A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #23974  by Vera Hadley
Location: St-James, Catholic Church • Date: A Sunday in of April 1996
Time of Day: Noon Service • Weather: Sunny

Wearing pure white robes, Vera stood in front of the congregation ready to offer communion. While noon service at St-James was one of the most popular services in London, the blonde couldn't help, but notice the rows of empty pews. Pews that were harrowingly straight, given the flawed meandering faithfuls who sat in them.

"The body of Christ," she enunciated every time someone stood humbly before her. She had been volunteering at the parish for a few weeks when the priest had asked her if she would be willing to offer Holly Communion. The task had seemed prestigious given how new she had been, but after a short conversation she had accepted to help.

She was about to offer the body of Christ to the next parishioner when her eyes widened. Mouth agape, unable to say the words that were expected of her she remained frozen for a few seconds. How was she to contain her excitement when a dear friend of hers whom she had not seen in years was standing unexpectedly in front of her?
 #24415  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
As the war raged on throughout the United Kingdom, Rian had started to become more and more unsettled of staying in England. He had a good job and he had friends around him but the thought of being arrested just because of his muggleborn status loomed over him every day he stepped foot inside the Ministry.

Over the past few weeks, he had been seriously starting to consider moving home to Ireland for the foreseeable future. he made a point of coming to mass as often as he could, as this was the one place he felt safe and away from any harm.

Rian sat down the back of the church, his eyes staring at his shoes for most of the mass. as communion was called, Rian followed the rest of the small crowd up the aisle to the top to receive the body of Christ.

as he approached the Eucharistic minister he couldn't help but notice a familiar face. one that, for the first time in a long time, made him feel at ease.

"I think you're meant to say The Body of Christ,' Rian said, a smile upon his lips. This encounter surely had brightened up his day.
 #24517  by Vera Hadley
Incapable of brushing her smile away, she repeated "The Body of Chris." Words she had never uttered without a solemn expression, were suddenly brightened. The whole ordeal seemed strange, but she did not have much time to reflect on it. "Wait for me at our pew," Vera whispered already working on dimming her excitement; other faithful were awaiting communion. Though they had never attended mass together in this particular church he would undoubtedly know what she meant. Their pew was the one at the back, the one where they had met all those years ago and then the one where they had sat whenever they had attended service together. That pew was theirs no matter the church in which they stood.

Though she was excited to meet Rian after service the disciplined blonde managed to remain focused on service and the role she was playing. Once her alb had been discarded and she had said her goodbyes to the priest Vera made her way towards their pew.
 #24772  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Rian didn't' say a word but replied just a smile of understanding. He knew exactly what she meant. The pew they had first met. The pew that became a staple for their following relationship. To anyone else, a simple pew would mean nothing. But to them, it meant so much. The Irishman blessed himself before turning around and making his way towards the back of the church.

He waited out the end of the mass sitting beside an older lady in the pew at the back of the church. Once the mass ended, he let the rest of the people out before sitting back in. He bowed his head, saying a silent prayer as he waited for his friend to arrive.
 #24856  by Vera Hadley
She saw him sitting in their pew, head bowed as he silently prayed. Though the wooden seats hid his hands, Vera could easily imagine them on his lap, fingers entwined, a sight she had witnessed countless times. Finding comfort in the familiar, the blonde approached him with a warm smile.

Careful to respect his moment with God, she slid on the bench and started a silent prayer of her own. Once her payer had been punctuated by the sign of the cross she opened her eyes. "Lunch," she mouthed rather excited at the prospect of finally being able to express how happy she was to see him.
 #24994  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Rian felt the presence of his old friend as he prayed silently. Eventually, as they were both finished, he smiled at Vera and her suggestion of grabbing lunch together. He nodded in reply and picked up his jacket to leave the church.

Once the two were outside, he turned to face his old friend, a genuinely happy smile on his lips for the first time in a long time.

"It's so nice to see you, Vera."
 #25009  by Vera Hadley
"It's nice to see you as well, Rian," the blonde echoed smiling brightly.

Their last encounter has not been as joyous. After a little more than two years spent courting each other, Vera had ended their relationship. Her parents so very insistent that they should get engaged, married and start a family had made her crumble into a puddle of self-doubt. She had not left her for lack of love, but rather for fear of getting into a union she was not quite ready to sustain.

Looking at him, almost two decades later she found that the sorrow and heartbreak she had felt then had been replaced by something akin to nostalgia. "How have you been? Do you live in England?" She bit her lower lip in an attempt to interrupt the cascade of questions escaping her.
 #25191  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
It was nice to see Vera. Of course it was. The two had grown so close over the four years they had known each other and the two they dated. However, Rian would have been lying if he said it didn't hurt a little to see her too. Thinking back to when they last spoke brought back many unhappy memories for Rian but he wanted to see past that now. He wanted to see the girl that he fell in love with originally all those years ago.

