“I am going to sort this hair of yours.”
“Only do it if you can be bothered.”
“Well of course I can! I swear that it grows more every day.”
“I probably look like some sort of strange, red-headed sheep.”
“Ha! My hair is fiery, yours is more of a subtle tone.” Bonnie brushed the hair from his face with a metal comb, running through it in small sections.
“Where has your parting gone? It should be closer to the left, should it not?”
“There, that is better, you now have a straight, left-sided parting which looks much more respectable.”
“Thank you. My hair is so dry now, I used to have such shiny hair, but now it is as dry and brittle as old bones.”
“Have some more honey and lemon. No, it is not so dry, but it has lost its shine.”
Theodore sipped once more at the concoction and rested his head against the pillow. “That will do for now.”
“Try and drink a little more, your Grace, you are thirsty.”
“On second thoughts, I will have some more.”
Bonnie held the cup to his lips as he took some more sips.
“You changed your mind very quickly.”
“I have become more indecisive of late and I am as awkward as ever.” He inhaled.
“It was as if someone had momentarily jabbed something sharp into my side. Just a spasm.”
“Ah. Let me see your wrists.”
She pulled back the cover, glancing at the limb. “They are very swollen again.”
Bonnie placed a hand to his chest, sensing Theodore’s pounding heart.
“I do not understand, why does it work so hard when you are stationary?”
“I wish I knew, but it races in my chest and I feel the blood pulsating around my body. Here, listen.”
Theodore patted his chest. Bonnie, cautiously rested her head upon his chest, taking care not to lean too hard and placed a hand over the opposite ear closing her eyes. His heart was racing, beating out of control. She sighed, resting on an elbow.
“There is little wonder why you are always in pain.”
“At the moment, it is not so bad.”
“So you say, but I am not convinced.”
“Your Grace, that is not funny.”
“No I was thinking; what if Mother walked in right now and saw us like this, she would have kittens!”
“Because I am sat on the side of your bed?”
“Yes, but it is so comforting even having you in the room with me.”
“Could I persuade you to eat a little something, it has been so long.”
“I am afraid that I am not hungry, but you must go and eat. I can hear your stomach grumbling, please go and rest.”
“No, there is no need.”
“Very well, I shall go and find something to eat if it will make you happy.”
“You need to take care of yourself too you know, you do not eat and sleep nearly enough.”
“I do not like to leave you for too long.”
“In case I should go to sleep and never wake up again?”
“Yes!” Bonnie cried. “That is it exactly, hence why I do not want to leave your side.”
“I must insist that you go, but please ask Mr Howard to join me for half an hour or so if he is not too busy and you at least must have a nap.”
“Very well then. I’ll ring the bell.”
Rapidly, Mr Howard entered the room staring at the both of them.
“How can I be of assistance?”
“His Grace wanted to speak with you.”
“Yes, I do. Bonnie must rest now, for even though she will not admit to it, she is on the verge of becoming ill, if she doesn’t take care of herself.”
“I am not!”
“Bonnie, please rest. Mr Howard, Bonnie is worried in case I should die when she is away.”
“I should not have insinuated that, I am terribly sorry.”
“I was pulling your leg Bonnie, but please you must go an amuse yourself for a while, if it is dry take a walk in the palace grounds like we used to do.”
“I wish that you could come too!”
“I’ll be with you in spirit.”
“Spirit.” Bonnie repeated.’ Not literally, I hope’ she thought. “Have a sleep, your Grace, when I return I’ll read something to you.”
“I should like that very much.”
“Goodbye for now.”
Theodore placed one hand on top of the other, focusing on his breathing in the stillness of his bedroom. He shivered as a breeze swept past his cheek, for if he was sighted, he would have seen the condensation of his breath gather in the air like small plumes of smoke.
“We meet again.”
“Oh gosh! This is becoming quite obscure!”
“It depends how you perceive it.”
“I am afraid that I need a little help.”
“Yes. You see, I have some tasks that I wish for you to complete.”
“I am having my second conversation with a ghost.” Theodore muttered. “I am insane.”
“I realise that you are very ill, but you can do this from where you are lying now in your very bed.”
“You confuse me John McGrath.”
“I know, I can see the frown lines on your forehead. Let me explain; there are some things which you should know and all you need do is find the required information. The tasks will give you a feeling of fulfilment and a great sense of inner peace. Some of them are things that should have been done in the past, but do not worry, it is not too late.”
“Ahem.” Theodore cleared his throat, placing a hand to his chest.
“Painful isn’t’ it?”
“You are a brave man, your Grace I can tell you now and you have changed so much.”
“I owe that woman everything.”
“Who are you talking to?”
Theodore froze, it was Bonnie.
“Hmm? Oh, I must have been muttering away in my sleep.”
“I was beginning to worry that you were delirious again! You were quite loud.”
“Oh, I apologise.”
“A prince should never apologise, I was concerned, that is all.”
“Be ready.” Came a whisper in his ear. Theodore nodded in response.
“Alright.” He replied, placing a hand to his damp forehead.
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014