Immersed in the cold water up to his knees, Matt had a hard time focusing on what to do next. He was looking down at his bare foot but could not remember why that was important. His Lady had called him, she had called him using the power which linked her will to his heart and he wasn’t there for her. He had failed her. And then, when he had finally reached her, his presence was no more relevant. Feeling on his shoulder all the weight of his failure, Matt bent his knees to seat in the tube, and in the moment the water engulfed him, a scream erupted from his throat without control. His legs had adjusted to the freezing water inside the tub, but that was not true for his chest and lungs. His body instantly stood up and Matt saw his Lady’s window lighten up. A black figure appeared inside the window frame.
He did not know she had been there a lot more, looking down at the backyard in the dark. Her mind, though, was far away. She was deeply absorbed into playing again and again her meeting with Doctor Axenior, earlier that same day. She had arrived at the shrink house worried but also hopeful, and she had left tired and confused. Upon her arrival at the lodging, her room had already been prepared and she had entered it without checking on her henchman. All she wanted was to rest and she could not.
At the doctor’s house, everything had looked familiar to her, but at the same time different. First thing, Doctor Axenior had received her in a room on the opposite side of the corridor. She was certain that in all her other visits she had entered the door on the right side of the corridor, but this time, she had entered the one on the left. The doctor had chuckled at the Lady observation, telling her nothing had changed. Yet, she had a hunch about it, and she was also certain to have heard someone speaking from that door on the right side.
Once entered the studio door and started her session, things had not improved. She had felt more confused by the minute.
«Doctor, why the curtains of that window are closed? Can’t we open them? I like to catch a glimpse of your garden while we speak. »
«Didn’t you prefer them to be shut? »
«No. – She bluntly replied. Then she added with a mild smile – I really like to glare at it from time to time as we speak. As usual. »
The Doctor had reached the window and opened the curtains on an unruly garden, filled with weeds and dominated by a half broken statue of a satire, placed at the centre of a fountain, which maybe in the past had been of white marble, but was now green with moss and grey with dust. The Lady had opened her mouth and shutted close her eyes. She had heard the doctor closing again the curtains and reaching his armchair. She had opened her eyes again.
«What happened to that place? »
«I don’t know what you mean, my Lady. »
«It wasn’t that way the last time I saw it! »
She had shouted and pointed a finger toward the window.
«I’ve never touched that garden and I can’t know what was the last time you saw it. »
«Something it’s happening, doctor. I sens… I knew it! »
«All that’s happening, my Lady, is that you loaded yourself too much. You can’t go on under all these burdens. If you only… »
«I won’t let the Ducklettes go. – She had looked straight the doctor in the eyes. – Now tell me how to bury things a little deeper. A couple of days ago I couldn’t accomplish a single thing because of this… side thoughts and… hunches. »
«Don’t you think it could be better if we resume the therapy from where we left it? »
The Lady shook her head.
«But we had reached a crucial point. We were making progress. We all were… »
«NO! – She cleaned her throat – Too much pain. We could not function. No, never again. »
She had adjusted herself on the couch, clinging on to her abdomen, and then, after a couple of deep breaths, had regained a straight position.
«Now you will teach me how to better repress these kind of… things and we will friendly depart from one another. I hope it won’t be necessary to meet again for a long period, Doctor Axenior, may the reason be counseling or correction. »
Right after having reached her room at the inn and closed the door, she had tried the new technique the doctor had taught her, and had found some sort of temporary peace but then she could not sleep and had spent her night pacing her room. At one moment, she had even called upon Matt through her mental connection to him, but it had been useless.
At the other end of the Lady uncaring stare, Matt smiled trying to figure out what sort of thoughts were passing in his lady’s mind in that moment. To him, most probably it was something along the way of “stop embarrassing me, stupid scum!” But he could not withdraw that smirk from his face. Her black figure was still there. Matt exited the tube, bravely rinse his head in the cold water and walked towards that figure with the water dripping along his half naked body. He reached a tree that grew inside the inn courtyard, near the wall, and climbed it to reach his Lady’s window. She was looking at him through the glass. In that moment, she was exactly how he remembered her from their wild encounter in the citrus grove. Her hair was loose on her shoulders, her eyes wandering on his face in a meek expression, her lips… Matt stretched from the tree branch and knocked on the glass.
«Open it. »
She watched alternatively the window handle and him. She shook her head. He knocked again and his lady moved a step away from the window. Then a different thought seemed to come to her mind and she moved resolutely to the window and opened it.
«Go to your room! »
She shouted at him under her breath.
«Gladly, my lady. My room is just over yours. Let me in. »
The Lady frowned and moved her head from left to right.
« Please, it’s so cold out here. »
She moved away and searched for something, deep in the darkest corner of her room. Then she came back and threw a towel to Matt. He caught and look at it.
«Don’t simply stare at it, use it! Dry up, cover yourself… do something! »
« I’m clinging to a tree… »
She scoffed and threw her arms in the air, leaving the window open. Matt left the tree for the window and, finally, placed his feet inside her room. The towel hung from his neck, while water was still dripping from his body to the floor. The lady looked at Matt exhausted and ran to him, took the towel into her own hands and started to wipe him personally, at the same time pushing him towards the door. Matt’s back hit the door and stopped and she bounced away from him. They looked at each other without saying a word. Matt was confused. His lady was all red from the neck to the tips of her hair.
«Now, go to your room. »
Said her in a whisper.
«Yes, my lady. »
But he did not move, the sensation of her little hands on his body still present.
«Go. We need to rest a little before returning to the villa, tomorrow. »
«Was everything alright with the doctor? »
«None of your business, but no. »
«What? Are you ill? It’s serious? »
He walked towards her with his arms open. She stopped him.
«Yes. I mean, I’ll be alright. Now go. »
Matt turned to the door but was still worried.
«There’s anything I can do? »
«Go to your room. »
«Yes but… – he fell on his knees and took her hands – Please, tell me that you forgive me! I can’t bear it. »
The lady seemed to be surprised.
«Sure I forgive you, Matt, but now you have to go and rest. I will need you tomorrow. »
He kissed her hands and she let him do. She even caressed his face and helped him stand again. Matt embraced her and kissed her on the cheek. She pushed him out of her room and, finally, closed the door. Only after some moments, she realised what had happened. Her servant had smooched her. What had happened to her? To her authority? Oh yes, she was ill. She was deeply ill.