"I do." he nodded in reply. "For now anyway." he smiled. "And yourself? I'm guessing you must be close enough to here if you're getting involved with this church."
 #25220  by Vera Hadley
“I am,” she confirmed when he suggested that she lived close by. Her flat was rather small, but she already saving for the house of her dreams, a house that had nothing to do with the home she hand envisioned back when she had been with Rian.

Thoughts slightly muddled as she tried to reconcile the future she could have had with the one she was building, Vera’s smile faltered. “I thought you might have returned to Ireland,” she attempted with a fragile smile.

Though she understood why they had grown apart, she was saddened to realize that he had not been that far. “I’ve missed you,” she admitted without quite measuring the weight of her words.
 #25269  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
It was weird, knowing that himself and Vera had lived in such close proximity all these years yet had completely grown apart. He often heard people say how small the world was but right now London just seemed so big.

At the mention of Ireland, Rian's smile faded. "Not yet." he said in reply, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "I think I'm going to go back soon though. It's not safe here for people like me." Rian explained, making reference of course to his bloodline. "Back home isn't the best either, but where else do I go?"

It was her next line that hit him hardest. Three little words that he would have wouldn't have cared hearing from anyone else but from her it hit home that little bit more. He looked into her eyes for a second.

"How's your family?" he asked, ignoring the comment.
 #25330  by Vera Hadley
Shocked to realize that she had not even considered how the current precarious societal tension might affect him, she felt a twinge of shame. She put a hand on his arm and gave it a gentle squeeze. "You go wherever you need to go to stay safe," the blonde ordered with unwavering determination.

Fueled by the fear of losing him, she was almost tempted to reaffirm how much she had missed him and force him to acknowledge what she was trying to say. Instead, she held on to the look he had given her and tried to interpret in it a sort of confirmation that he had missed her as well.

"Well, I think my parents are starting to think about retirement. Mary had a second daughter." Speaking of her sister, Vera was forced to contemplate a future that would have been similar to theirs had she decided to marry Rian which made her quickly move on to her younger sister. "Jane is still the same," she merely shared as she spoke of her quicky little sister. "How is your mum?" She returned the question.
 #27013  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Rian smiled a sad smile. That was the ever burning question? Where would Rian feel safe? Was home going to be much better than London? He had heard that things had been getting better back home but every now and then you'd hear of another thing happening. It was hard to know where was best for him.

"A daughter." Rian echoed the blonde. He smiled again, slightly happier this time. The thought of having a family was all Rian had ever wanted. A wife to love and children to dote over. That was what Vera's parents had wanted too but unfortunately, not Vera herself. "

"Mam is good," Rian replied, nodding. "She turned 70 last year. But she's still as feisty as ever." The Irishman laughed gently. After a short pause, he continued. "Tadgh and Mal are.." he paused again and shrugged, "Well, the same as usual." His elder brothers, Tadgh and Malachi had never really gotten over the death of their eldest brother and father and had vowed for revenge ever since that dreaded day all the way back in 1973. "Mal actually had a daughter too a few years back. Bit weird to think that he's settled down now."
 #27137  by Vera Hadley
Renouncing to the life she could have had with Rian had been heartbreaking for Vera. While she had known that she had not been ready to become his wife, she had loved him immensely. The heartbreak had only been amplified once she had realized that she was also breaking ties with his family. The blonde had grown to love the Mac Bradaighs and had come to think of them as her own family. Hearing Rian speak about them made her heart swell with love and nostalgia. "It all comes naturally once we have found the right person," she commented as she tried to imagine Malachi and his family.

"It's right here," she pointed at the small bistro she had discovered a few months prior. Even then, when in her mind he had been miles away tending to a wife and kids she had imagined time and again, she had thought of Rian. It had been the kind of modest establishments they had patroned during their courtship.

The smell of freshly baked baguette and soup greeted them as well as the faint sound of the conversing crowd. The bistro was not full by any means, but a few tables were surrounded by clients. Soon they were assigned a table. Was it odd that she had brought them here? Was it like teasing a fate she had already refused? "Is this okay?" She asked before she sat. "I mean, I don't want to make you uncomfortable," she added not too sure how to explain her sudden doubts.
 #28763  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Family was so important to Rian. The most important thing really. So when he saw how well Vera had slotted into their lives, as crazy and dysfunctional as they were at times, it only confirmed for him that she was the one. He nodded in reply to Vera's statement. He was still to find the right one. And Rian often felt like time was running out. He wasn't the young man he once was anymore. He wanted to start settling down, having kids, spending time with his family. Everyone else in his life seemed to be doing it. Why wasn't he?

Rian smiled brightly as the two pulled up to their spot. It mirrored many restaurants the two had spent countless evenings at during their time together. The two were quickly seated, sitting across from one another. On his left there were tables full with similar couples to themselves. To his right, a window overlooking the bustling street outside. Rian started out to the street as Vera asked him if he was OK with all of this. In reality, he was unsure. With everything that was going on, it was nice to see a familiar face. One he knew so well at a time when life was simpler. But it was also hard when that face is the person you first fell in love with.

Turning back to face the blonde, Rian smiled. "It's fine, honestly. It's nice to see a familiar face."