As promised the continuation of Christoffer’s story. If you haven’t read the first part, click here. This is a love story you do not want to miss out on!
She smoothed her fingers on the bandages over her son’s head and arms. Taming her puffy dress, she lay beside him and hummed a lullaby. Abellona had sung this lullaby to all her children just as her mother had sang to her.
“Fer, wake up,” she whispered in his ear a couple of times.
“Sir,” Lauritz’s personal assistant, Clark, called him,and behind him were the two agents responsible for his son.
Lauritz walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. He walked a few paces away from the room and the others followed. “Go check on my son!” He yowled at the doctor, who quickly scurried away.
“What happened?” His back was still turned to the trio as he growled.
“Sir, Prince Christoffer spotted us and sped off.”
“Christoffer was driving.”
Lauritz huffed. He expected as much, “Were they drinking?”
“Yes sir.” They stammered in unison, then one of them went on, “He was entertaining women at the club, and I think he was smoking some marijuana. When we went to intercept the man giving him the drugs he spotted us. Prince Lauritz arrived to take him to your mother’s ball but Christoffer convinced him to stay for a while. Then they disappeared.”
Lauritz’s lips curved into a sneer, “No one is to know about this,” He ordered then turned to Clark and growled, “Handle this!”
Clark’s job that night would be going round all tabloids and newspapers looking for any pictures, stories or hints that the prince was driving drunk, especially since they had just passed a new drunk driving law. If found out, Christoffer would be mandated to attend a public rehabilitation center in a penitentiary. Lauritz was a stickler for rules but when it came to his children they challenged him and his morals.
“Sir,” breathless the doctor came out of the operating room running. He was staring at the ground, staring past him anywhere but at Lauritz.
“My son?” Lauritz knew how to read faces and could see a man’s truth through his eyes, and this time, he didn’t want to believe what he saw.
“Sir, I’m sorry… the Crown Prince… prince Lauritz is dead.” He took a step back and bowed his head.
Lauritz fell back against the wall and grabbed his chest. The news seared through him and the fire of his grief settled in his heart. He stiffened almost imperceptibly,and then combed his fingers through his hair. He made a simple sharp exhalation thenjumped straight on his feet, and shook all the tension from his body.
“Bring the car around,” he whispered in a shaky voice as he dragged his feet towards Christoffer’s room. He tensed his face, cleared his throat of all emotion and opened the door. “Alisa, go with the guard.”
“But papa-,” she started and was quickly cut off by her father’s stern gaze. Her eyes were wild and searching as all her control began to slip. The tears rolled down her cheeks as she fought for breath.
Her trembling lower lip and tears were breaking his stern demeanor. “Don’t make me say it again.” He said firmly masking his grief with anger. He needed to get his family out of the hospital and in the confines and security of the palace before Lauritz’sdeath was leaked to the public.
Clark came back, no doubt after hearing the news over his earpiece. He knew better than to show his emotion.He aped his King’s expression and waited at his flank for orders.
Lauritz took a step back and whispered, “Arrange for an ambulance and a doctor to come to the palace with Christoffer.” His voice caught in his throat as he began, “get my son… Lauritzready as soon as possible. Arrange for a press conference tomorrow morning at eight. The funeral will be at ten. That will give the people enough time to get to the procession.”
“Papa, what is it?” Alisa could see the blank expression on her father’s face and it frightened her.
“Go to the car, Alisa.” He gave her a kiss on her forehead and then walked towards his wife. “Abellona, we have to leave.”
She didn’t move. She had no intention of leaving Christoffer in the hospital alone. Lauritz gathered her in his arms and carried her out of the hospital.
They drove in silence to the palace. The ballroom had been emptied minutes after they left. Lauritz was silent as his wife and daughter bombarded him with questions.
“Come with me.” He took their hands and led them to the family room. There was no way he could arrange his words to make the news any easier for them to take. “Lauritz is dead.”
Abellona jumped to her feet, her head shaking in denial. She ran out of the family room bellowing from the pits of her stomach. “No, no!” She screamed as if every muscle in her body had given in and she collapsed to the ground. “Please not my baby! Not my baby!”
“Mama!” Alisa rushed to her mother’s side only to be sent away.
“Alisa, go to your room.” Lauritz ordered as helifted Abellona in his arms and took her to their room.
In the dead of the night both boys were brought back to the palace. Christoffer was set in his room with a nurse and doctor at his call. Lauritz was taken to the great room; he was already cleaned and dressed, ready for the next morning.
Christoffer woke in the darkest hour of the night. He felt like he was stuck in a dream, as he tossed half sick between grotesque reality and the savage frightening dreams. But they weren’t dreams.
Christoffer was running away from his demons. He didn’t know where he was and as much as he tried to open his eyes, he couldn’t escape the darkness. The pain was real but he couldn’t move his body. He tried to call out but all he could manage was a faint gasp of pain. But then a triangular light pierced through the darkness.
