefully. Angels surrounded the eternal mother. Each being looked perfect. Their marble skin held no flaw or blemish. She almost forgot they were simply statues created by men themselves.
Deep vibrations suddenly surged the ground as the sound of a fallen object filled her ears. The sound of the said object's fall held a high pitched clattered twang. Rena twirled around as she brought her hands to clasp over her agap mouth, a tiny gasp escaping her. The abrupt noise had ripped her out of her dazed thoughts. Down the aisle was a fallen candle stick, the candles wax had spilled onto the floor. The startled woman would have been worried about the aisle carpet catching on fire but, from what her wide eyes could see, the flame from the fallen candle had been put out somehow. It was most likely from the fall. The frazzled woman was not concerned with it at the moment, but her heart was thundering in her chest.
What had made the once standing candle fall? Or rather… whom? In the far corner of the grand room, she could see a figure shifting oddly in the distance. The figure had not been too far away from the fallen candle. Ok, Rena, do not panic. It is fine. Everything is fine.
Everything was not fine. Why was she here! She should not be here. Ohhhh! Quasimodo's thoughts were swirling and jumbling around his head. Not long before he had came here, he had made his way up the spiral steps up to his home when his damage ears had picked up a small noise. It echoed through the cathedral. He descended back down the marble stairs from his curiosity. He suddenly realized it was not a small noise but rather a voice. A woman's voice.
And like molten lead being poured on him, it hit him. It was her! It was Rena! He would recognize her voice anywhere. Though, he only had one conversation with her but, that was beside the point. Before the woman had time to turn around, the anxious man scurried behind a pillar before her eyes could land on him. He had not felt this nervous since… he would rather not think about it. His mind was racing. A fast hand found its way to his head as he brushed through it nervously. He could not let her see him.
His back was pressed firmly against the tan pillar. He cautiously peered over his shoulder to look behind his only camouflage.
And there she was, standing there against the flame light. Her flowing white dress hit the floor. He noticed how the rose red cloak resting on her slender shoulders framed her perfectly. She looked like she belonged here, like she herself was a work of art. Her eyes were scanning the area in front of her. She must have noticed him. He wished she had not. His eyes flicked to the door to the staircase and unfortunately, she was standing right across from it. He could never slip past without her noticing.
"Is someone there?" The woman questioned into the dark. Quasimodo stiffened at the sound of her voice floating through the air. He did not seem to have any other choice but to answer her. He was terrified. What if she really did not have a good look at him the first time they met? And when she finally does, will she run away out of disgust? Fear? Hate? As much as the terror within him kept rising, no matter how many images he conjured of her running away or scorning him, it did not seem right. He simply could not see her in that light. With a very, very, very deep breath, he slipped away from the safety of the pillar, and into the open space with nowhere to hide.
As he hesitantly slid away from the pillar, Rena's eyes caught his motion.
"Oh! It must've been you who made the noise." Rena looked relieved at knowing who had caused the startling sound as she spoke. Her hands had fallen from her chest and instead rested in between her legs. Quasimodo was still shrouded by the shadows. She did not know it was him just yet.
"Y-yes… I'm s-sorry, I can be clumsy a-at times…" the anxious man wrang his hands, he was thankful he was hidden by the shadows for now.
Rena's eyes widen slightly at the sound of his voice. She recognized it. She wondered if it was him. Quasimodo. It had to be. The man in front of her was a full foot shorter than her and had a slight stutter, most likely from
nervousness. She only knew one man with that height and she had met him this morning. The excitement within her was growing rapidly. But a small pang of hesitation rested within her as well. She did not want to frighten him in anyway so, she would be cautious for now.
"You must be Quasimodo, is that right?" She took a small step forward, her dress swaying ever so slightly. She noticed his shoulders stiffen, but they relaxed soon after.
"Y-yes, that would be my n-name," he was stuttering less now. That had to be a good sign. The flickering of the flames danced around, all except where Quasimodo was standing.
"Well, would you like to come into the light?" She knew what she was asking had to be a lot for him but she would not run away. She simply could not. She wanted to know this man, and to help him in anyway she could. Someone had to make up for a life's worth of hurt and pain. Even if she could not make up for it all, she sure as hell would try.
With a hesitant step forward, his foot slipped into the light, and soon the rest of him followed. The shadows fell away like water over rocks.
And there he stood. His broad shoulders rose higher, his gaze looking to the floor. She realized she had been staring. Goodness, she was being rude. She was the last person to talk about manners but she did not come her to make him feel like some animal at a zoo.
She let a small smile rest on her fare features. "It is wonderful to see you again." She bent over to try and meet his eyes better, but not in a suffocating way. He flicked his eyes up to meet hers, and the sight before him was more than relaxing. She was framed by the candles warmly. Her friendly smile and eyes calmed whatever nerves that were within him prior. He searched her face for any sign of fear or hesitation but, he found none. The last phrase the smiling woman said was swimming though his mind. She really did look like she was happy to see him, and that in it of itself was a foreign thing for him to hear.
"Well, i-it is…" he trailed for a moment, unsure of what to say, for he had hardly ever had this type of interaction with many people, "wonderful to see you a-as well." For lack of a better word, he simply copied her sentence.
Goodness, his heart was racing. Her brilliant green eyes sparkled in the light of the candles around them. He shifted nervously. Then a thought occurred to him, why was she here?
"It is d-definitely nice to see you again b-but," he was unsure whether to ask her or not, he did not want to offend her. A memory of Frollo scorning him for asking "ridiculous" questions flashed through his mind. He had trouble shaking the memories away. "Why are you h-here?"
Rena expression only changed slightly. She straightened her back and folded her hands tighter over themselves, almost as if she were embarrassed.
Well of course he would ask that, what else was she thinking he would say? To be quite honest with herself, she was not sure why she was here. She knew she wanted to see him again after this morning but no other answer would come up. Was it to ask him questions? No. That was the last thing he needed. She thought for a moment. Maybe… she was here to help him, in what way, she did not know. All she knew was she was tired of the way the people of Paris talked of him, as if he were a demon. She returned her gaze back to the man in front of her.
"I myself am not quite sure," her smile returned, "maybe I'm just looking for a friend."
Quasimodo looked a little shocked but less so than he had expected to be. A hesitant smile crossed his features. The candles flickered as the two sat in silence.