Continued from Guin Weds.
The wedding went off with no trouble, and Guin soon came to know his new wife. Nadea was a lively woman, and adored Boreal as though she was the girl’s own mother. She shared Guin’s sorrow over the girl’s short life, and every day, she made Bo a healthy snack herself, certain that with the love of family, the snacks would taste even better.
Bo’s fourteenth birthday came and went, and Bo began a steady and rapid decline. Her doctor had to move her limbs for her to help her get out of bed every day, and each day it took longer. Guin spent all of his time that he was not working in her room. Money was tight, and he often went without meals to ensure his daughter and wife could eat their fill. He was thin and gaunt. He only smiled for them, and in his worried misery, he felt it was not often enough.
Every night, he read stories to Bo and held her so-small frame tightly, as though trying to hold onto her longer. She lived longer than the doctors predicted, but to him, it wasn’t long enough.
Every night, Bo went to bed knowing she might not wake up, but smiling for her father and letting him do what he had to in order to stay sane as she slipped through his desperately grasping fingers.
By now, she even knew that Dezadore Dragon wasn’t real, and the wizard was just her doctor. The things the doctor made up were more delusions. When he dad asked what adventures she had, she didn’t have the heart to tell him that she knew they weren’t real.
Nadea, heavy with a child she demanded of Guin when Bo’s decline began, spent a lot of time with the two, each in turn. Bo seemed happy that Nadea insisted she should stay long enough for Bo to meet her new half-sibling, “because the little one has a big sister that is amazing.”
The day finally arrived when Bo couldn’t get out of bed, no matter how much the doctor moved her. “Doctor-“
“I thought I was the wizard.”
“Doctor, just get Daddy and Mama.” she begged in a tiny voice. Her breaths came slowly and with much effort.
“I can’t leave you, Bo.”
“Send someone.” She began to tremble– a trick she did when there was no other way to get energy. “Hurry.”
The bearded man leaned down and kissed her forehead, then hurried to the door. “Fetch Guin and Nadea! Immediately!” Once the order was given, he hurried back to Bo’s side and helped to move her more, in hopes that she would get up. Once she was up, he was sure her condition would improve.
Multiple sets of running feet approached, and Guin shoved the door open as he ran in. “Bo!” he cried as he saw the doctor frantically trying to get her moving. “No, no, not yet!” He ran to her and gripped her face gently. “Come on, Baby Bo, you need to get up and get moving,” he urged. For the first time, she could see her father’s tears that he tried so hard to hide from her.
“Daddy, I can’t. The battery’s dead.”
The man stopped, then looked to the doctor. “Battery? Can you fix that?”
The doctor shook his head. “She’ll lose what time she has left.”
Guin looked stricken. He gathered his daughter into his arms and simply held her. “Bo, I’m so sorry,” he choked. “You deserve so much more than this.”
“Bo, is there anything you want?” Nadea asked after a few uneasy moments.
Bo looked up. “I want Daddy to smile again.” Her voice trailed off, and Nadea looked at Guin, and so did Bo.
Guin wiped his tears on the heel of one hand as he held Bo in the other. “I’ll try, Bo.” He took a deep, shaking breath and closed his eyes. He thought of all the good times they had together when she was little, before the accident, and smiled as he looked down at her. “I love you, Bo.”
The frail child smiled at him and closed her eyes. “Be happy, Da-” she trailed off mid-word as the life finally left her all at once. She became still and limp.
Her father gently shook her. “Bo?” He lifted her arm and kissed her wrist to feel for her pulse. Nothing. He checked at her neck, and looked at the doctor.
The old doctor checked and lowered his head. “She’s gone, Guin. I’m sorry.”
“I want some time alone.” the dead girl’s father murmured. Slowly, everyone but Guin and Nadea filtered out.
Nadea placed a hand on his shoulder. “I’m staying with you. She was my daughter, too.”
Guin wrapped his free arm around Nadea, and the two mourned in privacy over Bo’s fragile body.
Time moved on, and Nadea gave birth to a little boy. Guin named him Dracgo, and the boy was a terror, but helped bring joy to gaunt Guin.
Guin visited Bo’s grave each day and thought back to times of joy so he could give her a smile, even if she couldn’t see it anymore. It was all she asked for in the end. It was the least he could give her.
Nadea began to invest her money in various companies to earn some additional wealth. Now that Bo passed on, finances weren’t as tight, although Guin still spent as though they were. He often neglected himself unless Nadea forced him to eat or get new clothing.
Often, he resisted new clothing until there were holes, simply because he began to view clothes as a triviality.
At the age of five, Dracgo began to ask questions. “Daddy, why do I have such a weird name?” “Mommy, who’s the girl in the pictures all over?” “Why does Daddy always go to that stone by the tree?” His questions were persistent, and no brief answers seemed to be enough for him, and he kept asking for two years, until Guin finally sat down with the little boy and began to tell him about the older sister he never met.
He took a deep breath, and began. “The girl in all of the photos is your older sister, Bo, from my first marriage. She would be a grown up now if she was still alive. When she was young, there was an accident that made her back stop working, and I paid a lot of money to give her treatment to help her move again.”