Chapter 2 – My little girl

“Good. That should be all now. You don’t need to put any further work into it.”

The pressure of the preceding weeks fell off me the instant I read this e-mail from the White Queen. No more corrections, no more datapoints and figures and layout changes, no more late night work. Master gave Lily a sock! I emerged from the dark days of January and finally had a life again.

 My story might make it sound like my whole life revolved around the Witcher. In fact the days spent at the capital were rare and most of our conversations took place during lab hours or at night when my daughter was already sleeping. True, the first few days after the conference I suffered a lot from missing him, but I suffered in silence. My baby can’t see into my head, so she never noticed. And I had always been good at turning suffering into a source of energy for cheering people up. I spent as much time with my daughter as I could, playing peek’a’boo, singing songs. As she grew older, we also started playing catch me if you can –  with her running away form me, screeching, and me in pursuit, clapping my hands as if chasing a chicken – or hide and seek – with her always hiding in obvious spots, like behind the curtains with her feet clearly visible, or directly behind me, where I could hear her holding her breath, always giggling when I acted like I could not find her. Just like every single daughter in the world, she is the most beautiful, most talented, most cherished little girl there is.

If anything kept me away from her it was helping the Knight with work in his thesis. I did as much assistance as I dared without actually writing the words for him – thus making sure it was still incontestably his work. Still, often I had the impression of putting far more effort into this than he did. He kept coming up with things that needed his immediate attention. Even if sometimes this meant very elaborate dinner ideas, I would have prefered cheese and bread and some actual progress in writing. My annoyance grew with every day the Knight ducked out of this task. This is one aspect of personality where the two of us differ. I am very ambitious, gaining energy out of progress in my work, feeling bad when knowing there are things to be done, while the Knight insists on long breaks and “doing it properly” (which to him means losing oneself into details until one moves backwards in time). More than half a year had passed since I initiated this project and it seemed to be going on forever.

I knew, of course, that it was worth every minute of it, because once he had finally graduated from University he could find a job himself, or at least would be ready to do so in case my institute ran out of grant money for my project. I wanted to be able to provide our daughter with everything she needs in life.


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