This past week on GL, confessions of love caused seismic shifts in the lives of our heroines, Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera, and to a lesser extent, Frank Cooper, who is supposedly a detective with the Springfield Police Department. I highly suggest someone check that man’s credentials….

Crystal Chappell got the agony train rolling as she watched Natalia and Frank move up their wedding with the return of Nat’s son Rafe, from prison. The sheer devastation in Olivia’s eyes whenever Frank touched Natalia (which was waaaaay too often) was gut-wrenching. And it was echoed in Nat’s eyes when she practically pleaded with her best friend non-verbally to stop this farce before it went too far.

In classic soap story-telling; however, the wedding must go on.

Olivia found herself at Gus’ graveside, pouring her heart out to him, teasingly blaming him for the feeling she felt for Natalia, wondering if they didn’t come from the heart now beating in her chest, which once beat in Gus’ and was already filled with Natalia. When she broke down in sobs and wept in despair “So you see, Gus, I am trying to believe in something bigger. In a love that would have me walk away from the one person that I would give anything to keep” you felt that heart shatter and spill out onto the grass, and you were right there with her.

Natalia arrives just then, seeking out Gus as well, and wants to know why Olivia’s crying.  Olivia, in her newly discovered selflessness, attempts to ignore the question repeatedly while working to control her emotions until Natalia badgers her into shouting the truth, an emotional explosion of words that stopped Natalia in her tracks and did the same to viewers. Olivia, shocked at her outburst, covers her mouth, almost as if she could somehow have kept the words from passing her lips. She was emotionally spent, though, and in a whisper that was just as powerful as her outburst moments before states, “I’m in love with you.”

She then took Natalia’s hands in hers and explained exactly why she wanted Nat to marry Frank, however wrong-headed they actually were. Natalia, stepping up big time, countered all of Olivia’s excuses, but Ms. Spencer would hear none of it. She didn’t want Natalia to end up hating her, and she knew that’s what would happen. So she hustled Nat into the church and, despite the very audible sounds of hearts breaking, and anvils crashing all over the chapel, urged things on.

So the wedding began, and thanks to Mayor Doris Wolfe, called upon to perform the ceremony by Detective Frank, became nothing short of high comedy. She gave everyone, including the gaggle of senior citizens in attendance, who had obviously been hi-jacked on the way to the Early Bird Special over at Company, the chance to object. The pointed look she gave Olivia actually made Liv blurt out an uncontrollable “NO!” which she then covered up as a “No one objects” moment, but it was obvious to anyone with eyes and an actual brain in their head that what followed the initial objection was forced and less than truthful.

Of course, that didn’t stop Doris. She then took a phone call (her phone was on silent, yet she felt it ring… she’s a very good politician), stepping away to talk to the City Council for some made up reason. Olivia knew better, followed and insisted that Doris finish the ceremony. Doris urges Olivia to take Natalia aside and tell her everything before she walks out of the church and Olivia’s life forever. They turn and see Nat standing only a few feet away watching them closely. Uh-oh…

With this latest interruption, Nat goes to light a candle (she lights 2, one for herself and one for…?) when Frank shows up (okay, at least on this his detective skills are top-notch, he always seems to know exactly where Nat is) and she explains she’s saying one of her favorite prayers from the Book of Ruth. Frank thinks that’s nice, now, shouldn’t they go get Doris and finish this? Nat looks mildly terrified at the thought and suggests they give Doris more time. (Hello, who ordered the Acme Warehouse Anvil?)

Doris, in the meanwhile, is still trying to get Olivia to stop the wedding. Finally, Olivia tells Doris that she wants this for Natalia, knowing Nat’s faith, Frank can give her everything that Olivia can’t.

This is the new Olivia, one who thinks of others first, before her own hopes and dreams. An unselfish Olivia who loves Natalia enough to not only let her go, but stand at her side while it happens.

