Joshua was just coming back to the balcony to get coffee again. His tiredness had increased after rescuing the royal geological scientist, Lucas, from his own curiosities about the newly rediscovered grassy islands found all over the surrounding desert. After getting his coffee, he sat down at a table and gave a sad, exhausted sigh.
“What’s the problem?” asked Dr. Daniels. He had entered the room to also get some coffee himself.
“Lucas’s curiosity is killing me,” replied Joshua.
“Now that’s a new way to put that phrase,” replied Dr. Daniels as he finally poured his coffee into a cup and sat down at the chair right across from Joshua.
“I need a vacation from all this,” continued Joshua. “I need…”
He looked up to see a woman walking through the open doorway. He couldn’t believe who it was. He got up and walked towards her.
“What are you doing here, Jlanda?” asked Joshua. “No one told me you were coming.”
“I arranged it with the palace about a month ago, and I had arrived only yesterday,” replied Jlanda. “They wanted me to surprise you.”
“Well, they did a very good job at that one then,” replied Joshua. “Jlanda, don’t you see that I have no time to spend with you right now?”
“Spending time with her?” asked Dr. Daniels as he turned to face them from his seat. “Josh, is there something you didn’t tell me?”
“Actually, the palace has already decided that you get three vacation days within the next two weeks that I’m here,” replied Jlanda. “They wanted me to tell you.”
“You mean they know that we’re…”
“You’re both finally dating,” interrupted Dr. Daniels. “I’m glad that you listened to me, Josh. Maybe she’ll keep you from being serious all the time.”
“If you’ll excuse me, Jlanda, I still have work to do,” angrily said Joshua as he exited the room.
Jlanda stood there in shock. Dr. Daniels noticed her sadness.
“Come over here,” said Dr. Daniels as he motioned for Jlanda to come sit near him and talk. She came and sat in the seat to the right of Joshua’s leftover coffee.
“I didn’t know he’d be so hard towards me,” cried Jlanda.
“Let me tell you something about Josh,” replied Dr. Daniels. “He’s so used to being alone and fending for himself that he doesn’t really understand girls.”
“And you do?”
“Nope, not a chance,” replied Dr. Daniels. “That’s why I chose to be a bachelor. I’m happy right where I am.”
“And Josh is…?”
“Josh has feelings, but he likes to keep them hidden under a tough exterior,” replied Dr. Daniels. “He’s stressed, and he doesn’t want any distractions right now.”
“He thinks I’m a distraction?”
“Jlanda,” continued Dr. Daniels. “He wasn’t ready for you to come today. He loves you. I could see how you coming here quickly changed his focus. Just give him some space, and he will come around. He wants to spend time with you, but he just can’t right now. Let him work through his stress, and he will come back to you soon.”
“Okay,” replied Jlanda now feeling more hopeful.
At the same time, Joshua sat in his room trying to work. He had trouble, though, since he had felt guilty about getting mad at Jlanda. It didn’t take long for him to stop what he was doing and finally do the right thing. He went out of his room and towards the balcony.
He walked over to the table and sat at the seat where his coffee cup was. Dr. Daniels decided to get up and take his own coffee with him.
“Well, I have some more work to do,” said Dr. Daniels. “You two kids can work things out yourselves.”
Dr. Daniels left the room, so now it was just Joshua and Jlanda sitting at the table looking sadly at each other.
“I’m sorry,” began Joshua. “I had just had an awful day. I should’ve been happy to see you. I missed you.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t know you were so busy,” began Jlanda. “Well, I’m even sorrier that I didn’t consider it.”
“Well, now that all must be forgiven, how about we eat dinner together?” replied Joshua. “I suppose the servants’ dining commons would be the most convenient place. We’ll catch up, and then I’ll get back to work. I’ll take tomorrow off after today, and we’ll go and explore the city together.”
“I’d enjoy that,” replied Jlanda.
“And so would I,” replied Joshua.