I finally got to meet Avery Longworth! It was not a long visit. He came to town and stayed with friends. When we got to church he was there. He immediately took Father aside and took him into the pastor's study before church began. Leah and I kept watching for them to come out. She whispered to me, "Do you think he will sit next to you here." I didn't say anything though was praying he would. What could he and Father be discussing so long? Just as I gave up watching, they both came out, looking very serious. Oh no, now what does that mean? I have gotten used to the idea of marrying him and becoming Mrs. Avery Longworth. The wife to this very mysterious man. Then before I could think any more about it, Pastor Barnes walked out and to the pulpit.
Father and Avery waited at the back of the church so I could not see what they were doing. Pastor Barnes welcomed us all and then said he believed that Abe Kennedy had an announcement to make. Father stood up, he looked so distinguished with the new charcoal jacket that Mother worked on since fall. I sat there frozen to the pew when I saw Avery stand up also. I am not one to enjoy attention and I was afraid of what they would say. Father cleared this throat and spoke, "Pastor Barnes has allowed me this honor this morning of informing all the members of our congregation, that my daughter Rachel May, will be marrying Avery Longworth directly after the Sunday service on June 19th of this year. Everyone is invited to stay and share our happy day with us." He looked around, briefly at me, then a little longer at Mother, and went to his place in the pew next to Mother. Avery then followed him and sat next to Father. I sat there wishing nobody would look at me, but they were. Everyone was turning around to look at me. I did not like the attention focused on me.
I could hardly sit still through the whole service. I had no idea what the sermon was about or anything that was said. As I sat there wishing I could at least see Avery from where I sat. Father and Mother blocked my view of him. I heard his strong voice when we sang the hymns and it gave me chills. Does this mean I am falling in love with a man I have only seen briefly in my whole life? I looked down at my rose dress. This was my best dress from last year and it took me hours to decide which dress to wear today. I knew I had to make a good first impression so I took special care with my hair. I wanted to look older not like a little girl. I am a woman now. Getting married tells the world I am a grown woman.
After church everyone came to me to tell me they wanted to have a bridal shower for me, or to tell me how surprised they were, or how lucky I was to be catching such a handsome young man. I was so nervous I could hardly reply. Avery walked out of the church with Father and Mother and I followed with my sisters. If he wanted to marry me he should learn to walk with me or at least to say hello. I was fuming. Then he was at my side as I came down the stairs, "Rachel, my buggy is waiting for you. We will follow your parents."
I can't write what we talked about on the drive home. My mind was racing and he was talking to me as if he had known me all his life. He has a nice laugh and seemed to be very easy to get along with. Once we were home there he was again talking with Father. After our Sunday dinner, I started to clean up the table and Mother shooed me away, "Rachel, why don't you take Avery out to the barn to see your team?" So off we went. It was a wonderful day and he was a perfect gentleman. He seemed to know a lot about horses and to appreciate the fact that I could handle horses on my own.
It's been almost a week since his visit and I cannot get him out of my mind!
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole