Continued from BoGo.
The time for High Lord Guin’s new marriage approached rapidly. His new betrothed was a stranger from another country, and said to be from a very numerous and fertile family. He asked often after her. Was she kind? Would she treat his daughter well? Each question he asked during his visit to the capital reached her ears, and she was pleased that he placed his ill daughter before his own happiness. Never once did the man ask after her appearance, or try to learn of any deformities.
The woman was impressed, and she told Guin’s king that she was pleased with the man before the two ever set eyes on each other. Nonetheless, they still had to do the formal dancing through hoops. There was paperwork and meetings. They had to arrange their wedding ceremony.
Guin had to prepare Boreal to sit very still in an uncomfortable seat without betraying to the assembled that she was not of sound mind. He sighed as he sent yet another letter to his betrothed.
I write now (yet again) to offer a suggestion for our ceremony. I hope I do not offend with this request, but it regards an important matter. It is with great humility and hopefulness that I wish for our ceremony, important as it is, to be a private ceremony, with only our closest-loved friends and family present.
This is not a request made in shame for our upcoming marriage, nor shame for being wed a second time.
My daughter from my previous marriage is very ill, and she does not see the world in the same light as other children. Her every waking moment is filled with delusions because I asked a doctor to cure her spinal injury. She is very happy, but she does not remain still, and has strange outbursts.
I have no doubts that Boreal will enjoy the wedding, but I do wish to ensure that none mutter about her condition.
He signed and sealed the letter, then sent it on its way. Next, it was time to wait for a reply. With heavy, unwilling legs, he walked to his daughter’s bedroom. Bo was having a grand time, doing stretches in the middle of her large, plush rug.
Bo stopped when she saw her father and gasped. “Daddy!” She ran to him and gave him a tight hug, which he knelt to return. She recognized him.
“Hello, Bo.” He smiled and kissed her forehead. “Are you having lots of fun today?”
“Yes, Daddy! We stopped the Slurping Slizzer from stealing all of the water in the world! He’s very thirsty, so he drinks a whole lot, and he never stops!” Her excitement was not unlike a puppy’s as she bounced near his knee. “We gave him a never-ending water bottle!”
Guin forced a smile. “That’s wonderful! How did you ever find the Slurping Slizzer?”
“We had to find all three doors. The first one was in the hall of doors, and the second one was in a field of butterflies, and the third was in a forest full of super thirsty elephants!”
“Elephants? That sounds dangerous. How did you ever get through?”
“We used our animoves! We crawled a whole lot.”
“Wow.” He forced another smile. “It sounds like you were a big hero again today, Bo.”
She giggled and nodded, then hugged him tightly. “We’re about to have a snack now.”
“Well, can I talk to you while you have your snack?” He tried to hide his nervousness as her smile faded.
“Is something wrong, Daddy?” Big blue eyes stared up at him, and he laughed.
“No, not at all. The wedding is soon, Bo. I’m very excited, and I wanted to know if you think you can watch quietly.” He nodded.
“Of course, Daddy! I’ll sit nice and still for you. This is important.” Her gaze was serious, and flitted to the side for a moment before she giggled. “Can Dezzy come?”
“Can Dezzy sit still and quiet?” He looked at the empty space Bo looked at. The awkwardness began to set in as Guin tried desperately to figure out some way to answer that was neutral, but somehow let his daughter know that her visions were no less real than the things he saw.
Bo saved him with a giggle. “Calm down, Dezzy! That’s not sitting still!” She hugged the empty space. “Even if he can’t sit still, can he come if he’s quiet?”
Guin smiled. “I don’t see why not.”
Absently, he reflected on his attempts to learn about the enigmatic Dezzy, but to learn, he had to ask, and to ask, he had to admit that his daughter’s closest friend wasn’t real. The idea hurt his heart, and he shoved it aside and stood. “The wedding is going to happen in spring. That’s four months from now, when the weather gets warm again.” He explained
Bo nodded. “Are you going already?” Her pout broke his heart more than staying with her ever could.
“I’ll stay for a little longer, Bo.” The man picked her up. She had weight now, and her body wasn’t so thin as he hauled her over one shoulder and spun her.
The girl shrieked in laughter and flailed her arms about, and the bands on her implant began to glow as her pulse gave the device added power. For a few moments, he felt like he was a part of her world again as he began to laugh. He set her down and panted as he caught his breath. “Again, again!”
“More? Alright!” Against his body’s wishes, he lifted her up and spun her again, this time by her arms, and her legs flew out. “You’re a super hero!” He struggled to keep his feet from sliding, and after what felt like forever, he slowed and helped her steady herself as he swayed. “I think I’m dizzy now.”
Bo giggled and hugged her father. “I love you, Daddy!”
“I love you too, Bo.”
“I love you too, Bo.” The man repeated as he helped his daughter dress for the wedding. His fiancee willingly embraced his idea for a small wedding, and the only cost was having Bo sit in the front with her doctor. He spun his daughter gently and tied the huge bow around her waist. He blinked away tears as he realized he would never help her prepare for a wedding of her own.
Chances were high that she would not even live to see her thirteenth birthday. She was nine now, and her doctor said she had a difficult time waking up, but attributed it to the child not moving often enough in the night.
Guin smiled at his daughter. “Are you ready, Bo? Is Dezzy ready?”
“Dezzy got sick and is staying in my room. I’m ready, though.”
Guin kissed his daughter’s cheek. “I’ll walk you to your seat, and then I have to go stand and wait in front of the lawman.”