Continued from “On the run”
The waiter served Lowry’s coffee even before he got to the table. He’d worked there long enough to guess who Turi had been waiting for and had brought coffee as soon as he saw Lowry at the door. Though he had dreams beyond this Coffee Palace, he really enjoyed serving these two. He knew their story and he had the fairy tale idea of being that faithful servant that inherited the kingdom when there wasn’t an eligible heir to the throne on the king and queen’s death. He’d once mentioned that dream to Turi and Lowry in a casual chitchat as he served them and they’d nodded in agreement. He would most certainly be on the will; if there ever was one.
Turi stood to pull out the chair for Lowry as she helped take off his already drenched coat. He was shivering uncontrollably and it would take a while before he was able to make conversation. She got back to her seat and waited for him to calm down as she sugared his coffee. She had done this many times before so she knew just how much sugar he wanted. When she was done, he sipped on the coffee in a bid to get some warmth in his system but there was hardly any improvement to the uncontrolled shivers. He knew she was continually looking for ways to help him and he hated to watch her efforts prove futile. When he realised he wasn’t getting any better, he excused himself and rushed to the washrooms.
Lowry could hardly recognize the image on the mirror. His face was a pitiful sight and his clothes were an eyesore. However, that was the least of his worries. What worried him most was how he would tell her everything. He had thought all evening about the appropriate words to break the news to her but he couldn’t find any that would ease the pain that would result. Saying it wasn’t the issue. After all, it would be a burden off his chest. The problem was how to explain it all without hurting her. But anyone would get hurt if they heard it and obviously, the effect would have been a million times worse on his princess.
With his hanky, he wiped what he thought was rain water on his brow. Seconds later, droplets of sweat formed and trickled down his face, proving him wrong. Sweating in such weather only affirmed how serious the problem was. He tried the breathe in – breathe out rhythm to help him relax but he shivered and sweated the more.
After a while Lowry realised that the image on the mirror was only adding to his misery so he washed his face one last time and composed himself. He would go and look Turi in the eyes and tell her everything. She was his princess and she would understand. It would be painful to take in but they would go through it together. At least for the few hours he had alive. He would tell her how he had been running away from something. Something that only she could help him with. He had tried to find solutions without having to keep her in the know but he had been unsuccessful.
Lowry had promised to be truthful. He didn’t make many promises but he tried his all to keep the few he made. He knew he wasn’t perfect but in a bid to be a better person, he was always careful not to make any promises he wouldn’t keep. He had failed to be honest and he had a few minutes to reverse that tonight. He hadn’t figured out how to start. That would take care of itself when he got back to the table.
Lowry had taken a while in there but a part of Turi told her to give him time. She knew he would show up in no time and then, he’d be looking all refreshed. For a moment she hated the rain for the mess it had now caused but she knew how her parents had waited for it to water their farms so she refrained. Lowry’s coffee would be cold in no time but she figured that the waiter would take care of that once Lowry got back. She took the last bite of the complimentary fruit salad and for the first time that evening, checked on her watch. The expression on her face was priceless.
She thought of asking the waiter to check on Lowry; you know, just in case he’d collapsed or something. “But no; I bet he’s just taking his time to get cleaned up” she muttered. The café was nearly empty when Lowry staggered back to his seat. He looked just a little better, which made Turi wonder what he’d been doing in there all that time.
They exchanged pleasantries for the first time that night and though a smile was hard to come by, it was clear that they were happy to be together.
She wanted to ask what was up. He held her hands in his and looked her in the eyes. He had read her mind and spoke before she could say anything.
“I’m dying, Turi”
“Hahah, no, you’ll be fine” she offered.
She noticed the difference in warmth from his hands but she didn’t give it much thought.
“Seriously,Turi, I’m dying”
She was about to laugh at what she thought was a joke but the sight of blood stopped her midway.
“Haemophilia?” She asked when she saw blood trickle down his nose. She had seen how much trouble haemophilia had brought him in the past.
“Worse”, he mumbled, as his head hit the table…
Continued on “On the run (3)”