“There. That’s better,” she says as she places the rag back in the cool water after wiping the sweat from his brow.
“Thank you,” he says kindly smiling back at her.
She looks away from him and her face turns to that of deep concern. “You push yourself too hard sometimes and it worries me. I don’t want to lose you.”
Gently he turns her face back to his, looks into her eyes and says, “I have to. There is still much to do. In the end, I will be fine.”
“I know,” she replies.
She takes his hand and sits beside him against the rock, leaning her head on his shoulder.
“I would if I could. You know that too,” he says with the tone of a heavy heart.
“I do my Lord and I love you for it,” she replies closing her eyes.
He looks at her and says, “Without you, this journey would be unbearable and yet… I want to tell you…”
“Shhh,” she interrupts, “You must rest for now. If only for a second. Close your eyes just a moment and let us just be here. Just be here with me in this moment, please. Because later, ‘there is still much to do,'” she says mocking his serious voice.
At this they break into subtle laughter and he rests his head against hers, closing his eyes.
“Mary,” he says to her, “you are a good woman.”
She begins to cry and turns to hold him tightly as her tears fall on his chest.
“Thank you my Lord,” she says amongst her sobs and cries.
“Thank you Mary,” he replies while holding her even tighter, rocking her gently back and forth.
Someone approaches from a nearby group of men gathered at a large fire. Distantly, they look upon the scene. They try to hide their interest, but their faces give their thoughts away.
“It’s time my Lord,” the man says with his face turned away from them.
“Thank you Paul,” he replies, once again with a gentle smile. “Please tell them, I will be joining shortly.”
“Certainly,” Paul says as he turns away to rejoin the group, never looking at them directly.
He wipes the tears from her cheek and says, “I must go.”
“I know,” she says kissing her hand and touching his cheek.
As he joins the group and they begin their discussion, she looks towards the spot where he had just been sitting, touches the ground where he was, and with tears in her eyes says, “I know.”
– Charlize <3
Cover image credit: Unknown