There is a bride. She is the first bride. Ever. A beautiful, perfect bride who has the distinction of being created expressly for her groom. Her groom is the real Prince Charming. His father is king not just of the land, but of the entire universe. Only the best will do for such a prince, and she is exactly that. She is the picture of perfection, exquisite in every way, beautifully dressed. As preparation for the royal wedding, she has been given every gift imaginable, including the highly prized gift of free will. Her days are carefree. She lives in the most beautiful garden, where each day, her beloved meets her for a walk. Sadly, the bride doesn't use her gifts wisely. She is ungrateful. When she is told that her groom's father is trying to keep all knowledge from her, she violates the trust given to her and misuses her gift of free will. Too late, she learns that it was all a horrible trick that she has fallen for.
Disgraced, she runs away, only to find that by falling for the trick, she is now a slave to a monster. In her shame and unhappiness, the bride is unfaithful and does terrible things. The more the bride does to fight her status as a slave, the deeper she is trapped. Her crime of rejecting her groom and his family carries the penalty of death. Only blood can satisfy the sentence. A sentence of death that will last for eternity. But the bridegroom still loves her. Her betrothed seeks her out and meets with her owner to bargain for his bride's release. He doesn't care what she has done. He looks through the dirt and grime that covers his beloved and still finds her beautiful, worthy of his love. She has destroyed her dress and defiled her body with countless lovers, but it doesn't matter to him.
The groom knows how eager the bride's owner is to watch the bride suffer and die. He knows that her owner wants nothing more than to kill her. The law of the land demands that blood be shed to atone for the crime of rejecting the royal family. Undeterred, the bridegroom gives his blood in place of the bride's. His clothes, which have always been pristine, become filthy rags. His face becomes unrecognizable as He suffers abuse on her behalf. The king cannot watch what is happening to his son. He turns away at the sight of his perfect son covered in blood and filth. The son feels deeply his father turning away, and he calls out to his father. Amazingly, the groom has been quiet throughout the whole ordeal, not even speaking when it would have saved him. But now, his anguish at being rejected overcomes him and he cries over the lost fellowship.
The bride watches all of this, speechless. Her beloved has gone through this terrible punishment because of her actions. She has led her groom to be killed in a gruesome manner. Her perfect groom, the prince. She locks herself away and grieves. Days pass, and with the third day brings new hope, a miracle. Her beloved returns, alive. As unbelievable as it sounds, he has come back to her. He holds her tenderly and pledges his love to her anew. He tells her that he willingly died for her and that he would gladly do it again. The bride sobs with a mixture of regret and remorse. His clothes, once spotless, then filthy rags, have been replaced with his usual princely attire. His shining clothes and face make her aware that she is still wearing the clothing of a slave. Her clothes aren't even good enough to be rags. It seems that no matter how hard she scrubs her clothes or tries to be careful, her clothing keeps getting stained worse and worse. Fittingly, the stains are always scarlet. Scarlet like the blood she saw flow from her beloved.
She backs away from him, not willing to dirty his clothes, especially after all he has been through for her. The groom seems to read her thoughts and reassures her that it is all right. He loves her regardless of how she is attired, but he longs to see her rightfully clothed as his bride. Disbelieving, she searches his face for a clue to his meaning. Surely he must know how much she regrets running away and being deceived. She remembers her beautiful dress that once clothed her. She is shamed at how far she has let herself go. She looks down at the floor in disgrace and mumbles that she wishes she could be his bride again. But she knows that she can't. She haltingly tells him that she wishes she could wear such a shining white example of beauty. But, as she motions to her current clothes, these rags seem to suit her better. After all, she caused his death. While yes, he is alive again by some miracle, she knows her place is now away from him. She can never forgive herself for her actions, for causing the terrible price he paid to free her, for causing his own father to turn away from him.
Weeping violently now, she falls to the floor. Her tears flowing, she watches as her tears splash His feet. Even now, he bears the marks of her actions. His beautiful feet are pierced, the wounds still fresh. Not wanting her salty tears to cause him more pain, she tries to wipe them away. But with what? Her clothes are too dirty to do much good, even though she has washed them over and over. Her hair. Her hair might work. She wipes away at her tears that are flowing over his feet. She tries to excuse herself, to tell him how much she regrets her actions. But all that comes out is, “Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.” He reaches down and pulls her off of the floor. A great light seems to fill the room, taking her breath away, causing her tears to cease.
The bride dares to lift her eyes and finds such kindness, such love, shining in the eyes of the groom. Her heart, so scarred and heavy from her actions, feels hopeful and light. She feels forgiven, fresh, new – whole. The way she felt as a girl in the garden before she ran away. Before she was deceived. She catches a glimpse of her sleeve and gasps. She looks down at her clothes in wonder. The filthy scarlet rags are gone. In their place is her gorgeous bridal dress, the one that she thought she would never see again. Her feet are shod in finely crafted slippers, jewels glisten around her neck. As she walks to a mirror, she catches sight of a veil. The most intricate, elaborate veil ever made now adorns her hair. Her groom reaches behind her to pull the veil over her face. She holds up a hand to stop Him, because only virgins are veiled. She - is not. She shouldn't even be wearing a dress made of white, much less a bridal gown. As she explains, her groom's eyes fill with compassion. How much she still doesn't understand! He lovingly tells her that her veil, her dress, are all hers to wear because of his death. His death not only freed her from being a slave, it also washed away every trace of her past life. When she asked him for forgiveness, every record of her transgression was discarded, never to be seen again. He places the veil over her face and leads her out the door where she sees a bridal party has assembled, a feast prepared. For her. And Him. The bride and her Groom.