Saturday, July 04, 2015

Sample Saturday & Fourth of July

Fourth of July. Celebrate safely. Remember why we have this holiday.

I'm going to start writing and see what comes out of my fingers.

Alex clicked his tongue at the horse and flipped the lines on its rump. It started off, pulling the buggy into a jerky progress down the lane.

He looked sideways at Ella Ruth. She sat stiffly on the seat, hands clasped so tightly together that he could see the white skin stretched over her knuckles.

"You don't need to go," he said. "If you'd rather not--"

"Mama would be mortified if I didn't attend," she whispered. She glanced in his direction, although she didn't meet his eyes before she faced forward again.

This was a bad idea. He clenched his teeth to prevent a reply he would regret. Only recently had the girl begun to wear deep lavender-colored attire instead of black. Against her wishes. How he ached to take her into his arms and give her comfort. That wasn't possible. Not now. Not yet. He had to bide his time until Ella Ruth came to know him better, to trust him.

That's going to take a long time, boy, he told himself. Working side by side at the surgery doesn't mean she'll forgive Yankees any time soon.

Ella Ruth cleared her throat as they turned into the road. He looked at her, expecting her to say something, but nothing came.

They rode in silence toward Charlottesville, toward the celebration of American Independence the city fathers had reluctantly approved, after much discussion, which was faithfully reported in the newspaper.

"My mother does love me, you know." Ella Ruth finally spoke her mind. "She wants me to be in society again."

Even if it's Yankee society, Alex thought. He wondered why her parents were so desperate to get her to see people other than patients that they allowed her to be seen in public in the company of the Yankee doctor. The Yankee military doctor.

Thank the Lord for whatever bent their minds in that direction.

"Mama says I've pined long enough." Ella Ruth bent her head and picked at one of the pleats in her skirt.

Something in the brokenness of her voice and her carriage told him she hadn't yet mourned long enough, hadn't finished grieving for her dead husband.

Alex looked at the roof of the buggy overhead. I'm sorry you're not here, Ben Owen. I mean to take good care of her in your absence. But only when she'll let me.


Okay, that's enough of that. Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Buy a book. Read a book.

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