Monday, January 5, 2009

The Beginning, Part 2

Ellen awoke to the crowing of the rooster. The sun was just peeking through the bedroom window, and her cat, Sammy was lying on the bedspread, stretching to wake up. Ellen sat up and stretched herself. She looked across the room to see that Leah was still asleep in her crib.

After pulling on a pair of old work pants and a faded button-down top, she put her hair up in curlers and covered them with a red bandanna. By the time she was done with her hair, Leah was awake and standing in her crib.

“I want waffles for breakfast, please.” Leah asked, still sounding sleepy.

“Waffles it is, then,” Ellen said as she picked the girl up and carried her downstairs.

Once breakfast was over, Suzanne volunteered to take Leah outside to play while John and Ellen got to work on the floor.

An hour of work passed before John broke the silence. “Your mother tells me that you have been complaining about Luther bringing his friend Roy home to visit. Why are you being so disagreeable?”

“I don’t mean to be, Daddy, I just don’t feel like having some stranger here, Leah wants to be able to spend time with Luther, and she won’t be able to with this Roy around. Besides, you know she doesn’t like strangers.”

“I think it is more like you want to spend time with your brother and don’t want to have anyone else taking his attention away.”

“Okay, maybe you are right, but Leah doesn’t like people she has never met before, she is shy.”

They were finished with the job at noon, so they sat to eat lunch without cleaning up first. Just as they finishing their sandwiches, a car pulled into the drive.

“Oh, this is perfect,” thought Ellen, “It’s bad enough to have a visitor, now he is going to see me at my worst, old clothes, dirty face, and my hair up in curlers!”

Luther and his friend walked through the door into the kitchen. When Ellen saw them, she jumped to her feet in spite of herself and hugged her brother. “Oh, Luther, we’ve missed you so!” She said, kissing his cheek.

“I’ve missed you also.” Luther said. “This is my friend, Roy. Roy, this is my mother, father, one of my sisters, Ellen, and Ellen’s daughter, Leah.”

“It’s nice to meet you all,” Roy said. “Thank you so much for inviting me into your home.”

“You’re more than welcome, Roy, please sit down, can we get you something for lunch?” Suzanne offered.

Roy and Luther took their seats and Suzanne brought them each a sandwich and a glass of milk.

Ellen was taken with Roy right away, but didn’t want to let it show. He was handsome, and had a beautiful speaking voice. She was thinking all kinds of thoughts about Roy that she certainly couldn’t say out loud. She decided she had to put those thoughts away. “I’m still married, don’t have my divorce papers yet,” she thought, “and he is probably too nice a guy to want to have anything to do with a divorcee.”

As soon as Leah was finished eating, she went over to Roy and crawled up onto his lap. She took to him right away, and he to her. She was showing him a magazine and acting as if she had known him forever. Ellen smiled as she watched the two of them together. “She is acting as though he is her daddy.” Ellen thought. She pushed the thought away. “You’re being as silly as a school girl” she chided herself.

“If you will all excuse me,” Ellen said. “I am going to go clean up and change clothes.”

When Ellen came back downstairs, everyone had moved to the living room. Leah was still in Roy’s lap, looking at a book with him. Ellen noticed that Roy’s eyes brightened when she entered the room. This put a smile on her face. “He’s not bad, not bad at all.” She thought as she took a seat across the room.

“Leah, I think you have taken enough of Roy’s time, why don’t you get down and go play?” Ellen said.

“No, she’s fine,” Roy stated as he hugged Leah and kissed her on the top of her head.

The afternoon continued on, with pleasant conversation. Ellen kept a close eye on Roy and hung on his every word. She noticed that he was watching her, as well. Leah spent almost the whole afternoon sitting on his lap.

“I almost forgot,” Luther said, getting up to go outside. “We found a turtle today.”

He brought the turtle into the house and showed it to Leah. She was scared of the strange looking creature, but Roy held onto her and said, in a soothing voice, “It won’t hurt you.”

Ellen observed how the sound of Roy’s pleasant voice calmed her daughter instantly and thought to herself that he could have the same effect on her, a grown woman!

When dinner time came, her sisters Elaine and Maria arrived with their husbands. The whole family sat to eat together. Suzanne had prepared roast chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, green beans and fresh baked bread. Homemade apple butter and strawberry jam completed the meal. The pies that Ellen had baked the night before sat on the counter, and vanilla ice cream waited in the freezer to be added to the dessert.

“God is great, God is good and we thank him for our food, Amen.” Leah prayed as they all held hands around the table.

“Well,” Roy said when they started to pass dishes around the table. “This is a veritable banquet.”

“Why thank you.” Suzanne said, humbly. “Just make sure you leave room for dessert. Ellen makes the best apple pie you’ll ever taste!”

Ellen blushed as her eyes met Roy’s and he smiled at her. “I’ll be sure to do that,” He said, still smiling “apple pie is my favorite.”

After dinner, they moved to the living room and talked. When it was time for Leah to go to bed, she didn’t want to leave Roy’s side. He kissed her good night and told her he would see her in the morning. That satisfied her, and she was so tired, she willingly went upstairs with her mother. As Ellen got Leah ready for bed, she thought of spending time alone with Roy. How nice it would be to talk and get to know him better. Like her daughter, she didn’t want to go to bed; she wanted to spend more time with Roy.

When she returned to the living room, her sisters and their husbands were getting ready to go home. Once they were out the door, Luther, Roy, and Ellen sat down to talk again. Suzanne and John excused themselves.

“We’re going to head to bed and let you young folks talk awhile. Luther, you know which room is ready for Roy to stay in, you can show him upstairs when you are all ready to retire.” Suzanne said.

“Yes, mother, I don’t think I will be awake much longer, either, it’s been a long day.” Luther yawned.

“I’m pretty tired, too.” Roy said, also yawning.

“I guess I am tired from the work Daddy and I did today,” Ellen added, catching the yawn as well.

When she was in her room, dressed for bed, she couldn’t stop thinking of the nice young man who was just two doors down the hall from her. “Such thoughts!” she scolded herself, and fell asleep to dreams of Roy.

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