Clara sat folding her hands in prayer as she knelt at the pew in the hospital chapel. There had been little news about her father since they had arrived. The doctors had been running around in a panic as the nurses had little to say about the situation.
All she knew was her father’s heart gave way but they had been able to stabilize him.
For how long? She had wondered, as she felt tears roll down her face. She had wanted to know more. The doctors should have told her what they were doing. What tests they were going to run, or what medicines they were putting him on.
No one remembered she was even there. It had been hours since she have wandered into the chapel, and it had been hours she had spent kneeling, praying for some sort of news. For all she knew her father could have died and no one was telling her.
Rogersford had been called; at least that request had been followed. He was spending his time dealing with the press, trying to keep this recent event under control.
Bless him for taking on such a challenge. Clara thought, drawing in a deep breath while she peered up at the statue of the Goddess Sirphan. She looked so peaceful with her hands folded in prayer. My father is in the Goddess’s care now, I should try and stop worrying.
How could she do such a thing? Her father was sick; it was her part to worry and to pray.
Closing her eyes, she lay her head down against the neck of the pew in front of her. The wood was cool against her forehead. She was so tired but she couldn’t rest, not with the image of her father’s attack still fresh in her mind.
There came a creak from the door to the chapel followed by heavy footsteps. Her head shot up as she spotted a man wrapped in a heavy wool jacket. His stripped scarf draped loose around his neck while he tried to light his pipe with a wooden match he had pulled out of his left pant pocket. His orange hair was frazzled as heavy bags rested under his eyes.
He looked to have had a similar restless night.
He yawned, stretching his arms out before glancing in her direction. He looked at her surprised, like he hadn’t been expecting anyone to be in the chapel. The morning light danced colourfully across the stone floor through the stain glass like a rainbow, as he quickly ran his hands through his messy hair.
“No need to make yourself presentable in my presence.” Clara chimed, standing from her place near the pews. “You look just as lost as I am.”
“Lost may be a good word for it.” Henry muttered, taking a long drag from his pipe. The smoky taste calmed his nerves as he tucked the used match in his pocket. No one usually came to the chapel, and those that did were usually patients. This woman though looked too well dressed to be from one of the wards. “Are you waiting for someone?”
“A doctor, actually.” Clara answered, sitting down on the bench folding her hands. “I’m waiting on news about my father.”
“You’ll be waiting a while then, the doctors are short staffed at the moment.” Henry replied, taking his pipe out of his mouth. He glanced at the woman who glowed in the light that shone through the windows. Her hair a glistening amber, as her pale face showed her worry.
“Are you a doctor?” Clara asked.
The man smirked. He was well dressed like a doctor, and as worn from lack of sleep. It was possible he had just come off a long shift and was finally having a moment to himself.
“No, I’m like you. Praying for a sick friend, hoping to the Gods he gets back on his feet.” She noticed his brow knot after he spoke, as if what he had said was in bad taste. “We all seem to be waiting for something.”
He quickly shook his head and continued to bite the end of his pipe.
“I guess.” Clara sighed, smiling at his words. She glanced at him, as he bowed his head. He looked to be leaving her be, as he tucked his pipe back into his jacket pocket before leaving the room. “I’ll pray for your friend.”
He paused at the door, as he turned to glance at the woman again. Her words were genuine, a rare thing in such a time. A stranger was willing to pray for someone they didn’t even know; maybe there was some good in the world after all.
“I will do the same for your father.” Henry nodded again, as he left the room. He closed the door before pausing to see Franklin walking towards him.
Why had he left Gregory alone? Was that the best thing after what had happened?
“He’s sedated.” Franklin grumbled, fixing his tie and adjusting his hair. “Now onto my other patient.”
Henry watched while Gregory’s mentor opened the door to the chapel. What were the chances the same doctor was tending to that woman’s father and his best friend? He watched Franklin close the chapel door behind him, only allowing Henry a moment’s glimpse to see the woman again.
Maybe her prayers would be answered and hopefully so would his.