07: Drifter from a Distant Land

Tatiana: Ahhh! Another day of fine weather. I love stretching my legs in the morning. Perhaps I’ll gather some shells! …Huh?

Zeke: ……

Tatiana: Eek! Who’s there?! Hmm… He appears badly wounded. Is he dead?

Zeke: Rngh…

Tatiana: *gasp* He’s alive! Are you all right? Stay with me!

Zeke: Nyna…

Tatiana: Huh? Is that someone’s name? Agh, what am I doing? I need to go get help before he keels over! I’ll be right back—you just hold on!

Zeke: …… …Where am I?

Tatiana: You’re awake! Thank goodness. I thought you were dead for sure. I found you collapsed by the shore earlier. You were gravely injured.

Zeke: Who are you?

Tatiana: My name is Tatiana. I work here at the church. What’s your name?

Zeke: I… My name is…

Tatiana: Yeeees?

Zeke: I cannot remember. Who am I? From whence did I come? These things are a mystery to me.

Tatiana: Oh. …Goodness. You’re one of those types.

Zeke: I apologize for the trouble.

Tatiana: It’s all right. It seems as if everyone’s losing their memory in these times. Still, how are we going to inform your family that you’re safe? They must be worried sick.

Zeke: ……

Tatiana: Ah. Yes, I… That is to say… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to give you something else to fret over. I’m sure we’ll get it all worked out. You should rest in the meantime.

Zeke: Yes… Rest…

Tatiana: You’ll be all right. I know you will! I’m taking care of you now, after all.

Zeke: You would…do that?

Tatiana: It would be my honor. You can stay here as long as you like, even after you get better. Of course, once you’re on your feet, there’s cleaning to do, wood to chop… But your only job right now is to heal.

Zeke: Why are you being so kind to me? What am I to you but a stranger? Another gaping maw to feed?

Tatiana: I wasn’t aware kindness needed a explanation beyond itself. When someone is in trouble, you help them. That’s common decency. And from the moment I saw you… I knew I couldn’t leave you.

Zeke: What?

Tatiana: W-well, I could see you were hurting… And, um…not just on the surface.

Zeke: ……

Tatiana: Oops, gah! I REALLY need to stop laying on the misery! Sorry again. But I AM here to help you. I mean it. So lean on me and let me be your crutch for as long as it takes.

Zeke: Thank you…Tatiana.