Everything with Avery and me has been almost like living in a dream. I hear the other wives talking quietly about their husbands at church and various other places when we, the younger wives, are sent out to the kitchen to fix coffee and food or snacks for everyone else. I know they must love their husbands to have married them and to bear their children. If something happened to him, I am sure they would be sincerely grieving. I don't feel the way they do. Some of them smile and say, "You're still a newlywed, you'll see after a few more years." I just smile back and don't say a word. I am sure I will never feel that way about my husband. I can't even imagine Mother speaking ill of Father. She always is very respectful of him, even when he is not around. I promise myself I will never complain ever about Avery.
Yesterday Avery and I went to my parents' home for Sunday dinner after church. That is usually the day we see our families. Avery's family is close by, but we still don't often see them until we go to church on Sunday. They go to the same church we go to and the same church Avery has always gone to. My parents live farther away and when we meet them at their church on Sunday morning, we have to get up earlier than usual. So this morning was a very early morning. I had made a pot of porridge last night and let it sit on the fire overnight. That made breakfast faster. I packed some muffins and homemade cheese in my bag for the ride.
I carried my things to the wagon and noticed on the seat a big shiny red apple! Where did that come from? Why was it on the wagon seat? Jacob! Is that a sign that he was here, in the wagon during the night? Did he put the apple there on purpose? I carry it into the house, "Avery, look what I found on the wagon seat. Did you put this apple there?"
He looks at it and shakes his head. Then he picks up Benjamin who is waiting for me to take him out to the wagon. I can tell that it doesn't cross Avery's mind that Jacob left the apple on the seat. As we get into the wagon and all settled in, Avery grabs a muffin out of the bag as he gets Tator and Spud going. He looks at me and smiles, "What's wrong Rachel?"
"I think Jacob left that apple on the wagon seat."
"What? Why do you say that?" He looks questioningly at me, then Benjamin grabs at Avery's hand, and he laughs at him.
"Because I just do. It is a sign he left for us."
"Oh no. I'd think if he was here, he'd have come to the house and let us know. Not leave an apple on a seat so we'd guess he was here. Where did you get that idea from?"
"Well, maybe I am wrong. But I don't think so."
After church, my sister Edna rode with Avery and me as we followed Mother and Father's wagon home. She held Benjamin and played little games with him. "Guess what Rachel!"
"What?" I asked ready to get a big piece of gossip that I am sure Edna would have for me. She was always listening when she shouldn't be and loved to report what she had heard.
"Esther is getting married to Will next month. She is mad. He came to the house about three times so far, and she refused to talk to him."
"She refused to talk to him, huh?" asked Avery with a slight smile on his face. "I guess I married the right girl," he leaned closer to me.
I made a face at him and asked, "What did Father say? Didn't she say a single word to him at all?"
Edna shook her head. "She said no way is she getting married and have to move out."
I thought about how I felt when I was told I had to marry Avery. I didn't want to leave home either. I felt so sad the day of my wedding and especially when I had to leave and go home with Avery. It was a very quiet ride home that day. Avery had tried to talk to me but I only answered him in one word. Now I talk nonstop all the way to town and back.
"Oh poor Esther, she is scared. I will talk to her. Maybe she can stay with us this week?" I looked at Avery and he nodded. "I will try to comfort her about getting married. It's not so bad." I smiled at Avery.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole