I ran through the rooms while I was preparing everything for Grace's bath. I took her bag and placed it next to the tub while it was filling up slowly. I poured in some bath salts and immediately piled on the foam. The heat rose in the bathroom and I cleaned a bit before I came back into the living room.
Grace sat on the sofa and looked around with wide eyes. With a smile, I sat down beside her, careful not to make quick or sudden movements; finally, I didn't want to add even more pain. She smiled at me slightly as she would know what I was thinking.
"Ready for your bath?" I asked and she nodded timidly.
"Thank you again" she said softly and I smiled at her before I asked her "Do you think you can walk?"
"I'll just try it," she replied and I helped her get up. She stood there awkwardly and insecure and I could easily read the fear of falling in her eyes.
"I'm here," I said, but went back a small piece, so she could move.
Grace made her first step forward... and made it.
Slowly I ran beside her, always in readiness to catch her, if she would fall, but she made it. With each step, spread a smile ever on her face and when we got in the bathroom, she ran over the foam with her hand before she blew it in my face. We both laughed and the second time that day she looked like she was glad I was with her.
"If something's wrong, just call me. I'm in the kitchen and make us something to eat," I said and she nodded. We smiled at each other, I left the bathroom and closed the door behind me.
After Harry had left the bathroom, I dropped my smile and wiped my hand with the remaining foam on my hospital gown.
Did he really think that I would forgive him so quickly that he held me captive?
I rolled my eyes and shook my head while I undressed.
Only now I noticed that he had also brought my bag to the bathroom, fortunately without his gift. Slowly I opened it and noticed that he didn't looked through it. Everything looked as I had packed it. I ran a hand over my favorite sweater and the mascots of Xander and Cassie. Tears welled up into my eyes and my hands covered my face. How did it all happen?
A soft sob shook through me and tears ran down my cheeks. I tried to settle down with breaths, which I succeeded only after some time.
I could hear that Harry had turned on the TV; the contrived laughter echoed through the room as it would laugh at me.
I wiped my tears away and rose slowly until I stood in front of the mirror. I stared at myself in the eye. Tears swam in them, the blue was intense and the small golden rings around my iris gleamed at me.
I swallowed once and then told me that I would make it out of here. Then I took another deep breath before I took off my underwear and slowly sink into the water.
It felt really good. My muscles relaxed and it felt as if the whole grief, my tears, the pressure of the operation, simply everything drop of me.
I closed my eyes and leaned back.
I cleaned up the bags, stowed everything I would need later in the fridge and then put the pasta water on.
Then I left the kitchen and turned on the TV, but it was just another sitcom and that was the best thing that could offer me the programs.
I went back into the kitchen and continue to prepare the food. I had already shaken off the noodles, now simmering the sauce to itself. As long as it did, I prepared the table and covered it. I didn't light the candles; I would do it later, because I didn't know, when Grace was ready to eat.
In between I tasted from the sauce and put the stove finally out. Just when I wanted to stir a few spices, I heard a news anchor who interrupted the sitcom with "Breaking News", as she called it. I went into the living room and plopped down on the sofa.
"Thirty two hours ago the student Grace Miller" a picture of Grace was displayed "was abducted from a hospital. She just cured herself from a tumor surgery. The last time she was seen, was yesterday morning. She lay asleep in her hospital bed. At the time of her abduction, she probably was wearing her hospital gown. With her her hospital bag is gone, the room was found completely empty, as it she never was a patient or even there. Grace turns in a few days nineteen years old, is doing her degree and has her entire life ahead of her. We have conducted an interview with her parents."
This interview was displayed and a brown-haired woman and a blond man held on to her hands. A handkerchief box lay before them on the table and the man began to speak.
"Whoever Grace has... please release her. She is a young girl and has her entire life ahead of her! We give you everything you want, just give us a sign that she's still alive!" At the last word his voice broke and he looked at the floor.
Grace's mother now looked into the camera and said softly, "We thought we would lose Gracie at her surgery... not by a kidnapper." Then she grew louder. "How can you reconcile it with your conscience to kidnap a poor, defenseless girl? Directly from a hospital? Sign up with us. We can help you... we only want our little daughter back."
She ran a hand lovingly over her husband's cheek before the interview was hidden.
The newscaster appeared again and said, "If you have seen anything of importance, please register at the police station in your area. We wish the Millers all the best and hope that Grace is soon back with her family."
The symbol of the news channel was displayed, the sitcom continued and at the same moment, the bathroom door opened. I immediately turned off the TV and watched Grace and hoped that she hadn't heard a thing.
Finally, she should start a new life with me.