“I have proper care Mother.”
“Bonnie is no physician and does not have adequate medical knowledge. We must fetch yours.” Bonnie’s heart sank.
“Mother, I’d rather you did not.”
“Your face is as white as a sheet Theodore, has your pain become worse of late?”
“Yes, I would be lying if I told you that it had not. The swelling in my joints is at bay for now. Bonnie heated more towels for me earlier and that helped a great deal.”
“Theodore, I’ll ask Mr Howard to collect our Physician. Heated towels! What use is that?”
“It soothes the aching. The only doctor I’ll agree to see is Bonnie’s.”
“Out of the question.”
“Then, my answer is no Mother. Please leave me in peace, for my head aches so. I am tired, exhausted in mind and body.”
He did not answer, burying his face into the pillow. Bonnie crept over to his side, placing a hand on his back.
“Go away Bonnie, I wish to be alone. Please stop fretting over me for once in your life!” He snapped, pushing it away.
She removed it quickly and shook her head.
“Your Grace, be kind to my daughter.”
“I’ll leave you for a while.”
“Yes, you better had.”
“Your mood is much changed.”
“And you are causing me much upset!”
“Be very careful think before you-“
“You may as well go Bonnie, for you are no use to me now.”
“I-I’ll go to my room now and let you cool off.”
“Stop patronising me! Everyone treats me like a little boy!”
“At the moment, you are behaving like one. I am going to my room, to have a lie down and you should sleep.”
“You are telling me what to do again!”
“S-sorry, goodnight.” Bonnie stroked his hair. “I just want you to know, that everything I do is done with good intent.”
An emotional Bonnie scurried from the room, her face red, stinging with the angry, bitter tears which fell upon her cheeks. She sat at the desk in her room, grabbing a piece of paper and quill, scrawling a letter on a piece of paper.
I hope you and Andrew are well. Prince Theodore is…. deteriorating and fast. In short he is dying. I am trying to be strong, really I am but he is frustrated in himself and it pains me. I wish there were more ways in which I can help him, but for now I must keep my cool. I did not wish to post such a negative letter, for he has a good heart, he is a kind man but as I see him suffering a little more every day. I feel powerless. There was more news, some which involved Theodore’s ex- fiancée Miss Mallis, it seems that she bore his child. Unfortunately it did not live. I fear that he has taken the news badly and his condition has deteriorated once more. I had to tell someone, as it is burdening me a great deal.
All my love to the both of you, Bonnie.’
She paused, she could ask Mr Howard to deliver it, but the post box was not far. She paced along the path after donning her bonnet and shawl. Bonnie approached the post box, slipping the letter in side, thinking no more of it. She crept back to the palace in the dark, returning to her room, dressing for bed, slipping between the freezing cold sheets.
Bonnie flinched, startling from a strange dream, she could not remember what, but something bad had happened. She pinched her nose, squeezing her eyes together, trying to remember what she had dreamt, but it would not come.
There came a firm knock upon her bedroom door.
“Miss McGrath, it is Mr Howard.”
“My God! Is Theodore…”
“He is still with us, I will see to him for now. The Queen would like to speak with you immediately in her parlour.”
“But why? It is not yet 7 in the morning.”
“I do not know, she sounded a little cross.”
“Cross? Oh gosh! Have I done something wrong?”
“I know nothing, but you’d best go as soon as you are ready.”
“Yes, I’ll be no more than 10 minutes.”
Queen Evangeline paced up and down her parlour, grasping a muddy, slightly crumpled letter in her trembling hands, her pretty face flushed. Bonnie immediately recognised the envelope and swallowed. Had she dropped it?
“Oh Lord!” Bonnie exclaimed. “I thought…”
“Someone found this, trodden in the mud near the post box.”
“Oh no. But..this early?”
“Yes indeed other people do not lounge in bed. What business do you have writing to your Mother and informing her of our affairs? I am speechless, I thought you of all people would know… what if this had gotten into the wrong hands and people had read it? Who knows, the letter was not sealed, perhaps they have done already.”
“Oh no!” The colour drained from Bonnie’s cheeks, her body. She placed a hand to her forehead. “Oh Lord! W-what can I do?”
“Do not use the Lord’s name in vain! I am deciding which punishment would suit. We cannot have liars in our home.”
“Please.” Bonnie whispered. “Do not dismiss me.”
“I may have no choice in the matter.”
“I-I deserve to be punished.” Bonnie whispered sullenly. “But please, do not send me away. You could ask his Grace? After all, the letter regarded him.”
“Do not presume to tell me what to do, you insolent child! I was right, you have had a bad influence on my son! You have turned him against me! ”
“Forgive me! I-”
“You are a careless, wicked girl. How dare you mention the fact that Miss Mallis bore Theodore’s child! He should not have told you, did you force him to? Are you trying to tarnish my family name? You are clumsy and outwardly spoken, you talk to my son as if he were your best friend, well he can never be. You are a commoner and he is of blue blood, can’t you see, you will never, ever win his affection!”
“I am not trying to.” Bonnie whispered. “I care for him as a friend.”
“Stupid, clumsy girl that you are! Learn to control your tongue for once in your life! Never have I been so angry and disgusted. I have no choice but to dismiss you!”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014