Theodore placed a hand to his head and groaned, Bonnie placed her hand on top of his, stroking his hair.
“You have a headache?”
“The beginnings of one, I can feel it.”
“Take a deep breath, I have an idea.”
“Trust me, all you must do is relax, stay where you are and listen to what I am saying, but this may help. Focus on your breathing now, breathe in deeply, filling your lungs with as much air as you can and then, breathe out. Each time you do this you are going to become even more relaxed. Imagine that you are quite alone, lying stretched out under a large oak tree, you are sheltered by it’s lush green leaves and a few metres away, runs a clear stream which meanders it’s way over rocks. You get up from your comfortable position, feeling the soft grass underneath your bare feet, as you move closer towards the stream. As you reach it, you step into the cool water and close your eyes you feel cleansed, the water is washing away any pain, any discomfort. The sun warms your neck as you continue to be healed by nature, feel it soothe and calm you.”

Bonnie paused, watching Theodore breathe slowly. He smiled and sighed a little.
“That was lovely, I really felt like I was underneath that oak tree and paddling in the cool water, what a shame that it had to come to an end.”
“Do you feel soothed?”
“I do, thank you.”
“I may try another one later.”
“Please, I should like that.”
“Have some water, here you are.”
“Thank you. Would you read a little something to me?”
“Why of course!”
“You sound surprised.”
“I-I am, for you haven’t asked me for a while.”
“Tell me a more about your Father, only if you do not mind.”
“Pardon me saying, but what interests you about him?”
“Um, I don’t know. Forgive me.”
“To tell you the truth your Grace, it is rather comforting to talk about him. I will think of an interesting tale to tell you. Hmm, now then it was winter time, one of the coldest winters of my life. The snow was 6 inches deep at one time and the blizzards were incredibly dangerous, if you had gone outside then there was a chance that you may not have returned. Do you remember?”
“How many years ago?”
Bonnie paused. “It must have been 6 or 7, for I was about 14 years of age and it was just him and me. Sorry, him and I.”
“Do not change the way you talk on my behalf! Please carry on.”
“Would you like some water?”
“I’ll take some sips. Thank you, continue. If- if you please.”
“Yes. Mother had gone to bed early for she had a bad cold and thought it best. Father and I stayed up and toasted marsh mallows before the fire, which we washed down with cups of tea.”
“What a pleasant memory!”
“It is and that leads on to the second part of my story.”
“The conversation we had, was very different.”
“Which subject matter?”
“That ‘oh’ sounded cynical, you do not believe?”
“I do, but…”
“Yes, go on.”
“It is something which I have never really talked about with anyone. I’d like to believe that there is an afterlife, because at the moment, I am scared that I will just cease to exist after…”
“Oh, your Grace. There will be something, shhh, it’s alright.”
“But how would you know, when you have never even been close to death yourself, have you? Forgive me, but nursing someone is not the same.”
“That is true. As a matter of fact, I was close death once.”
“Lord! What happened?”
“I was 12. I decided to go ice skating with friends after school, it had been cold and frosty for some time. We just supposed that the frozen pond would be safe.”
“My God! The ice cracked?”
“Yes. I am afraid that I used to be too adventurous for my own good and went further than I should have done and well, the ice gave way and I fell straight through, into the freezing water.”
“You could have died! How frightful!”
“I was fortunate that I am a strong swimmer, but I was so scared. It felt like I was going to be sucked under it’s surface. Luckily for me, my friends were sensible and ran to get help while I treaded water. The adults who were with the younger children, pulled me out and I was shocked, but unharmed.” Bonnie chuckled.
“Bonita, why are you laughing?”
“Forgive me. It was what happened afterwards . Father walked home that day in nothing more than his long johns and boots , for he insisted that I be wrapped in his clothes. ‘I will be fine my dear.’ He said, but that was the kind of man he was, selfless.”
“I have never been so scared in all my life, your Grace. I thought that I was going to lose her that day.”
Theodore coughed. “Your parents must have been so frightened that they might lose you!”
“Yes, that is almost exactly what Father said. How strange. Well now, I have talked far too much as always so I will kiss your cheek and bid you goodnight.”
“I love your stories, you tell them all so well.”
She took his icy hand in hers and placed it to her cheek.
“You are cold, I am going to heat up your bed for you before you go. I have an idea, I will fetch an extra blanket, warm it before the fire and then place it over you, so that the heat is trapped in. Oh and here is my other shawl, draped over that chair.”
“Ah, I wonder where that had gone. You must take it so that you have another as the days grow colder, there are plenty of blankets for me to have.”
“No, no. I want you to have it, I will warm that for you too.”
She grasped the warmed shawl and blanket, tucking them around him. Aggie leapt onto the bed, scrambling under Theodore’s arm. Bonnie laughed, ruffling her head.
“You may have a fight on your hands for that blanket and shawl.”
“Ah my little furry companion!”
“Now that she has decided to return and you have company, I will bid you goodnight.”
“Must you go?”
“Yes for you can barely keep your eyes open.”
Bonnie kissed Theodore’s forehead, he gazed up at her with his lifeless, sad eyes as she stroked his cheek. Aggie nudged Bonnie’s arm with her nose.
“And what is this little Missy? Are you disheartened that I did not say goodnight to you also? You funny little thing!” Bonnie kissed her also and took a last glance Theodore, before blowing out the candle.
“Thank you.”
“You do not have to thank me, your Grace.”
“I owe you so much my friend, you have the patience of a saint, you really do. I do not know why you would choose to sit with a dull individual like me.”
“Ah, I do believe that you are feeling a little sorry for yourself, but I will let you for a few minutes before I try to cheer you up. You must know that you are good and kind and I am humbled that you would even consider having a commoner like me in your fine home. There now, we are even. I treasure the time that we spend together and hold our friendship close to my heart.”
“Yes I do, would I lie to you?”
“There you are then. I should go and let you sleep your Grace, I do believe that I blew the candle out 5 minutes ago.”
Bonnie kissed his cheek, running a comb through his hair.
“My hair must look disgusting.”
“No, it is not. I can ask Mr Howard to wash it for you though.”
“Yes, I might try to have a bath tomorrow.”
“Good. I shall see you soon. No wait, something troubles you, doesn’t it?”
“Would you like to tell me?”
“I have been thinking a great deal about Jane for the past couple of hours. To me, it seems so strange, I cannot understand why she would return to the palace, surely she must have had a reason and perhaps she was too frightened to say.”
“I wish I knew, then I could help to put that fretting mind of yours at rest.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


8 thoughts on “Theodore- Chapter 35

  1. Ah, those relaxation exercises. I remember a water aerobics instructor, years ago, who used to do guided imagery at the end of our 45 minute classes. It was so nice! But now, it is all ruined with thoughts of Jane. Please Theodore, don’t let her back into your life just out of curiosity. Didn’t she mistreat Bonnie in the last chapter? Doesn’t that tell you something, Prince?

    1. Yes, Jane was pretty horrible to Bonnie, she isn’t a nice person full stop and he would be very foolish to allow her to come back. I love meditation, I find it very helpful and I hope Theodore does too 🙂

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