Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Ready For Our Second Baby

I started having labor pains in the early morning hours. Avery went to get Amanda Stewart. She delivered Benjamin and now would be delivering our second child. I kept praying everything would go well with this baby just like it did when Benjamin was born. I have been very careful with everything I did so as not to cause any problems with the baby.

Lola came in carrying a cup of tea, "Drink this, it will settle you down." I took it from her and noted that she seemed more relaxed and friendly around me now. Ever since her and William told us the truth about their situation. William had moved his things into the bedroom across the hall from her room. He didn't have to sleep on the floor anymore.

"Thanks." I took a sip.

"Rachel, I am sorry to have caused you so much worry."

"Don't worry about it. Things are fine now. I understand why you felt that you couldn't trust me."

"I was scared."

"Now you aren't?"

"A little but not as much. Before I was afraid of you and Avery finding out."

I let out a yell, "Ooooh, do you think Avery is back with Amanda yet?"

"I'll go look." she hurried out the door.

The pains were coming more regular now. I knew Amanda would be here soon and she'd take over. I had sent a message to her yesterday with a passerby telling her I'd be needing her in the next couple of days. I could just tell. Not that I am that experienced having had only one baby so far. I knew this one was going to be here soon.

I heard footsteps, but knew they were not Lola's, they were Avery's. He came in and said, "How are doing? Pains coming faster?"

"Yes, they are. Is Amanda coming?"

"She is on her way. Following in her wagon. I rode on ahead to get back here in case you needed me."

I could see the worry in his face I reached my hand out to him, "Hey Mr. Longworth, we are having our second child here today. What do you think? Will it be another son? Or our first daughter?"

He took my hand and knelt down by the bed, "I feel a need to ask the Lord to get us through this day."

I nodded, "Go ahead. I'll try to be quiet."

He bent his head, "Lord, Rachel and I are having our second child today. Please make it a safe and easy birth. Lord, you helped me find Rachel to be my wife and mother to my children. I am very happy with that choice. Please keep her well, and our new baby too. It doesn't matter to me if it is a son or a daughter. Just as long as it is healthy, and the birth is easy for my wife. Please Lord, I could not bear my life if anything happens to Rachel. In Jesus's name I ask it. Amen."

As he bent his head, I saw a tear in his eye. "Avery, I will be fine. My mother had all of her children with nothing ever going wrong. God is with me and our child."

"I just worry about you that is all."

"Go see if Amanda is here yet. If she is tell her to come right up. If Lola hasn't already heated water, tell her to do so now."

Avery smiled, "Lola has it boiling. Cloths are ready too.I'll go check on Amanda. She should be here by now."

He left the room as I had another stabbing labor pain. I made myself be quiet and not cry out. This baby is going to be a easy birth like Benjamin was and will be healthy too. I know it will be so.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting Answers

After I came in from the barn, I set the table for supper while Lola brought the dishes to the table. I didn't say a word as Avery and William walked in. I noticed that Avery seemed comfortable again with William and wondered what had transpired between the two of them. I didn't have long to wait. As we all sat down to the table, William cleared his throat and looked at Lola very seriously and spoke, "It seems that Rachel here has been harboring some ill feelings toward me. Lola, I hope you will allow me to share our story with Rachel and Avery. After all we are guests in their home, and, I abhor the thought of being thought of as a wife abuser."

Lola looked grieved, but looked at us and back to William and shook her head yes. Then she looked down as if she was embarrassed.

"Avery, I told you our story in the quick version. I was afraid of what you would do to me out in the barn. This is  our story and it is God's honest truth, or may He strike me dead."

"I told you I came from New York City. I worked lots of different jobs through the years and never settled any one place. Been so many places I doubt I could name them all. Then I got a job down in southern Pennsylvania on a big tobacco farm. Real fancy place, so I figured I may as well see if they need help. I worked there for over ten years. Clint Addison was the owner and still is." He paused and looked at Lola, who had tears in her eyes.

"One day Clint tells me he is going on a trip and will be back in a couple of weeks. He wanted me to oversee the whole operation. He paid me very well for it. When he came back, he brought a wife," he  motioned toward Lola, "Lola here."

Avery and I both looked at Lola, me with surprise in my expression I am sure. She looked down in her lap, still had tears running down her face.

"At first things were just like usual. Except that Clint was married. He showed Lola off. Bought her all kinds of fancy duds. Let her fix the house up to her liking. No amount of money was sparred. Then it started. Clint wanted a son. He started blaming Lola for not giving him a child. I'd hear her screaming at night. I'd hear him beating her. I'd put on my clothes and head for the house. The door was locked. I finally got up the nerve to yell up to him, he opened the window and told me to go on back to bed. Said he'd handle this. She was his wife."

"Oh Lola," I turned toward her, she had put her head down and covered her face. I got up and went to her, put my arms around her, "Lola, it wasn't your fault. You poor thing. It wasn't your fault. How awful for you."

"This went on and on. Sometimes Clint would leave and be gone for a week or so. Those were the best times. I'd bring wildflowers to Lola and she'd smile. Finally she started talking to me. But never said a word about Clint or their situation. If I tried to mention it, she'd change the subject."

"The last time about nine months before we came here, I heard Clint beating her and heard her screaming. I could not stand it another second. I got up and went to the house and broke the door in. I went right upstairs and pounded on the bedroom door. Clint yelled for me to go away and mind my own business. I broke that door down and went right in. He had Lola down on the bed and was beating her with his belt. I....."

Finally, Lola spoke, "William came into the room and grabbed Clint and Clint laughed at him and said, "oh boy, city boy, what do you think you are going to do me? I am so scared." As he said that, William punched him so hard in the face, blood went everywhere. I think he broke his nose. Then William beat him over and over until I threw myself in between them before he killed him. William grabbed me and picked me up and carried me out of there."

It was my turn to feel embarrassed now. "Oh my, William, I am so sorry. I am sorry I jumped to conclusions."

"Rachel, it's okay. What were you supposed to think? How would you have known?"

Avery spoke, "So do you think this guy is looking for you? Are you in danger?"

"Possibly. He is not one to let things go. So we have been laying low. I made it look like we went out west. In that area, he is well thought of and respected. No telling what he has said."

Avery looked at me and then said, "Let's eat. We will figure out what to do about this. I don't want you to have to live looking over your shoulders the rest of your lives. I don't want my family in danger if he tracks you here. I have some ideas I will discuss with you later."

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
Photograph Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016