This was a strange day for Princess Gretta. She had awoken early in the day and decided to go to peasant school, assuming she would see Sir Dwight in their chemistry class. However, Dwight did not arrive in class on time, nor did he appear throughout the day. She thought about sending an electronic message to him through the phone he had helped her acquire, but as the day had ended, she decided that visiting his home was an easier option.
So, Princess Gretta knocked on Sir Dwight’s door for the very first time. She was not surprised with Nana opened the door and greeted Gretta with a grin.
"Hello, Gretta, dear. Can I help you with something?"
"Sir Dwight was not at peasant school today," the princess explained. She held her hands behind her back, hoping the old lady wouldn’t notice that she was squeezing her thumbs anxiously.
"He had to call in sick from school. He has a cold."
Shock rippled through Gretta. She had seen many knights and squires die from illness, and the thought of losing Dwight scared her more than she cared to admit. "Is he… Does he have a chance at survival?”
Nana waved her concerns away. "Colds are quite common, nowadays. He just needs some rest, lots of chicken soup, and a little medicine. He'll be right as rain in a couple of days."
Suddenly, Nana's phone rang. "Yes, dear?" she answered. Gretta heard a low mumbling from the speaker. “Okay, I’ll bring it right up. What? I’m not going to leave it outside your door… I’ll be fine… Oh, okay, fine. Call me if you need anything else. Mmmhmm. Love you too.”
“Was that Dwight?” Gretta asked.
“Yeah, he wanted me to bring some water to his door. He won’t let me in, you see, he’s afraid I’ll catch his cold.” Nana nudged Gretta playfully. “I’m not that weak, you know.”
Gretta smiled. “You are one of the toughest, oldest women I know.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” she replied.
Nana lead the way to the kitchen, the young princess hot on her heels, then filled a cup and handed it to Gretta. “Take this up for me, will you,” Nana said, “I want to make Dwight some soup and a good cup of tea.”
While Gretta was climbing the stairs, glass held firmly in two hands, she noticed that Nana had mounted framed photos on the walls. Many were of her and Dwight at various ages. Gretta smiled. Dwight was quite cute when he was a child. There was one in particular that caught her attention. It was of a baby Dwight laying in the arms of a beautiful young woman who was smiling at the camera. She had sleek black hair and bright blue eyes.
“This must be his mother,” Gretta mused.
A few more steps and she paused again to look at a picture of Nana and baby Dwight sitting on a floral couch with a man with dark blond hair and brown eyes. He looked remarkably like Nana.
“And you must be his father,” Gretta said. “It must be nice to have portraits of your parents, Sir Dwight.”
Gretta found Dwight’s room by slowly opening every door in the hall, seeing as Nana hadn’t told her which door was his. But that was okay, she enjoyed the chance to explore the house. When she did open Dwight’s door, she saw him lying in bed with his dark blue comforter pulled up to his chin and his eyes fixed firmly on his laptop.
“I am not worthy of your love!” a voice said from the machine.
Dwight sniffled. “Yes, you are. Just let him love you, Darla.”
Gretta rolled her eyes and knocked on the doorframe.
When Dwight saw her, he jumped and nearly knocked the laptop off. “Gretta! What are you doing here?”
“You weren’t at peasant school, so I came to investigate. Nana says you have an illness.”
Dwight coughed into his blanket. “Yeah. It’s just a cold. I’ll be okay.”
Gretta set the water on his nightstand. “Are you feeling better?”
He grinned. “A lot better than I did this morning. Thanks.”
“And you aren’t in danger of death?”
He chuckled. “No. I’ll probably be able to go to school tomorrow.”
Gretta nodded. She shuffled and bumped her fists against her calves.
“Want to watch with me?” Dwight asked, gesturing at the laptop. She nodded and he slid out of the bed, grabbed a spray bottle of blue liquid, and began to spritz it over his blanket. He grabbed a red quilt out of his closet and laid it over half of the bed.
Dwight crawled back under his comforter and leaned against the wall. He patted the red blanket and Gretta joined him. Dwight pulled the laptop onto his lap and searched for something that Gretta would enjoy watching a lot more than his soap opera.
He found a dramatic retelling of a Norwegian king and turned it on. The second a sword flashed, Gretta sat up and her eyes shone. Dwight smiled. He wasn’t a huge fan of these epic, big-battle movies, but he would sit through one to see Gretta happy.
“Hey, Gretta,” Dwight said as the credits started to roll.
“Thanks for coming to visit me.”
Gretta smiled. “And I shall come again if you desire it.”
Dwight chuckled. “And maybe next time you can come on a day that I haven’t been stuck in bed all day with a fever.”
Gretta’s eyebrows rose, alarmed. “You aren’t going to die, are you?”
“Not today, Gretta,” Dwight responded, amused.
Dwight got up from the bed and held his hand out to help her up. “Let me escort you out.”
Gretta followed him quietly down the stairs, glancing at the pictures of Dwight and his family. Perhaps she could convince him to take a portrait of her and Baldric to display upon her staircase, starting a new tradition.
When they reached the deck, Dwight waved Gretta off. She paused. The knight watched as her green eyes considered something before she waved back. However, before she took a step, she spun around and pecked Dwight on the cheek.
“A favor. For luck,” the princess exclaimed before disappearing into the night.
Struck, Dwight watched her go as he waved dumbly.