The wedding continues and Frank delivers his vows like a champ. Well, he’s marrying Nat, so of course he does… Now it’s Natalia’s turn. Halfway through the vows, she locks up like a computer running Windows Vista, her voice stammering and stuttering as she realizes she can’t go through with it. Then in a stunning impression of Julia Roberts, she makes like a Runaway Bride, crying out her apologies to Frank as she bolts for the door.

Stunned silence is left in her wake.

Olivia tells Frank she’ll go find her. Frank looks like he just took a Louisville Slugger to the back of the head. Guests wonder what the heck just happened. The Seniors in the back row wonder when the Bingo they were promised will finally start…

So we’ve averted the Wedding of Doom. *whew* And it was Natalia who brought it to a merciful, yet painful end. *double whew*

Out in a sudden blizzard, which had managed to dump several feet of snow on the ground when just an hour or so before it seemed the Spring was on its way (Olivia was kneeling at Gus’ grave on grass that was starting to turn green and it was obvious that, while the air was chilly, it wasn’t bitter cold), Olivia finds Natalia at the gazebo. This gazebo has seen a lot of action in recent months, but nothing like this. Natalia tells Olivia that she couldn’t do it.

Now it was Jessica Leccia’s turn to bring down the house. Her eyes swimming with tears, she tries to explain how she couldn’t stand in that church, under that huge cross, and lie to everyone by marrying a man she didn’t love. This time, Olivia pushes and goads Natalia until Nat has had enough and explodes “I don’t love him, I love you!”

She tells Olivia that she and Emma mean everything to her. THEY are her family. (SCORE!)

Olivia did give us the line of the day when she convinced Natalia she couldn’t go tell Frank anything:

Natalia: How could he possibly understand? I should call him or something. I should just call him and…

Olivia: And tell him what, that you have an unusual interest in your maid of honor?

Olivia Spencer, still making jokes while her heart breaks…

Unfortunately, so many missteps are made, too much selflessness and the two of them hearing each other talk but neither really listening to what was being said. And then Frank, who must be part bloodhound, came running up, thinking maybe they could head back to the church and finish out the ceremony. Natalia couldn’t get the words out as to why she ran, so Liv jumped in, once again, and told Frank Nat wasn’t over Gus yet, that’s why she bolted (Frank would absolutely flip to know that not only is she over Gus, she’s in love with Liv). Frank, is his utter obtuseness, buys this story and tells Natalia he’s willing to wait for her.

Get comfortable, pal.

The final scene between Olivia and Natalia ripped out two hearts and left them lying on the floor of that gazebo, slowly beating their last:

Natalia: If I love Frank, how am I still able to lie to him like that?

Olivia: You didn’t lie to him. You just didn’t tell him the whole truth.

Natalia: I didn’t know how.

Olivia: What I said about Gus, I said because I knew that you would rather die than to have people know your true feelings. Between us it’s one thing, but to own up to it in the real world…

Natalia: Own up, to what? What, what is it that we’re feeling?

Olivia: Whatever it is, I know that you’re ashamed of it. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been doing this dance for so long. And that’s the reason why we can’t do anything about this.

Natalia: So what happens? What happens to us?

Olivia: There is no us. You love me, but you’re going to hate me one day for this. I can’t live with that. I can’t.

She then walks away from Natalia with those words, both hearts shattered almost beyond repair. GUH! Where on earth do they go from here?

This was a tour de force from everyone who played a part in these scenes, from Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia to Frank Dicopolous (still waiting, Frank, on when you promised we would love Frank C by the end of all this… waiting…), Orlagh Cassidy, Justin Deas, the irrepressible Jacqueline Tsirkin, to Ellen Wheeler and Jill Lorie Hurst, whose brainchild this is.

The week of April 13th should be remembered for the week that Guiding Light left all other soaps in its wake.

If Natalia’s admission of love to Olivia in the gazebo followed by her jumbled emotional confusion didn’t have you alternately cheering with joy and groaning in despair, you don’t have a heart.

If Olivia’s absolutely wrenching confession, her emotional outburst declaring exactly what she’s feeling, didn’t kill you… You’re already dead.

Special thanks to YouTube member Yodaluver28 for the clips pulled from their YouTube page.

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