“How are you?” the Father asked, squatting down next to me on the church’s stone floor. He had gotten over the shock quicker than me. “Are you okay, Ada? How is you head? Is it hurting very much?” he continued to ask, feeling my head as if it was a melon he was testing for its ripeness.
“I’m okay,” I said. In the next moment, I vomited.
Luckily, I had turned to the side in time. Otherwise, I would have thrown up on the Father’s cassock. With the back of my hand, I wiped my mouth. Slowly, I turned back, looking down at my torn pants. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled, embarrassed.
“Don’t worry about it. I will get rid of it later,” he said. “Come now. I put you to bed. You need to rest,” he added, hoisting me up.
I couldn’t decide what to feel. Should I be angry about my own failure? Should I be worried about the monsters appearance in front of our church? Should I be confused because they just wanted to knock me out? Should I be relieved the Father had saved me? Should I be happy the creatures of the night were dead, now? Or should I just feel the pain coming from my bruises? I choose the latter. I would have time to take care of the other things later. Now, all I wanted was to be pitied and looked after. If I was looking forward to the Father taking care of me like a mother hen, I felt really, really bad.
When I sat in my bed with a terrible headache, watching Father Michael, I had to smile. It was touching to see him preparing my room by putting a bucket next to my bed so further cleaning actions wouldn’t be necessary. He put a bottle of water on my bedside table, so I could rinse my mouth. I also had lots of painkillers at hand.
“You will have to take a break, Ada, until your head is okay,” the Father said, putting a towel on my bedside table just in case I needed it to wipe my mouth.
I grinned in a silly way as the painkillers had already made me feel dazed. I didn’t protest when he forbade me to go hunting.
For a couple of days, I stayed in bed and let the Father spoil me. He brought me food I could take. He plumped up the pillows every thirty minutes. He stayed with me to read or to talk. He lay down next to me, holding me in his arms. The headache eased while his hands gently stroked over my hair and I didn’t need any more pills.
Soon, I felt better, though I still needed help, if I had to go to the toilet. As soon as I turned my head I felt dizzy. “That’s absolutely sickening! I hate it!” I said, creeping back into bed with Father Michael at my side.
He covered me up. “I know, sweetheart, but look,” he said, sitting down on the mattress, “it will get better with each day. Soon, you will be able to run and jump around again.”
Fantastic! But I wanted to run and jump around now! I would have needed some magic to heal me. I thought about asking the Father waving with his hands to heal me. It wasn’t fair he never had to go through such things, whereas the people, who fought in the streets, came away with all injuries you could think of. It should be me who is invulnerable and never gets ill. Well, I better keep that to myself, I thought.
Briefly, I looked at the Father to check, whether he knew anything about my thoughts, which arose just because of the fact I was tied to the bed. If I was mad, I got envious and begrudged other people’s eternal youth.
Father Michael didn’t seem to realize what was going on in my mind. He still smiled at me, lovingly. When I looked at him, I noticed something.
“Your hair has grown quite a lot.” I reached out for him and stroked through his hair. “I could cut it for you,” I suggested, having a close look at the dark strands between my fingers. “I’m pretty good at that. I cut my own hair, too.”
Father Michael snorted. Immediately, I let go off his hair, looking at him angrily.
“Ada, your hair reaches to your bum! When was the last time you cut it?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s been a while,” I admitted. But even cutting the ends isn’t easy.
Father Michael rolled his eyes. “You hit your head pretty heavily. You cannot walk straight without getting dizzy. I surely won’t let you get near my scalp with a pair of scissors,” he said and got up. He went to the bathroom, turning off the light.
“Are you vain? You know vanity is a sin,” I said, pointing at him.
He shook his head, sitting down in the armchair on the other side of my room. Relaxed, he leaned back, put his hands on the armrests and stretched out his legs.
“I’m not vain. I’m just scared you cut off my ear,” he retorted, feeling his ears.
Immediately, one of his plumped up pillows hit him right in the face.