“I would not label yourself in such a way.”
“It is true. Now let’s put an end to this conversational topic.”
“Oh,very well then, I apologise your Grace.”
“Yes well, ahem.” Theodore coughed.
“Would you like some water, your Grace?”
“No.”
“Are you a little under the weather today?”
“I assure you that I am fine.”
“Very well then.”
“Oh I cannot concentrate! My mind is wandering elsewhere, it’s like it has left the room and floated into the sky. This is tiresome when I am feeling fatigued!”
“Shall we stop for a while?”
“Yes.”
“Very well then. A question; do you ride?”
“Excuse me?”
“Do you ride? You know, wee ponies and such.”
“Wee?”
“Little, sorry. Do you?”
“I used to. But they were horses, not the little fat Shetland type.”
Bonnie laughed “And now?”
“I no longer do.”
“I don’t see why you shouldn’t, but anyway, it is none of my business.”
“You are right, it’s not!”
“Hmm, I find myself having to close another topic. Well, seeing as you are a little unhappy, why don’t you choose a topic your Grace?”
“I cannot think of any.”
“Oh dear. Are you sure that you would not like to take a walk?”
“Oh heavens! Everybody is the same! Why can’t people leave me alone and let me get on with my life in peace. I am sick of being fussed over and petted like some pathetic lap dog!”
“Please your Grace, it was only a suggestion and I think all your family and staff are only trying to help you. They care, do not push them away.”
“What would you know? Have you ever experienced riches? I doubt it! Have you ever lost something that has changed your life forever? No! You cannot even begin to imagine so do not come here and preach to me like some little Scottish nun!”
Bonnie fell silent, the tears gathering in her eyes, she willed them not to fall.
“In-in fact I have.” She sniffed. “Other people suffer losses too. If-if I could sacrifice my eyesight or another one of my senses and bring my Father back to life instead, then I would do it in a heartbeat your Grace. Life is so precious and I believe that God throws things at us to test us.”
“Oh Lord, you are crying oh please  Miss McGrath do not cry. You lost your Father?”
“Yes.”
“How and when?”
“A year ago, he caught a fever and it was more serious than we thought. We lost him, he was but eight and thirty.”
“So young.” Theodore stated sullenly. “I am very sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you your Grace.”
“I am spoiled and selfish and have many faults Miss McGrath, so you will have to forgive me.”
“We all have faults. I speak my mind and I have a firey temper.”
“Yes, I did notice.”
“You experienced the wrath of it. I do not take things to heart. I think I know what may be troubling you but it is not my place to say. But I will say that I am sorry for that also.”
“Oh?”
“Yes I truly am.”
“Thank you Miss McGrath, you say it in such a sincere way, I cannot help but feel touched. I do believe that there is a chance that we might become friends after all, despite your fire cracker temper and my bad disposition. You must go now as you must be tired.”
“I can assure you that you do not have a bad character but there is room for improvement. Very well then your Grace, I bid you fair well.”
“Yes, goodbye Miss McGrath.” Theodore outstretched his hand again, as Bonnie gazed at his eyes, which were so stripped of life.
“Until tomorrow.”

**

Bonnie trudged in from the cold, bolting the cottage door behind her. Maira looked up from her knitting and smiled.
“How was your day?”
“It was; I don’t know, I shall have to have a think about how to explain it. Is Andrew in bed?”
“Yes, but I think he is having trouble sleeping.”
“Then, I will go and see him.”
Bonnie entered the small bedroom and gazed at Andrew who was sitting bolt upright in bed.
“Oh Bonnie I don’t want to go to sleep!”
“Settle down now Andrew, it is past your bedtime and Mother is tired. I feel guilty, not being here to help her with the chores until later in the day.”
“I fetched the hens eggs before school and I always make my bed.”
“There’s a helpful boy. Well when you are settled, I shall have to clean my boots and I shall set the table for breakfast in the morning.”
“Tell me a story.”
“A quick one then. Once upon a time there was a young Prince with copper coloured hair. Misfortune had damaged his confidence and caused him to hide away from others. He was deeply unhappy and often took his anger out on his loved ones.”
“Bonnie! This is about Prince Theodore!”
“Yes Andrew, you are right.”
“Oh tell me more big sis!”
“Alas, the poor boy had been very ill not so long ago and the illness had taken away his sight, leaving him stone blind. His engagement was called off and he felt very alone. His Mother and Father advertised for a royal reader, hoping someone would not mind taking the time to read to their saddened son. Auditions were held and the bitter young man laughed and mocked at many of the unfortunate candidates. The last girl was a young Scottish girl….”
“You Bonnie! It was you!”
“Yes dear. The Prince was rude to her and a fire burned within the girl’s soul. She lost her rag with the young man, speaking her mind and stormed from the Palace, never expecting to hear from the royal family again, until much to her dismay a letter appeared on her doormat.”
“And now you are the royal reader Bonnie! Is the Prince still a sad, unhappy man?”
“Yes Andrew, I am afraid he is.”
“How does the story end?”
“I don’t know, it has only just begun! You must go to sleep now.”
“Please tell me the rest soon.”
“Oh yes, I shall. I hope it will have a happy ending.”
“Yes Bonnie, so do I. Goodnight!”
“Goodnight Andrew.”

“That was a nice story dear.”
“Oh, thank you Mum.”
“You do tell stories so well, is Prince Theodore really very unhappy?”
“Yes, deeply. I wish there was a way that I could help him.”
“Bonnie, I think you are doing an excellent job already.”
“I don’t know. I cannot understand him.”
“In what way?”
“He is cold and distant. Like his is pushing everyone around him away.”
“Ah. Does he look blind?”
“Not, not really. His eyes are a little lifeless I suppose and I think he blinks less, but apart from that, no.”
“Is he handsome?”
“He has very beautiful hair and it is true, he is fair of face, but I do not understand his personality. Anyway, it is not my place to say whether or not I find him attractive.”
“Aha.”
“What?”
“Nothing Bonnie, nothing at all. What conversational topics did you cover?”
“Must you know everything?”
“I am only interested!”
“Very well.  Prince Theodore was not awake when I arrived so I had a conversation with Mr Howard, one of Prince Theodore’s servants. He is a very quiet but sensible man. Yes I find him very amiable. Anyhow, he said he did not like my accent. I told you he wouldn’t! He didn’t eat all day, I have to admit that he upset me.”
“Upset you?”
“Yes. He accused me of preaching to him when I have never experienced a loss. I-I am afraid that I got a little upset when I thought of Father, because I miss him so much!”
“Oh pet! That was a cruel thing of him to say.”
“Well, tomorrow is a new day I suppose. I’d better go to bed now, I feel better now that I have told someone.”
“Goodnight my love. Sleep well.”
“I shall try. Mother?”
“Yes?”
“Can people change?”
“In what way dear?”
“Well, for example if someone is quite bitter can their personality be softened by another in time.”
“I think so. Do not worry, Prince Theodore is feeling a little sorry for himself at this moment in time. Do not take anything he says to heart and Bonnie, please try not to retaliate, I know it isn’t easy but promise me you will try.”
“Mother, I will, but now I must retire to bed.”

To be continued…

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

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11 thoughts on “Theodore- Chapter 10

  1. Oh my goodness, this was fascinating. I felt like I had suddenly found myself on a moving train – unsure about where I had come from or where I was going! I was glad to discover all of the chapters, after a little searching … and will be setting aside some time to get caught up. This was an engrossing read – and such a wonderful way to blog!

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