Roy hurried home after closing the store for the evening. He wanted to make sure he had time to clean up and look his best for Ellen, although he didn’t want his mother to know that. She was so particular and he thought if he waited around for a girl who suited her, he’d probably never get married. He was so fond of Ellen and Leah was such a good child. He felt as though he had missed out on something going a whole year without seeing them. He was quite surprised that his mother invited them for dinner, but he supposed she felt obligated to, since they were Luther’s family.
“Well don’t you look nice?” Peggy said was Roy walked into the dining room. “You would think this was a special occasion.”
“It kind of is, I’m so glad to see Ellen and Leah again.” Roy could share feelings with his sister that he would never dream of revealing to his mother. He knew that Peggy understood how he felt about Ellen and she would keep his comments to herself.
When Luther’s knock came on the door, Roy jumped to his feet as if he were on fire.
“I’ll get it.” He yelled as he walked quickly to the door.
Ellen looked lovely in a simple but pretty blue dress. Her lips were a pleasing crimson color and all Roy could think about was having time alone with her so he could kiss those lips and tell her how he felt about her. Before he could even say hello, Leah was pulling at his pants leg and reaching to be picked up.
“You have a lovely home.” Ellen commented to Jane as Luther led her to the dining room. “Thank you so much for inviting us for dinner.”
“It’s our pleasure to have you here, Roy and Luther have told us so much about you both, and it’s nice to finally get to meet you.” Martin said as he sat down at the head of the table. “Please sit down and make yourself at home, I believe dinner is ready.”
Roy was happy that his father was making an effort to be nice to Ellen, even if his mother’s pleasantries seemed disingenuous. He took a seat next to Ellen as his mother and Jane brought the rest of the dishes of food to the table.
“Would you like to say grace, Leah?” Luther asked his little niece.
“Yes, God is great, God is good and we thank him for our food, A-men!” Leah prayed with such enthusiasm, it warmed Roy’s heart.
“I like that,” Roy stated smiling at Leah, “it should be A-men; I don’t like it when people say Ah-men.”
The exchanged pleasant conversation during dinner, but Roy found he was unable to eat much due to his nerves. He wanted to ask Ellen to go for a walk with him after dinner, and was waiting to find the perfect moment for the invitation.
When everyone was finished eating, Ellen stood to help the other ladies with the dishes.
“No, no,” Peggy whispered to Ellen, “we don’t expect a guest to help with the dishes. Whey don’t you go have a seat in the living room.”
“I’d be glad to help.” Said Ellen, “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely, go relax; you’ve had a long day.”
When Ellen walked into the living room, Roy followed.
“I was wondering…um…if you’d like to…uh…go for a, a walk.” Roy stammered, not sure if he was even speaking loud enough for Ellen to hear him.
“I’d love to; it’s a lovely evening now that the rain stopped.” Ellen replied. She turned to look at Luther; he read the question on her face without her having to speak.
“I’ll watch Leah, I see she brought some books along, we’ll read one while you’re gone.”
Leah jumped to her feet. “I want to go with Roy.” She whined.
“You hurt my feelings, Leah,” Luther said frowning. “Don’t you want to spend time with your Uncle Luther?”
Ellen gave Leah a look that spoke volumes to the child. “Yes, uncle, that will be nice, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
As Leah and Luther settled into a chair with a book, Roy held the door open for Ellen. As they walked down the steps and headed toward the road, he wondered if it would be too forward to take her hand. Before he could decide, she reached for his. He smiled as they held hands and started on their walk.