“Help,” he whispered as his eyes tried to make out what was coming towards him.
“Fer,” Alisa whispered, “Fer, are you awake?”
“Alisa,” he called out in disbelief, “Alisa is it you?”
The light went on and he squinted. Even though he was desperate to get out of the darkness he couldn’t stand the brightness.
“Turn it off!”
Alisa turned the light off and settled with a small reading light. She moved to the side of his bed and sat down, holding onto his hand as she wept. “Fer, what happened?”
Christoffer still didn’t know what had happened. The last thing he remembered was being in the car with his brother, then darkness. He closed his eyes and tried to push the memory further but all he could see was darkness and all he could remember was pain.
“Where is Lu?” The pain intensified the tighter Alisa held onto his hand, but he didn’t say anything. He needed some human contact and apparently, so did she,“Where is Lu?” he asked again.
But she didn’t answer.All she did was cry out his name.
“Alisa, sweetheart.” terms of endearment had always worked with his sister. He always treated her as if she was younger, and since she was the only girl he and Lauritz had always shielded her. “Look at me, tell me where Lu is.”
“There was an accident.” She cried.
He thought as much. He could feel the pain but he couldn’t move much and that part still bothered him. He was back at home so he didn’t think much of it. He chuckled then said, “Oh no, this is the third car this month. Let me guess, father and mother are giving him a tongue lashing.”
Christoffer, just like Alisa, enjoyed the same shelter Lauritz had given them. Whenever he could he would assume all the blame and responsibilities and this had kept Christoffer out of trouble so far.
“Oh Fer…” Alisa whined before breaking down once more.
There was something wrong. She wasn’t laughing or mimicking their parents. She was crying and this wasn’t like the times she would want her way with something. Christoffer tried to sit up but he couldn’t move.
“Why can’t I move?” Christoffer moaned as the pain held him in place.
Alisa got up and turned on the light. Standing aside as Christoffer took in the gravity of the situation. His leg was strung up on his bed frame, while his arm lay by his side, immobile. He raised his other arm and pulled off the linens trying to find the source of the stabbing pain. His chest was wrapped in a white bandage. His eyes widened as his head fell back on the pillow in disbelief.
“There is no way Lauritz is going to let Lu off the hook for this one,” he mumbled as he stared up at the light. “Alisa, get Lu for me.”
She didn’t move.
“Alisa did you hear me?”
She sank to the ground and burst out crying. Immediately, Christoffer had the urge to stand up and go to his sister but he couldn’t move.
“Alisa, come here and tell me why you are crying.”
“I’m going to get Papa.” She got up and took off running from his room.He could hear her scream out for their father.
He lay back in pain trying to find the words that could get him and his brother out of trouble. The broken arm and leg would only get him so far. He wondered what kind of injuries Lu had. But when his father walked in the wheels reeling in his mind stopped. He stared at the disheveled man, so unlike his perfect debonair father. His eyes were swollen and red, and his whole body shook.
“Papa, I’m sorry.”
Lauritz enveloped his son in his arms. His whole body shuddered as he sobbed. Christoffer stared at his sister who hang back crying as well.
“Papa, what’s going on? Where is Lu?”
Lauritz pulled away and looked into his son’s eyes and said, “You are the crown prince now.”
“What? Father what happened tonight is my fault.” He couldn’t believe that his father had passed over Lu for the throne, just because of the accident he caused.
“Lu is dead.” Lauritz took a step back and moved towards the door. “You are Crown Prince.”
Christoffer stared at his father in disbelief until he disappeared, closing the door behind him. His breath caught in his chest as his father’s voice rang in his ears. He shook his head as tears rolled down his temples. He finally realized that his nightmares were memories.
“I want to see Lu!” He tried to get out ofbed but he couldn’t. There were too many things holding him down. “Alisa, help me!”
After a couple of sedatives from his doctor, Christoffer calmed down and fell back to sleep. The next morning he watched from his bedroom window as the procession began.
Lu’s coffin was covered in the Danish flag. It was slowly loaded onto a horse drawn carriage. Alisa and Lauritz held onto Abellona as they followed the carriage behind. His mother hadn’t been in to see him and he couldn’t blame her. He had caused her the greatest pain ever and because of that he couldn’t bring himself to look into Lu’s coffin and say goodbye.
“How did it happen?” Christoffer’s father had kept asking.
‘I don’t know’ was his only response and when he asked for his mother, his father’s response would be ‘she’s not ready to see you yet’. Christoffer knew what that meant, she hated him for killing her son and he couldn’t blame her. Chrstoffer hated himself to. He didn’t deserve her forgiveness. He didn’t deserve anyone’s forgiveness.
Christoffer covered his face as he wept, full of disgust for himself.
“Lu, I’m so sorry.”
Next week Alma’s story!!!
Other work by M.O.Kenyan Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to My Daughter and you can read the first chapters of this book here . And also an intense short story Checkmate