Photo Credit: George Eastman House
Esther and Will Delaney are getting married. The best part is that now, Esther is happy about it. She took Avery's advice and talked to him. She asked him questions about his plans which would now include her. He told her what she needed to know. She didn't really want to live in town, but once he showed her the house he had bought for them, she has changed her mind on that. It is a big house and he is working on it with his father and brothers when he is off work. He told her he wants a downstairs room for an office, since he will be working for himself as soon as he passes his test to be a lawyer.
Esther and my friend, Eliza came out to visit me so Esther could tell me all about Will and her wedding. Eliza drove Father's buggy since Esther has never been comfortable driving the buggy herself. Eliza is very good at driving, almost as good as I am. She has been doing it since she was small, often driving other local women who do not like to drive horses themselves. Maybe they never learned or are afraid of the horses. Eliza's family consists of her, her father and grandfather now, since her mother died when she was born. Her brother is married and they don't see him that often. So it was nice for me to see Eliza again, this time with Esther.
As we were sitting down to a little lunch I quickly put together, Esther said, "Well, you and Avery were right about everything. Thank you for that talk you gave me the last time I was here."
"I understand that you have now formally accepted Will's proposal of marriage?" I questioned.
"Yes, I have. He had made lots of plans that didn't know about or if I would like them or not since I refused to talk to him. He said when he came out to our house for supper that night he was all set to tell me everything and see what I thought. Then when I would not talk to him, well, he didn't know what to do."
Eliza, who had been holding Benjamin on her lap, put him down on his rug on the floor and walked around the kitchen looking at everything, "Oh Rachel, you really have a nice home. I wanted to tell you that day I came with your family but you were so busy with everyone."
"Thank you. I have been working on the house a bit here and there. Avery had the house finished but it needed a woman's touch."
"I remember when we were swimming at the creek before you got married. Remember? You weren't too sure about getting married."
"Oh, that seems like centuries ago!" I laughed as I remembered that day with the girls. One of the last before my marriage.
"Are you glad now that got married? And that you married Avery?"
"I love him with all my heart. He is so good to me and our son. Yes, I am very glad."
"I will never get married." Eliza said.
"You don't know that." Esther answered.
"No, I won't. I know it. Your father is the one who found you both husbands. I have to do it all myself. And I don't dare talk to a man, unless he is someone I know already."
"You know a lot of boys from school and around town," I said trying to encourage her.
"Look Esther has just turned 16 and now she is getting married too. Your father does that for you girls and all your sisters too. I have a father who doesn't really want me to get married. He wants me to stay so I can cook, clean and sew for him and Grandpa."
"What would he say if someone came to him and ask to meet you?" Esther asked.
"He would most likely discourage him in some way."
"Oh Eliza, that is horrible!" I exclaimed thinking how I always knew I would be a wife and mother some day.
"It's not so bad. At least I can do what I want as long as I take care of the house."
Esther asked, "Would you marry a man you didn't know?"
"Without a single minute of hesitation. I'd be out of the house so fast without a word to either of them," she replied bitterly.
Later as I reflected on Esther and Eliza's visit, I thought how Esther had been so miserable at the thought of having to get married to a man she did not know. And how Eliza's situation was exactly the opposite. She would never be able to get married to anyone, so would marry the first man who asked whether she knew him or not. She wanted to leave her home. My sister, Esther did not want to leave our family home. So different.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole